Gaios, Paxos – Friday 21 September 2018

Up fairly early and we were not quite the first to leave the anchorage.  We put up the main on the way out.  The weather forecast was for 10-14 knots of wind this morning. It didn’t start out that way. The wind was too light to sail, but we motorsailed for about an hour with the wind from behind.  Then the wind did pick up to 9-12 knots on a broad reach and we were able to sail on without engine for about 2 hours.  The only problem was that the sea had developed a rotten swell. By the end the waves were 0.5-1 metre coming from the side and making the boat corkscrew.  I needed to take a pill, which seemed ridiculous in such otherwise benign conditions.

At about 12:30 we arrived at Mongonisi.  The pilot book suggested that we could moor up to a restaurant, a wall or swing on anchor.  But when we got there it was clear that the wall and restaurant were only suitable for ribs, day boats and tenders.  So we decided to anchor.  Now our anchor has been performing very well recently, but that was not the case today.  The pilot said holding was good on mud after you got through surface weed.  Well, not for us.  We tried 5 times to set the anchor and each time it dragged.  Twice it came up with weed and mud, but obviously not enough mud to make it set.  The town and bay looked delightful, but with regret we decided to give up and go to Gaios instead.

It was a very short trip to Gaios.  The only problem was the tripper boats.  We had three of them pressing down on us.  The first was downright dangerous and nearly mowed us down refusing to alter direction at all.  But after that excitement we made it into port and saw a reasonable space on the town wall.  I let the anchor down and we reversed to the wall.  A kind Brit from a boat flying a CA flag took our lines.  I tightened up the anchor and all seemed well.

By this time it was 3pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch.  We noted a café directly behind us on the sea front.  They didn’t serve food we were interested in so we had ice cream for lunch and got halfway decent WIFI, which just about reaches the boat!

After downloading papers, email etc we went back to the boat and after a short time both of us decided we were in trouble and our anchor was not holding.  The line had gone slack.  I tired to tighten it, but seemed to be taking too much in.  I think a small motor boat that was beside us when we came in and gone when we got back to the boat probably disturbed our anchor on his way out.  Richard was all for leaving and I wasn’t so keen, not least because a large motor yacht was now moored beside us and although his anchor doesn’t seem over ours the boat itself does!  We tried to enlist some help from our neighbours with the intention of going out and resetting the anchor and mooring again.  However they both thought that was unnecessary.  The crew on the motor yacht offered to take a line from us at the bow to keep us forward.  The neighbour on the other side suggested I take the anchor chain in more and thought it tightened up sufficiently to be safe in what is forecast to be a calm night.  So we did all of that and we are both now much happier and we are being kept a reasonable distance from the wall.

So reassured about our mooring we went out into the town.  We have been here twice before, once last year with the Weymers and then on our charter in the big Cat.  But it is a nice buzzy place so we are content.  We hoped to get electricity and water but they want 10 Euro for a card and we couldn’t use anything like that much.  Richard has found some electricity with charge still on so we are charging all our devices.  We will see if there is water paid for in the morning.

Cocktails and dinner in town and now back on the boat.  Richard has just found out that there is no wind tomorrow.  So much for our sailing.


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