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What we do 2014 part 2
Bohemia II Greek Saronic/Argolic Cruise 2014 Bavaria 43 “Bohemia II” CAPTAINSLOG as recorded by Mairi & George CREW: Neil & Mairi Innes, Bob & Jackie Lawton, George Craigen We started the adventure on the Saturday night, 10th May, at Neil and Mairi’s house with curry and extras. Up at the crack of dawn on Sunday 11th May and taxied to Aberdeen. Easyjet to Gatwick with a few hours wait then an Easyjet to Athens. Taxi man was arranged and there to meet us to transport us to the Alimos Marina in KALAMAKI. All in all a long day but not toooo stressful with this being the start of holiday and not the sadness of the end of a holiday. We found “Bohemia II”, eventually with hatch open and keys in chart table. She is a Bavaria 43, twin steering wheels, large cockpit, 3 cabins, fore and aft galley, large saloon area and twin heads. We soon discovered the calorifier held enough hot water for a cup of tea! Cold showers all round although being the month of May in Greece we were just able to cope. Monday 12th May (Kalamaki to Aigina) Daylight in Kalamaki, although termed a scummy dump by one, might be better described as a busy semi commercial marina. Two of the intrepid crew went shopping, for the team, for the essentials that aeroplanes limit the carriage of. Avoiding trains, boats, planes and automobiles we sourced a well-disguised underground supermarket to obtain the essentials for our voyage of exploring other worlds. Stavros boarded to do the handover and fixed the lights in the small rooms and baled the bilge etc. With the paperwork completed, with Mr Nicos of Kiriacoulis Yacht Charter, we sailed out of Kalimos heading across to the island of Aigina passing to the north of the Piraeus approaches Traffic Separation Scheme. Nearly got mown down by a humungous big shoe box car carrier and a container ship but survived and motored on with little wind and not very sunny. We motor sailed along the north coast of Nisos Aigina but there seemed little to excite the intrepid explorers “There’s nithing bonny, just a hooses” was the comment from one of the party. We parked up for the night in Port of Aigina. Seemed to be a nice place but busy with ferries and road traffic close to berth. Morning on the M25. Our first evening meal was in a restaurant on the beach which turned out to be mediocre and was adjoined to a religious group next door, Hallelujah. Here we had our first tragedy, after thousands of miles travelled there was nae Moussaka. Wee Mar was Devastit. Doddie had delicious fish albeit still had heeds n tails. Mairi’s Eggplant wis nae yolk. (Distance 21.46 miles, Sea Temp 19.3 c, Wind SSE x 9 knots) Bohemia II 2 Tuesday 13th May (Aigina to Poros) Aigina to Russian Beach, on Poros where we anchored for a swim and a spot of lunch. This was declared to be an Afa bonnie bitty. Doddie tried to score with barmaid on her second day on shift with no success other than a friendly smile. It might have been the 30 to 40 year age gap. Our second tragedy occurred when we discovered the dingy was a sinker with water coming in fae doon below and air gan oot fae up above. Much baling was required. We then sailed from Russian bay into Poros itself and moored off the Poseidon Taverna. Went to Poseidon with the dishy waiter, yum yum, for excellent food albeit on the higher side of cost than some others visited. (Distance 19.19 miles, Sea Temp 19.3 c, Wind Lt Airs x 1/2) Wednesday 14th May (Stay in Poros) Stayed the day in Poros pinned down by 30 knots of wind in the sunshine. We spent the day sunbathing and researching the shops. Poros is a stunning little town. We ate at Maria’s quaint restaurant up a side street. Good food with much cheapness compared to the Poseidon Taverna. Thursday 15th May (Poros to Ihydra) Poros is really beautiful although a touristy place with ferries coming to and fro all the time. In leaving Poros heading East through the shallow harbour channel we had a good chance to see the town in its glory. After clearing Poros we headed south passing through the gap between Nisos Spathi and Nisos Skilli before sailing across the channel in strong head winds and white horses to Nisos Ihydra (Hydra). We anchored in Hydra harbour, the most beautiful place we have seen so far. A horse shoe bay with sugar cube houses all around – picture post card. This is the island with hardly any motorised vehicles. Donkeys are the pulling power for building materials and rides for the tourists. No wonder it is hard to get a berth in high season with the Pilot books speaking of boats 2 or 3 deep off the piers. Bobbie and Doddie went to get the Lat and Long of the jewellery shops for oor wee Mar. Wee man slaves got to love em xx. Many very pretty pictures were taken. However, we had very rough conditions during the afternoon moored stern to the north pier with Bohemia II rocking and rolling. There