Καλημέρα! (Good morning! Transliterated from Greek to English as “Kaliméra.” Pronounced just as it looks with the emphasis on the accented syllable.)
All is well with Sunny, Hazel, and me; Rhett is making progress on the home front back in Florida. I’m currently anchored in the harbor of Agia Effimia (“Agia” translates to Saint) on the island of Kefalonia (sometimes transliterated to “Cephalonia.”). As an aside, if you’re looking for a great summer read, a 20th century historical fiction/romance novel of the area, I highly reccomend Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (sometimes released as Corelli’s Mandolin) by Louis Bernières. The film, starring Nicolas Cage, Penèlope Cruz, and John Hurt, is a shallower dive but good nonetheless. I’ve heard it described well as a novel by an English author with a French name about Italians and Nazi Germans in Albania and Greece—‘nuff said.
On to the updates…
First, thanks for all the well-wishes about the fires here in Greece. Fortunately we haven’t been affected, not even a noticeable change in the air quality, or sunrises or sunsets. My heart goes out to those suffering though. Crazy that some of the island of Corfu has burned and we were there just a month ago. Also for us, fortunately Rhett got out when she did (she departed from the Corfu airport). With so many people on holiday being impacted, now it’s probably impossible to find a flight with the fire evacuees.
Secondly, for those of you who track Hazel’s location on our home page, you may have noticed a degradation of quality and timeliness of the updates, including a whacky magic carpet ride to Turkey and back. No the satellites are working fine, it’s due to the erratic nature of the captain (no surprise there, given my last post). When we were sailing the open water, far far from a land-based a cellular signal, I had a monthly satellite communications package that included hourly updates on our position. While the tracking was great, it cost the amount of a fairly rich cable/internet bundle at home so I discontinued it and am just making manual updates when we are in new ports (thus the straight lines over terra firma). Also, manual entry of latitude and longitude are subject to user error, so—after one update when I got messages from friends asking, “Did you fly to Turkey?”—I discovered that I can’t delete a position update, just make a correction with a new update.
Besides, if I had really flown to Turkey on some “Midnight Express” drug run, do you think I’d be so naive as to post it on the internet?
BTW, if anyone’s looking for some killer hash, hit me up on Telegram when I’m back stateside.
Finally, I’m typing this out in a self-serve laundromat in Agia Effimia doing some wash before sailing. As a solo sailor, I thought my clothes smelled fine. Sunny however, with the nose of a hound, begged to differ. As a tiebreaker, I asked my sailing clothes what they thought since they had a vested interest (‘nuck, ‘nuck…pun intended). My shorts and shirts silently answered by slinking their way up the companionway steps onto the bridge deck, into the cockpit. From there, they dropped themselves into Lil’ Dinghy with a plop. I’d been overruled so I’m doing laundry.
The main reason that I’m doing it today though is that this afternoon and through the night, we’re supposed to get a fresh breeze (about 20 knots) out of the northwest. Assuming the forecasts are directionally correct (a 50/50 proposition in the Med), I’m going to to take the opportunity for a long sail into the Gulf of Patras, then into the Gulf of Corinth and maybe all the way to the ancient city of Corinth. (I may stop halfway in the Gulf of Corinth to tour the Oracle of Delphi, we’ll see.) All the way to Corinth would be about 120 nautical miles. Say 24 hours or so of sailing. Not all that long in the grand scheme of things but a lot longer than the 5-20 mile jaunts we’ve been doing lately on our island hops. It’s also night sailing, solo, in congested waters close to shore with other yachts, commercial traffic, and fishing vessels so I’ll have to keep my wits about me.
Also, depending on the strength of the gradient wind (caused by differentials in air pressure gradient) it may get a bit breezy around Patras as the converging land masses funnel and accelerate the gradient wind. It shouldn’t be too crazy though and the seas should be pretty flat. We’ve also got a waxing moon, between first quarter and full. That should give some nice light for night sailing.
If all goes according to plan, this evening I’ll exit the Ionian Sea. When sailing together, Rhett and I comment that we’re both a bit sad when we leave a beautiful island, a good marina with new friends we’ve met, a good town anchorage, or an entire sea. Who knows when or if we will ever return? But, with that being said, I’m looking forward to transiting the Corinth Canal that will take us from the Gulf of Corinth to the Aegean Sea!
I’ll keep you updated and also am working on my travelogue post for the Ionian. Fair winds and following seas!