Aannsha’s Blog #108 - Malakas, bridges and shallows


On the phone. Malaka!

“Malaka” or “Malakas” is a Greek word meaning the English equivalent of “wanker” (to find a fairly acceptable word). It is a much used Greek slang word and I think probably correlates to “bugger” in Australian (as in “you’re a funny bugger” and “stupid bugger”). We’ve heard it a few times when sailing schools take their budding young sailors around harbours in their tiny optimist sailing dinghies. Since our friend Nikos explained its usage, I’ve wanted to say it to someone. And then the opportunity arrived.

We were motoring along towards the narrow part of the Evia channel when we saw a small fishing boat in front of us on our port side. It didn’t look as if he had any fishing gear out and was motoring home by the looks of the speed he was going. We also noticed that he appeared to be talking on the phone. And he was approaching us. And hadn’t noticed us.

As the stand on vessel, we did have right of way at this point, but rather than be hit by this fellow, Baz made a sharp turn to the left and the little fishing boat and fisherman passed in front of us completely oblivious of anything but the phone conversation he was having.

“Malaka!” I said, absolutely delighted to be able to use the word in the right context.

“Malaka!” said Baz. And we both laughed. “Here’s one for you Nikos!”

Strongilo to Eretria

Anyhow to back track a bit, after staying overnight in Strongilo and finding some beautiful shells for making ‘Rock Pool’ pendants, we were looking forward to heading further north to Eretria. Strongilo is a pretty anchorage and the little nearby fishing village looked as if it would be worth taking a dinghy to and visiting. But we were on a mission – we needed to get to our haul out destination in Limni, further north on Evia island in Greece. We’d had a bit of a rocky night because we were side to the swell, but it was a sunny day and we looked forward to the five hour passage.

Baz had just dived into the clear water to rescue the lens cap from the GoPro and he told me that it was actually warmer in the water than the air temperature. He dried off, we lifted the anchor and set off – motoring because there wasn’t enough wind to fill the sails.

Our journey took us parallel to the east coast of the mainland and it was enjoyable to see green hillsides. The water was so calm that it was almost like looking into a blue mirror, and there was a haze that blended the sea with the sky at the horizon. I took a lot of footage as this was serenely beautiful, with dusky clouds adding a feint pink tinge to the water.

Dusky pink clouds on way to Eretria

As we neared Eretria we consulted the chart plotter that showed a cable ferry spanning the narrow distance between Eretria and the mainland town of Oropos. We weren’t sure how deep the ferry cable sank as it wasn’t marked on the chart and Auntie Google couldn’t help answer that question either. So we watched the two ferries cross mid channel and waited until we could enter Eretria harbour at a safe distance from either of them. Travelling slowly to allow the outbound ferry time to depart Eretria meant we had a glimpse of some of the tiny islands that hug the south of the bay. This area would certainly make a lovely sailing holiday.