Outside Looking In – Milos

Monday, March 12, 2018

I have arrived in Milos, unfortunately strong winds and impending darkness have conspired to keep me off the docks. I am anchored just outside of town and enjoying some time on Home Free.

When I left Idra this morning, I expected a 10 hour journey but it was closer to 12 hours. The morning started like many in these parts, with flat water and sunshine.

Somewhere along the way the winds picked up and started creating waves. If you want a little technical detail, waves are created (primarily) by wind passing over the top of the water for some distance, and that distance is referred to as the fetch. Where I crossed from the Peloponnese to the east Aegean Sea, I was entering really open water. The winds then had a long distance or fetch to push the water and make larger waves. They weren’t really large, but probably 5-8 feet. The other key characteristic of waves (for all you scientists) is the period of the waves. A smaller body of water produces waves in quick succession. Despite the long fetch, these waves also had a pretty high frequency. That makes things choppy.

With all that said, the wind was slowing me down and the waves could have made me seasick (I used a scopolamine patch behind my ear). As well, generally captains try to avoid entering an unknown harbour for the first time in the dark. Everywhere here is a first for me, so I sped up and used a lot more fuel than planned. I arrived in the large, natural bay of Milos with the sun barely clinging to the sky and made my way toward the docks in the largest town here.

Another aspect of my travels that requires even more attention is that I am single handing 80,000 lbs of ship and I have to be very confident of my activities because I don’t have help. Knowing that, I did a review of places to dock the boat and the only really good spot with enough room to manoeuvre was on the leeward side of the pier, side tied. Unfortunately the 15+ knots of wind and my huge bow (which creates ‘windage’) were more than I could overcome with my thrusters. Since I need to be able to position the boat, exit and tie up before the boat blows away, this plan was just not acceptable. So I moved to the anchorage area and dropped anchor.

Tomorrow the winds are going to be worse than today, so I have to decide whether to try to dock again, whether to sit here at anchor for another day (Wednesday should be better), or move on to Santorini. The boat handles really well with the winds, it’s tying up that’s hard. For this reason I may stay in this natural bay and ride on my indoor trainer, and see if I get an opportunity to go ashore. If not no big deal. Santorini and Crete are my targets for now.

Today I tried a few things to goose my speed, and the loser was turning off the stabilizers. The stabilizers do a great job of keeping the boat flat. They also take out about .5 knots of speed, which makes the boat about 8% slower while underway. The waves today were primarily hitting me broadside and about every two minutes a ‘big’ wave would toss the boat around like a toy in the bathtub. I tried this for a while to get the extra speed, but the mess inside the boat was less appealing. After a few tries, the outcome was the same and so I used more fuel to get the speed I needed. As for the effect of no thrusters in broadside waves… Let’s just say I had some organizing to do when I stopped this evening. Megan, your trees are not going to make it past the next garbage can. We can buy new ones next Christmas. When the stabilizers are on, the boat corrects for the waves and I appreciate their hard work. My stomach was fine for the entire time.

Sorry I don’t have much in the way of photos. So I do have some more (again) from Idra where I spent a lot of time walking. I have even more on the Nikon, but our Nikon doesn’t have built in Wi-Fi support and I haven’t downloaded them. Maybe tomorrow.

Gotta love this cat! Idra had hundreds of cats all of them looked to be street cats and some were not in great shape, but this little feline had figured out how to get up 4′ above the ground into this little cubby for some peace and quiet.


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