Emerald has left the marina, off on her adventures for summer 2017.
We left a day earlier than planned – the southerly winds forecast for the next day could have made it a bit more exciting getting out of our berth; so we took the easy option of going early. However, that meant that what had been planned as a gentle day getting a few more supplies from the shop and finishing the laundry turned into a manic runaround morning.
First off was a run down to the river beach to say farewell to the ducks and the lonely swan; I was pleased to see it now had an egret friend. We sadly didn’t get to give a farewell stroke to the cute dog we see on our walk to Lidl as we were kindly given a lift for those last Lidl essentials (beer and wine!). Then the Corner Shop for bacon and discounted Creme Eggs before declaring the boat full.
An hour of scurrying around the boat followed, trying to remember where we’d stored all the sailing bits and bobs and then it was off. Amongst all the rushing around we got to say some farewells and feel a bit sad about leaving; there’s always mixed emotions at this time of year – excitement for new adventures to come but sad to be leaving a great place and lovely people behind.
Well, we got out of our spot with no bother and it was lovely to have people waving us off from the ends of the pontoons – thank you for the songs and dances! Out around the marina wall and a light breeze filled in from the east. Once lines and fenders were away we tried to sail. It lasted about 10 minutes before the wind died away then scooted around to the NW and increased. We’d heard about the winds off of the north of Spinalonga but with light easteries we hadn’t expected much today, but before too long we had a F6 on the nose that kept on going up. As we rounded the top it was up to a F9 falling off the headland. Not nice! At least with so little fetch the waves weren’t very feisty although we did get a few splashes on our freshly washed deck.
Rounding Spinalonga island itself put the wind on our beam and it was a relief to finally have it behind us once we turned into the lagoon. We played dodgems with some trip boats before joining the other Ag. Nik escapees anchored off of Elounda town.
Terrance the turtle (it probably has a more Greek name but to us it shall be Terrance) swam down the side of the hull which we took as a welcome to the anchorage. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting the dinghy off the foredeck and onto the davits and trying to find homes for the boat bits that we only use in marinas. Emerald is well and truely bursting at the seams.
We’re now chilling and hoping for a calm night at anchor. The sun has just come and and the winds have dropped after a cloudy and gusty afternoon.
We’ve had a great winter in Agios Nikolaos (I will get our winter blogs posted soon) and here’s to a great summer sailing season.
18th April: Agios Nikolaos marina to Elounda anchorage: 12nm travelled
Anchored in 4.5m in position: 35 16.114’N 25 43.429’E
Weather: Sunny and dry, winds light from east then strong from N to NW as approached entrance to Spinalonga.