Pull up the anchor

Porto Helio has a beautiful church, but the town itself doesn’t set our hearts on fire. It’s hot, busy and more touristic than we’d expected. In the large bay we’re anchored among lots of abandoned yachts with the view of a likewise abandoned marina under construction in front of us. Water taxis and rental boats constantly race past Coco leaving her behind violent shaking on their big waves.

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Sulfur bath

A pungent rotten egg smell, like the stink bombs we used to crush to spoil the music lessons of Mr. Vink, the last crusader at our high school, a shrill whistle of the harbour master in response to our entry and a sign at the entrance with bans for respectively anchoring, catamarans and ships longer than 47 feet: we have arrived in Methana Marina.

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Scaredy-cats

American boat friends lovingly call us ‘scaredy-cats’ when we tell them about our doubts about sailing on the Aegean Sea. According to them, it is not too bad. Adriaan, skipper of sailing yacht the ‘Bataaf’, talks about it with more awe. Too much wind, he says and he tells us about the German sailor from Aachen who left his ship twice in blind fear and now no longer can get insurance for his yacht.

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Heat

With a dark red face, the woman strides across the quay past our Coco to her yacht further on. Sweat pearls all over her face. She drags a cart with two jerry cans of diesel behind her, but she herself seems to pose the most explosion hazard. Her husband follows at a safe distance with the third jerry can dangling on his arm. He also looks hot, but seems resigned. Apparently the walk to the gas pump in Itea is a little longer than their relationship at forty degrees Celsius tolerates.

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Should I stay or…

It is a recurring dilemma since we are ‘on the road’: “should I stay or should I go?” The first year and a half of our trip it is all pretty clear: weather permitting, we will go simply because we are on our way to Greece. After our arrival here we keep on going for a while: first to a safe winter harbour, then searching for a new boat, delivering our old boat at the storage etc. Now finally, we no longer have a destination, so we are free to choose: stay or go. And that sometimes proves to be a rather difficult decision.

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Jack & Jack

Just as we get off the boat to walk to the Filoxenia Pool Bar, Stuart is standing in front of us with little Jack by his side. At this first reunion since half a year the Jack brothers are not overflowing with enthusiasm to say the least. They sniff at each other for a moment and then seem to pay more attention to us and their environment. I had imagined something else, something with more violin music, so to speak. After all, they have lived together for more than six years with their first boss.

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