Chalkida to Pigadi

After crossing the bridge in the middle of the night, we anchored in a big bay just the other side at around 01h30 – the anchor alarm went off early in the morning as the boat turned and the alarm circle wasn’t set accurately enough (we didn’t sit up watching the circle form at that time in the morning!).  We decided to leave – and pulled the anchor up just before 08h000 – very early for us!  There was no wind whatsoever – the wind meter was struggling to record 1 knot – and the sea was glassy, not a ripple in sight other than the wakes of the odd boat here and there.  The temperatures were soaring into the 30’s and with no wind, we were boiling in the cockpit – of course we were running on engine as there really was no choice.

We planned to follow the coastline to the top of Evvoia and to stay at anchor just inside the top of the island, around Aghios Georgiou.  Evvoia continued to be a pretty standard coastline with nothing of much to note.  The water was unfortunately not great – we assume due to the high sea temperatures, there were massive algae blooms floating by under the water.  They looked at first like whispy clouds of cotton wool, drifting past a few metres under the water – our friends in Scout had warned us about this as they had passed through the previous day.  They had big issues with their engine intake – but we were fine, perhaps because we took a route along the eastern coast and they followed the western coast.  By the time we reached the area of Aghios Georgios in the north of the island, the whisps had turned into endless miles of scum on the water – which looked like someone had emptied their waste tank, but it just went on for miles.  The whole area was completely ruined – and we couldn’t begin to think about anchoring there.

As it was only 14h00, we decided just to keep going and we turned the corner at the top of Evvoia – this area truly is beautiful with some lovely beaches and signs of tourism again, however the algae scum is ruining it completely.  We turned into the Oreoi Channel and rediscovered the wind – out of the protection of Evvoia now, we were heading into 10-15 knots true of NE, giving us 18 knots apparent and a choppy sea!  Amazing how it can change from one minute to the next.  Time to put the sails up and we hoisted the main and Genoa in full sail and had a great afternoon of flying tacks, zigzagging all the way up the channel.

Mike and Natalie in Scout were laying at anchor at the top of the channel – however, the sea was choppy there with heavy grass on the seabed and we couldn’t get the anchor to hold, so we abandoned the anchoring attempt and decided to continue around the corner, although by now it was now nearly 20h00 and the sun was going down – it was going to be a night sail 🙂  Actually, we didn’t hoist the sails again but motored around the headland into Ormos Pteleou where the chart showed a number of possible bays we calculated would be calm water.  Originally we were heading to Achilleion Cove at the bottom of the bay, but then decided to try the little harbour of Ormos Pigadi which was on the north side, and much closer by.

We thought it would be too small – and indeed it took a couple of tries to get the anchor to hold properly in the heavy weed, in the dark, with enough space in the harbour – which is always more difficult to assess when you can see!  Eventually we were fine and happy to switch the engine off at 22h15.

Very long day!

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