Sleeping in a Volcano

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yesterday kind of slipped by without my notice, but I did many small things. Today was all about making it to Santorini to scope it out for places to leave the boat when I bring my guests here later in the spring. Thera, or Santorini is also believed to be that historical place, Atlantis.

While it is now obvious, I hadn’t realized that both Milos and Santorini are the outside rim of volcanoes. The Atlantis story is very interesting as is the history of Minoan people who were probably wiped out in a massive eruption around 1500BC. I think that would have qualified as a climate change event. I know this is a bit scattered, sorry! Just putting these items in here in case I want to look back at the data and events in a few years

When I was lifting my anchor in Idra, I used my pole to remove the chain it worked but pulled the pole out of my hand and it sunk to the bottom. Meanwhile, the cruising guides tell me that anchoring here is very difficult with few shallow places, lots of rocks and fouled anchorages. The answer to not getting your anchor trapped is a trip line. I went to the local boat shop and bought a few parts and pieces, a new pole, some light line for an anchor trip line and associated gear. Next time I anchor in these very rocky shores I will have a trip line to avoid losing an anchor that is probably worth $800 and more importantly is required gear when there is no dock space available.

After that I went to report in with the port police but much confusion ensued. All of it my fault, but clearing the issues up took two hours. In the end all was fine and I had a chance to ride my bike for about 90 minutes. Milos’ scenery is quite spectacular and it is not busy like Santorini. Here are a few more shots.

I was up by 5 am, and left the dock in the darkness of morning. Slipping slowly through the bay until I could see the hazards. I wanted to be tied up in Thera before 4pm.

Here are some photos from the water.

Many beautiful rocks carved by Mother Nature. This is about 2nm from the fisherman’s wharf where I am tied up for the nightThe Thera volcano from about 5nm offshore

The water today was quite rough again although my scopolamine patches worked great. With the wind coming from behind on the starboard side, the boat would get tossed violently every few minutes. The stabilizers helped a bit, but mostly I just accepted my fate and adjusted my speed from time to time to get out of a wave trough as it was throwing me about.

In the end I arrived in time to receive some help on the docks, got the boat tied up like a charm and went about my day from there. My last task was to report in to the port authorities and that meant a 10km bike ride each way. This island has many steep hills and I had to climb a few to get from Vlychada to Fira, the main town that has the port police.

This spot looks like it may be appropriate the next time I stop in, but I imagine it gets very busy in summer and there isn’t a lot of room to manoeuvre so it will require care and attention. But now I am friends with the harbourmaster and that can help too!

Now I am back on the boat and contemplating my last run for a while, to Crete. Tomorrow I will be up early again, to try and arrive in Crete before the sun goes down.

Pictures of Santorini will have to wait until the end of the month when I return with guests.

4 thoughts on “Sleeping in a Volcano

  1. Don, please post a picture of your anchor trip line when it is set up. I’ll be interested, as you know!

    1. Hi Bob, I haven’t set it up and it looks like I won’t need to for a while. The key thing is that the top of your anchor should have an eye in it. Use a shackle and run a line out with the anchor, attached to the top. If it isn’t busy wherever you anchor you can put a float on the trip line and it will mark your anchor location. In any case now you can use the trip line to pull your anchor back out. You may have to launch a dinghy to do it, but cutting away an anchor is the alternative and that will take a long time and be expensive. I was worried that I may need to drop anchor again in the rocks of one of these volcanic areas, but that won’t happen now for at least a month.

      The other change is that I have always used the windless to take the weight of the boat/anchor when anchoring out. This is okay in low winds, but risky in high winds. The windless is not designed to take that weight. So I bought another shackle to build a harness which I can use to take the weight. Using either the cleat behind the windless with a heavy line or a short line between the two cleats on either side of the bow, and the shackle attached to the chain. The second option would be the best as it distributes the load well, but is a little harder to setup and retrieve. I will try to remember to take pictures of both when I use them.

      1. Hi Don,
        There is equipment on board to take the weight off the anchor. It consists of shackles and ropes to tie off through the hosel’s either side of the Bow.

      2. Thanks David, I will look at the equipment again with that perspective. I reacted quickly in case I got stuck on a volcano in santorini!

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