Porto Kayio - > Marathi, Crete
We checked the weather after we stopped in Porto Kayio and we needed to keep moving. After a meal and a bit of rest we were off again. This time an overnight passage to Chania, Crete. We decided to set off before it got dark, it makes raising the anchor a little easier if you can see what is happening. We motored off towards the island of Kithera. Around the top of Kithera is rather busy with large ships as it is one of the main shipping lanes. We were very lucky with our timing and got across the shipping lanes with no problem. Having AIS is really useful in this sort of situation, we can see easily where a ship is going and how close it will get to us.
With first light we could see the outline of Crete in the distance. We had been in touch with the Harbour master at Chania about a berth, so we were hopeful there would be space for us. As we got closer we phoned him to see what the situation was. The only space he had for us was one where we have to drop the anchor then reverse up to the wall and tie the stern of the boat to the wall. We can do this but both of us hate doing it. Anne is usually on the bow dropping the anchor, Stephen is helming and with a center cockpit it is difficult for either of us to get to the stern to throw lines ashore. With the added difficulty of the dinghy on the davits on the stern. If that wasn’t hard enough we had to drop the anchor at about 60 meters out as there were underwater obstructions from 50 meters. This causes us a number of problems
1. How do we accurately judge 60m (we have since found out that some cruisers have laser range finders to get over this problem, but we currently do not)
2. We only have 60 meters of chain – so the potential for not making it back to the wall is quite high.
3. We were tired after an overnight passage.
We really didn’t fancy trying this maneuver being tired so we decided to continue on. Our next challenge was the Nato firing range we had to pass through. We had heard the Nato war ships calling boats to get them to alter course to avoid the firing range. They had said it was in use until 11am. As it was now about that time we thought we would be OK going through. No such luck. Just as we changed course for the headland and the firing range another boat was requested to alter course. When he challenged this as it was after 11:00 he was told there was live firing until 15:00. Luckily we had a few miles to go before we were at the firing range, so we slowed right down and motored slowly.
On our way we were called up by “something” control (we couldn’t understand the word before control), who said they were doing a test and asked if we were in certain position. Our position was slightly different. So after a few long pauses and us giving them our correct position they just said “Thank You” and signed off. We are not sure what they were testing. Hopefully not a guidance system!
We eventually made it to Marathi. The water here was so clear, once again we could see Rocky dig into the sand.
The clear waters in Marathi.
After a good night’s sleep we went shore to explore. There wasn’t much there apart from beach bars and car parks. With the gorgeous water I can understand why the beach bars were popular.
Wandering Dragon, keeping well way from Black Pearl.