Sea legs

(For Dutch click here) It’s almost five years since we live and sail fulltime on a small sailboat and still I have no sea legs. I have to train them again every season. Just like my sea stomach, sea body and sea head. It is best to build it up slowly, but there’s no time for that. So after five months in the sheltered harbor of Mesolonghi, we sail in three day trips to Kyparissia, in the southwest of the Peloponese. With faltering technology, the coldest Greek winter in 30 years and the next predicted winter storm as a serious deadline.

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Small world

Voor Nederlands klik hier

For a moment my heart sinks. When Dagmar and I step into the Lidl in Arta, I notice that the shelves with ‘non-essential’ items are covered with red and white ribbon and plastic again. This probably means that our Arta region has now also gone from ‘red’ to ‘deep red’, our lockdown rules have become stricter again and our world a bit smaller.

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Normal

The Greek tavernas are allowed to open again, we are free to sail and step by step Greece is opening its borders for tourists. So all goes back to normal. Or not quite?

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A warm welcome

A slight feeling of seasickness takes hold of me when we try to get out of the bay at Sitia, motorsailing just too close to the wind. It’s the first time since our departure 2,5 years ago. No one is ever totally free from seasickness, I’ve once read somewhere. Another 3 hours until we have rounded the cape and can change course to Kasos. If we can hold on that long and the wind and waves don’t stop us too much, the rest of our trip will be fine so we are trying to encourage ourselves.

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Trust

When it rains, it pours. After the troubles with our stern anchor in Kilada, the bow anchor spontaneously breaks from the chain when we leave Vivari’s anchor bay. Fortunately it doesn’t happens until the anchor is completely hoisted. As soon as the pole of the anchor hits the bowsprit, the connecting swivel falls apart. I utter a cry of bewilderment and thank our guardian angel, whoever it may be. If this had happened during the night, we might all have ended upon the rocks.

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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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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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