Gibraltar to Greece. The last leg.

Wednesday 18.09.19

 

Having spent a lovely three nights at the 'Ohtel Campo do Gibraltar' it was time to set sail again and take Corryvreckan back to Kilada in the Peloponnese. Helen was flying back home so after saying her goodbyes to the crew I walked her to the airport. She wanted me to get her some more tobacco, and always one to get a good deal, I checked out the price at the kiosk in the airport. £29:50 per pack but I knew I could do better than that. Over the road opposite the airport was another kiosk that I had used in the past. This time it was £33. Not a good start, and not wanting to walk all the way into the town centre of Gibraltar I bought her two packs, losing out on price and, wanting to get rid of my Gibraltar currency, also lost out on the currency conversion!!! Oh well, such is life.

Back on the boat the crew were making good the last minute preparations for departure. A final clean and the aft water tank filled, power cable stowed away, and other bits and pieces that were lying in the cockpit put down in the saloon, I went off to pay the final bill as the crew got ready to slip the lines on my return. At 12:00 we left Alcaidesa Marina heading for the first stop, Mallorca. The wind was blowing quite strongly, gusting up to 20kts, but on the nose. However, once past Europa point we would turn to port and it should be on the beam. Alas, it turned out to be directly from the stern. I hadn't prepared the preventer nor the sheets to use the spinnaker pole. As the preventer was much more important it was decided that this would be set up and I'd leave the spinnaker until the following day. We were making good progress and getting an average of 5kts for most of the rest of the day. Thoughts turned to food so for lunch I heated up a pizza. A message from Helen, she hasn't been able to track my progress. Silly me, I hadn't sent the 'track my progress' to Garmin Inreach so a quick text to them and all was sorted. For supper Matais prepped the veg whilst I began to chop up the chicken breasts so that we could have a stew later in the evening, cooked in my Mr D slow cooker.

 

Thursday 19.09.19

 

During the course of the night the wind had died down to virtually nothing, which wasn't quite what was forecast, but the seas had become much flatter. Are we going to have to motor the next 350nm? I hope not! The sun is just starting to rise and the decks will soon begin to dry out. At this time of the year everything gets so damp during the night so the cockpit cushions ought to be taken in! Quite a bit of shipping traffic moving up and down the Med, but always some distance away from the boat. As the breakfast cereal is in Matais's cabin and he's just gone off watch, breakfast will have to be crackers with pate and cheese. A bit more civilised than cereal, which I don't eat anyway. Lunch is the old favourite, chicken and salad wraps but now that's chicken twice within 24 hours. So supper will be pasta and mince with a hot spicy tomato sauce. A welcoming return, the sea water shower was taken and I'm drying off in the heat of the sun. The fishing line has been brought out and set. The expectations are not going to change, the tuna will have to come out of the tin. Dolphins have been in abundance but Cedric and Garth were fortunate enough to see a couple of pilot whales during their watch. However, what was to follow a couple of hours later was breathtaking. Cedric, at the helm spotted something in the water about 50m on the port side. He thought they were fish, to which I replied, not fish but whales. In the water at the time were about 5 pilot whales, and as we approached them the school increased in size to about 20! We were so close that they were swimming alongside and around the bow. We spent quite some time videoing and photographing them before they decided to leave. A once in a lifetime experience. After the stunning came the disappointing. The winds began to pick up, which was fine, but not when they are against the nose. And with the increase in wind strength came the waves. Our speed came right down, and even tacking to find some extra speed was not helped by the confused seas.

 

Friday 20.09.19.

 

Over the next few watches the distance covered was very disappointing. If we continued and the weather remained the same, it was going to be a long time before we would be in a comfortable position to get full sails out again. The decision was made to head for the closest landfall and spend the night in a marina, recharge the human batteries before setting off in better conditions. Course changed and we made for Garrucha. I had been there several times and knew it to be a safe haven in these conditions and it was. We got in about 17:00 and once the boat was moored up and paperwork dealt with, it was time for a glass or two followed by an evening meal.

