Aannsha’s Blog #143 – Sporades and the anode

Karavomilos is north of Evia island on the Greek mainland. The bay is large and there is a small town on shore. Still getting into the chill vibes, Baz and I decided not to go through the rigmarole of lowering the dinghy to go ashore. So we relaxed on deck before turning in for the night. We had a great night’s sleep at our first anchorage since leaving the boatyard.

The following day we upped anchor – which had a huge blob of mud/sand/fine pebbles attached to it – showing that this anchorage has good holding. I scraped it off with my dedicated ex-broom handle and we were on our way east along the Evia channel. This route would take us out into the Aegean and our first island stop on our journey to Turkey was going to be Skiathos, in the Sporades islands group.

There was little wind in the morning so we motored, passing a large tanker along the way that was anchored offshore, close to what looked like a quarry processing factory. As we headed towards the end of the channel, the wind picked up (on the nose) and we had a slightly bumpy ride through the open sea towards Skiathos. Anchorage A was the little bay just west of Skiathos town, which would be quieter than the main bay where the ferries docked. If the wind proved too strong, then we had a couple of choices (Anchorages B and C) in the entrance to Volos Bay. We’d left early enough in the morning that if we did have to turn back to Volos, we would still have plenty of time to drop the anchor during daylight hours.

Seafood dinner treat at Skiathos

We arrived at Skiathos without incident though, and after we’d anchored in sand, we got dolled up, dropped the dinghy and headed for Skiathos town. Heather and John Drummond aka The Old Travel Bums had sent us a very generous donation to put towards a good meal at our first anchorage. As Skiathos is such a pretty place – and a large tourist town with many restaurants to choose from – we’d decided we’d eat here rather than Karavomilos.

Sadly the pandemic has meant that the usually large amount of summer tourists were lacking and many of the restaurants, which were setting up for dinner, were empty. We wandered through the quaint harbour and picture pretty streets, finding Mouragio seafood restaurant on the harbour front where the waiter enticed us in with promises of crispy fried anchovies.

Our waiter, Dimitris, was very attentive and friendly. We ordered those as a starter along with a Greek salad, and followed that with a seafood platter for two, washed down with good Greek wine. It was all delicious and we left stuffed and very contented with our first night ashore on a Sporades island. We were treated to a beautiful sunset of pinks and purples as we arrived back on board A B Sea.

Costs of living at Livaditis boatyard over winter

A few subscribers have asked us for a breakdown of costs of living on the hard at Livaditis boat yard in Sipiada on Limni Island. Baz took some time to break the costs down and if you’re interested, you can get the details in this week’s video.

Anchor chain jumped off the gypsy

After another great night’s sleep, we upped anchor and had a lovely sail as we headed east for Alonnisos Island. When the anchor came up, the last few metres of chain were quite twisted but there wasn’t anything I could do about it at the time.

Arriving and trying to anchor at the bay at Alonnisos, I had a problem. The twisted chain couldn’t get proper purchase on the gypsy and jumped completely off the windlass! I felt helpless to do anything and couldn’t hear Baz (because of the chain noise and wind) shouting at me to jump into the anchor locker and stand on the chain. I knew if I tried to catch the chain, even wearing gloves, that it would do me major damage as that chain is heavy and it was plummeting towards the seabed at a rate of knots.

I tried to stop the windlass by pressing the Up button, (which had worked once before when it had happened in a very minor way), but by this point the chain was totally out of control, dancing on that windlass like a gypsy at a wedding.

I knew that once the 50m of heavy chain was on the seabed, that the 50m of lightweight thick white rope (rode) that is attached to the chain, would be much easier to grab and control, so once I saw the rode, I grabbed it. I was then able to haul the rope then the chain up far enough that I could reattach the chain onto the gypsy and bring up the anchor again.