I left Paleochora on Monday morning and an hour ago I set foot on Terra Firma here on the Island of Hydra, Limi Idhras at 37.21 N 23.28 E. It is about 75 miles to the South of Athens on the Peleoponnisos. I took a bath and shaved. This is a delightful spot. In a half houir I am meeting a group of Dutchmen to go to dinner in theb town here. The harbor is crowded, mostly charter boats. I had to double park. See the picture. It will be a circus in the morning.
One of the boats next to me is chartered by 6 men from Putten. Nice people. This small rural town has suffered more than any part of Holland during the 2nd World War. 602 of the men of the village were deported to German concentration camps in September 1944, as a reprisal for an attack by the local resistance on a German unit. Only 48 of the 602 Putten men survived. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putten_raid. Practically every one of the six men on the charter boat lost a father, uncle or grandfather. The people of this area in Putten, Barneveld etc. are the hold outs of the strong protestant religion I was raised on of which little has survived in the urban areas where I grew up. This also plays in the “Mastmakers’ Daughters”.
Monday was a great sailing day. I motor sailed along the south coast of Crete and when I made my turn N.W. the wind picked up and started out with full main and 150% genoa and by the time I got to Andikithera I was down to two reefs and the storm jib. At 35.53 N 23.17E a wild anchorage. The williwaws were running down the hills all night. Yesterday was a wild ride. It was force 5/6 al day. But when I rounded Cape Maleas it whipped up to force 7 around 40 knots. This cape is notorious for strong winds. I hang on for dear life, white knuckles. Just the tiny storm jib. The pictures below will show some of the madness. But it is hard to get a picture of the depth of the waves and the strength of the wind. I took breaking waves over the boat and into the cockpit. The noise of the howling wind through the rigging was the most terrifying of it all. I had decided to head for Athens and then take the Corinth Canal into the Adriatic rather than head around the south end of the Greek mainland peninsula. Because I want to try collect and install the replacement of the running back stay near Athens. There were not a whole lot of choices where to spend the night from Andikithera and I picked a harbor at Ieraka 36.47 n 23.05 E where I arrived in the dark at 10 p.m. I was willing to bag it if I could not feel my way in there and commit to another night sail. But after trying for at least 15 minutes to find the entrance I did make it in and plunked the anchor. Today the scene of madness had changed to a nearly flat sea with about 10 knots of wind and I had a great sail with full main and my old dacron 150% genoa. I just had dinner with the group of Dutch sailors spread out on three sailboats moored next to me. I like this spot.
I have noted that some people apparently do not know that you need DOUBLE CLICK ON THE PICTURES to get a better view.