Day 3: Sounion to Loutra

In the morning, the wind had let up enough that we could safely dingy to the shore and hike up to the Temple of Poseidon.

Susan on the dock at Sounion Bay, sunbathing.
Susan on the dock at Sounion Bay, sunbathing.

We stopped at the taverna there and drank some yummy Greek Coffee, tea and Ouzo. I like Greek Coffee – it has an “earthy” taste that some say it tastes more like dirt. It’s strong and effective.

Sheven being profound at the Temple of Poseidon
Sheven being profound at the Temple of Poseidon

The Temple is a really beautiful thing and it’s wild to think that it’s been standing up there since 400 years before Christ. We attempt to improve our luck with the weather and sea by procuring an alabaster bust of Poseidon, which we duct tape to the window sill on the front of our boat. Being Alaskans, we are comforted by the presence of duct tape, and it’s special ‘non-residue’ tape so we don’t mess up Nikos’ nice boat.

Our little shrine to Poseidon inside the cabin of our boat.
Our little shrine to Poseidon inside the cabin of our boat.

Although we still didn’t have a weather forecast, it looked better and the other boats were leaving, so we figured we would be okay to head out.

Panoramic shot of Tom at the Temple of Poseidon
Panoramic shot of Tom at the Temple of Poseidon

We packed up and headed out of the bay, destination the island of Kithnos. We targeted a small town/harbor/marina called Loutra on the east side of the island which seemed to be heavily sheltered from the north wind.

Departing Sounion Bay, Sheven at the Helm
Departing Sounion Bay, Sheven at the Helm

There is a long north/south reach of water between Kea and the mainland which we had to cross to get to Kithos. Because of the long reach as we got offshore there were some large waves, 8-12 ft. Some of the waves were clearly larger than the others, and every once in a while, we would say “Wow, look at that one!” as it bore down upon us. You could also hear the hiss of them coming. Susan chose not to look and just listened to them. The boat did really well riding the waves, though, and they rarely broke and splashed us.

Constantines at Sea: Daniel & June
Constantines at Sea: Daniel & June

The wind built steadily and by the time we got to the lee of Kea, we were triple reefed, the jib was mostly furled, and we were ripping along at 9-10 kts. It was a pounding ride, but by the time it got bad, we were already more than half way. The highest wind we saw was about 35 knots. It might have been higher, but that’s what we saw during the periodic furtive glances at instruments. We were on a beam reach, so there was a fair amount of rolling and occasional bridgedeck slamming.

Crossing to Loutra, (L to R) Susan, Michelle, Sheven
Crossing to Loutra, (L to R) Susan, Michelle, Sheven

We rounded the north end of Kithnos, turned and ran downwind to just off of Loutra, dropped the sails and motored into the tiny harbor. Straight into our next episode of Med Mooring social drama.

As we approached the dock, the nice harbormaster graciously and clearly motioned us where to park. We did a quick assessment and noticed that the other boats had dropped anchors and were doing stern-to med mooring. Sheven spun the boat around, reversed, we dropped the anchor and backed up to the wall next to another boat, exactly where the harbormaster directed. The adjacent boat occupants were wound pretty tight and several of them proceeded to come out and shout things at us. “My Line! My Line! My Anchor!”. They were part of a group of germans on several Bavaria sloops that seemed to be travelling in a pack.

When you dock a 20,000 pound boat by backing up in a strong crosswind, the first thing you should do is get the boat secured and stable, then worry about the subtleties. Our neighbors were out yelling at us about putting our stern line over theirs before we could even get things stabilized. Our anchor had dragged and not set, so we (Daniel & Barb) had to get the dingy off the stern, motor it around, grab the anchor, drive it out about 150 FT, and drop it. We had to make 3 attempts before the anchor finally caught. All the while, our high strung neighbors were throwing their hands in the air, shouting and gesturing. In the end, we moored fine, nothing was damaged, nobody was hurt, and none of our lines were on top of our neighbors. And it would have been the same result without our neighbor’s theatrics.

Sheven and June in Loutra, shortly after Sheven's heroic Med Mooring accomplished while some germans were needlessly screaming at her.
Sheven and June in Loutra, shortly after Sheven’s heroic Med Mooring accomplished while some germans were needlessly screaming at her.

After the drama ended, everything settled, and it was a beautiful little village.

The harbor at Loutra - that's Sunday (our catamaran) down there in the middle.
The harbor at Loutra – that’s Sunday (the only catamaran) down there in the middle.

We walked along the shore and found a nice little restaurant, had a great dinner and the best Greek Salad I’ve ever had. The Greeks take their tomatoes and Feta cheese quite seriously and we were to benefit from that multiple times per day.

Susan versus a Red Mullet.  Susan won.
Susan versus a Red Mullet. Susan won.

Sheven was at the helm the whole day and did a great job. She also does really well on the deck in bad weather, has a great/wicked sense of humor and is very low maintenance. I’m really happy she is along. We decide her non-typical name has a nice nautical sound. Here is her name embedded with real nautical terms: gudgeon, pintle, forestay, furler, sheven, keel, tack. We start to call her “The Sheven” like she’s a part of the boat. When we dock and other sailors come up to talk about the boat, sails, gear, etc. we can point out that the boat has a 1.3 meter draft and a solid 1.7 meter sheven.

Shop window facing harbor in Loutra
Shop window facing harbor in Loutra

We talked to some other sailors and got the scoop on how to get weather forecasts. There are 3 web sites that have good forecasts:
meteo.gr
windfinder.com
www.poseidon.hcmr.gr

 

Our group being baited with shots of Ouzo by crafty restaurant owners. It worked.
Our group being baited with shots of Ouzo by crafty restaurant owners. It worked.

We got WiFi from the little café/tavern, and scarfed up lots of weather info. The forecast is for 5 and 6 Beaufort for tomorrow.

This is Med Mooring - our anchor is off the bow (not visible), holding us off of the dock.
This is Med Mooring – our anchor is off the bow (barely visible dark line running into water), holding us off of the dock.

There is a hot springs along the shore, and Michele went swimming where the hot springs dumps into the sea.

When Daniel was heroically trying to get the anchor set on our arrival, at one point he reached down into the anchor locker and his life preserver deployment handle got caught on the side and with an alarming hiss his life vest inflated. He managed to wiggle out of the locker before he got pinned in the hatch. Therein began our search for another CO2 cartridge.

When we walked into town, there was a tiny store that had a sign saying it had all types of things for boats.

day3LourtraShop
Supermarket of cute lady in Loutra

I went in and tried to pantomime a CO2 cylinder for the very cute lady (about 75 years old) who ran the place. She only spoke Greek and I only know a couple of Greek words. We were not successful, although she kept grabbing me by the arm, taking me to look at various products and trying to convince me this is what we needed. We had an excellent transaction with her the next day too.

See ALL PHOTOS for Day 3. The Sheven took most of these, and the other Greek photos on my Flickr.com account.

Day 3 Map
Day 3 Map

 

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