Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Walk/Swim/Sail One Hundred and Twenty-Eight – Vathi to Perdika


Despite the wind the water was once again smooth in Vathi bay. Xavier had another go in the ringo, on his own, while at least three of us watched (ready to jump in if he fell out). Once we rounded the headland we had a fantastic sail and ‘Maria Kallas’ hit a new high of 9.5 knots.

We moored in a beautiful turquoise bay a couple of bays away from Perdika. I attempted several times, and was eventually successful in retrieving a large pink sea urchin shell, but nearly dropped it in shock when the ‘teeth’ at the bottom moved. Flo and I snorkelled together and saw some fishes we hadn’t seen – orange with pink fins and tails. We also saw the carved top of a stone column – I like to believe it was an ancient piece of Greek masonry.

We then sailed to Perdika, a village on the island of Aegina. We arrived earlier than the other flotilla boats and swam off the boat over to the little sandy beach. Then we swam back, dressed and walked around the harbour to the 360° camera obscura building (a fairly recent art project) on the promontory. The last time I’d seen a camera obscura was a one viewpoint pinhole in the Royal College of Art photography department which had the Natural History Museum projected on the wall. My memory of it was that it seemed much brighter than this one, however I didn‘t really give this one much of a chance as Tom was scaring Xavier, being a monster in the gloom.

We walked back and I painted a couple of watercolours looking from the front hatch of the boat. Keith, the skipper of the flotilla had said that he never worried about fitting the flotilla into Perdika as it was always sheltered and if all of the moorings were full there was plenty of space to anchor up. He had to eat his words that evening as, for the first time in his experience the wind suddenly started blowing very hard straight into the harbour as the last boats tried to get in. The local fishermen kindly moved their boats to provide more room in the more sheltered part of the harbour. A couple of yachts were moved by Yannis, an instructor on one of the yachts.

Andy, whose boat was moored next to our’s, needed to move his boat as the anchor wasn’t holding. However as they moved round they discovered that their anchor was caught in another anchor and as they tried to release it they got blown towards the bows of the already anchored boats. They were then in a position where they couldn’t motor out of trouble as they risked wrapping an anchor chain around their propellor so it was all hands on all the boat decks to move the boat round by hand and fend off the motor boat whose anchor was now dislodged. It was all a bit hairy and I was shocked when Keith refused to helm Andy’s boat – saying it was against company policy (in case he damaged it). The other flotilla company we’ve sailed with (Sailing Holidays) would never have left their cients in such a difficult predicament.

Anyway Andy and family managed really well – without damaging any boats, re-anchored successfully, and moored up again next to us. It all added to the fun of the, now delayed, group dinner, at the balcony restaurant, that evening, to have had some excitement beforehand.


Blogger Tami said...

Wow! Love the shadows and perspective in this! I cracked up at Xaviers "puppy" comment, thanks for sharing.

6:45 am  
Blogger Alison said...

I like this one - is it in the water colour molesjkin as I assume the double page spreads are - or something bumpier. how rough is the moleskin paper?

2:11 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Yes, the watercolour moleskine - the paper is slightly rough

4:10 pm  
Anonymous Andy said...

Ah the highlight of our holiday - being blown sideways onto three sets of bows and smiling stupidly.

4:13 pm  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Hi Andy, glad you found the account of the holiday - we're doing it again on a very tight budget this year - no flotilla at all, just hiring a boat!

4:31 pm  

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