were a lot of differing nationalities present on the boats moored along the pier and many chose to go ashore to get away from the motion. Going ashore in the evening we found the many pussycats and stunning shops before entering the “Garden of Taste” up a narrow clossie for dinner. Neil’s Mussel’s Sagenaki was the best starter. Mairi’s Moussaka was ace. We then finished the day with a tambourine party!!!! DON’t ASK. (Distance 14.19 miles) Bohemia II 3 Friday 16th May (Ihydra to Ermioni) Fed pussycat “Tango II” with GO CAT before picking up some essential provisions and Mairi bought a yacht for her collection!!! Departed Hydra and headed across for Ermioni with a wee lunch stop anchor at Derricks Hole on Dhokus Island. Twas a breezy day again with no swimming. After Derricks hole we motor sailed across to Ermioni on the mainland with Captain Bob in command. Pretty little village with much lower rise of ground compared to a lot of the hilly land which we find in most of the Greek ports we seem to visit and it was a large harbour. Doddie and Bobbie went for mair essentials and had a walk around the headland. The clouds came over but it was still hot with sunny spells at 5 o’clock. Made a poor choice of restaurant for our evening meal where half the stuff on the menu was not available. The claim was that it was early in the season and they were not yet fully stocked. Anyway, the food was hot but poor quality. Only rubbish meal so far. (Distance 13.75 miles) Saturday 17th May (Ermioni to Baltiza) Here we go again with departure on the coldest day so far. Spray hood up and only sunbathing in shelter. We went through the gap between Dhokus and the mainland, Ak Mouzoki and Nisos Dochos after skirting the rocks of Kapari. We sailed past the Rock with the block and nae flippin light, down to Spetsei Island, Baltiza. Absolutely stunning harbour, crammed full of any boat you could imagine, including what looked like 2 wrecked tankers but were really on layby for picking up drinking water for the island. We tied up next to a Hanse 430E from Espana. Nice Spanish chap single handing onboard the Hanse who took our ropes. Had our evening meal at restaurant “Just Do It”, spicy meatballs yum and a greek feta salad. Bobbie got up to some nocturnal activities which have been deleted for the protection of the guilty. (Distance 11.43 miles) Sunday 18th May (Baltiza to Port Khali) Bohemia II Greek breakfast of orange juice mix with oregano crisps. We were moored stern to a pier near to a small farm with geese and closer inshore than the 2 tankers. We watched the wee fishing boats and super yachts depart while we waited for the wee water man to turn up, which he never did. A cloudy morning start – nae good! Doddie broke the loo but then redeemed himself by fixing the loo. Bobbie rowed across the ocean to the supermercado for essential provisions, fighting Ouzo Palaces for space on the water. Bobbie stood or rowed his ground/water in the dingy and was triumphant returning with the grape juice. All this time the water was coming in whilst the air was going oot o the dingy. We set sail for Ormus Zoyioryio and anchored in Lazaretto cove. Another yacht dared to follow us into our wee nook so we booted up the Western Australia Police Pipe Band on the IPAD, hoping they would go away. Didna work so we guessed they liked the WAPPB. Decided on swimming and boom walking making it the new national sport, but dinna tell Bareboat holidays. Bohemia II 4 We upped anchor and crossed to the mainland and Port Khali. Lots of boats at anchor in the bay and Mairi reverse parked Bohemia II against the town quay. We had a walk in the evening looking for a restaurant with Pizza and Moussaka but everything was very spreadout and nobody was doing both. We settled on “Big Blue” restaurant which was just across the road from our berth. The moussaka was the best so far and Neilly boy and Doddie had Magic Mushrooms to die for. (Distance 8.31 miles) Monday 19th May) (Port Khali to Ihydra) Awoke to the sound of rain drops pitter pattering on the coach roof. Up went the Bimini whilst we waited for the water mannie as by now we didna hae a drop inside but plenty outside. Woohoo water man came and we have full water tanks again. Fool dishes and fool claise lying everywhere. Mind you there must have been a good party last night on the Polish boys boat next door. The evidence was still covering their cockpit table as they walked past it to go ashore for breakfast. Departed at 12 noon bound for Hydra once more. Commencing our return journey back up towards the Athens vicinity. Essential stores were replenished but concerned crew as to how long will they last. The afternoon on passage to Hydra was done in Perfectly Foul Rain PFR for short and wee Mairi decided that as she wisna skipper for the day and although warm there was no sunbathing to be had, she might do something else. Next heard was “Hic” “I see nae