 

Saturday 21.09.19.

 

The wind had died down and from our position in the marina, it looked as though the sea state was also slack. As the crew were busy on other tasks I set about preparing a couple of meals for the next two nights. A pork stew for tonight and a chicken stew for Sunday. We had over provisioned so a good brunch of sausages, scrambled eggs and potato tortilla was served up. The washing has been taken to the laundry, which should be ready by 16:00, the boat prepped for down wind sailing and now the crew have gone off for a quick dip at the beach before we leave. At 17:00 we left our mooring and headed for the fuel pontoon. Unfortunately the attendant had decided to go for an early tea and didn't return for a further 30 minutes. Once we had started to fuel the boat the fuel pump played up. Finally, at 17:45 we left the fuel pontoon for Mallorca, a distance of 263nm. Winds were favourable and the confused seas didn't cause too many problems.

 

Sunday 22.09.19.

 

By 03:00 it was time to turn to port and head in a North Easterly direction. This meant sailing downwind so the pole was put out. With the help of Matais we set the sails and headed directly for Mallorca. However, in my haste to plot our course I hadn't noticed that, one, we were going too close to the TSS, (traffic separation scheme), with all the commercial traffic bearing down on us, and, secondly, as we approached Mallorca the route would take us across land of an island south west of our destination. No problems, just adjust one of the waypoints. But in doing this we were now sailing too close to a beam reach and the Genoa started to collapse. A balancing act between the two was needed, just to clear the TSS, and once beyond that we could get back on the correct heading. Lunch once again were the chicken and salad wraps, and tonight's meal, already prepared, will be chicken stew! Had I planned it correctly, we should have had the chicken last night and the pork tonight. There we are, but no complaints yet! It's early afternoon and we are making good progress. I've sent Helen a text and hopefully she'll respond with the rugby and F1 results.

 

Monday 23.09.19

 

The electrical storm that was developing over Ibiza the previous evening stayed where it was and gave us no trouble, thankfully! As we passed by the island of Formentara the winds changed direction, funnelling between the two islands and provided us with a beam reach rather from the stern. This meant another sail change with the pole being brought in and the Genoa set on the starboard side along with the main. Speed is still good but we are not expected to be at our port of choice, La Rapita on Mallorca until very late this evening. I don't really want to arrive and depart the next morning but if we stay until Wednesday this will put my schedule out by two days and we've only just started. Ignore my last sentence about the speed being good! We now have winds on the nose and the waves are tossing the boat up and down. Speed is not so good. In addition, in order to get anything from the sails we are having to adjust our course to a more northerly route, taking us away from Marina La Rapita. After several hours of being bounced about the wind and waves have subsided. We're going to give La Rapita a miss, literally, and now make for El Arinal. We arrive in the dark and make our way past anchored yachts outside the entrance. The depth of water is quite shallow so it's a matter of constantly checking the depth gauge as we make our way inside. The marina itself is very large and yachts fill the place, making it difficult to know where to moor. Thankfully the marina staff come to our rescue and guide us to our berth. Not an easy one to get in to as there are lazy lines to avoid and the channel is rather narrow. The bow thruster now comes into play and we enter the berth stern to. Stern lines attached and lazy line tied up to the bow cleat, there's nothing more to do than crack open the chilled beers, crisps and olives. Time is now just after 22:00 when the'youngsters' decide to hit the town leaving Cedric and I to indulge in the odd single malt. Not Corryvreckan this time but Ardbeg 10yr old. An equally pleasant night cap.

 

Tuesday 24.09.19.

