A Slow March South

Friday, December 8, 2017

As expected last night was a peaceful night at anchor. We went on the back deck for a while to look at the stars. Despite a waning moon lighting up the sky and some lights on shore, the stars were bright in the night sky. Another downside is the overnight temperature was about 5C so we didn’t stay out long. Interestingly, when we went out we saw a large boat approaching with no lights on. We watched it closely as any boat travelling at night without lights is immediately suspicious. As it got closer we could see the coast guard markings and it soon turned away and moved south with speed.

This morning we awoke early, that is, before the sun was up, pulled up anchor and started on our way. The weather is benign and the sea essentially flat. We will travel slower today with no clear objective. The decision was made to not arrive in Athens until Monday so we won’t push too hard. That means we will use half as much fuel today as yesterday.

At this time of the morning, it’s just us and the fishermen! We see them here everyday. Watching for nets when close to shore is a critical piece of navigational experience. Even though we have a line cutter on our shaft/prop, you don’t want to get tangled, particularly in the stabilizer fins.

We pass a lot of small islands today, however the water is flat again, so it will be an easy day on the water.

As the day wore on we decided to target Patras for our stop. We didn’t end up staying there and went much further, but what a ride. Soon after the picture above, we turned West toward Patra and the water became dead calm. The sea and the sky looked like they were one and we slipped along, with no worries about sea sickness.

We did have a visit from the coast guard in a high speed inflatable. With the immigrant issues and the amazement that there is a pleasure yacht moving around at this time of year, we seem to get more scrutiny than I would normally expect. Their visit was short and comprised of hollering at each other from our respective boats. No worries, I like that they are checking up regularly.

The landscape varies a lot with soaring mountains and flatter areas. I spend a lot of time wondering what I am not seeing, but there is only so much time.

As we moved along the Rio–Antirrio bridge came into view. It is a nice view and changed frequently as we moved closer. In the end we decided to move through the area and find a place on the other side of Patras. The bridge looked just as good from the other side!

After passing through we ran out of light and possible places to drop anchor. The wind began to pick up and we changed direction to end up at Trizonia island in a sheltered area for the night.

Tomorrow we will be at the Corinth canal.

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