sheeps” wis the call and “I canna hing oot ma washin”. Going ashore in the evening we decided on a return visit to the “Garden of Taste” up the narrow clossie for a repeat of Neil’s Mussel’s Sagenaki. The wee town is not very big but there are a lot of small lanes and hunger pangs were setting in by the time we found the right lane. (Distance 21.97 miles) Tuesday 20th May (Ihydra to Poros) Departed from Hydra at 10 AM as local dredger needed his space back. We had pinched it the night before as the only available slot to moor. We headed across to the North East to cross the 7 mile channel to an anchorage at Ak Skellaion. A sailing holidays yacht named “Olympia” came through the channel that Rod Heikel’s book said “Do not attempt”. We were all sitting eating our lunch when we saw “Olympia” coming through from the North. Bob said they canna get through there! He had done a recce in the dingy and said it’s too shallow. He also said they have about 5 metres to go before they crunch. Well by the time Mairi had speared a bit of halloumi and ate it we heard a sickening crunch. Olympia came to a sudden halt and heeled over to port. RNLI Finechty were dispatched from Bohemia II in the leaky sieve dingy, crew being Neil and Bobbie. The crew onboard Olympia had no idea how to get unstuck. Neil and Bobbie tried to heel over the boat and winch with kedge anchor out. This failed so they swung the boom out and put Fat Bob the Clype on it and all crew to port. Full astern and off they came. Meantime “Bohemia II” was making a swift circumnavigation of the island to come in for a tow off to the North. Not required and both boats met in the Northern channel. Olympia headed off for Hydra with much relief and gratitude. Bohemia II 5 Before lunch Bobbie had been investigating caves around our bay in the dingy and he found a white plastic deck chair. It was hilarious watching him row back to us in the sinky dingy whilst sitting in a deck chair. We stuck the chair on the bow as a wee perch – well comfy for Lady Bouboulina (See history of Spetzie), to survey her fleet. Our end destination that day was back in Poros with another excellent meal in the Poseidon restaurant. The dingy was re-named Thunderbird 1 with “Bohemia II” renamed Thunderbird 2. (Distance 14.37 miles) Wednesday 21st May (Poros to Vathi) We sat in Poros most of the day waiting for a windlass repair. The windlass had been giving grief and although base camp claimed it was only fuses we think they knew the motor was on last legs. Mairi and Jackie had successful shopping sprees and successful shoe repair whilst Doddie searched for a needle and thread, failed. With a new windlass motor and the windlass now working well we motored off around the Methana peninsula volcano to our next destination of Vathi. A small sheltered harbour in a stunning setting, the most beautiful place we have visited so far. Restaurant with the red tables was superb and we received wee presents of soap from the wee wifie. Very cheap meal. (Distance 18 miles) Thursday 22nd May (Vathi to Perdaki) When we left Vathi we slowly motored then sailed a bit heading around the volcano. This was after Doddie had returned from the far side of the universe looking for an imaginary shop. He did intercept a moving loaf van which had nae grape juice, disaster. We tied up in Perdaki around lunchtime with hardly another yacht in the place. So much quay space we weren’t too sure as to where might be safe. We shouldn’t have worried as by night fall about another 20 were rammed jammed onto every available quay line. Another bonny little harbour. We started the trip visiting the main destinations and although the weather was not as good as expected we did have an element of disappointment. During this second week we were picking out any little harbour with a pier and this was far more what we were in search of. It also helped that the weather had improved as well, coming up to the levels of heat and sun which we had signed up for. Bohemia II 6 Our afternoon in Perdaki was spent with Mairi, sitting astride the deck chair, being rowed ashore by a manslave in the sinky dingy. Temperature was now very very hot which called for much jumping off the boat into the water for swimming. Bobbie then Neil and Doddie visited a round tower on the headland which turned out to be a Camera Obscura. (Google Camera Obscura), Perdaki’s one allows you to enter a darkened room and see the outside world live and upsides down. Weird. We ate at Wiggy’s restaurant which had heaps of fish but nobody had any fish. Saganaki cheese with Orgasmic Moussaka plus veal and pizza’s were the orders for the evening. (Distance 11.96 miles) Friday 23rd May (Perdaki to Agistri) Jackie took in the ambiance of Perdaki at 1 AM, it was hot and there were mosquitos. Stunning place though a sailing holidays flotilla were in town so what was quiet when we arrived as the only boat turned out to be