 

Surprisingly up early to have the first cup of tea at 07:45. Shopping list written as we need to re-provision the yacht before we leave today. A welcome shower followed by a walk to the marina office to pay the berthing fee. A sharp intake of breath as I'm handed the bill of €68:51 for a single nights mooring. I thought that was the cost to buy the marina not stay for one night. The marina has a swimming pool so we are going to make use of this before we leave. The autopilot has been checked because this was playing up yesterday. All seems fine so maybe it just needs a reboot. As a backup I'll set the Hydrovane in place. Time now for a coffee and some juice before heading back to the boat to cook lunch, supper and a meal for the passage tomorrow.

 

Week Two. Spain (pt 2) to Malta.

Wednesday 25.09.19.

 

After a supper of chicken curry and rice we slipped our mooring last night at 19:00, having filled the diesel and water tanks. The weather over the next five days looks to be in our favour, but we have known that to change. After turning out of the large bay to port we set the sails and heading on our passage of 607nm to Malta. As I didn't know if the auto pilot was fixed, not having found a fault when I removed the unit earlier in the day, I had installed the Hydrovane as our primary means of steering. Initially this was fine but on the second watch I was called to say that it wasn't holding its course. A quick check over the system revealed that the two 'U' bolts holding the upper stem to the solar panel gantry had worked its way loose. On top of that the wooden block positioned between the stem and the bolts had disappeared. It wasn't the time of day to do any running repairs so it was a case of hand steering to begin with. Later when I returned to the helm I decided to try the autopilot again. For some strange reason it was holding its course. Thankfully we now had one operational system to steer the yacht over the next five days rather than relying on the helmsman. A bit of a non eventful day, as if there is ever one when sailing. A few commercial vessels seen interspersed with a lunch of salad, feta cheese and eggs and supper, a beef stew. Wind has been light but sufficient to keep us moving at an average of 5kts with low impact waves.

Thursday 26.09.19.

We're still moving along at more or less the same pace, with Sardinia now about 70nm away and North West of our rhumb line. No vessels seen but I'm sure as we close in to the south of Sardinia there will be commercial traffic going in and out of Cagliari. As the day moves on a sailing vessel has been seen going in the opposite direction, presumably having left Sardinia en route for one of the Balearic Islands. A high speed cat has crossed in front of us by about 1/2 mile, possibly travelling between Italy and Tunisia. Lunch today was prepared by Cedric, a chickpea and lentil salad with the last of the eggs and feta cheese. The second vegetarian lunch in two days! What's going on? Supper was a meat delight, a hot and spicy pasta dish with meatballs.

Friday 27.09.19.

At around 04:00 we started to see an awful lot of commercial traffic. Some 60nm ahead of us at the north east corner of Tunisia is a traffic separation scheme (TSS) for traffic going towards Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and through the Suez Canal. Traffic flows in both directions and a number are following our rhumb line but coming towards us. Fortunately they are aware of our position as we are sending this out via the AIS installed on the yacht. During the course of the day the traffic increases, and in the midst of all the commercial traffic is another sailing yacht, passing in the opposite direction. Wind has been virtually non existent all day but we have managed to maintain our speed of 5kts and our ETA into Malta will be Sunday evening around 18:00. Lunch was back to the chicken and salad wraps and this evening’s meal will be a sausage casserole.

Saturday 28.09.19.

What painfully slow progress we are making today. The wind has dropped altogether and we are just managing to make 4kts under engine with current running against us. Weather is gloriously sunny and the waters shimmeringly glassy. We needed to be rather observant as we pass Tunisia as the fishermen had placed a large number of fishing pots in the water, held in place by very small clear plastic bottles. Not the easiest to spot as daylight came. Should I praise them for their recycling of the plastic bottles and not permitting single use. I don't think so after the problems they've caused me in the past!! Quite a lot of commercial traffic in the area, and now joined by fishing boats going up and down the sea lanes, trawling for today's catch and tomorrow's lunch. For us, lunch will be a couple of pizzas and a salad, while this evening's meal will be a chicken curry and rice. We still have 154nm to go before arriving at our destination in Malta, so now it's looking like a Monday morning berth. The evening is a magical affair. The absence of any wind has changed the surface of the sea into a watery mirror. A cloudless sky brimming full of stars. The combination of the two and the ripples of the wake produced by my boat has produced a dancing display of the reflections of the stars on the top of the water. Couple this with the shooting stars seen rushing across the skyline and I can put up with the slow pace of the passage. Who's in a rush anyway?

