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Aannsha’s Blog #102 – Meeting up with Aussie friends

I was so excited to be leaving Porto Rafti for Marmari on Evia island in Greece because our Australian friends Shelley and Ian were arriving there by ferry and we’d get to spend a week or so with them before they returned to Australia after their 5 week holiday.

I’ve loved travelling on A B Sea and meeting so many new friends – some of whom feel like ‘soul family’ – but I was going to reconnect with an old, dear friend and her partner from Beerwah, Queensland in Australia, and that filled me with excited anticipation.

We left Porto Rafti at 11.15am on a fine sunny day, having to miss a (dare I say stupid?) swimmer who came so close to A B Sea when we were lifting our anchor that he was in danger of being hit. Lifting the anchor along with the motor going and bow thruster whizzing, is noisy, so he must have heard us as he was so close. Baz had to leave the helm and shout at him to get his attention as he didn’t hear me and we both used our hands to tell him to back off. As we eventually left, he shouted thank you to us and we went on our way, all smiles that everyone was safe.

Swimmer getting too close to A B Sea

AIS and GPS failure

It wasn’t long after that that the AIS and GPS failed. e turned them off and after a few minutes turned them on again and they booted up, but it was very unnerving knowing we may possibly be passing through a few islands in shallow waters close to Marmari without any indication of our actual position. I do have the free version of Navionics on my phone, but we were relieved when all systems came back on line. This whole AIS and GPS system is going to be one of the major areas that we troubleshoot and fix while A B Sea is up on the hard this winter. At the very least, all of the wiring will have to be replaced. Worst case scenario is a completely new system. The old course computer is outdated and new instruments wouldn’t talk to it, so we are looking at a good few thousand Aussie dollars if we have to upgrade. That’s a large chunk out of our budget.

In that light, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Patrons because your regular patronage literally does help to keep us going on our journey. Also thanks are due to our YouTube subscribers and our Shout Us a Beer donors, and people who buy my beach jewellery, because every dollar seriously counts. Thanks guys and gals we warmly value your generosity.

Anchoring in Marmari, Evia Island, Greece

Marmari is a fairly decent sized bay, but you will be moved on if you are in the way of the ferries. You must also stay away from the mooring balls which are used by local boats.

The fishermen will do everything they can to prevent you from mooring on the jetty. One actually untied our bowline when we stopped there for one hour to refuel and get fresh water! Once he realised we weren’t staying however, he reluctantly backed off, but we wonder how much revenue the local fuel guy and tavernas and shops miss out on if yachts aren’t able to stop to refuel and reprovision.

Anyhow, anchoring in Marmari bay was great, in sand-covered mud. I did notice a large old fishing anchor and metal tin about a metre from where we were originally anchored (before being moved on to avoid the ferry lol). So I would caution you to really check where you’re dropping anchor if you are close to the mooring field, otherwise you may foul your anchor. Other than that, Marmari was a cool bay to anchor in. Also of note, there were a couple of spots to handily tie our dinghy to when going ashore.

Foul ground at Marmari

Meeting Shelley and Ian was fantastic and Shelley and I were in tears, hugging each other and grinning widely! I’ve known Shelley for years and it was lovely to be able for us to be able to meet Ian too.

The generosity of friends

Shelley and Ian at the time of meeting were our newest Patrons. As well as supporting our journey and video making financially since we’ve started sailing, these two brought us over a whole suitcase of goodies that we’d requested (on their asking) to bring over from Australia. No, there was no Vegemite in the case! But we did receive lots of boat parts, an incredible array of semi-precious stone and crystal beads, a few towels from Turkey and some other bits and pieces that we haven’t been able to purchase in Greece. On top of that, these two generous, beautiful people wouldn’t accept any payment for them all! We wouldn’t have asked for so much if we’d known they were being given as a gift, so a huge Thank You to you two!

We were allowed to buy them a meal though. We had a good dinner in a local beach front taverna that night, not far from their Airbnb home for five nights. And of course, they came to stay for a few nights on board after leaving Marmari, to head back around to Varkiza on the mainland. Plus, I made Shelley a pair of earrings, a pendant and a ring using some of my shells, beachglass and crystals she brought over. So we all agreed we had made a fair exchange!

When we did leave Marmari at 9.30am on Wednesday, (after being unable to hire a car to tour the island - as they were all booked out), we stopped for lunch at Avlavo bay on Megalonissos, one of the small islands close to Marmari on our way to Porto Rafti on the mainland. We had a lovely sail across the Evia channel and arrived at the southern bay of Porto Rafti just before 4pm.

Baz on a mission with Nikos

While we were anchored at Porto Rafti, Baz headed to town and Nikos our long time subscriber, who you met in last week’s video, took him to get our gas bottle exchanged, buy some acetone, and finally some polyurethane and brushes (for painting some of my shell jewellery to give it a nice shine). Thank you Nikos!

You can see all of this in the video that accompanies this blog. Just click here

Next time Ian, Shelley, Baz and I sail to Sounion and check out Poseidon’s temple that’s perched on top of the cliff overlooking Sounion Bay and also out towards sea. It’s pretty awesome! Also, I give you an insight into the fun I have hand washing the laundry on A B Sea! Until then, I wish you calm seas and a gentle breeze!


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