Ayios Andreou, Ithaca – Monday 10 September 2018

An eventful day, but finally one that restores our faith in the goodness of other people.  I woke very early and could not get back to sleep.  Eventually had breakfast. The German boat next to us which is over our anchor started to set off around 9am as promised but it took them over 45 minutes to actually set off. However before they went they untied one of our lines, which was a big help.

Richard managed to untie the other line, which was taut and we had plenty of room to manoeuvre and leave without incident, much to my relief.

The weather forecast was for light winds and sun, but the sky was very cloudy when we left and the sun was in and out most of the time.  The wind was light and also on the nose, so it was another day of motoring.  We have a new problem. Our inverter isn’t working. It was working last week, but it seems to have given up the ghost.  This means we can’t recharge the electric toothbrush unless we are on mains power.  We forgot to pack the battery one!  We think that most other things can be charged though the 12 Volt socket.  The electricity is a bit dodgy.  The batteries are charging up OK with the motor on and the solar panels, but the charge goes down quickly at night when neither are on. We think the batteries aren’t holding the charge as well as they might.  They are nearly 6 years old and are due for replacement.

We arrived at this anchorage on Ithica, where we have been before, at around 12:30.  We put the anchor down and Richard went out in the dinghy to set a line ashore.  He was struggling a bit when a nice Englishman from the neighbouring boat came and offered to help set the line.  It turned out to be a bit of a task because we wound up over the anchor of a little fishing boat who said he was leaving at 5pm. So our neighbour had to move our line and pull our boat along to clear his anchor. It took us over an hour to finally get moored up.

The afternoon seemed fine and we had lunch and swims when at about 5:30 pm I noticed that we were getting nearer and nearer the rocks on shore.  It was like a replay of that time we dragged anchor in Albania at Ali Pasha’s palace.  Richard was all for giving up on this place when the same nice man came over and offered to help.  He looked at the anchor and agreed that it was not properly set.  He suggested that he get his diving gear out and set the anchor properly to solve the problem.  He did that and the anchor was well set, but the wind got up more and still we were being blown on to the rocks.  At this stage he and his entire crew offered to help us reset the anchor and tie on more lines.  It took us several attempts to reset the anchor in the same place with the same terrible result of being too close to the rocks.  Not only that we actually fouled the anchor chain of a catamaran next to us.  It took four of us to free it.  

So finally we all decided that we should anchor onto the other side where the wind was blowing straight on.  Again it was a bit of a performance.  We had to put out nearly all of our chain and our neighbour and three of his crew set two lines for us.  They were really so nice. I can’t believe how they put themselves out so much to help us.  I gave them a halfway decent bottle of wine as a thank you and it took some persuading to make them take it.

So we now seem safely anchored and tied to the shore.  The wind has gone done a bit.  We have nearly all our chain out and the lines ashore are three lines tied together to get the distance.  

One good thing, the water heater seems to be working again from the engine.  So after all our travails we were able to have proper showers.  Will wonders never cease.

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