Sunday 29.09.19.

Believe it or not..... the wind strength hasn't changed. Only the direction. Although from the stern, it is swinging from one side to the other so setting the sails, any sails, is a challenge. During the course of the night the autopilot has been playing up, again! Despite calibrating all that can be calibrated the fault still exists. This unit was serviced last year when I had to send it back to Denmark for another problem to be sorted. Looks like it's going to make the same journey again this year. Lines and lines of fishing pots are making our passage look like a slalom course. Why they cannot leave a window of seaway to all vessels so that they don't get tangled up with their equipment, I just don't know! Having read the pilot guide it might be necessary to clear customs and immigration before we berth. If that is the case then I shall make for Gozo, clear there and stay the night before heading for Msida marina, Malta. Lunch was the same as yesterday, a couple of pizzas and supper will be pasta and meatballs in a chilli hot tomato sauce. We arrived in Gozo late afternoon and moored up in the marina on the south of the island. A delightful place but we need to be aware of the ferry wash. Hold tight. Supper was not served. After tying up the boat we had a few nibbles and drinks in the cockpit. One drink led to another and before long someone suggested we go to the floating bar for more drink. It would be wrong to refuse so we all went off to the floating bar and had several more drinks, interspersed with tequilas. Not a good idea but as they were bought they had to be drunk. Back to the boat for a nightcap of what was meant to be red wine but turned out to be warm white wine, and poor quality at that! So, now you know why supper was not taken.

Monday 30.09.19.

Despite all the drink the night before, it was an early start. A trip to the showers to freshen up before deciding where to go next. The answer was to sail to the next island, Comino, and explore the Blue Lagoon and the caves. After slipping the mooring lines and dropping the lazy line we set off for Comino, a short distance of about a mile. As we approached between the channel buoys it was a case of deciding where to drop the anchor. The starboard side was already quite busy so we looked to anchor on our port side. Luckily, as we were sorting out the anchoring, a yacht vacated a spot closer to the caves so we took its place. Anchor down, it was time to go swimming. Beautiful crystal clear blue water but..... oh no! we had made a mistake. This bay was the party bay. Within minutes of our arrival lots of other tourist boats picked up a mooring buoy and then turned up the music, loud enough to hear in Malta, several miles away. The other three went off to explore the caves whilst I remained on board to keep an eye on the boat. Around 13:00 we lifted the anchor and then set off to Malta. En route we had a salad lunch before our arrival at the Royal Malta yacht club, our berth for the next couple of days. After ensuring that the boat was safe and secure the drink was brought out. Just a couple of glasses of wine before venturing up to the RMYC bar for a beer or two, and then we shall take a walk into Valletta.

Tuesday 01.10.19.

A day spent being a tourist. After rising and taking a shower it was down to the local bus stop to jump on the 'hop on, hop off' tourist bus to explore Malta. First stop, a church that had been bombed during the Second World War. Next, a visit to Mdina, a walled city north west of Valletta. Into Sliema for a spot of lunch before taking the next bus back into Valletta. Another church, a walk to Fort Elmo followed by a discussion as to whether we ought to visit the Second World War museum. Vote taken, we'll give it a miss..... at €10 entry fee. A further walk to the Customs and Immigration office to check out. It appears that the staff in the office didn't know if I had to or not, and even the supervisor was unaware. So, I shall be leaving Malta tomorrow, having tried to clear out, only to be told that I don't need to. Great, that saves a lot of hassle. A beer in Valletta then back to the yacht for supper, pasta and meatballs, in hot tomato sauce. A couple more beers before turning in for the night.

