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Our Wakes: 2020

Finally free (June-September 2020)
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On the first of June Terus was repaired and the authorities allowed the sailboats that were in Greece to sail again we. As our daughterand grandchildren and partner  were going to arrive by the  27 of June we started navigating immediately towards Athens. Was passed by many places we had already visited, such as Meganisi, Messolongi, Trizonia Island and Galaxidi. We took the Corinthian canal on 17 June then sailed around in the Sarronic golf. There were nearly no boats on the water and finding a mooring for the night was really easy as everything was empty. Unfortunately, many taverna’s were closed so we had to make sure we bought enough supplies when we went to the shop. On 26 of June we moved to Athens to pick up the only visitors we would have on board this year. They arrived on the 27 of June in the morning for 10 days and had to quarantine on board for 24 hours. The afternoon when their quarantine was over, they went to the Parthenon and were very lucky as only two other people were visiting the place. In normal times, the Parthenon looks more like the Tokyo subway but with Covid nobody was on the site. This made it very clear to us that the tourist season in Greece was going to be a disaster. The next day we started sailing and stopped above the wreck of the Aventis III, a boat that sank near Aegina island on the 19 November 2004. The boat hit a well marked reef and sank very rapidly. One crew member did not survive. Today the cargo lies with the propeller in the sand 45 meters deep and the bow of the boat 7 meters deep. The visibility is quite good and the dive is not difficult. After the dive we moved to the harbor of Perdika on the island of Aegina to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. The following days we had good weather, so we sailed in the Saronic gulf visiting Poros, Ermioni, Hydra, and Monemvasia. Now it was time to return slowly to Athens and relax a bit and let the children enjoy the sandy beaches of Poros island. While departing Poros we saw a lot of dolphins around the boat to the great delight of the children. The last day we had another dive on the wreck of Aventis III followed by a night in Epidauros. Once our visitors had departed, we continued to navigate in the Saronic golf for 3 weeks as it was really pleasant to have nearly no boats on the sea. It was only by mid-August that the charters could resume cruising, but only a few could manage to fill their boats with participants. The most frequent people we met were Dutch, German, French and Italians. Nearly no English people were present as their government had severely restricted leaving the country. We met our friends on board of Tobale and had a couple of drinks together. We found that the best place to be isolated from the rest of the world was to be on board where the risk of contamination was extremely low. In the middle of August, we passed through the Canal to return to the Ionian islands where many of our friends had started sailing in July. As the number of boats was still reduced, we could visit places we had not visited before such as Kastos, a little island with a little harbor that normally is full but this time it wasn’t. We also stopped in Myticas, a harbor on the continent were a lot of s upply boats come to collect supplies form the islands. Normally not many pleasure boats come and only 10 berths are available for sailing yachts. Once again when we arrived there were still some empty slots. Every morning the fishing boats unload their catch of the night before, mostly sardines. We also went south of Lefkas island into the harbor of Vasiliki. This place is well known to surfers as in the afternoon a strong wind blows along the coast much to the delight of kite surfers and board sailors. In one of the restaurants, we saw a notice indicating that Ernest Hemingway, a famous US writer who earned the Nobel price, had stayed there at the invitation of the Greek fishing federation. He was at that time the international president of the fishing federation and went there to catch dolphins. I am not sure if this would be acceptable today.... As the weather was good, we rented a motorbike to visit the western coast of Lefkos island and were fascinated by the landscape where many white cliffs were visible. The next day with Terus   we were even more impressed to see the cliffs from the sea. At some places it was clear that the cliffs were falling into the sea indicating that the sea and the island are fighting against each other, but over time the sea will undoubtedly win. Vathy on Itake island was the next place we went to. This is the place where in 1,200 BC, according to Homer, Ulysses started his journey to Troy. Peneloppe was during that time waiting for his return despite the numerous advances she received from other men. In the center of Vathy there is a statue of Ulysses that reminds you of his role in Greek mytthology. While we were in Vathy, on the 13 of September, we started to worry  about the weather forecast as certain  models seemed to indicate that the weather was going to severely deteriorate . Soon It   became clear that on 16 and 17 September, Ianos, a Medicane (Mediterranean hurricane) was going to hit the islands of Cephalonia, Itake and Zachintos. Winds were forecast to reach 60 knots. Without hesitation we decided to move northwards to the Preveza marina where we could safely put the boat.  It was the right decision as the forecasts were correct. Unfortunately, some boats did not seek shelter and around 70 boats sank due to the hurricane. Most of the damage was in Cephalonia island were the harbors of Asos and Effimia as well as Friskardo were very badly hit. Winds went up to 50 knots and 3 people died due to Ianos. For us it was a very sad feeling as we had been in those places a couple of days before and now everything was destroyed. This kind of hurricane is now more and more frequent in the region and many people say that global warming is to be blamed. For us the season was coming to an end as it was time to prepare the boat for the winter. We also started to have problems with our gearbox and did not want to sail much with a gearbox that was difficult to engage in forward. On the 10 of October Terus was pulled out of the water for the winter. As our return flight was booked for the 22nd of October, we took the opportunity to visit the region of Meteoras located inland.
Aventis III wreck
Poros empty harbor
Kastos port
Kuoni port
West coast Lefkas island