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Day 5 & 6 - A pit stop in Nissiros and Couping on to Symi

In Scottish vernacular Couping (pronounced 'cowping') means accidentally to tip over or up-turn, remembering most of the crew are Scottish this term was used to great effect during our journey to Symi, it translates in yachting terms to tipping the boat over to an unreasonable angle. It happens in sudden high winds, or when one has a foolish amount of sail out for the for the prevailing conditions. However never fear, unless you hit a rock or a large wave (taller than the boat is wide) broadside you will not capsize. It's all about the physics and the keel producing more righting moment the more the boat heels (leans over) to the point where you just loose steering and the boat steers naturally into the wind and you come upright again. Nonetheless this can be a tad disconcerting and dramatic. Anyhow more of that in a bit.

We left Astipalyaia early to get ahead of the forecast strong winds, but not before our neighbour who we were sure had laid their anchor across ours. It turned out they had indeed laid their anchor not only across our anchor chain but also across our neighbour's chain, Rock, and it was Rock's chain they pulled up with their anchor. Anyhow no real problem, it transpired they were better at un-tangling anchors than they were at laying them in the first place. A final picture of Corfu with Astipalyaia in the background before we left.

So on to Nissiros, 40 miles ish and a very pleasant journey, albeit no wind so no sailing. Anchoring was expertly accomplished by Bill followed by a very nice afternoon and evening - the usual drinking, eating and cooling off in the sea. Nissiros is a lovely island, made famous by it's still active volcano, but for us a staging post before moving on to Symi. Just the one picture of Nissiros.

Yet another early start for Symi and some wind in the right direction for sailing, a very pleasant 12-13 knots, but because of the forecast that this would build we set sail with 1 reef in the main and full Genoa. The wind was up and down for a while and because we had another 40 miles ish to go we motor sailed in the lulls. After a bit the wind became a more constant 15 knots - perfect, the boat was set to auto helm, we were all in the cockpit enjoying the day with the exception of Bill, down below cleaning his teeth

Now for the couping bit. The wind went from 15 knots to well over 25 knots in seconds, way too much for the sail we had up. The boat proper couped, well over on it's side, before rounding up into the wind and coming upright again. Bill was somewhat disturbed by the occurrence, mid brush, and not attired for returning to the deck. Left with the decision to put on a shirt or shorts he chose the later, either was better than naked we decided afterwards. Anyhow, no problem, it was all a bit disconcerting, flappy and noisy for a while but we reefed the Genoa (reduced it's size) and had the best sail of the holiday yet into Symi.

Symi has the be one of the best if not the best harbour entrances in the world. I give you Symi.

We might linger here for a bit.

Stay safe,


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Jul 01, 2021

I'm assuming your spell checker has turned the word 'defecated' into 'feted'. If this is the case, then the answer is "actually came pretty close at the time due to raw fear". Obviously, I tried to convince the inexperienced crew that this sort of manoeuvre is advanced stuff and takes immense skill to avoid a complete capsize event. I went on to tell them that this "safety drill" was executed deliberately to keep them focused and check the boats "tpping factor" and was a standard sailing activity. In fact they should be thanking me for having their well-being at heart and taking the time to practise these safety procedures whilst on my holiday. I also pointed out that I…


Unknown member
Jun 27, 2021

Very technical and extremely dangerous, come home at once.


Jun 26, 2021

Sounds like fun! We had our own Couping event,but should have seen it coming as we squeezed between two islands rounding a headland. We are the yacht ahead being filmed. We had max sail out for the conditions as we left the harbour with two other boats...... So we were obviously in a race! Note that as the boat doing the filming passed between the islands behind us, they too encountered their own Couping excitement. Now they really should have seen it coming!!



Jul 01, 2021
Replying to

That's a proper coping. I assume you immediately feted?

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