Aannsha’s Blog #98 – heading north after cleaning

We loved the Greek island of Milos and waiting in Adamas harbour until the wind gave us a decent window of opportunity to head north to the Athens area was very pleasant. However, after seven weeks we were getting very itchy feet and also a little anxious that we’d get to the mainland in time. In time for what? Well, our son Luke was hopefully coming out to see us for a holiday and also one of Aannsha’s dear friends from Australia with her partner. Both were arriving and departing from Athens airport. On top of that, Baz has a reunion in England in early October with ex-pats who lived and worked in Tenerife from 1986 until the mid-90s. He will also be travelling via Athens airport.

Grabbing that weather window was important and towards the end of August, the wind predictions sites hinted at a decent low wind period (the prevailing wind in the summer months, including the meltemi, is from the north).

Climbing on the edge to get the best clean

Before we left though we wanted to clean the boat as she was very dusty and dirty. The solar panels needed cleaning too because the batteries were taking longer to charge in the morning. So over a couple of days, we swept, washed, mopped, dangled at precarious angles, getting everything ship shape. Baz had the unenviable task of climbing into the dinghy that was up on the davits, while he clung onto a steel bar, so he could clean the stern end of the solar panels. Both of us discovered new places to perch on to get to those hard to reach areas, or get the best video shot!

Refuelling and a fresh water rinse

The next day we headed into the harbour and tied up side on so we could top up our water tanks, and refuel.

Things got a bit hairy when two small ferries docked about 100 metres (109 yards) away from us and their wake created waves that threatened to push A B Sea onto the concrete wall, possibly causing severe damage. Baz, the fuel man, the guy from the dock and a helpful grandad on holiday from Athens, helped push her off the dock, using our two boat hooks.

I was concerned the stern line might snap and the waves were grabbing it roughly, so I tied another line on as a precaution – we didn’t want to have A B Sea rocking around on just the bow line with those waves! I also got the two thick black spare lines out of the lazarette and created a sort of hanging fender to cover more of A B Sea’s side.

A few minutes later, things had calmed down and we were able to return to our tasks; Baz also using the opportunity to wash the boat and solar panels down with fresh water.

What a great fuel man

All complete, we thanked everyone and I was thrilled to receive my first fist bump from the fuel man before he departed. Talking of fuel, he showed Baz the inside of his fuel tank and also explained that he has a special chemical that detects water in the fuel. Baz was very impressed and we’d highly recommend refuelling at Adamas in Milos.

Heading north the first … and second time

We headed out of the bay but instead of the predicted 15 knots of wind, by the time we were heading towards Polyaigos, it had increased to a steady 30 knots. Pounding into the waves with the wind on our nose we got wet, but arrived at the relatively protected bay on the island’s south side.

We stayed overnight but after looking at the forecast, decided we’d rather sit it out in Adamas bay, Milos. So the following morning we headed back to Milos.

A few days went by and happily the wind dropped to 10 knots from the north which we decided was a decent weather window for us.

This time we bypassed Polyaigos and headed for Serifos, stopping at Koutalas Bay. This passage took us five and a half hours. We mainly motored but did get a short sail in when the wind blew from the north west for a while.

Koutalas Bay is fairly large and we stopped on the eastern side as there are chains in the western side of the bay that can snag anchors. We were pretty happy with ourselves for finally getting closer to our northern destination and the following morning we set off for our next island.

Join me next week to find out more!

Link to Aannsha’s next blog

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