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Day 9 & 10 - Chalki and then the Circus came to town

Chalki is beautiful, as people say it is like a mini Symi as you can see from the piccies below.

Of course we had to stay for a couple of days, to explore Chalki and to have yet another proper relax, this time a beach called Pondamos, just a 10 minute walk across the headland from Chalki harbour. This is the view from the taverna we had lunch at (sorry these pictures are all beginning to look a bit samey).

I thought I'd struggle for something to write in the blog today but then as were settling down for a beer in a bar by the harbour the circus came to town, in the form of a yacht and two catamarans. They amazed us with their parking shenanigans for at least an hour before finally sorting themselves out. I'll explain but have drawn a picture which might help, or not, none of it made much sense to us and also a picture of Corfu before the mahem started.

Chalki harbour is a challenge firstly because there's not much room, secondly it's quite deep and thirdly there's usually a crosswind (apparently). It's a stern too park dropping your anchor as you reverse back, however you need lots of anchor out to contend with the depth and crosswind, at least 45-50 metres. Therein lies the problem, the windlass (the motor that lowers and raises the anchor) feeds out at about 1 metre a second which because of the small harbour isn't quick enough to get enough chain out before you arrive at the pontoon. The solution is to free drop the anchor to start, at least 10-15 metres then lower the rest using the windlass control. It took us two attempts to get it right but then all was good - loads of chain and a tight anchor.

By the time the circus arrived there was a catamaran parked safely next to us and two yachts the other side of the pontoon. The first circus yacht (big yacht, 54 foot, loads of people on it) was trying to anchor on the other side of the pontoon and just couldn't seem to get his anchor down in the right place it took him 8 attempts. Whilst this was happening the first Catamarn arrived, anchoring on the same side of the pontoon as us. His technique was to start dropping the anchor then drive the boat backwards like he'd stolen it, I doubt the anchor had even reached the sea bed by the time he was throwing lines to someone on the pontoon. His second attempt wasn't much better and for some reason he was surprised his anchor wasn't holding. He was offered helpful suggestions so out he goes again but as he does that he picks up the anchor chain of the catamaran next to us. After some time he manages to untangle the anchors, almost dropping our neighbours anchor across ours before coming in for a third go, this time from further out and more slowly - and he's in and tied up.

Whilst this is happening a 3rd catamaran decides to try to anchor next to us. There were two issues in doing so, firstly there isn't enough pontoon space left for a huge catamaran. Secondly he also seems to be struggling to drop his anchor somewhere sensible. His first attempt is to start dropping the anchor somewhere near Rhodes, at least that's what it felt like, I suspect in 30 metres of water. He would never have even got half way back to the pontoon before running out of chain. His second attempt, although better, would have left him at a bizarre 45 degreed angle to the corner at the end of the pontoon. He was then advised to moor along side (no anchor) on the end of the mole where the Seajet ferry comes in (the next day). It took him two attempts to do this. At this point the first yacht has just thrown his lines to someone after his 8th go and is successfully in.

Bill and I were certainly glad all were eventually in without causing us any issue, but at this point we were back on Corfu to deal with any fallout, however the pontoon was full so no room for any more clowns!

We're making our way back towards Kos tomorrow, heading for Tilos, a relatively short journey just 18 miles away.

More soon,


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