Trip on Danae starting 2017-09-02 in BSAOct17
BSA trip To Peloponnese 02/02/17 to 09/09/17 – report by Brian Adams
Day 1, Saturday,02/09/17
Arrive in Athens airport to be transported to Alimos Marina 1100 hrs ,pick up boat Danae a 40 ft sloop by Hanse at pier 6, We met Ulysses from Istion charter company waiting on board with our pre booked provisions and a brief hand over to be continued in the morning. The boat looked in good order.
Day 2, Sunday 03/09/17Alimos to Palaia Epidavros32.5 NM
Complete hand over from Ulysses, I proceeded to take some pictures of the boat for our own reference. Slipped lines at 1215 hrs Alimos to Palaia Epidaurus. Navigation and course set by my good self. Wind S Westerly force 1, We Motored and sailed 32.5 nautical miles to finish with light warm wind of force 2 with some sailing to an anchorage at 1830 hrs in the lovely bay of Epidaurus. A few drinks to celebrate our first leg and a swim, to cool off in the temps of probably low 30’s, very hot. A dinghy ride to shore for drinks and an evening meal. Next morning another dinghy ride, for drinking water and bread. A few beers at a very reasonable price of 11 euros for five pints of Greek beer, at half the price from the evening before.
Onwards to the historic site of Epidaurus, via a taxi ride at a reasonable rate of 40 euros return.
For me this was the pinnacle of our whole week, surpassing another achievement by a citizen from the Ukraine…more later.
As I walked towards the base of the auditorium, we could, or at least I could, hear some classical singing by a trained talented singer. I thought no more of it at the time but was rather surprised to hear some clapping. What I had the privilege of hearing was the sound and quality, of the design laid down some 340 years BC. 34 rows of lime stone seats extended in the 2nd century with a further 21.
It was almost unbelievable. The clarity, crispness of sound reverberating from the purpose built amphitheatre. It was a real shock to the hearing system to understand what I had just realised. It was not just amplified piped music from an electronic modern day source.
The construction of the amphitheatre is truly a great feat of engineering and to think it was constructed 2500 years ago, beggars belief, the sound is clearly audible some 54 rows back at the top of this magnificent construction. Made from limestone the seats are able to filter out low frequency sounds and amplify naturally the high frequency sound to reach the 14000 capacity. The engineers of this time were obviously very clever. It really is worth a visit if you’re in the area. To Stand on the Proscenium or Skene and listen to the sound reflecting back to you and reaching your possible audience of 14000 people. Remarkable.
Day 3, Monday 04/09/17Palaia Epidaurus to Russian Bay, Poros20.8NM
Slipped anchor at 1400 hrs, Palaia Epidaurus to Russian Bay, Poros. Light winds gently building to a force 2/3, perfect sailing weather, in warm dry winds with dry decks dressed in tee shirts and shorts, so unlike our British coastal sailing. We approached the bay anchored up after some deliberation and rebukes by other boat owners as to how we were anchored and showing concern about swinging and anchor lines crossing. NIMBY’s in my opinion. Eventually dropped anchor at 1830 hrs 20.8 nautical
A swim ,a few beers, dinghy ashore for an evening meal on the harbour wall .A Very pleasant evening.
Day 4, Tuesday 05/09/17Poros to Porto Heli37 NM
Slipped anchor at 10.00 hrs to come along side in Poros to principally obtain water for our tanks. After some searching and questioning of the local shop owners it was established the water pipe feeding the pontoon was broken, and unserviceable.
Slipped lines at 1115 hrs headed onto Porto Keli. Force 2/3 motor sailed all the way - under the navigation and course set by Ewart. We entered the large port with acres of space, there are moorings alongside to the harbour wall but you have to be lucky or extremely early to get a spot ,
So, after much deliberation we anchored in the sanctuary of the sheltered port of Keli with lots of other boats on swinging moorings. Giving them plenty of room we settled down to the required BSA orders of G&Ts and beers. A long dinghy ride ashore with a temperamental out board motor, but all was well with a nice meal ashore with lots of storytelling.
Day 5, Wednesday 06/09/17 Porto Heli to Mandraki Bay, Hydra 22.1 nautical miles
Porto Heli to Mandraki Bay 1000 hrs, weighed anchor moved over to a quay side stern to berth to load up with water from water bowser. A grand sum of 6 Euros, with more provisions aboard we set course by my good self again to Mandraki bay which is just around the way from Hydra main harbour which is full to the brim with boats all crossing anchors. We kept well away and anchored up in Mandraki bay with shore lines, ably taken ashore at 1730 hours by our very own sylph- like dolphin in the name of John who enjoys a swim with chunky shore lines.
