Georgia J

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Sharon’s blog 06/16/13

Whew!  I am not sure where to begin.  The past several days have been incredibly busy and some of those days we will be looking back on years from now (not all of them kindly!). After 8 days of being stuck on the boat due to the howling meltemi winds (up to 48 kts.), my culinary creativity and my cheery disposition were both waning.  We decided we had to make a break for it.  The first day we had a somewhat favorable weather prediction, so we muscled up the anchor and headed out.  Due to the constant winds, we still had not retrieved our main halyard, but we were making 6.5 knots just on our jib.   We were so looking forward to going ashore, but the first night that was not to be.  The very small harbor we had chosen was totally full, so we spent yet another night on the boat.  However just getting some mileage in greatly improved our moods. 

The next night we anchored at a quaint little spot on Korfos.  Quite frankly by that point we weren’t too hard to please.   Georgia held her head high as a 120’ sailboat and another 90’ sailboat anchored practically on top of us.   My excitement at being on land was a bit diminished as I tossed in our MANY bags of garbage into a dumpster and an animal leaped out at me!  I am still not sure what it was, perhaps a large rat, an undernourished cat.  It ran too fast to be sure.   We had what seemed like an incredible (but was probably mediocre) dinner and bought a few provisions.

The next day goes into the memorable category.  We had a blast going through the Corinth Canal.  Being good Corinthian Yacht Club members, it seemed like the place for us to be.   The Roman Caesar, Nero, actually first began digging the canal with 6,000 Jewish slaves.  They didn’t make a lot of headway.  The canal was not finished until 1882.  Today, the canal is quite narrow, has impressive cliff walls and a significant current.  It was a bit intimidating, but very exciting. 

Forty miles past the canal in Itea, we were reunited with our dear friends, Sherry and Gordon on Serenity.  We spent every minute together for the next three days, including visiting the ancient ruins and archeological site at Delphi.  Sadly, our paths are taking slightly different courses and yesterday, we once again said our farewells.

The municipal marina in Itea had no water, no AC and no facilities.  Nevertheless, we were able to have diesel delivered to the breakwater and to re-provision.  Kim went up the mast to retrieve the halyard and scuba dove under the boat to try to fix the depth finder (no luck).  We took off again today and are anchored near a lovely ancient little city, complete with a castle and a town wall.  Although this is certainly not unique for this area, I will never take locations like this for granted.  The next three days promise to be picturesque anchorages and by Friday we hope to be in a “real” marina.

S/V Georgia J, anchored by ancient harbor of Navpaktos

38 23.477N,  21 49.823 E

Transiting Corinth Canal
Seeking guidance from Delphi Oracles
Harbor and castle at Navpatkos


Kim’s blog- July 7, 2013

Today was a tough day.  After waiting for four days for a good weather forecast, we left Fournoi Island with six different forecasts indicating winds of 15-19 knots for our 50 mile trip to Mykonos.  We left at 6:00 am to minimize the afternoon sail when the meltemi winds are strongest.  The first three hours were mild and we consider going farther than our planned trip.  However, at 9:00 am the wind suddenly jumped from 8 knots to 26 knots in less than 5 minutes.  When we reached the half way mark, we heard a securite’(warning) radio announcement for gale force winds.  We then heard mayday calls from two yachts, but they were too far away for us to render assistance.   Unfortunately, there were no harbors to divert to and we continued on in very rough seas.  In the last hour, we sustained winds of 35 knots gusting to 42 knots while we were closed hauled.   All of our strength was required to reduce sail and bring the boat under control.

While the day was very challenging, I was proud of our performance in these conditions.  The heavy weather sailing course I took in San Francisco was much easier than today.  The only mistake was losing the mainsail halyard.  The wind in the anchorage was 35 knots when we dropped anchor.  The wind blew the halyard out of my hand when I was disconnecting it.  I have devised a snare to capture the renegade rope when the winds subside.  If not, Sharon has agreed to go up the mast to retrieve it.

s/v Georgia J

Anchored at Mykonos Island, Greece 37 25.811 N, 025 24.416 E


Kim’s blog- 4th of July 2013

We have made our second small passage in Greece.   We had a wonderful sail yesterday averaging around 9 knots in 20-25 knots wind.   Since we left at 6:00 am, the seas were flat as Georgia sliced through the Aegean.   However, our anchoring was not so enjoyable.   The wind jumped to 30 knots with rough chop as we wrestled the sails down.   Fortunately, our destination, Fournoi Island, had lots of anchoring choices.  We first dropped hook in a beautiful cove, but decided it was too small.   We then went to a village, but the little fishing boats occupied all the space.  We considered “Quarry Cove” but our guide book said to be careful of the ancient unfinished Greek columns littering the bottom.   Ultimately, we choose a nice harbor with only one other boat- a nudist boat.  We ignored their requests to move away and they left.  We planned to leave this morning, but the meltemi winds were howling at 4:00 am.  We will spend our second 4th of July pinned down by wind in a foreign land.

s/v Georgia J

Anchored at 37 33.898 N, 026 28.843 E

Fournoi Island anchorage


Sharon’s Blog 06/30/13

June has been a busy month for the Georgia J crew.  For the first time since we left home over two years ago, we decided to make a mid-year trip to the States.  Seeing family once a year is just not enough, particularly with Connor and Lucas changing daily.  We limited our visit to North Carolina where Erica and the boys joined us.  Erica looks great and the boys are, of course, exceptional.  We spent real quality time with my parents, our siblings, and other family members.  As a particular rare treat, we re-connected with some of our high school friends we have not seen for more years than I will disclose.

Upon returning to Turkey it was a mad rush to get the boat ready, provision and head to Greece.  On schedule, we checked out of the country and started to leave.  Totally unexpected, the engine would not start and the batteries were flat.  Of course, they were totally charged the day before.  We frantically called our agent who produced an electrician within minutes.  The batteries tested fine.  After he banged on the engine and jiggled a few things, the engine kicked off and ran just fine.  Captain Kim particularly hates mysteries like this as they always seem to re-surface.  The agent kept reminding us we needed to leave as we were officially checked out of the country so we headed out, several hours later than we planned.

Samos Island was only 18 miles away.  It was an unpleasant ride as we were headed directly into the wind in lots of chop.  The meltemi winds were at their strongest just as we were pulling into the marina.  A very helpful and patient marina crew helped us muscle the boat in, med mooring style. 

However, the next day was a perfect example of why we are cruising.  We made the short walk into Pythagoreio. You will surely remember the Pythagorean Theorem from geometry class.  Pythagoras was born on Samos Island in 570 BC and invented the theory to confound high school students.  The town named in his honor is a beautiful quaint little port town lined with restaurants, bars, beaches and a small castle.   We stopped at the first beach front restaurant, enjoying Mythos beers and a mixed mesa plate.  The Captain also enjoyed the evidence that we are no longer in a Moslem country as the topless sun bathers lounged just in front of us.    Later that night, our Italian boat neighbors made pasta for us and we shared a meal and cruising stories on Georgia J.  

We had such a nice day we have extended our stay by one day, recognizing that we are two days out and one day behind our plan.  Oh well, that’s cruising.

s/v Georgia J  Moored at Samos Marina, Samos Island, Greece

Lucas at the cabin we rented in Blue Ridge Mountains
Connor & Popeye at Tweetsie
Walking to Pythagoreio
Pythagoreio Harbor