Is it a first?
Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 6 Sep 2008 14:28
We anchored in the small bay at the small
hamlet of Kayio, located off the huge bay Lakonikos Kolpos, at the bottom of the
Peloponese 18 hours and 40 minutes after leaving
We have done a number of overnight passages now so were not concerned about this one, even though it was the first overnight that we have done with just the 2 of us on board.
While on passage, soon after it had become
dark, Dick saw 2 dolphins in the water. They came to look but did not stay, like
the pod that had approached us when we were making our way to
Now, as in ancient times, the channel between
Ak Maleas and the
Ak Maleas is a mountainous headland about 780
metres high and has a formidable reputation. Heikell likens it to
It was at this cape that Odysseus was blown south to the land of the Lotus eaters and I quote these beautiful, poetical words from the Odyssey “I might have made it safely home, that time, but as I came round Malea the current took me out to sea, and from the north a fresh gale drove me on, past Kythera”.
It was necessary as we made to round the cape, to call on the VHF, a cruise ship which was cutting in front of us less 2 miles away. It had slowed and changed course, making it unclear what were the intentions of the captain were.
About 5 miles or so out from the cape, we saw electrical storms over the mainland which fortunately didn’t appear to get any closer to us.
We stayed for 2 nights in the
At a similar time the following day, the spots of rain returned for a brief time and the wind blew stronger but soon all was calm.
We moved on from Porto Kayio to Lemini, looking in at several other anchorages en-route, deciding that they were too exposed to the west for comfortable anchoring. Unfortunately, Lemini turned out to be an uncomfortable anchorage for although we were swinging safely through the night, the movement made it difficult to sleep.
The style of the property along this coast is very different from that of the islands we have recently left behind. Gone are the white rendered houses with the blue windows, doors and balconies. The style now is natural stone, blending perfectly with the environment.
Attempting to raise the anchor at Lemini, the fuse on the windlass kept switching off. All was finally revealed as the anchor was lifted above the water. A huge anchor, resembling a grappling iron, had deposited itself over our anchor during the night, as the boats swung around with the constant change of wind direction. Dick to the rescue using one of the tools bought for the purpose and we were on our way to Kalamata.
We passed a turtle just 3 metres off the port side as we made passage to the marina at Kalamata. We haven’t seen a turtle since last year.
This is the first proper marina we have
encountered since we left Marmaris in
I was delighted to find that there was a well stocked library at the marina which enabled me to swap several books. This was a wonderful find as it is not easy to obtain reading material printed in English, while cruising.
We went to a restaurant just outside the marina complex for our evening meal and were delighted with the food. It was better than anything we had eaten ashore for a long time and for a meal for 2, with starter and main course, bread, water and wine, it was considerably less than we have been paying.
While we were in the marina and
the wind seemed to be non-existent, Dick put in place some scaffold planks from
the top of the cockpit to the horizontal, stainless steel bar which is part of
the supports for the wind generators. This enabled him to lubricate the wind
generators and stop the squeak which has been driving him up the wall. While the
planks were in place, he went as far as cleaning the stainless steel, removing
the rust which had built up since the boat was cleaned, while it was in
Why they call this silver coloured metal, stainless steel, I can’t imagine. It is definitely not stainless. I for one would be happy to pay the extra to ensure that sufficient chrome was present in the alloy, to prevent the attack of rust which seems to be always threatening.
Ducks swam in the water within
the confines of the marina, the first salt water ducks we had seen since we were
We took a leisurely walk through the park to reach the town centre. A number of play areas for children had been constructed and several pseudo railway stations, with normal size railway lines for the now disused trains, carriages and other items which had once been part of the railway system and were now on display within the park.
We sat in the cockpit and admired the Taiyetos, 2307 metres high, running south to the Mani peninsula and Ak Tainaron. Tainaron apparently, otherwise known as Matapan, was the ancient Tenaron, the entrance to the underworld.
We left mid morning and motored just over 8 miles to a small town called Petalidhion, anchoring in sand and weed. It was market day and the pretty umbrellas covered the stalls on the waterfront. The water was clear but green, taking the colour from the weed. We were the only cruising boat in the anchorage, another left soon after we arrived. We had planned to spend at least 2 nights here but the clock chimed on the hour all night long and at it also played some sort of melody. This is Saturday morning when normal people have a lie in!
We would have probably moved despite the chiming clock as we were plagued by mosquitos. Perhaps I should say that we would have been plagued by mosquitoes if we hadn’t eliminated them before going to sleep. This year, the mosquitos have generally been conspicuous by their absence.
A beach stretches around the bay from Kalamata to Petalidhion and beyond, though there were very few people on the beach or in the water despite the temperature being in the mid 30’s. Interestingly enough, we did encounter 2 people swimming, half a mile from the beach, on our way from Petalidhion to Koroni. They made up 50% of the people we saw on the beach and in the water today and 33% of those we saw there yesterday.
There were 2 small sea planes parked on the beach at Petalidhion and we were lucky enough to see one of them take off from the water, just before we raised our anchor and moved on to Koroni.
The coast between Petalidhion and
Koroni is green, unlike most of the barren scenery encountered en-route through
The architecture has changed again and from Kalamata, it resembles that which you will find in most other mediterrean seaside towns. The tallest building I saw was only 4 stories high, most of the buildings seem to be 1 or 2 stories high.
Our arrival in Koroni coincided with lunch-time so, having dropped the anchor we lowered the bathing ladder in preparation to swim in the clear water to check that all was well with the anchor, prior to launching the rib, to take us ashore for lunch.
Horror! Nestling in the compartment which houses the bathing ladder was a cockroach! Feeling very guilty that it is also one of God’s creatures, I knocked it into the water and watched as it swam away. Then, to my amazement, a second cockroach appeared on the other side of the bathing ladder compartment. This one was also knocked into the water but instead of swimming off, it swam back to the boat and climbed back using the bathing ladder. Back into the water it went and it again returned, this time floating on its back in the water in the bottom of the compartment. I cupped by hands and threw it back into the water and last saw it swimming away from the boat. Where they came from I cannot imagine. They had not been there when we swam at Petalidhion yesterday. I hope that they had just arrived and not got further into the boat.
Built on the hillside, with a
Venetian fort as a backdrop, the town of
Below:- Dick cleaning the stainless steel supports, sea plane, disused train