Breakfast with the Red Arrows (30th April-6th May 2019)

It’s been quite an exciting week since I arrived on Vaila on the 30th of April. Andy had been out for 2 weeks already, doing the major jobs, which luckily left me mostly cleaning and tidying and remembering where things go.
Launch went smoothly on Saturday morning at 7am in a flat calm and we motored over to the anchorage off Eritria on Evia in a rising wind and cloud. Despite a strong easterly wind we were reasonably sheltered there but the forecast for the next day was awful, with wind expected to swing to the south and get very strong. This is the worst direction for that anchorage.
Saturday night was reasonable but we decided to head to the breakwater just after breakfast on Sunday, as the wind was rising fast. One other boat was there already and they helped us come alongside. The wind was still blowing easterly so we were pinned against the concrete pier grinding our fenders against the wall. We managed to get the fenderboard (our plank) between fenders and wall which helped and later we commandeered an old tyre from the fishing quay . We helped the other boat and put multiple lines out ourselves. A tense day waiting for the wind to swing southerly, which it did eventually at 2pm and then to drop, which it did about 6pm. We registered 25 knots over the deck but the ferries stopped briefly so it must have been force 8 (34-40 knots ) at that point!!

The joys of Mediterranean sailing early in the season. It’s not all sunshine, swimming and tavernas! I’ve not even been for a swim yet as the water is only 14 degrees and it’s jellyfish time.

Today is a much nicer day. We had multiple fly pasts by the Red Arrows while we were having breakfast. It was so spectacular watching them twist and turn in formation. They came right over several times at only 100m or so above the quay. Such skill. They are here every year at this time to practice and take part in an airshow in Athens and we had a grandstand view of them here.

After breakfast we walked into town and had a coffee in the welcome sunshine and visited the local museum . The museum was lovely and just a nice small size, with artifacts from local excavations. It told you that Evia island was central to the spread of the Greek civilisation and the mixing of eastern and western cultures. They had sophisticated pottery, jewellery, houses and temples and luckily documented everything.

We are heading south tomorrow as the forecast looks more settled and my friend Sandra arrives on the 14th so we need to be at the pick up point by then.

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