Monday 12th May 2014 To Dhaikofti, Kithera, Greece.

Sunny, windy

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                     Peperuka in Porto Kaiyo Bay

We left Porto Kaiyo trying to exchange contact details with Conny and Claudio over the bows of our boats. As we left the bay, Bob called them on the VHF and wrote down their e-mail address which was difficult as it is not a straight forward one. It began with Sinai which may be a word of special significance to them but it does not give much of a clue to someone hearing it from them for the first time- why Sinai? Perhaps it was where they had met. We had taken pictures of their boat sailing and they had ones of Peperuka to exchange. I sent the best one. And above is one they sent us.

We sailed for a few nautical miles before the wind began to pick up whereupon we prepared our life jackets,labelled Peperuka 1 and 2, fitting them to their respective harnesses with clipping belts. Before we reached Dhaikofti the wind was strong, the seas confused and I was feeling seasick. Unusual for me.

The bay has a ferry terminal and a breakwater but, depending on the wind, it is possible to set a safe anchor in front of the little town. At first I couldn’t move the anchor, but following several kicks from different angles it did slide off the bow. Bob was in no position to help as it was taking all his skill to hold the boat from being blown into danger by the catabatic gusts speeding down the hill. The anchor slid into the water, I could see the sand at the bottom, and it bit hard as the gusts pushed the boat from side to side. I was sure the anchor would be pulled up but Bob said he was pleased when it had bit with such force.

I managed to boil potatoes for our meal but then I began vomiting. Bob remembered that we had motion sickness tablets which I produced from the first aid box. All the information was in Greek except for ‘take these with the advice of your doctor’. I took one and slept for an hour while Bob opened a tin of tuna and ate it with the potatoes.

Later, when the wind changed, we were afraid the boat would be pulled nearer the beach and grounded. We decided to take turns on anchor watch, but Bob just kept getting out of bed. I was going out every fifteen minutes to check the position of the boat in relation to the breakwater, the restaurant on the shore and the points on the hill where I had watched as Peperuka veered to the left and right with the wind. In the end we both stayed up and both slept. At about two o’clock the wind changed direction and we slept in our waterproofs ready to move if there was any danger to Peperuka. She stayed safe and we left Dhaikofti at first light.

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Sunday 11 May 2014 To Porto Kaiyo

 Peperuka lowered at Kalamata

   Peperuka lowered in Kalamata

The Peloponesse, Greece. Sunny

We sailed out of Kalamata heading east. On the way we met yacht Sassikala with Conny and Claudio on board. We made their way to Porto Kaiyo in strong winds, they were some distance behind us which meant that we had anchored in a central position in the bay quite close to the little hamlet when they came in. The village consisted of a few two-storey blocks of apartments, two restaurants and some houses. A pretty, light-sandstone church looked as if it was watching over the bay. Sassikala anchored further towards the hill to our right. Another boat, flying a French flag and with both occupants in oils, motored close to us but then moved over towards a deeper section of the bay near to where the hill sloped straight into the water. I commented that the weather must be worse than when we came in and Bob said he wouldn’t want to anchor where they were. Later still, a small boat with a single older male occupant, slid into place near us.

The excitement of the evening was the fishing boat which was plonked to our left, and then abandoned by the skipper. We didn’t even hear it come in. It was far too close to us; we were forced to keep watch on it, and on our anchor. When the wind direction changed the fishing boat came so close Bob could push it away by hand. We upped anchor and set it, a little nearer Sassikala, then added a fender to the back of Peperuka in case the fishing boat knocked into her. We went to bed hoping that would stop the fishing boat from causing any damage. At about 2 o’clock in the morning when I checked, the fishing boat had disappeared. I thought its skipper must have been ashore to visit the restaurant but it could be that the boat had left to prepare for the morning’s fishing.

I remembered the coastguard telling us, when we left Kalamata that they’d had some excitement that morning. They’d had to apprehend a fishing boat that was working out with the law. It seems that at certain times of the year fishing is not allowed in Greek waters. I noticed the coastguard wore guns in holsters at the waist! Interesting. Scary. Though we should feel safe. Remembering the film ‘Captain Phillips’. True story of his capture by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Very dramatic. Gripping to the end. Makes you believe over the top surveillance by governments is useful after all. The naming of the pirates by the rescuers was a turning point.