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Day 10 and 11 – Plan F and a very bad anchor

Day 10 was uneventful, we had hoped to get away but the wind had other ideas, so we walked, ate, drank, swam, read and the girls shopped (two new frock in Ellison’s case).

But at last we’re off! After 3 days at Pano Koufonisia hiding from strong winds we’re on our way to Iraklia, or so we think! We left the beautiful Koufonisia with some regret, even after being stuck for 3 days. I said in a previous blog you should go if you get the chance and it’s only a ferry away from Athens.

Now the thing is with sailing that you need a plan B if plan A doesn’t pan out for a destination. Turns out today we needed plans A, B, C, D, E and F. The sail over to Iraklia was a tad frustrating, the hooley that has been blowing has now turned into a light wind that can’t make it’s mind up. So we ghosted across the top of Kato Koufonisia and Schoinousa before turning into the main town of Iraklia, Panagia.  The surprising thing about Iraklia is that despite it’s tiny population of 145 and it didn’t look like it has masses of apartments or hotels either, during the 24 hours we planned to be there no less than 6 ferries would be visiting! Including the massive Blue Star Naxos (the ferry we took to Paros on the first day) which is too big to turn in the bay where Panagia is and so has to go in backwards. The ferry system in Greece is a thing of wonder. So back to plans…. Plan A – moor side too the other side of the mole where the ferry docks. It looked like there was space for one boat so we thought Les Troyens could moor up to the mole and Bill could raft up along side. Not quite enough space, we had about 2 metres of bow over hanging the end of the mole and without knowing how the ferries arrived and left we had no real idea whether they would take our bow with them. Plan A aborted.

Plan B – anchor in the small bay in front of Panagia. The bay is however tiny and pretty shallow. There might have been enough room for two boats but it would have been tight. Plan B aborted.

Plan C – Les Troyens anchors and takes a long line ashore and Bill rafts up next to us and also takes a long line ashore. I checked the depth, availability of rocks ashore to tie a line too, all good. No problem with the doing it, done it loads before. However there was a bit of a swell which every time a ferry came in (they were pretty close) it would have been loads worse. Also it didn’t seem there was much going on in Panagia and it didn’t really have the wow factor. Panagia aborted altogether.

Plan D – A beautiful bay south of Panagia called Livadi. To be honest we knew there might be issues, it’s open to the North East (where the strong winds came from) and whilst the winds are gone the swell they produced will last a while longer. Anchoring and staying was tenable but the swell made things un comfortable. We could see a boat at anchor having to hold onto their lunch to stop it being rolled off the cockpit table. Plan D aborted.

Plan E – A beautiful bay just south of Mirsini on Schoinousa. We hoped it would be better protected but not much, the swell was still rolling wound the corner. Plan E aborted.

Plan F – Mirsini. Well protected, stern too mooring. So that’s where we are and I’m writing the blog at Taverna Nikolas and this is the view from my office (I’m sure I posted something similar last year).

What a cute little place, with a massive population compared with Iraklia, of 250!

On to anchors. Bill had a problem when he came in, as Christine played out the anchor (it an electric windlass with up/down buttons) all was well for 5 metres then it just stopped. Bill had a couple of goes with the same result. In the end he came in anyhow and the nice chaps on the adjacent boat put on a spring line to keep him off the harbour wall. Myself and Ellison parked Les Troyens no bother carefully avoiding Bill’s neighbour who’s anchor was out at about 45% so parking directly next to him meant a crossed anchor for sure. So I parked about 3 spaces away. Having parked I popped along to see if I could help Bill. Turns our his anchor locker (and anchor in general) is really rubbish. The locker is the main issue. Here’s piccies of Les Troynes (good) and Bill’s locker (bad).



Exif_JPEG_42The whole point about an open locker is you can see what’s going on. In Bill and Christine’s case you couldn’t and it turns out the anchor chain had tied itself into knots and jammed. To free it I had to get access via hatches in the forepeak (front bedroom) to untangle it. That done we re-anchored the boat and all was well.The other issue is that the anchor runs out to quickly. They normally run out at a metre a second so for un marked chains you can count bananas (one banana, two banana etc). Bill’s runs out at about 5 metres a second, so fast it jumps off the Gypsy (The Gypsy is the geared wheel the chain runs over, and don’t ask, i have no idea!). So the anchor goes into free fall mode until it gets its knickers in a twist then trips the windlass (like a fuse trip). Luckily at that point its let out so much anchor its not an issue.

So all good in schinoussa, just a final piccie.


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