Our last night in Hydra was spent having drinks with some Dutch guys who were chartering a yacht for the week. It was their last night before having to return the boat to Athens, and they had been caught out in the big wind storm last Thursday. Their experience sounded extremely scary, so I’m glad we were in port. They had a tiny part of their head sail out, and it tore, so they ended up motoring through the wind until they could find a sheltered anchorage, if there was such a thing.
After Hydra we made a very slow trip towards Poros, where I was told the world’s best ice cream store would be located. We had no wind, and when it did pick up a little bit, it was straight into the nose. We decided that we have the head wind curse.
As we were sailing, I saw a strange thing. Off to the East were some clouds that looked very orange. The sort of orange that you see when the sunset reflects from the clouds, except it was the middle of the day. I became a bit worried that it was some sort of freak violent storm heading our way. Nothing came of it, at the time.
As we arrived into beautiful Poros, we found what we thought was the prime position, with a large spot open for us on the Quay. Little did we know that the sign on the building that said “Malibu” was a nightclub that would start blaring out music from about 10pm. This gave the other yachties something to laugh about. Luckily, being a Sunday it didn’t seem to get busy enough for the nightclub to play much past midnight… or maybe we just didn’t hear it.
Poros is where we met some fantastic people. Ron and Kathleen on their 50ft Beneteau. They are Aussies, so as soon as they saw our flag Ron was over to greet us, and help with catching our lines. Chris, Judy and Matt from Britain on their Fontaine Pajot catamaran were also there. Chris was also there to assist with the lines. We had already met them very briefly in Hydra. However, we didn’t really get a chance to talk to them until reaching Poros. They were the ones who guided us to the world’s best ice cream store. Boy was it delicious. I had the nutella flavour (thanks to Matt’s recommendation), and Ryan had a watermelon sorbet. Both were absolutely divine!
In Poros, we came across a tap where we could connect our hose, and finally give the boat a good wash down. It looked fantastic, and felt like we were finally winning the battle against the filthy boat. We were also able to fill our water tanks, giving me some relief knowing we have water on board.
We did not explore much further than the ice cream store. After having a few evening drinks with Ron and Kathleen and being offered the use of their shower (which we accepted of course) we retreated to our saloon for some pasta. After clear lack of naptime during our travels, I think we were tired enough to go to bed and drown out the sound of the nightclub. Luckily the evenings are still cool enough for us to shut the hatches.
On Monday we set off with our posse of boats.
When we told the others we wanted to go to Epidauros to visit the ancient theatre, they decided to come along. It turns out we were their followers, as they were much faster than us. Epidauros was very pretty and still quiet before high season hits. I was delighted to see the sign on one of the Tavernas that said “we have shower.”
We went for an afternoon stroll through the orange groves (which smelled fantastic) and up to a small ancient theatre, with an amazing view. We also picked some oranges from the ground, and a couple from the tree (because I could not resist their perfection) before returning to our boats.
After we had some dinner, Chris, Judy and Matt introduced us to the game called “Mexican Trains.” We spent hours playing it, with lots of laughter, whilst some choppy water started beating into the boats. The boats all held well, however, to get back on board, we had to climb over Ron and Kathleen’s boat, as they offered us that option rather than a steep awkward climb on our own plank. When we got back there, their platform was teetering on the edge of the boat, half in the water. It was about midnight and we stood at the side trying to work out how to get it out.
Ryan leaned down and tried to retrieve the platform with his foot. The next thing I know, he disappeared completely under the water. It was hilarious. He had fallen in!! After seeing the look on his face, I almost fell in myself from laughing so hard. However, I quickly came to realize that Ryan was on the boat, I was on the quay and the platform was at the bottom of the harbor. The water was majorly choppy.
Ryan tried to pull our boat in closer to the quay for me to step on. It just would not come close enough. I tried to use my super human strength to lower myself down (picture a tricep dip) and reach out my leg to the back step of the boat. I was about 30 centimeters too short, and then realized that I had dipped too far, so there was no going back. Apparently I need to go to the gym and practice some tricep dips. Gravity had taken over and there was no way back up onto the quay. At least Ryan was able to grab my arm and stop the top half of my body from going into the water.
We both then stood there shivering for a while, taking in what had just happened. I came out with a couple of gravel rashes on the back of my arm. The solar camping shower was cold by this stage, so I did not even bother rinsing off.
Ryan retrieved the platform in the morning.
The next day we woke up to a rather miserable day. It was grey skies, drizzling rain and quite cold. We soon came to realize that the rain was not only wet, but red with dust. Remember those red clouds I saw the day before? They must have been carrying dust. The boats looked horrible.
That’s when our battle against the dirty boat turned into a losing battle. There was nothing we could really do whilst it continued to rain. When the weather lifted slightly, we got in a taxi with Ron and Kathleen to go see the ancient theatre.
This made the stop in red dust rainy town so worth it. Look at how the theatre was built. There is a platform right in the middle of the arena where you can drop a small coin, or ruffle some paper and hear it clearly from any of the 14,000 seats in the theatre, showing its perfect acoustics. It makes you wonder why we can’t build something so perfect in our current day. They had some serious engineering know-how in those days.
When we came back to the boats, you could not even really tell they were white. The skies looked clearer and we had access to town water, so we decided to wash off the dust. What a mission. It was in everything, and the best we could do was at least get it off the decks where we needed to walk.
We decided to spend the evening on our boat, to ensure no more late night swims, given the water started to become choppy. The curse of the head wind seems to follow us even in port!
Guess what! It rained over night. Rained even more red dust than the previous day. We had to hose the boat off again!!!! That’s three days in a row now. I’m not sure this boat has been washed that many times in its lifetime!
Our search for the sunken city just south of Palaia Epidauros was a failure. It is meant to be a good dive, but we could only find rubbly rock. Perhaps the sunken city has crumbled entirely. Who would know?
After gathering several kilos of fresh oranges, we set off behind Chris, Judy and Matt towards Vathi.
We were so glad that we did. Not only was the company great, the town was also very pretty. The night was spent with many more laughs, and games of Mexican Train. We were quite sad to say goodbye to them this morning, as they sailed off in a different direction. This morning the bread van came, followed by the vegetable van. We were able to stock up on some fresh bread, vegetables and fruit before sailing (mostly motoring because of no wind) up to Korfos, which is where we are now.
Ron and Kathleen sailed to Aigina for a few days, but we will reunite with them when we go to cross the Corinth canal. They are heading in the same direction as we are.
Let me leave you now with a picture of a happy smiling goat from Epidauros.