All was well in the night – although the rafted boats did turn around and come very close to us, I shone our flashlight on them and decided that with no wind it would be OK …. Ed was out cold, so I took an executive decision. We had a good night sleep, for once with no rocking around!
The crossing to the “three fingers” of the Thessaloniki peninsula is pretty much a straight line over the open sea for about 40 miles – a study of the pilot guides had shown that there are very few, if any, places to anchor and only a few small harbours. We had the feeling we won’t be spending much time in this area and once we get back from Holland will probably end up in Lesvos pretty quickly! However, we found a big bay on the charts – Porto Koufos – that has some good reviews and seems to be the only possible location – it is on the 2nd finger, which means we’ll have a longer trip to get to Thessaloniki Marina but that’s fine. There is a small harbour as well as an anchorage area.
We left Kyra Panagia at around 11h00 with just a few little swells on the sea and about 5-10 knots of wind on the nose from the North … we had hoped that this crossing would be with South wind so we could use the Parasailor cruising chute but it seems the forecast was wrong. A bit of a shame as we don’t get much opportunity to use the cruising chute and this crossing would have been ideal – with miles of open sea in one line.
We got the internet back just a mile or so from the island and uploaded our videos and picked up messages – amazing what happens when you have no internet or phone connection for just one night! The crossing was very relaxed – it was quite hazy so visibility wasn’t great but we had the AIS alarms and the radar running and there was almost nothing around anyway. Just one ship passed behind us and other than a couple of yachts and a pod of dolphins we didn’t see anything at all but sea! The dolphins didn’t come to play either – they swam past us but didn’t stop to play in the bow wake so no videos of them today, although I had the GoPro all ready to film them under the water.
We made landfall around 17h00 and were surprised to see that actually there were a few nice bays that we hadn’t seen in the guides – we found a nice place, just before Porto Koufos where the depths are fine, although a bit variable – and unfortunately it is mainly sea grass/weed ….. mmm. There were a few patches of sand in between so we lowered the anchor 5m down so it was almost on the bottom and went in hunt of a sand patch to strategically place the anchor. It landed just OK and when we swam out to check, it seemed to be set. The forecast is completely flat tonight so we’re not expecting any wind or waves, so hopefully it will be fine. We are in the company of a Maltese yacht we seem to be stalking – they were in the same bay as us during the storm last week (and were driving around the whole night as they continually dragged!) and again in Skiathos Harbour, where they also dragged. Let’s hope they are OK tonight ….
We are heading for Thessaloniki Marina tomorrow – a couple of days earlier than planned as Ed really wants to get the electrical issue sorted out and order the parts he needs so they arrive while we are away. Although the battery banks seem to be functioning for the last few days, he is worried about the cables and so decided to dismantle the system to solder the cables properly and check out where the fault is – it turns out that one of BMS units is not functioning and needs to be replaced, so he has removed it and we are currently running on half the battery bank. This won’t be a problem for the one night – he couldn’t do any more work on it as it’s dark now and I’m not too happy sitting in a bay in the dark, with no anchor light, no AIS and no anchor alarm of navigation (while he has the 12v system off!).
There was a lovely sunset over the open water tonight – my favourite photo taking opportunity! It’s sunsets like these that make up for all the storms and remind me how much we love what we do. Tomorrow I have to remember how to moor the boat – as this will be the first time we have been in a marina since leaving Preveza weeks ago.