We left the rather industrial anchorage just north of Lavrion near Athens and headed north to Voufalo, Evia in pretty grim weather. It is now Wednesday 17th May and a huge depression has swept down the Gulf of Evia from the north – precisely from the direction we want to go, so for now we are tucked into a tiny bay called Voufalo on the West coast of Evia waiting for the rain and wind to pass.
However, we arrived not without incident. I am sure that in years to come I will see the funny side, but for now I am just so grateful that we are fine and the boat is safe.
We left the previous stop and bounced our way 10 miles up the coast into the oncoming winds. We pottered into the bay, feeling confident about our anchoring skills. We were just about to start circling round our chosen anchorage when Ian informed me that the engine had cut out and would not engage its gears. This can only mean one thing – a rope around our propeller! Oh bugger!
Through a combination of panic and mis-communication, we drifted back with the wind until the keel settled in the shallow water of a small sandbank. Luckily, with the assistance of a kind gentleman, on his yacht Voila Ela, we were pulled free so that we could anchor and cut the line off the propeller. Ian jumped into the water in his wet suit and managed to cut the line free.
With fingers and toes crossed we started up the engine and put her into gear. All good! Phew! On checking the bilges the keel bolts seem fine and we haven’t sprung any leaks.
So we have learnt –
*Always to check that all lines are stowed.
*Never to leave mooring lines attached to the boat.
*How to use the anchor windlass for pulling in a rope.
*How to use a kedge anchor to pull us forward.
*To be clear in communicating instructions.
*To drop the anchor fast if the engine stops when you are in shallow water.
*To be confident that the boat will not tip over when on sand.
Still, the glass of wine we had once everything was sorted and the boat secure was most welcome and well deserved.