Tuesday May 12
The skipper let his mate have a lie in. By the time I was actually on deck it was nine am, two hours past the end of the watch. Then he kindly made my coffee and breakfast whilst I set up the trolling line again. We have fished every day since leaving Ierapetra so far without any sign of a bite.
It’s another glorious day, a light F3 from the south means the jib is doing little more than steadying us in the swell as Temptress motors north. The barometer has dropped a couple of points overnight indicating a possible weather change, but the sky is cloudless. We are crossing a wide bay, Kyparissiakos Kolpos, halfway up the Peloponnese. Sixty miles or ten hours to our destination.
The big water tank ran dry this morning, 270l of fresh water consumed since it was topped up in Ismailia on April 29. Pretty good going for us but at a cost; one shower each when we reached Ierapetra, since then the occasional all over wash. I washed my hair once after we left Suez to get the dust out but since my shower seven days ago it’s been ignored, looking very rank and I’m sure it smells. As we haven’t been hot and sweaty we have also been living in much the same set of clothes to avoid laundry. Our underwear drawers are almost empty. If nothing else I hope it’s possible for us to take on water in Messolonghi. Temptress has two 150l tanks left plus the emergency jerrycans in the forepeak, enough for another three or maybe four weeks if we have to.
We carried on through the day motoring north. As the wind eased the swell eased too and once we were in the channel between Zanthos and the Peloponnese the seas were virtually flat. Lunch was the leftovers from yesterday’s supper. Coming into mobile range again I posted yesterday’s blog and we downloaded emails.
One from my sister-in-law Bev was to let me know that unfortunately my mother has had a fall at home and is now in hospital for a few days. It’s very hard not living in the same country when close relatives have accidents or are ill, even worse now when I couldn’t get there even if I wanted to. It’s hard too on those like my sister and sisters in law who would usually visit Mum in hospital but can’t. Email also brought news from Messolonghi, we can anchor outside the marina tonight and must call the port police tomorrow morning. We will wait and see what they say. I can’t even think what we will do if asked to move on.
Meanwhile I concocted another supper dish from our surfeit of aubergines and tomatoes. A cross between moussaka and melanzana parmigiana with layers of potato, aubergine and tomato topped with a cheesy sauce. It was baked in the oven for an hour. We ate early to ensure everything would be squared away before entering the canal.
After supper the autopilot decided it wasn’t happy for the first time in ages even though the autopilot was still engaged, Kevin tried restarting everything but only some instruments decided to wake up. Resetting everything again resulted in all but the cockpit autopilot head coming back to life. We resorted to controlling the autopilot from the chart table again, perhaps the head didn’t like getting hot in the evening sun. We celebrated with a sundowner then I treated myself to a hot shower, clean clothes and a dab of Chanel 19.
Messolonghi marina lies in a basin at the north end of a canal across a low lying area of lakes on the north west corner of the Gulf of Patras, a hundred and ten nautical miles west of Athens. Messolonghi’s main claim to fame is as the town where Byron died, though it also provided the Greek government with several prime ministers in the nineteenth century.
The entrance was easy to find, the green and red buoys clearly visible against the sea in the evening sun. It’s over two miles up the narrow channel to the basin. On one side holiday homes shuttered with a road running behind, on the other bank mostly trees, the smell of the eucalyptus unmistakable. The backdrop to all these watery flatlands are steep rocky mountains that rise sharply up just a few miles inland.
Pat and Tony came out in their dinghy to greet us. It was so lovely to see their familiar faces again. We anchored just off the marina breakwater, hoisted the anchor ball and light then indulged in a social distanced, celebratory tipple or two. We have finally reached our destination. Tomorrow’s call to the port police will decide our fate.
Distance from Port Said: 838nm
Distance from Langkawi: 6250 nm since January 15, 2020
Distance to Bangor: 2700nm