Week 3. Malta to Greece.

Wednesday 02.10.19.

 

Maybe I should have had the early night last night, rather than have too many drinks! Still, too late now. Up at 07:45 and off to the shower block. Feeling a bit better it was back to the boat to prepare for the off. I was busy cooking with Matais chopping up the ingredients for a couple of meals. Tonight we will have a pork casserole and tomorrow it will be a mince dish of some description with an assortment of vegetables. After the chopping of the veg Matais started to give the top decks a clean. Cedric and Garth went off to spend a lot of money on fishing equipment, knowing full well that the probability of catching anything whilst I'm on board is virtually zero! At a little after 10:00 we slipped our mooring and headed off to the fuel pontoon to fill up the tank and jerry cans. 235 litres later we were ready to head across the southern Ionion for Kalamata, Greece, some 387nm away. If the weather holds as predicted we should make landfall in a bit over three days.

 

Thursday 03.10.19.

 

Well after two weeks of lovely sailing conditions you can't expect every day to be perfect. And today was no exception. We were expecting high winds later on in the day but they decided to come early. The main had one reef in and during my watch I had already taken in the head sail as it was flapping about in the lack of wind. As the wind had veered it was necessary to move the main sail across. This completed the wind started to pick up so I asked the helmsman to face the boat into the wind so I could drop the sail and put the second reef in. As the sail was being dropped a gust of wind slew the boat around and I could no longer drop the sail, as it was now full of wind, nor could I tighten up the second reefing point. We had to sit it out until there was a lull in the wind, the boat faced into the wind and we could then complete the task. For the rest of the day we had to contend with a second big blow and an almighty lightning storm. We were not out of it by any means. Luckily I had prepared an evening meal so there was no need to do any veg prep or cooking, just a simple case of heating the food up. All night long the winds blew and the lightning lit up the sky all around. One fork of lightning hit the water behind the stern of the boat. There was literally no time between the strike of lightning and the thunder clap, indicating that was a close one. Striking the boat would burn out all our navigation equipment!

 

Friday 04.10.19.

 

There was still no let up in the weather and we were battling large waves, high winds and a passage that was getting longer by the hour as the boat was being slowed down. We had already fully reefed the main and only had a small amount of head sail out, but even this was being overpowered by the wind. In addition we had switched off the navigation equipment as the lightning was far closer and worse than the previous day. I was trying to steer a course of 50degrees and the boat was healing over quite a bit. I turned away from the wind and came back on course several times to see if I could maintain this heading. It was apparent that I wasn't going to be able to so the next move was to head into the wind and take down all sails. Unfortunately I didn't have the boat speed and as it got closer to the 'no sail' zone, the turn stalled and I was stuck now, having to wait for the wind to subside. At this point the other crew came to the cockpit and assisted with dropping both sails and continued under 'bare poles'. As morning turned into afternoon the winds began to die back but, having got an up to date weather forecast from passing merchant vessels and Helen, we are in for this for the next 24hrs. Thankfully the lightning display, of which I had never seen anything like it, has passed by.

 

Saturday 05.10.19.

 

The winds have been a steady 20+kts for most of the morning and the waves have grown in size. Ploughing through these has bought the speed of the boat down and our arrival time in Kalamata is being pushed further back. The last 20 miles see us with the nose into the wind and we have to tack up the bay to make any progress. In fact, we make negative progress because for the next tack we are going back on ourselves! Slowly the wind begins to shift and we are able to sail a more direct line to the marina, or at least what I thought was the marina. It was in fact the commercial harbour. Just outside the real entrance the boat was prepped for our med mooring and the rudder removed from the Hydrovane. Quite a few calls on channel 69 to ask for a berth drew no response. It wasn't until I decided to go alongside one quay that I got the nod to moor at a particular place. Everything tied down, it was time to get some snacks and drinks. The remains of a bottle of Corryvreckan was finished, a refreshing bottle of Tinto de Verona was consumed, and a couple of beers before supper. Cedric made a very nice pasta dish which went down well with all the crew. Eating completed, it was off to the bar to have a couple of more drinks. At this point someone suggested Tequila slammers. Not a good idea. The first one I drank, the second round I decided to have a whisky. A beer or two more and Cedric and I returned to the boat while the other three went off clubbing. On the boat a couple of nightcaps were poured but I never got round to drinking mine, it was time for bed!

