A couple of weeks in Vlicho Bay and it was time for a change of scenery. We decided to head over to Ormo Varko on the mainland, 6nm northeast of Nydri. A light easterly was blowing and we managed to sail all the way; as we passed the small woody islands we lost the wind completely but once clear we bimbled at the eye-watering maximum speed of 3kts. A pleasant 2 hour mosey with the jaggedy, bare mountains of the mainland providing a stunning view ahead.
The bay is split into two – on the west is One Tree Bay (although there are now two trees) which had about 10 boats mostly stern tied to the beach, on the east is Bungalow Bay where it wasn’t so busy – we plumped for east. There isn’t much there; an empty looking holiday complex of little bungalows running up from the north shore, a couple of other houses and another holiday place sat back from the shingly beach.
Our plan was to make the most of the clear water to give Emerald’s hull a good scrub. Two years ago when we were in Essex, we took Emerald’s hull right back to the bare gel coat, then applied 3 coats of epoxy, an antifoul primer and 3 coats of Jotun antifoul. We were hoping to get away with 3 years between antifouling so hadn’t planned on lifting out this year. We knew we had a bit of left over barnacle life from being in Syracuse last September but when I dived on the hull and saw the state of the keel I was shocked at how bad it was. A wall of seafans waved tauntingly in the gentle swell, palm sized orange rimmed crustaceans nestled amongst them along with plenty of barnacles. A fine brown slime covered everywhere that wasn’t crusty. No wonder all our passages since leaving MdR were so slow; poor Emerald was dragging a reef along with her.
Scrub a Dub Dub
Over two days we spent many hours scrubbing the hull, me with dive gear working on the keel and deeper hull sections, Colin snorkeling to clean as far down as he could breath hold. The hull wasn’t perfectly clean but should see us through the summer with a few more wipes along the way. We’ll definitely need to antifoul next spring but can time it with some other out-of-the-water jobs such as changing our prop shaft seal (it’s not leaking but it is recommended to change it after a certain number of years) and servicing the seacocks.
Burn Baby Burn
The emptiness of the location suited us as we wanted to have a beach fire. We were scuppered the first night when a thunderstorm trailed it’s black tentacles overhead and almost were the second night as the wind began to howl from the north west from mid-afternoon. As evening fell the wind eased a bit so we headed ashore with Samji’s crew. A hole dug in the pebbles filled with charcoal (Australian Heatbeads no less, thanks Dunc!) and twigs did the typical BBQ thing and stubbornly refused to catch until a few good squirts of lighter fuel were fired on. The BBQ pit worked perfectly with our Magma grill plate on top and once all the food was eaten the grill was removed and the fire roared into life with sticks and twigs piled on top of the glowing hot coals. Colin played guitar, the bitey beasties stayed away and we had a campfire sing along for a couple of hours until all the wood was used up.
As a break from scrubbing we went for a walk along the dusty road that ran behind the bay. We had heard the jingling of a goat heard and seen evidence of their presence on the beach and as we walked along we heard a very distressed sounding bleating. There was a poor goat stuck on the road, wandering its way up and down, calling to its friends and unable to find a way through the fence and into the field. We walked on looking back to see if it had found a way through as its sad bleats followed us up the road.
We didn’t get anywhere in particular but the views were impressive, beautiful butterflies were flitting about and there was an occasional breeze to stop the heat becoming too much. On the way back a van passed us and it was a happy day for the goat as the shepherds had arrived to move the herd to a different field. The stranded goat was back with it’s flock. Before heading back for more scrubbing we visited the bar in the holiday complex in the south corner of the bay, walking down past regimented lines of olive trees and a lovely old tractor. The bar was blissfully shady and the beer was cold.
No Rest for the Old Boat Owner
The trip back to Nidri was much quicker than the outward leg. By mid afternoon the wind was up again, gusting F6 from the north. With a furled genny and a much cleaner bum, Emerald romped back in an hour. No relaxing for us though; the next day we were on the Iris pontoon scrubbing Emerald’s decks in preparation for painting the white bits of the deck and coach roof.
Vlicho to Ormo Varko – Date: 1st June, Position: 38 45.9’N:20 48.28’E, Distance travelled: 7nm (6nm sailed)
Ormo Varko to Nidri – Date: 3rd June, Position: 38 41.5’N:20 42.33’E, Distance travelled: 7nm (6.5nm sailed)
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