Changing Plans

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My weekend guest was unable to join me due to a last minute change in plans, so I decided to bypass Santorini and head further North. I have guests coming in May that will take me back down through the southern Aegean, including Santorini.

Megan is due to go into surgery on Tuesday to have pins removed from her leg (she broke her leg about 18 months ago and has a titanium rod and pins that held her leg together during healing.). I was worried that I may have to fly home to take care of her, so with my schedule change, I raced north (well, at 6.8 knots instead of 6.3 knots 😂) to be closer to Athens and the airport. Turns out I don’t have to be there for her.

Yesterday I was en route from IOS where I had pulled in for the night, to Kea when a rather nasty storm showed up a few hours early. As darkness was approaching and seas were building rapidly with 30 knot winds I decided to head for shelter. I am currently anchored off of Kolona Beach on Kythnos island. This is the beach that I brought Megan to when she was here over Christmas.

The space is very small, offers about 320° of protection and is very picturesque. I may not even move today. I am running low on food, having been away from land for five days now, but I can go for another day or two, I can ride the trainer and just enjoy the peace and quiet. The weather has turned quite chilly, but that will only last a day or two and will cool me while I ride on the boat.

Unfortunately this is what I have to look at as I am typing this. Maybe I can get the local market to deliver groceries (or I could launch the dinghy) and I will just sit here until tourist season fills this place with other boats. Nah, Martin, the new owner of C’est la Magie wants me to help launch the boat in a few weeks, so I guess I will have to return to civilization soon.

I have been burning more fuel than I had planned and so will also have to buy fuel locally, before returning to a non-EU country where fuel is typically cheaper. With these long runs (65-75 knots), I need to run at a nominal 7 knots instead of 6 to get in before dark. The fuel consumption doubles at 7 knots, and so I also need to replenish my tanks. I won’t fill up until I get to Albania or Montenegro, but I do need some fuel to get that far. A fill up is a big ticket item. I carry 1,250 gallons or so, about 5,000 litres, so if I can save a dime a litre it makes a big difference. Albania is going to be a great place to stop again in May or June. By contrast, the last time I put fuel in the tanks was in November, and since have been to Italy and back to Greece, from Corfu to Athens to Crete and back to Athens now. And I still have 300 gallons or so. That’s a lot of travel on a tank of fuel. Along the same lines, the cooking fuel used on boats in Europe is different, not sure exactly what it is (butane maybe), but the bottle I am using lasts forever. Way better than propane. It hasn’t been touched since I bought the boat in August, and I have cooked aboard quite a bit. Amazing.

One last update, that piece of steel hanging off my starboard side has been lopped off by Mother Nature. Being right at the waterline, it was buffeted by waves and bent back and forth enough that it simply broke off. I will get it repaired with some urgency, but it actually removes my problem with docking and doesn’t change the operation of the boat at all.

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