 

Sunday 06.10.19.

 

A slow start to the morning by everyone. After a few cups of tea for me and coffee for the others, we decided to go off to the restaurant for breakfast. Breakfast taken, Cedric, Garth and I went off in search of the castle in Kalamata, while Matais and Russell stayed behind. A long walk through the old part of Kalamata brought us to the 'remains' of the castle. The reduced rate of €1 for someone of my age wasn't too much of a hardship to pay to see very little within the walls. A theatre and a closed church was all that remain, but the views out to sea were very impressive. On the walk back to the boat we stopped off to go inside a church and visited the old railway station with steam trains on the track, but no longer in use. It was wash day today so all the clothing was bagged up and taken to the laundrette. The mistake we made was not to check the method of paying for both the washing machine and the dryer. We now have damp clothes which will have to be dried tomorrow when we get a token from the marina office!

 

Monday 07.10.19. and Tuesday 08.10.19.

 

An early start today as we will be leaving for Monemvasia and we are expected very strong winds on the nose later tomorrow. And, once again, we are trying to outrun the risk of getting hit by the storm. I needed to go to the marina office to check to see where I could pay the new Greek pleasure boat tax. The office was meant to be open at 08:30. However, Greek time, that's not earlier than 09:00! Very helpful in the office in providing directions to get to the post office to pay the tax and selling a couple of tokens for the drier. To dry the clothes washed yesterday will take 75 minutes per token so the earliest departure time is noon. I had wanted to leave sooner. Still, it can't be helped so we set off at noon, leaving the berth with a mooring line that didn't want us to go. This caused a problem because by the time it was brought back on board the nose had been pushed around in the wind and I didn't have the turning distance to get out of the berth. Nothing else to do but to go out in reverse. Once in open waters the sails were raised and we headed for Monemvasia. The sailing angle wasn't perfect but we were heading more or less in the correct direction. The autopilot was still causing problems and I hadn't fitted the rudder for the Hydrovane. Not a good idea as I would be on watch on my own and would be open to problems if the wind increased! As it happened, it did. Lightning and rain started to circle the boat, the wind direction and strength initially fell and then rose to be on the nose. Had the strong winds come early? They were expected to hit over 40kts! We already had two reefs in the main and I had taken in the jib. Winds were now hitting over 20kts on the nose so Matais was called to help drop the main and just run bare poles. With the main now down and Matais back to sleep I thought that this watch was going to be a rough ride. Within 15 minutes the winds had died back to 10 - 12kts and had swung back to about 30 degrees off the bow. Take the headsail out, partially, and sail slightly off course to get some boat speed going. I also checked the plotted course and saw that I would be able to increase the sailing angle by cutting the corner off the next turn. Done, a bit more headsail and the boat speed was back to where I wanted it to be. We were now only 14nm from our destination before it was time to change watches. Cedric and Garth took over but I stayed in the cockpit as I had been in to Monemvasia before and knew that the inner harbour was quite shallow. As we approached the harbour I could see that we did not need to put out the chain and anchor but could squeeze in alongside the wall between a couple of sail boats. All lines and fenders prepared, it was time to go in. Thankfully the wind was manageable and help was on shore to take in our lines. All tied up it was time to step off the boat and check out an Internet cafe to look for my return flight back to the UK. Would I leave Monemvasia by coach and get a transfer somewhere for the bus to get to the airport or should I continue to Hydra, catch the ferry to Pireaus, a metro to the airport and flight back? Trying to tie everything up, cheaply(!) the only choice was to move on to Hydra. Ferry ticket purchased, flight ticket purchased. Not for the same day though! Tried changing the ferry ticket but I've not had a response back from the Ferry company so it looks like another ticket needs to be bought! Back on the boat for a spell of cleaning and cooking before supper, a couple of tinnies and bed.

