Departure from Thessaloniki didn’t go great …. 🙁
As planned we were up early and ready at the marina office when they opened – but we had to wait until the electrician could come along and read the meter, and disconnect the power supply so they can invoice the electricity consumption. Grrr … nothing to do but wait. In the end it didn’t take TOO long and we were all ready with the dinghy hoisted ready to go at 10h00 … so not too bad.
Then disaster struck as usual …. !! Ed was on the bow (unusually) because the lazy lines were extremely heavy, tied up in each other and pretty ancient – there was plenty of space in the marina so we decided I couldn’t crash into anything and we would therefore swap roles. I didn’t think I was going to be able to untie those lazy lines! All went fine at first – the bow lines and the stern lines were cast off, and I put the boat in forward gear to ease out of the slip ….. then the engine stopped dead. No lines on the boat and no power … we were floating pretty quickly towards the boat next door! I managed to get the bow thruster working in time to avoid any collisions and Ed rushed aft to take over the wheel and get the engine started again. It did start and we slowly managed to creep out of the marina – but everything was juddering and shaking.
It turned out that we had managed to get a line around the prop – not OUR line as we had carefully watched those sink as usual, but a stray one from the neighbouring berth. We slowly chugged out of the marina – knowing that every turn of the prop was probably tying the line even tighter, but we didn’t have much choice. A hasty look at the chart revealed that there was shallow water on the other side of the bay – about 10 miles away – which was sheltered enough to drop the anchor and sort out the problem.
Unfortunately, there was very little wind …. but we had no choice except to hoist the sails and switch off the engine. It was slow progress – with only around 5 knots of wind, we were making only 2-3 knots speed most of the time so it took hours! We dropped the anchor around lunchtime and Ed did a quick jump in the water to check out the problem – the rope was obviously around the prop, and what’s more he saw that the whole hull was covered in small barnacles and growth and the transponders could hardly be seen. We had no log wheel and no speed through water and most definitely no sonar. Grrrrr!!
Out came the diving gear and Ed went back in the water with the knife – it took him about half an hour but he managed to free the prop without any damage. The barnacles would need to wait for another day – but clearly it wasn’t only the dinghy that suffered from laying still in the marina for three weeks! Our Coppercoat anti-fouling has never been like this before!
At around 14h30, we were finally on our way again – but there was no way we were going to reach the anchorage at Porto Koufos today as it was already mid-afternoon and we had only done 10 of the 80 miles!!! We resigned ourselves to a night-sail if needed but decided just to see what happened.
Luckily the weather was reasonably calm – unlike the trip when we came up to Thessaloniki. We managed to enjoy the scenery and the sandy beaches on the way but were doubtful of finding anywhere we would be able to stop for the night. Just as the sun was going down, we found ourselves at the second of the two land outcrops and decided to go further inshore to see if anchoring would be possible – there was a reasonable swell on the water so we didn’t hold out much hope. However – as we approached Kassandra Point it was clear that the small headland was giving protection and we WERE able to anchor – it was dark, but we dropped the Mantus for the first time with no idea what was on the bottom, and it held. We were in front of the beach and pretty much in the open but the water was flat enough for us to get a good nights sleep.
We’ll try again to reach Porto Koufos tommorrow!