Really feeling…

… singularly unprepared for this little voyage. There’s landing, you see. At ‘home’, I can always be pretty sure of finding a corner where I can get the boat’s bow to a buoy and fasten the stern to the dock, in such a way that pulling on the stern rope brings me close enough to step in and out. When the wind got up yesterday, which it did even before I could have a rest, I set sail for what I shall call “Temple” island, because it’s got one. The wind became very brisk and I was what we yachting types call ‘broad reaching’, meaning running almost at right angles to the wind with a tendency to turn into it. This is a most satisfactory way to sail – it looks impressive and you feel like you’re making progress.

Then, when I arrived at the little port, I found it was a regular marina. Apart from the obvious crowding of ghastly motor yachts and immaculate sailing cruisers, there were guards in peaked caps, expensive-looking services and fences and formalities, so I carried on, looking for the little fishermen’s harbour that surely ought to be there, and didn’t find it. I have since discovered that it was subsumed into the marina, and the only other harbour is on the wrong side of the island. I stopped in a bay about half a mile east of the port, and anchored carefully, using two anchors. The coast road was near the water, but I was still several tens of yards from the rather rocky beach, and I didn’t have a dinghy to get ashore with. I changed into my swimming trunks, put my wallet, flip-flops and the key for the engine in a plastic bag, and swam ashore, scratching myself on the evil rocks at the edge. Then I limped into town, with the full intention of buying a tender of some kind so that I wouldn’t be marooned again like that. Well, the chandlery attached to the marina was far too posh. There were no prices displayed, because “..if you have to ask, you can’t afford it…”, and I could see that it was very fast-lane. I eventually bought, from a tourist shop, a children’s inflatable dinghy for 40 euros (including carry bag, oars and pump(!)) that’ll suit me fine for these twenty yard bursts. I was worried, because I’d left my GPS and mobile on board, I won’t tell you where, and I felt I ought to carry these with me when I’m not on the boat. So I trotted back, inflated the dinghy and went aboard again.


Next, I moved the boat further down the coast under power until it was opposite a nice sandy patch of beach and anchored again, lit the riding lights because it was nearly seven, changed into reasonable clothes and went ashore in the dinghy with all my kit. When I got ashore – in good order this time – I deflated the dinghy as I had nowhere to hide it securely, packed it into its bag. In the end, I was walking into town with about twenty-five kilos of assorted baggage. I began to see the point of these marinas. Luckily, I found a nice little taverna and general store very near where I’d landed. I ate well, bought supplies. I used their loo, because there isn’t one on board – a loo I’d have run a mile from last year, but I’ve got used to them. As it got dark, I returned to the boat. I had to re-inflate the dinghy and make two trips with my kit and the new supplies. I was so exhausted, I just collapsed onto the bunk and slept until ten this morning when I heard some local kids climb aboard, squeaking and fighting as they do, and made a noise to frighten them away.

Yesterday was too much like hard work. I must plan better.

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