heaving by sundown. We had a quick raid for essentials on the local store, which now had bare shelves, we set off for Aigina for more essential stores. Parked up on town quay in Aigina for a quick smash and grab on local stores. The herber mester wifie tried to slap a parking ticket on us but we spoke Scottish to her and got let off. After a very quick visit, no time to peruse the jewellery shops classed as not displaying essentials, we motored and sailed past Agistri to an anchorage further sooth opposite Nisos Dhorousa. We anchored in 4 metres of water with a sandy bottom and rocky shore. Mairi did skiff training in the sinky dingy whilst Bobbie and Doddie did underwater photography with Dod’s new camera. The detail of Doddie doing an underwater moony was quite exceptional!! We motored back to Agistri in the north and anchored stern to the harbour wall. We had a wee visit to the nearest tavern for a beer & wine, then back to boat for sunbathing….El Scorchio! Two Ouzo Palaces came into port and squashed us in so we gave them South Western Australian Police Pipe Band…….No reaction! They put up with it. We ate in Koypos restaurant with the wifie with the deep voice. The boys had fish, Jackie had stiffado and Mairi had cheese pie and cheese saganaki. Really nice meal. (Distance 16.02 miles, Sea Temp 19.8c) Saturday 24th May (Agistri to Perdaki) Nearing the end of our holiday and the CAVA had an early airing. Neil very impressed when he just woke up to be handed a glass through the cockpit window. Went ashore for the usual essentials, juice bread etc. We left Agistri and successfully crossed over to the far side of the universe through the middle of Metopi shoals. Lady Bouboulina on the auld deck chair perched on the bow looking out for rocks and shoals etc. Team effort saw us through. We anchored for lunch on the North end of Nisos Moni soon to be joined by a dozen other boats all crewed by thousands of locals. Twas the weekend of course and Athens had come out to play. Mar Dod and Kermit landed ashore in the sinky dingy while Jackie boiled eoufs. We had lunch then prepared our arsenal of water balloon bombs to test the sense of humour of the Greek population. Bohemia II 7 We left the anchorage bombing as many of the boats as we could, being crewed up with many young Greeks who had all probably just escaped an office in Athens for the weekend. We can report that Greeks do have a sense of humour. We headed back to Perdaki again with Neil on the helm making a charge to beat a fleet of ribs into the last available berth on the quay. Sunbathing afternoon with an overnight stay for our last night on the water. We had our usual evening meal ashore in another nice restaurant at head of pier on the promenade. (Distance 7.94 miles Sea Temp 19.8c) Sunday 25th May (Perdaki to Kalamaki and onwards to London) A nice Polish chap who was skippering a large Beneteau, and seemed to be following us round quite a few of the ports, managed to cross our anchor chain when they arrived late on Saturday night. Major muck aboot trying to extract oor chain fae his whilst trying to avoid twatting a massive red catamaran to starboard and a super yacht (In last years colour white) to port. Neilly boy repaired the kackeroo once again as the wiring to the pump was well corroded. An easy mornings motor across the serparation zone to the hussle and bussle of Kalamaki and Alimos marina. Stavros and Mr Nicos were there to greet us with no quibbles about anything about the boat, paying us back our outlay to the Poros repair mannie and as a boost giving us a repatriation of dosh for a day lost mucking around with his windlass motor. A lazy afternoon with our last day of sunshine before being picked up at 10 past 7 by taxi mannie to take us to the airport. This was just after a close call with other taxi mannie who thought he might step in and grab a bit of business. Whilst we supped in the sailing club Bob was conned into putting our luggage into other mannies cab who had every intention of charging for the privilege of taking us to the airport when we had already paid for the big bussy. Correctly ensconsed into the big bussy we were sadly carted off to the airport for an evening return to London. (Distance 23.12 miles) Total Distance 201.71 miles, Average 15.5 miles per day over 13 days at sea with 1 day weather bound in Poros. Ports visited: Kalamaki (twice), Aigina (twice), Poros (twice), Ihydra (twice), Ermioni, Baltiza, Port Khali, Vathi, Perdaki (twice), Agistri Cost (2 weeks) Per single person the costs for taxis to/ from home, flights to/from London, Flights to Athens and yacht charter, transfers, compulsory cleaning charge, yacht insurance and 1 night in airport hotel £1034 Additional costs for fuel, food onboard and meals out and essential refreshments. Bohemia II 8 Chartlet for Saronic/Argolic Gulfs Kalamaki Aigina Angistri Perdika Vathi Poros Ihydra Ermioni Port Khali Baltiza