We contacted a water taxi for the ride around to the beautiful Hydra Harbour. Hydra is an island with no motorised vehicles; donkeys are the preferred mode of moving suitcases up the steep slopes of Hydra. It would be my isle of choice, only donkeys, boats and cycles if you can cope with the hills.
I don’t want to bore you with food but Peter wandered off and found a restaurant called Veranda, with stunning views and even better food, a Greek menu with a large hint of Italian Venetian persuasion, I somehow know,-- I will be disappointed the next time I try Italian food. It was found superb by us all .The flavours, whole presentation, service, views and the full moon rising over the mountain behind to cast a warm glow over our lovely evening.
Day 6, Thursday 07/09/17 Mandraki Bay to Vathi, Aegina 29.1 NM
Slipped lines 0930 from Mandraki Bay headed to Vathi .Navigation by Tony Potter.
Another leg with stunning views and some surprisingly green vegetation on land. Starting out with motor sailing and eventually sailing in very good wind force 3/4. On arrival at 1430 hours, this time a stern to mooring with use of a boarding platform. At only 6 euros for mooring fee.
This is without doubt the most scenic little harbour that would feature in all the brochures advertising a Greek sailing holiday. Literally hopping off your boat and falling into a local taverna. We arrived and slotted onto the end of a rank of boats maybe 8 in total. The usual drink or two followed by a swim but at the beach 100 m away. This time with an invitation to have a shower at a local taverna by the lady owner. Note made.
Upon our return to the little harbour boats were still flowing in to what appeared where no moorings were left. However we had not one moored outside us but two.
The adjacent boat had a Danish crew and the adiabatic wind was causing some concern with a lot of movement from the outside boats. With close proximity of the moorings, we worked together and secured our moorings and reduced risks as far as we could. Talking to the Danish skipper he informed us the Ukrainian crew outside of them were quite clueless regarding boating skills and were either high on drugs or drunk. Maybe both.
We ventured along the harbour wall, all of 50 m long choosing one of three tavernas sitting at the middle one, unknown to us it is the one where we were offered to have a shower by the lady owner earlier. However she could not do enough for us delivering samples of starters and sharing possibilities for us all. The food was all home produced by order and was from my memory as authentically Greek as I can remember from happy times on other islands many years ago. All in all was a very good experience. Upon our return to our Boat we were sat quietly enjoying a night cap when the rather more drunk Ukrainian and his woman were looking quite wobbly whilst looking for their boat.
As sure as eggs are eggs it was bound to happen. Their boarding plank, and it was just that, a scaffold plank. Looking quite precarious as it was rising and falling with the wave pattern. The woman made it, but only just, wobbled made a dash, but made it to the boat. He looked confident but totally drunk made two steps and was gone, splash a big splash. How did his head did not clatter against an obstruction? A few seconds passed, a few more we stood to look for him and at last he surfaced and climbed onto his boat. No less than a couple of minutes passed, he sat and wondered where he was, got up looked at the rising plank and was back ashore headed for the taverna.
A short while passed and he beckons his partner ashore, and along to the taverna. Time passes and we were in for another worrying moment when they come back again and you can guess, another splash with the same result for him. This proceeded to happen, twice more for him as she refused thankfully to go ashore again. I just wish I had set the camera for video, which would have gone on to You Tube on how not to board a moving boat.
We were obviously amused and very concerned, he could have easily had been badly injured with all the lines, walls, rocks and obstacles but he survived, I would imagine very bruised.
I slept on deck that night and he was wide awake at 7 in the morning sat drinking coffee, I think.
Over to our taverna for breakfast and again all we could eat. With a parting gift of two litres of homemade vine from the lady owner, which made a very nice compliment to lunch. Excellent.
Day 7, Friday 08/09/17 Vathi to Alimos .
Force 4 winds
A good sail back to Alimos Marina in fresh winds .A hand over and check list completed with the aid of my camera shots alleviating us from any discrepancies as to what we had or not had done to the boat. With checks complete Ulysses enabled us to have a day in Athens for more sightseeing.
Day 8, Saturday 09/09/17 - Visit to Athens
The usual visit to the Parthenon and a local market on an open top bus city tour rounded off a very well balanced week of good sailing, good food, good company and fantastic weather.
Thanks to Peter and Tony for the organising a lovely trip to the Peloponnese in Greece.
Charter Company Istion were very competent and Sun transfers also to be recommended.