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The weather and farewell.

September 2, 2016

This will be our last blog from Greece this year (unless something really dramatic happens between now and when we lift out next Friday). Our last blog was about doing a bit of work (nasty four letter word, which I abhor) and meeting friends. As I published it, we were setting off for Kastos for a final visit of the season. The blog is focused on the weather. You’ll see why.

Jellyfish in Vliho Bay -‘its about the size of a carving dish! Yet another reason not to swim here.

 

We prefer to anchor free, swinging round the anchor as the winds change. Many reasons for this: it’s much easier to do than putting lines ashore, the wind always blows through the boat, there’s no danger of RATS and you get a nicer class of people anchoring. The downside is that it takes more space and you need to be aware of where the wind is coming from now and where it’s likely to come from later.
Kastos, one of our favourite places is a good anchorage but exposed to the south and east. So you can’t stay there if the wind is going to come from the wrong directions. We were there when we awoke to some iffy cloud formations and a worrying forecast. So we bugged out to Vliho, where the anchorage is huge and the holding is cement like. The trip there was entertaining: most of it under reduced sail at abut 6.5 knots, the last 3 miles on the engine directly into what had become a force 8 wind (that’s a gale for the non boaty types).

Boat fire in Nidri: a mobo caught fire (rouge bbq apparantly) and the fire rapidly spread to a neighbouring. sailing boat. Both total losses, burnt to the waterline.

Weirdly, the wind completely disappeared as we passed Nidri on our way into the bay and didn’t really get up again too much for the rest of the night, although there were rumbles of thunder and lightening all round the hills surrounding the bay.

The next day was much the same, although we heard from friends a few miles away that they’d been (and still were) sitting out 40mph+ winds for much of the day. Again, as dark fell we could see clouds lurking all round with the occasional flash of lightening. But hey ho, we were happy with our anchor and were on the point of thinking of going to bed when the threatened wind arrived with a bang. From flat calm to 35 mph+ in the space of about 30 seconds. Cue meerkat impressions from the companionway, followed by a rush to don waterproofs, start the engine, turn on the anchor winch and generally battens things down.

Main(ish) street on Gaios.


I’d gone below to do stuff when I heard J talking. Now, she often talks to herself so I wasn’t too perturbed. Then I realised that she was actually talking to someone else! In fact two someone’s: John and Gilly off Riverdancer. They’d been out for supper and their outboard had failed on the way home as the wind hit. They were both soaked, so we got them on board and waited out the wind.  

One of the features of Gaios is the surprising large population of well fed and totally relaxed cats, as well as a coupke of geese who regard the main square as theirs. No, don’t argue, it’s theirs. OK?


Given that their motor was a bit dodgy, I decided to escort them back to their boat once the wind had gone down. No problems with the engine but their boat had dragged its anchor some distance downwind. The whole thing was over in about two hours but it took us another couple of hours to unwind before we could sleep.  

Two Rock Bay. There were another four boats here but easy to ignore them!


The winds continued to be gusty and unpredictable for the next few days, so we stayed put, before we headed north to Gaios via Preveza. Gaios is a lovely little port and we had hoped it would have quietened down a bit as it was getting towards the end of August. No such luck: still very busy and competing to hold the next round of the world anchor knitting championships. And boy, is it expensive in comparison to further south,so after a few days we headed for sanity and Vonitsa. We went by way of an idyllic little anchorage called Two Rock Bay, which we haven’t visited since we did our sailing course in 2008.  

Another picture of Two Rock Bay, looking west towards Paxos.


We planned to stay a few nights but, guess what, the weather forecast was iffy again. It’s a tiny place and has a narrow entrance so not somewhere to wake up in the middle of the night to find that the wind has gone round and built up.  So that’s why we’re now at anchor back in Goat Bay off Vonitsa. The threatened and forecast weather hasn’t really materialised but it still looks dark and nasty over the hills.

It’s our 38th wedding anniversary today. A steak dinner is planned in celebration, although we aim to have dinner in Pano’s next week after we lift out as well.  

Julia suddenly got taken all arty and made this weird scuplture from pegs….

And that’s it from Rampage this summer. We will post again if there’s enough boaty stuff to make it worthwhile over the winter but, for the moment fair winds and safe home.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been following and enjoying your blog thinking you were friends of Chris & Chris Grundy of Fandango. Having recently spoken to the Grundy’s (who now are living in France) they said they had not come across you on their travels!
    So I’m wondering what has caused my confusion! We used to sail out of North Wales – is this an area you are familiar with?
    We were hoping to actually cross paths with you as we are now out of the water in Preveza and noted you would be in the area. Alas – avoiding the worst of the heat spending time in the UK I think you will fly out as we fly in for just 2 weeks on 18th September in order to have new rigging fitted to Silver Cloud !
    It’s took us 6 years to reach Greece and had such a good time this year we wish we had got there sooner, noting how many boats we had met on our travels out in the very same yard of Cleopatra.
    All the best with your haul out, have a good winter and perhaps catch you next year.
    Sue & Ron Morgan (Silver Cloud)
    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks for your comment. We used to have a motor boat, Prydwen, on the Manai, moored at Indefatigable. We then kept Rampage on the mooring fork about six months before we left for the Med, so perhaps we passed on another there.
      We will not cross this year, as we fly home on 11 September so that Julia can catch the start of the University year. We aim to be back out here in June next year: watch the blog for our plans. Perhaps we can meet up then?


  2. Thank you for an entertaining read. As usuak, there’s never enough but you can’t be writing everything down.! Look forward to next year’s musings. We will be out of the Med and back in the USA.



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