Vathy Cove, Southern Pellopones

This morning, I’m starting on the third logbook for this season! This means the 121st day of sailing - although I’ve been on the boat for almost seven months! We’ve covered roughly 5,000 miles with the new Kincsem already and have come a long way!

Yesterday, we - Rieke, Benno and Christoph Huss - anchored in this very narrow bay in spectacular surroundings. This was the first chance for the new “stern” anchor maneuver. The avid reader of this blog will recall that we got a second anchor now in our port bow fitting with its own anchor winch. The port anchor has 30 meters of chain and 60 meters of anchor line. To use this new port anchor, we anchor with the main anchor (starboard) and then drop back a long way by letting out a lot of chain on that anchor - here 90 meters. Then we drop the second anchor and pull in the first to a “normal” length. While we do that, we let out first chain and then anchor line on the port anchor. Last step is that the anchor line on the port anchor is transferred to the stern of the boat - voila, we’re anchored between two anchors - the starboard forward and the port pulling back from the stern. Sounds complicated but it’s actually a bit easier to do and a lot easier on the backs of the crew than recovering the stern anchor and line & chain from its place in the aft lazarette. Well, we got to try this twice yesterday because the first time we didn’t have enough line out on the stern anchor. It’s a good thing we tried because the wind came up last night from the one direction where this cove is totally open to the sea. Made for a bit of a “group think” in the middle of the night on how to get out of here in case the stern anchor did not hold - but it did!!

This segment started in Pilos, where Rita and John left and Rieke, Benno and Christoph joined. Nice enough place but the marina was actually full! So we ended up on the outer mole of the fishing harbor. Nothing wrong with that given the conditions except that there was a foul smell in the evenings. Odd because the water was crystal clear at the dock and they ran a swim meet off the other side of the dock one morning. Anyway, we were out of there quickly and after a nice litte sail, anchored in Mithoni right under the Venetian fortress there. It’s very well maintained in places and we explored it in the evening. Striking how a few thousand soldiers could have lived here some 500 years ago. How were they fed, how did they deal with the other necessities of life? Would be very hard to do now given how remote this place is.

Next stop was Limeni, which was a better anchorage in the Southwesterly swells we had been experiencing than our real “target,” the caves of Diros. Those were definitely worth a visit. It’s essentially an underground river that starts just a few meters from the sea. The next morning we motored and then dinghied over to the entrance some ways above the ocean and after purchasing tickets a little hike up the mountain where the tour busses stop (in season), we boarded a small, flat bottomed wooden boat. The guide pushes the boat with one oar off the stalagmites and the cave floor through very narrow passageways among the stalagmites and stalactites in the cave. The mineral formations are quite colorful and very varied - a good test for my new Panasonic camera. The trip took 25 minutes at an average speed of about 2 knots - so I guess we covered roughly 2 kilometers underground! This must be one of the biggest caves of its kind in the world.

We’re off to the island of Kithira today. Unfortunately, looks like very little wind!


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