Mediterranean Cruise

It was still as we hastened up the Promontory towards the rocks, not a breath of air. I was keen to keep going as I’d arranged to meet up with the Italian guy to test out his small electric outboard motor. He’d mentioned nine a couple of times during our conversation however knowing he was technically ’on holiday’ I guessed the time might be a little flexible.

There were few excitements on our walks other than a small tent parked on one of the favourite places by the river on Alonaki. The dogs went briefly to investigate to the slight consternation of the inhabitants of the tent. They came away quite quickly anyway.

I took Sasha and Isabella out straight after, complete with the ball, however there was little retrieving, more fooling around between them as I think I threw it only twice and not into the sea. Once we were back, I set off for a trip to the top of the mountain and then to the bakers via Paleochora. I was back at the camping by eight-thirty and stopped at the office to see Maria and hold the fort whilst she did something important involving the loo. From there, I passed by the Italians to find Francesco still in bed. His wife was on her way to the supermarket and the kids were playing nicely together. I could see the 09:00 boat trip was a fantasy as it still hadn’t been inflated or assembled. We chatted a while and then I went to release and feed the dogs who’d be waiting patiently. We agreed that we’d exchange messages once the vessel was seaworthy.

I went and did a couple of invoices between cups of tea. Francesco called to say the boat was complete so I could see it in its inflated glory. There was a small trailer underneath which was intended to drag it to the sea with all the accessories in the boat. They were about to have lunch so I disappeared to await a message for the maiden voyage. It was probably around three so I put the dogs in and went over. It was plain as soon as we moved the boat that the trailer couldn’t take the weight of the boat and accessories so it had to come off and all the accessories removed. We spent about an hour sorting it out, lugging the batteries and motor to the beach and finally the boat with a little help from a guy camping by the beach.

The camping was busy so was the beach. Between us, we took the boat to the water’s edge then prepared it for departure. I held the boat in the water whilst Francesco put the motor in position as well as the anchor. The chain was fit for a Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier! Finally, the two of us got the boat facing the correct direction and we were ready to leave. This was the maiden voyage so new to us both.

The westerly wind had freshened so the sea was choppy with water splashing over us as we pushed through the waves. To Francesco’s relief, the electric outboard was perfectly capable of driving the boat through the water at a respectable speed. As we passed the headland, the sea was stronger so I changed position to see the effect on the boat’s handling. We turned back and then headed around the rocky point of the Promontory towards Paleochora. I knew it would be deep enough as I’d seen fishermen navigate between the reef and Promontory in their boats. We had the sea behind us and we put up the canopy which provided shade and acted as a sail. We were more than half way to Paleochora but then turned back as we’d been out about an hour.

Back around the point, this time against the wind and sea. I suggested we go into the lee of the Promontory to improve progress as the little motor was struggling against the wind and sea. We made it back to Grammeno Beach where the remainder of the family were waiting. They were persuaded to go on a trip so the five of us set off again, this time towards Krios and the reef. With three adults and two children the boat behaved differently however the little electric outboard was quite sufficient so long as there was no rush or a big storm. After a while, we turned and then wandered back eventually arriving on Grammeno Beach. I jumped out thinking the water was deeper to find myself lying in it. Nevertheless, I held the boat whilst the family got out then we dragged it up the beach out of the water. We’d shipped water from the waves so emptied this before moving the boat. Between us, we carried back the batteries and motor with the Nimitz anchor and chain. Then it was the turn of the boat having attached the wheels again. A more sturdy and convenient trailer is required so that the RIB with accessories can be moved in one go. Nevertheless, the trip was a success. The electric outboard is fine for a RIB of that type with the number of people present. I’m not sure I’d wish to circumnavigate the globe but Elafonissi and back or Gialiskari would be fine long as the conditions are favourable. Not so much fun in a heavy sea or strong wind but would be survivable if necessary.

It was about eight when I released the dogs and there was no rice for their dinner. I put that on then went to the kitchen to pick up some food. Petra asked where I’d been so I explained. She called up the restaurant and told them to take fassolakia off the menu as was none left as I had the remainder in my bowl.

The dogs are now fed and mine is in the Pot waiting for me. It’s somewhat later than our normal time but everything’s done but I’m covered in salt. It’s too late for a hot eco shower and I can’t be bothered to go to the main bathrooms. At least I don’t smell!

A windless and mild start to a generally warm and sunny day with some cloud later. Slightly cooler than yesterday.

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