Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We Finally Found Greece!

 Sailing in the Bay of Corinth before the winds start blowing!

 The abandoned iron ore mining area on Serifos, Greece.  Aspen is anchored on the far right side.
Captain Steve running in the iron ore mining area on Serifos, Greece.

Motoring through the historic Corinth Canal in Greece.  4 miles were cut through solid rock.  There were no other boats when we transited.  Fantastic!

Motoring up a lazy channel to Messolonghi Marina, Greece.  What a nice place on the mainland of Greece!

Maria is happy to be in a marina again!  There are showers and electricity for Aspen.

Another view of the houses that line the channel near Messolonghi, Greece

The green Vespa scooter in the background is exactly like the one I had many years ago!

Street scene in Zakynthos, Greece

More sailing in the Ionian Sea

Zakynthos, Greece with the shops and restaurants.

The harbor area on Zakynthos, Greece

Another nice beach in Greece!

Some of the beaches are very small.  This picture was taken about noon and hardly anyone comes to the beach before 2 pm!

Sunrise on Corinth Bay.  We like to start out early!

S/Y Aspen – September 4, 2013 – Log #105
Aspen Position: 37 degrees 46’ N  020 degrees 54’ E (UTC +3 Hours)

After sailing through the Dodecanese, Sporades, and Cyclades islands of Greece as well as Crete we finally found the best of Greece.  Northern Greece, including Corinth, Peloponnese and the Ionian is where Greece came alive for us!

Greek food is wonderful here as are the people and the prices of everything. 

Well, how about the sailing in these northern waters of Greece?  Well, the meltemi (Devil wind) is gone, thank goodness.  But, of course you knew this was coming, the daily wind up here is not nice either. 

To give one example, imagine trying to get some sleep while at anchor on a bucking bronco in what you thought was a protected anchorage at 11 pm at night.  Suddenly you hear yelling and people are pounding on your boat.  That doesn't sound normal, said Captain Steve to Admiral Maria???

Jumping up half naked and running into the cockpit we saw the yelling people were in a dinghy behind Aspen and between us and the jagged cliffs on our stern.  Time to leave and quickly too!!!  The Admiral did a magnificent job of not falling overboard while getting our anchor back on board too :)

This was the first time we were blown out of an anchorage.  Blown out.  That is not a nice thought and it was not pleasant at all.

Unfortunately there were no other anchorages within 5 miles of us so we simply motored out into the maelstrom in the middle of the night.  In other words we went to sea where it is safer!

Daybreak found Aspen crashing into 10 foot seas and 34 knots of wind while going simply nowhere.  Somehow Captain Steve finally located a harbor to our port on a beam reach and Aspen spun around like a top and headed like a horse for the barn.

Upon reaching the safety of our fortunate harbor we licked our wounds, rested 3 hours while the wind died, and headed back out to sea for our Corinth Canal transit.  Life goes on!

Yet once we set foot on the mainland of Greece the food improved dramatically and everyone seemed glad to see us.  We were greeted in the harbors by helpful people who offered us fuel and helped take our lines to secure Aspen.  There is actually electricity that we can use and sometimes there are even showers.  What a great feeling.

We are currently at Zakynthos Island in the Ionian Sea, getting weather forecasts for our sail across to Sicily, Italy.  Let's hope the weather Gods treat us well on this 3 day passage!!

Sail on, sail on and sail safe Aspen...

No comments:

Post a Comment