We were delighted to be contacted by fellow MdR cruisers who suggested that we sail together back around the Peleponese. The weather window to get round the southern tips was not huge so we had to make a bit of a dash for it. No time to stop in Monemvasia which was disappointing. However, we had a good sail round to FInikas, a return to the port of our nightmare four weeks ago! This time we had an uneventful night and a fabulous sail south to Milos where we met up with Nigel and Lawrence on Cormoran and were pleased to see Wayne and Barbie on Hope again and have a quick catch up with them before they head for Kos.
Next day, we set of early for a long sail to Ormos Sapienza an amazing anchorage just south of Methoni. In fact, there was NO wind so the engine had a good work out of 14 hours continuous motoring. Next morning, we settled in the bay in Methoni and prepared for the next 48 hours of very strong north westerly winds which were due to pipe up in the afternoon. We enjoyed a walk around the impressive Venetian Fort on the headland. It was certainly a different experience (and a comforting one) to watch the waves crashing onto the shoal waters around the headland from the perspective of land rather than from a boat!
After a bit of provisioning in the lovely resort town of Methoni we set off up to Pilos. We enjoyed a walk around the villas and squares of the town which has a French feel about it. The cemetery and the old castle walls are very impressive. There are some stacks to the west of the mouth of the bay which we once impressive caves – sailing through the gaps between them was an amazing way to leave the shelter of the beautiful bay.
Then to Zakinthos where we picked up are Michael and David who are going to assist with the crossing to Sicily and or Malta. Whilst parked up here Ian was delighted to be able to tick off ‘replace the radio aerial and cable’ from his long list of ‘to do’ jobs!
David and Michael arrived bang on time to nip into town for a quick farewell pitta gyros gastronomic delight – the last for a while – and then we were good to go. We set off at 1030 on Friday morning expecting to arrive in Malta by Monday evening. After rounding the south coast of Zante the wind was strong on the bow and beam the whole night. We surfed through the swell and arrived in Porto Pallo, Sicily after 50 hours at an average speed of 7 knots. Not much sleep was achieved because the swell made it very uncomfortable but it was a fabulous crossing, in record time, without incident and the last few hours were even calm enough for much needed bacon butties!
We do have a slight issue with the autopilot though which has worked so hard during the crossing. Ian will look at that tomorrow.
Still debating a boat name change….any suggestions gratefully received! But can I just mention that, ‘Boaty McBoatface’ has already been registered!!!