 

Week 4.

 

Wednesday 09.10.19.

 

An early start, but one not required. After tea it was time to put the socks and shoes on and take a walk to the ancient walled city of Monemvasia. This city began its roots in the 6th.C as a refuge from the invading Slavs. It was an important Byzantine town through most of it years and it held a strategic place in the trade routes. From the 14th.C it was successively ruled by the Venetians and Ottomans at intervals until, in 1821, during the Greek War of Independence, it was liberated from the hands of the Ottomans. Nowadays, there are probably less than 30 residents living year round in the city, but it is a city full of hotels and apartments and draws tourists in most of the year. Well worth the visit. Back on the boat it was decision time, do we leave tomorrow, Thursday or Friday? The crew wanted to explore a bit more of the island, but to do that they needed a car. So, no car, we decided to leave the next day.

 

Thursday 10.10.19.

A short passage of some 40nm to the island of Hydra. One that Helen and I had been to many times but would be the first time for the crew. Despite being in the back end of the sailing season I knew that the harbour was very small and likely to be full if we didn't arrive early. An eight hour passage meant setting off around six in the morning, but this was not going to be easy with the crew. However, much to my delight, we were only about half an hour late, so we could possibly catch up on this as we sailed towards Hydra. Light winds meant that there was little chance of this. As we approached the island we could see a couple of sailing vessels heading in the same direction. As we turned to the north side of the island there were even more, and this became a race to the line. The hare and the tortoise sprung to mind as my boat was left in the wake of the other yachts. As we approached the entrance to the harbour it was clear that everyone would be jostling for a mooring spot that didn't exist. Many, in the same charter company, decided to moor outside the entrance and take long lines ashore. I went inside the harbour, and to my surprise, found a spot just being vacated by a tourist boat. No second chances, the crew had been prepped on how to drop the anchor as I reversed into the gap. We were in. Mooring lines were difficult to attach to the shore as there were no rings to tie them to, but with a bit of cunning, we managed it. A couple of beers on the boat and a quick look around the waterfront before finding a restaurant for an evening meal. This would be a farewell meal with the crew as I'm leaving them to take Corryvreckan back to Kilada while I fly back to the UK.

 

Friday 11.10.19.

 

It was up with the larks as my ferry leaves at 08:00 from here for Pireaus. Cutting it fine, I said my goodbyes and thanked the crew for all their hard work in getting the yacht to Greece. I then had to sprint round to where the ferry had tied up to get on board before it left. Somehow I should have completed my packing the previous evening and made a check list of all that I needed to bring home, as I left many things on the boat that I shouldn't have! A sleep on the ferry it wasn't long before we arrived in Pireaus. Not sure how to get from here to the airport, a quick google check told me which coach to catch, where the stop was and the price. Couldn't be easier. About an hour and a half later I was at the airport. Thinking I might be able to catch an earlier flight I was disappointed to find out that not only was this not possible but my flight was delayed by several hours. I now had over 12 hours to kill in the airport. There's only so much window shopping one can do in Athens airport!

IMG_0346.JPG
IMG_2607.JPG
IMG_2632.JPG

       Screenshot of passage: Gibraltar to Greece                         Walled city of Monemvasia                         Drinks at Royal Yacht Club, Malta

     Drinks on board Corryvreckan: Gibraltar, Cedric and me.                                        A beautiful setting sun, somewhere in the Med!