Monday, 5 July 2010

The worst day of the trip

Preveza Marina above - Silia below

Monday 7th. June

Time to move on and we decide not to venture into the Gulf and do a spot of dolphin watching but head north again and explore the inland sea when we come back in September. We say farewell to Barry, Derek and Sue – who also return in September so maybe we’ll bump into them again then.

Our plans take us further north on the mainland coast to Two Rock Bay – and that’s also what it’s called on the Greek charts. Apparently it is a magic location. Once clear of the Preveza fairway buoy we head north, crack on some sail and have the best sail of the trip so far. Five plus knots on a close reach with, at times, a little more heel than Jo would have preferred but all perfectly under control. That one tack would take us almost 25 miles to Two Rock Bay. We only dropped the sails when the wind died and we motored the last 45 minutes which helped to top up the batteries and give the fridge a boost.

Two Rock Bay is badly named. There are four rocks in the bay which leads you to think you’ve found the wrong one but a GPS fix confirms we’ve got the right place. Sheer cliffs surround the bay which has the clearest water we have seen. The bay is around 2 metres deep and quite stunning. We pick our spot, we can choose anywhere we like as we have the bay to ourselves, and we drop the anchor. Well, to be more accurate we press the button to drop the anchor. Zilch. Dead as a doornail. We check the switches and all looks OK. Try again, still nothing. Is there a hidden trip we don’t know about? I call Colin who says there’s no hidden trip. Anyway, we drop the anchor manually, mercifully it’s shallow, and then we try to work out why the windlass is not working. After various phone calls and checking of wiring we are none the wiser. The boat’s tool kit is primitive and rusty. Actually it’s rubbish. There’s only one screwdriver and the ‘bits’ for a combination set are there but the holder is rusted solid. There’s no multimeter, no bits of wire and the spare fuses are rusty too. It’s not possible with the kit on board to check whether volts are reaching the motor but it’s starting to look very much as if the fault lies within the motor not the wiring or controller. It’s a bit of a mystery because the windlass worked fine when we lifted the anchor several days ago in Palerios and it’s not been used since and now it’s packed up. Anchors are critical out here because they are the prime means of mooring.

We abandon all hope or finding the fault, settle down for a meal of shrimps in a tomato sauce (Shrimps Provencal, very Greek), curse the windlass and decide to have an earlyish night. We are joined in the bay by another British yacht and I’m tempted to row over to see if he has a meter I can borrow but decide against it.

As I said the water in the bay is crystal clear, the sandy bottom is visible, we can see our anchor clearly. Lots of fish, quite large they are too, swim around the boat. I throw a piece of bread into the water and the sea boils as maybe fifty fish fight over the crust. We dig out the video camera and perform the trick again for the video. It did occur to me that a bit of bread with a hook embedded would be certain to land a fish every time, but I only catch a fish to eat and not knowing what they are and having feasted on prawn provencal I consign my angling activities to feeding the fish and not catching them. They had a feast on the remains of supper.

Two Rock Bay has the reputation of being calm and a stunning place to anchor for the night. It was not calm. We rocked and rolled all over the place and although there was no wind the swell made it very, very uncomfortable. I got about two hours sleep, Jo managed one. After such a great sail the end of the day with a faulty anchor and uncomfortable anchorage marks the low point of the trip.

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The Crew

The Crew
On board at Lymington