Diaporos to Ammouliani

We had to leave Diaporos this morning (unfortunately!) as we are quickly running out of fuel and Ed has had enough of the wasps – we’ve given up the battle and just need to get out of here!  After having spent some time laying still, it took a few hours to get the boat back into a movable state – stowing and securing everything away, taking down the Fin Delta and working out how to fold it up again and giving the boat a good clean inside.  Ed also had to give the generator a service and oil change – as with all this usage we were well over the service period.  He also changed the filters in the water maker and checked the engine over.  We were ready to lift the anchor around 13h30 and go in search of fuel then head over to the Island of Ammouliani.

The Mantus came up quite easily once we have driven over it to loosen the chain – but it had been completely buried, so that’s great!  We headed out of the North bay towards the harbour just above, Panagia.  There is a marina here on one side of the bay and a town quay on the other – on the chart, both places were supposed to have fuel available.  At the marina there was no sign of anybody or any place that a tanker could reach …. mmm.  We headed over to the other side and there was a place on the quayside where would go alongside and go in search of fuel.  It was quite shallow (less than was marked on the charts) and I took the boat in, while Ed jumped off with the lines and tied us up.  We managed to get hold of the guy who owned the local garage – the ONLY garage in the town – but unfortunately he was working in the local bank as a sideline and couldn’t leave his job.  His wife was running the garage but was unable to drive the tanker – he said he couldn’t deliver fuel for at least a few days.  We couldn’t stay where we were even if we wanted to as it was the mooring place for the local trip boats – so we decided to head over to the island of Ammouliani on the Athos peninsula (the 3rd finger) where we had planned to anchor anyway.

There is a ferry port on the island and the mainland there – as well as several other small harbours where fuel is supposed to be available.

The crossing to Ammouliani was unpleasant – the wind had come up in the afternoon with around 12-15 knots and although this isn’t usually much of a problem, we were motoring as Ed’s foot was very painful and we didn’t feel up to sailing.  The waves were pretty choppy and right on the beam so we were rolling around all over the place – luckily it was only 8 miles across so we were hoping to get fuel and be laying on anchor again pretty quickly!

We headed for the inside of the island where the harbours are – but after checking out one after the other, it was clear that getting fuel was not going to be easy.  The inside of the island is also treacherous!!  Ammouliani is very beautiful again – but so many unmarked rocks and reefs as well as areas of water right in the middle less than 2m deep.  We had to have our wits about us and navigate using duplicate system AND our sonar AND our sharp eyes on lookout – and to be honest it was pretty stressful.  I didn’t even take any photos as I had my eyes glued to the iPhone and Navionics!

At the Southern end of the island there were some beautiful anchorages among the small islands – but the charts gave no detail whatsoever, and our sonar was giving shallow readings so we didn’t dare to go further.  It was getting pretty late so we had to give up on the quest for fuel today and find somewhere to anchor – we tentatively navigated our way out of the inland channel and headed to the outside of the island where there are a couple of bays.  Our friends in Mistral had stayed here happily last week for a few nights so we assumed it would not be a problem.

However, what we didn’t think about was that last week the winds were Northerly – and the bays were well protected.  After the storm, the wind has now shifted Southerly and the swell is rolling up and into these bays!!!!  Our bad … we really should know better – but the only other option is to head back over to Diaporos.  We sneaked as far into the bay as we dared – there is a campsite on the beach which is pretty noisy, as well as 20 small boats laying on mooring balls close in to the beach.  We’re a bit close to them, but just about OK and we dropped anchor at around 19h15 on sand/weed in 11.5m depth of water – once again the Mantus set solid and held when powered in … this is beginning to look good and trust is slowly building!

This is not a great place though with the wind as it is – we are in for a very rolly night and at the moment there’s a lot of noise coming from the beach.  It will do for tonight though and tomorrow we need to revisit the fuel issue and work out where we are going to go. The main redeeming factor for this bay was the stunning sunset – with the mountains in the background it really was a sight to see!

Tomorrow is another day …. we will need to leave Ammouliani but not quite sure where we are going to head!!

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