We left Ahilio at about 11 on Monday morning intending to spend a couple of days exploring the Gulf of Volos. Our first destination was the small island of Palaia Trikeri and the village on its south coast, a trip of about 12 miles.
As we prepared to leave I found an enormous bug clinging to the Main Halyard as I brought the passarelle in. We have subsequently identified it as one of the noisy critters, Cicadas I think, that deafen you from the trees in otherwise quiet anchorages. You can hear these things before you ever see land !! This one wasn’t ‘singing’ or moving and almost had to be prised off the rope.
On a less savoury note, as we left Ahilio I found the port head, sorry, our toilet, was blocked again and memories of the last time that occurred sort of coloured the rest of the day, well the next few days really!
But, as we left Ahilio the regular afternoon easterly winds picked up and we had the sails up and tacked back and forth across Ormos Ptelou before heading north in Stenon Volou, sailing almost all the way to Palaia Trikeri, arriving at about 2. We found ourselves a space on the end of an old quay, unfortunately right alongside what can only be described as a ‘garbage scow’. In a former life it had been a fishing boat but now was a rubbish tip. I suppose it’s the only way to get rubbish off the island, but as a next door neighbour it wasn’t pleasant. There was a very small jetty close by but not being sure of the depths alongside I decided not to ‘give it a go’, so we had lunch and left for our alternate destination of Ormos Vathoudhi, an enclosed bay south of the towns of Petraki and Milia a few miles further east.
We arrived at about 6 and anchored. On reflection I should have tried the jetty, but as I said the thought of spending my evening clearing a blocked toilet sort of soured things a touch.
So, we spent Monday evening in a quiet anchorage, with Cicada accompaniment, on the east side of Ormos Vathoudhi and I set about the toilet; mercifully we still had 2.5 litres of Hydrochloric Acid but otherwise very rudimentary tools, basically a couple of pieces of plastic hose and a flexible ‘drain snake’ that was not long enough. Sadly, being down to just the one spare toilet, we decided to cut short our exploration of the Gulf of Volos in favour of getting to Oreoi and hopefully a hardware store and / or boatyard.
We left Vathoudhi on Tuesday morning, after another acid attack on the toilet pipes, and set off for Oreoi motoring back the way we had come on Monday in a flat calm until we got out into Stenon Trikeri when we picked up the easterly winds again and sailed the last couple of hours to Oreoi finding ourselves an easy alongside berth on a jetty. We went for a swim off the beach, which was surprisingly cold, then I went back to my toilet chores, although I did find the location of a hardware store, courtesy of the supermarket cashier who sold us an electricity key for the supply box on the quay.
Unfortunately, by the end of the evening we still had a blocked toilet.