Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The journey to Ithaca

One of the main reasons we have a blog is for Later On. It's unconscionable how much we forget. With photos, and a bit of text, we've got a better chance of preserving the taste of our boating years for our older, land-bound selves to roll around on the palate and savour.

Approach to the Rion bridge between the gulfs of Corinth and Patras

Anchored on the east coast of Ithaca

The problem I have now - and have had before, but never so acutely - is what to post when the taste du jour is bitter, when it draws tears.  I'm not particularly fond of revealing our private life online (you can't find me on Facebook). But you can go only so far with allusions before the story either makes no sense, or it loses its zing, becomes as flat as week-old tonic water. I admit that the blog has gone flat lately.

Fragments of a religious past in the Venetian citadel at Navpakros

So this is the thing you need to know. There's a daughter back home, old enough to look after herself but young enough to still benefit from our care and affection. She's been keeping her head above water, but only just. This week, she called out for help. Or did she? What was she saying? What did she mean? How could we reach her? You know how we always say, "oh, it's such a small world"? Well, it isn't. It's a long way from the gulf of Corinth to Sydney.

The Navpakros fortress guards a long stretch of the gulf of Corinth
We in our turn called out to her godmothers in New Zealand, and they scooped her up. She is safe now, but our conversation, that which we still have with each other and not on Skype, goes around in circles. We are in limbo, moving the boat and ourselves across the water while our minds scan the available data for clues and solutions. Please hang in there with us. We are still cruising, but we're skipping the mojitos.

Enki at anchor beyond the tiny Venetian harbour at Navpakros

Navpakros harbour walls

School's out

Navpakros harbour - the town was called Lepanto in the 18th C

You can see from the pictures that we're travelling along some glorious coastline. The gulf of Corinth is more like a lake than the sea, bounded by steep mountains and, in some places, lush plains. It's been a critical waterway forever, but it's not often mentioned in cruising dispatches. Generally yachts hurtle east-west, or vice versa, intent on reaching either the Aegean or the Ionian and saving a distance of 150 miles by traversing the Corinth Canal rather than rounding the Peloponnese peninsula. But there is reason to take your time.  We did, if only by default.  We have not been in a decisive frame of mind.

In my dreams...shall we finish building this house on Trizonia Island

Harbourfont Trizonia - and the agonising Brazil vs Chile game...

...which we watched with Anette (her with the flag) and Helmut

We've met some interesting people along the way, other cruisers rather than Greeks. It's funny how we meet like-minded people in rushes. We  can go for weeks without bumping into anyone we care to spend time with, and then for no particular reason, we'll be all talked out and swapping boat cards like there's no tomorrow.

Helmut and Anette, of Tao 3, another HR48 (and below)

We passed like ships etc - NZ-owned Birgitta, with Lyn, Murray and Sophie aboard

Ria, an English-owned HR46 we met in Korfos 

I'm the forward one, but in the end it's Alex's company which is the lure. There are few cruising skippers who can resist his level of technical knowledge. They bring out their problems - or does he draw them out? It doesn't matter. He is in his element either sharing information or, in one case in Korfos, actually providing the spare part as well as the knowhow to fix the problem (I'll have to make sure he doesn't delete this - it's his birthday today, so perhaps he'll accept this compliment graciously).

Alex (aka OTS) turns 67 today


  1. Happy birthday Alexander! Hope it's a wonderful fruitful adventurous year.��

  2. Thanks Jannie. Hope so too, and you too.

  3. Thinking of you both. Happy belated Birthday wishes Alex Much love Ange & John XX

  4. Happy belated Birthday Alex, you are looking fab! Hugs and kisses from all on 'Hydaway' xxxx