Around Zea there are the usual signs and smells of spring; scraping and sanding, water splashing liberally onto Saharan sand coated decks, sails being raised and checked, banter across boats and over all of this the aroma of orange blossom and the sound of birds. The smell of orange blossom amazingly overcomes that of diesel and cooking gyros. Some botanist is going to have to explain to me why there are trees with both mature oranges and blossom. I thought one came before the other. The white waxy blossoms are iconic and they smell divine. A sad sight however was my favourite boat, now drowned, joining the rest of the detritus in the harbour.
For 7th April we had booked Panorama, a restaurant high above Microlimano for the birthday lunch. Nick and Deborah from Andromeda joined us. Getting there was not as simple as we thought it would be. After an anxious wait we eventually hailed a taxi that would take four of us together (Covid Rules). I gave him the name of the restaurant and said it was in Castello. Off we went, quickly realising he was the colourful, impatient type; abrupt hand gestures and continuous expletives which I am not advanced enough to understand. When we passed the road where I thought he would turn up and climb to the restaurant I realised that I had credited him with more knowledge than he had. We were going in the wrong direction now; we were getting the giggles, which didn’t help his mood. I had made the mistake of saying Castello when that is a rather large area. I had not pinpointed the restaurant. Eventually of course we made it and piled out leaving the now relaxed driver with a very generous tip.
We left Zea on the Saturday to head in the direction of Poros. I have cracked or bruised my ribs, no doubt about it. And this is how it happened…….we had forgotten how suddenly a boat can rock when hit by a wake or even a small wave. I had brewed tea and had the mug in my hand. My husband was down below momentarily and I, being full of the joys of being out on the sea at last, leaned over to give him a kiss. At that moment the boat lurched, our eyes met in disbelief as in what seemed like slow motion we descended ignominiously onto the floor. I saved the tea, did not squash Andy too badly but hit my ribs as I tried to ameliorate the fall. Pride hurt, ribs hurt plus i have developed a sore throat and cough – oh no! Is it the dreaded Covid? So far all lateral flows are negative and I am inclined to think I don’t. The coughing does not help the ribs and it is depressing to think how long they take to heal and how sore they are, serves me right. What an amorous donkey!
We anchored in one of our favourite places, Russian Bay. We had a peaceful night and a calm breakfast before motoring up to Poros. It is too cold for me to swim yet although hardier souls are doing it.
We tied up safely alongside the visitor’s pontoon. Lunch with a little bottle of retsina sitting pretty in the sunshine and then as sometimes happens, the wind and the sea got up and it became very uncomfortable if not dangerous, for the boat, not us. The force of the pounding waves was so fierce that we lost a few teak slats from our swim platform. We decided to leave. Andy gave military style instructions to our German helpers who followed him admirably to the letter and we left safely to anchor in another bay. This is one of the many wonderful things about Greek waters, that, no matter what direction the wind is, you can always find an alternative anchorage that will give shelter.
Rudder Up! Rudder Down! Splash!
We stayed for two nights in the anchorage before returning to the pontoon again, this time facing out toward a swift exit. We had a successful time here, ridding ourselves of some things and taking on others. We gave some surplus dinghy rubbing strake to the chandler where we bought 50 metres of new chain. I said a reverential goodbye to the ‘comfort seat’ that has served me well for many years and with whom I had a love hate relationship, very comfortable but large and unwieldy. While in another chandlery I spotted a smaller version and we snapped it up and the next day took him my old faithful. He will sell it if he can and give the money to the special school – yay! Andy then asked him if he wanted a guitar – a step too far at the moment even though I have not picked it up in ages. Maybe on the way back……. happy to give things away in the knowledge that they can be put to good use. We filled up with diesel and went on our way.
We stopped in the bay on Spetzes where we saw a Selkie a couple of years ago – no luck this time. Then into Porto Heli and as we lined up to moor we were told that it was a private marina – nearly empty – and that it would cost 40 Euros for the night, we hastily gave our thanks for the information and made for the town quay that had just been pointed out. I bought some medicines at the pharmacy in a final bid to rid myself of the very heavy cold – yes cold – really not Covid – lateral flows all negative although dear Andy does keep telling me the tests are not reliable and I’ve got Covid but no fever, no tiredness, nothing but stuffed nose, cough and general snottiness.
We are in Nafplion now checking out one anchorage on the way in case we need to evacuate from here because of weather. I am attending an Intensive Greek Course this coming week, this Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα before the Greek Orthodox Easter. This weekend it is the ‘Catholic Easter’! Nafplion has its marathon today; the weather is kind to runners in that it is overcast but not good for us on boats as we have wind, bringing sloppy seas, torrential rain one minute, thunderclaps and the occasional streak of lightening the next. One bonus is that we are discovering leaks!! And in the process are removing old wiring so not all bad. Well Andy is, I’m making soup.