Friday the 13th!

The 13th is the Esdorn lucky day, traditionally, but today the gods had different plans. First, slipping our aft dock lines in Katakalo this morning, the bowlines on the docklines got stuck on the heavy rings through which we led the lines back on board so we got stuck 5 meters from the dock. So back to the dock, boat hook out, another try. Then, 20 meters further from the dock, the anchor chain didn’t come in right: a 100 kg or so traditional fisherman anchor with 4 flukes had gotten entangled in our chain! It was attached to its own chain - apparently a left over mooring from better days. It’s somewhat of a miracle that we were able to pull this monster to the surface with the anchor winch but then it took 45 minutes to suspend it from some lines on the boat and unwrap our chain from it. John had to get into the dinghy for the last part of that ordeal ….

Having escaped that monster, we brought in the remaining 30 meters of chain and again, the chain was almost stuck! I was thinking that we had hooked another anchor or chain, but no, it was only the anchor being into the heavy mud so hard, that the anchor winch had trouble lifting it out! So after 1 hour of unforeseen work, we’re finally off. Nice breeze from the Northeast but it is dying. So out comes the Parasailor. It was hard to believe how many tangles you can have in that thing and how many times you have to relead all lines to make it finally draw. It took us close to 45 minutes to finally got it all right! Now, of course, we started with a light breeze from the port quarter, but by the time we had it up properly, the wind had shifted by 50 degrees, requiring us to jibe the entire boat. It’s a bit surprising that we’ve had no problems for the last 2 hours - the Parasailor is pulling us south nicely at 6.5 knots but we still have a few hours to go to Pylos, our next stop and the last crew change place. So much can happen!

The week started with a bang with a strong Northwesterly breeze pulling us south from Prevezza, around the West of the island of Lefkas, to the home of Odysseus, the island of Ithaca. Part of the trip we were ripping through turquoise waters making us think we were in shallows - but it was 300 meters deep! We ended up in Kioni, a picture postcard sort of place. We anchored with two stern lines to the shore, right between two German crewed charter boats moored that way. This was not easy to do with a light side breeze blowing but our German neighbors helped us greatly. In the morning, one of two boats told us they had been up much of the night because a rat snuck on board! Their 30 m line to the shore was very tight and suspended above the water all the way and an enterprising rat made the trip across the line to their boat! Hard to believe, but we are now more attuned to the risk of those undesirables boarding us. According to our handbook, there are harbors in the Ionian where rats have been known to swim out to anchored boats! Time to get out of the Ionian!

Next we stopped in a little bay on the North East tip of the Island of Zakynthos, where one can explore a “blue grotto” said to rival the one in Capri. Well, one wet dinghy ride later we’re not sure we found the grotto but I’m happy to have seen the one in Capri! So after one more unremarkable stop on Zakynthos, we made it to Katakalon, a major cruise ship stop for ancient Olympia. We toured the site of the original Olympic games yesterday on a one cruise ship day - we’re glad it wasn’t a three cruise ship day! Olympia is fun to explore but it takes very good imagination to see much here. There are a few Doric and Ionic columns standing, but I could not help but think that much of the excavations are toppled stones. I guess the gods must have heard my thoughts about the place and are taking their revenge today ….


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