Hi Gonçalo. This one stays in Portuguese but please write in English. No, it is not because I want to show that I can write on a comprehensible English but because this Blog, that has an average of 200 visits a day, is followed by North Americans, Canadians, Brazilians, Chileans, on central America, on many countries of Europe including Russia, China, Taiwan, Australia and of course some Portuguese that are far to be the larger number. So English is just a toll, a language that allows everybody to communicate.
To start, a place that I found beautiful, Zakros, on the East Coast of Crete. Not too touristic, the only yacht on a bay, some very nice Tavernas and still has fisherman that stay out in the night, fishing on their little traditional boats.
There I saw the biggest goat and sheep herd I have ever seen coming out of the mountain. The strange thing is that there are no dogs, no shepherd, nothing, the herd (many hundreds) come down the mountain, passed along the narrow trail, went alone for almost a mile and disappeared behind a hill. Outstanding, here large herds don't need a shepherd and know their way to the mountain and back home. Very odd I can tell you, not even a dog!!!!
Regarding Zakros it was not only me that found the place beautiful because just near the beach we can found the ruins of a Minoan Palace. They had good taste. Great place for a settlement!!!
From there we sailed to Vai. Vai has Palm trees (they are there for thousands of years) and probably I am being unfair, but maybe because it is touristic developed (with a beach very well organized with water bikes and other rental nuisances buzzing around) it did not had for us half the appeal Zakros had. Still the only yacht around.
We had several small problems on the boat due to that big storm. The wind instrument went working again but the depth sounding was definitively out of service and without it is not safe staying on anchor the way he use to do. The depths indicated by the plotter are just approximately : On Zakros we cast anchor in 5m (by the plotter) to find out that we had only about 3.6m and on Vai we anchored by the plotter on 7m to find out later that we had more then 11m under the boat (I dived on both occasions to see if the anchor was well set and to confirm the depths).
We had also a very nasty problem with the engine. Now it is a funny one but at the time quite frightening: Some days ago, when we went out of that storm to find shelter on Kalilimenes, we anchored with the wind still blowing strongly, cast the anchor, verified that it was well set (pulling with the boat backwards at full throttle) and finally disconnected the engine. If the boa moved we could always turn the engine on recover the anchor and try again....except that I turned the key and the motor did not die. The key had just broke. Of course I had ways to kill the engine but none that allowed me to bring it quickly to life, if the boat dragged. I called Luca from Comar, in Italy, that has been more than a professional, a true friend (it was Sunday) and he suggested me to disconnect a wire on the big aft locker. It worked but to connect and disconnect the engine I had to dive inside the big locker, disappear inside and in a contortionist way, connect the wire. Those that know me know that I am not small nor skinny, so it was funny to Isabel to watch me (she could go inside much more easily but not reach the wire)...not for me :-(
We sailed to a big marina on the North coast to try to find solution to the boat problems: I managed to took out the broken key, lubricate the system and found out a key maker that was also a shoe maker. Two new keys for 3.00 euros solved that problem and since the guy, or should I say the entire family are true artists, I took all sandals I had (and loved) for repair: All of them become better than new and since I have this strange thing of only liking old shoes, they really made me happy. Believe it or not, while I was writing this, already late in the night 10.00, they come to the boat to deliver the last ones. Very nice people. I invited them for a drink on the boat tomorrow.
The Depth sounder was another story. On Vai for some brief instants it worked so I had hopes that with a goo cleaning of the circuit ( I had already had made one) a professional one, the thing would return to live. I took it to a Greek that worked mainly in televisions and computers and I guess he cleaned it too well, or perhaps was already beyond repair, the circuits too damaged by salt water.
So here I am on a lovely place (Isabel is happy) Agios Nikolaus, stranded without knowing very well what to do. The problem is this, the device, a Simrad IS 15 Multi is not made anymore, the new model does not talk the same language, I mean it is not just to connect it and play, it needs a "translator" and all that is too much for my knowledge in electronics and I am afraid to the knowledge in electronic of everybody on the Island :-(
I have tried everything but till now it seems my best and simple option is to find some used Simrad IS 15 multi, but I tried on ebay, Luca is trying in Italy and till now nothing :-(. Maybe someone that follow this blog can help? The only place to have a new set up seems Athens that is just against the wind (strong). I guess that if I cannot solve it here I will make it to Turkey, maybe Bodrum: The wind is better.
As I said the town is very nice (we have rented a car to tour the Island) but for me, more than a couple of days on the same place, is just boring...no sailing is boring. Tomorrow I will probably be out to have a nice day at the sea and be back at night. The place at the marina where we are has only a problem, it is a place for a big yacht. I have not enough line to approach the quay so I have a big "passarela" and when I say big you can believe it: You have to think twice before making the "passage". I take it sportively but Isabel just hates it. Till know we managed not to fall on the water ;-)