A strange day today. The plan was to leave Arki fairly early. Despite our worries the anchor held well. But I don’t think it ever dug in properly. When we took the anchor up there was a huge ball of weed on the chain, but that is jumping ahead of the game.
We were woken fairly early by the goats. I didn’t mention them yesterday. There is a flock of goats that wanders around the bay. They all have bells on and as they go back and forth they jingle. It is an extraordinary sound.
Despite the goats we didn’t actually get away until 10am. But we didn’t have far to go. We were recommended to go to an anchorage on the south of Lipso. Jonnie sent us an e-mail saying that it is lovely and has a nice restaurant. Having cooked the last of our fresh food last night, the plan is to eat out.
The wind has been building since yesterday. As we leave the anchorage we find that it is blowing a good force 4 and for a change it is in the right direction. So we are able to sail all the way to the anchorage, which was only just over 8 miles away. The pilot book said the holding here is poor in sand and weed. But to the contrary we find it to be good and much better than last night. We set the anchor first time and it digs in well into sand. We are quite close in to shore and not far from a pontoon where you can take your dinghy to go ashore. R says it is so close that there is no need to put the motor on the dinghy, and he can row. I am less convinced, but we shall see how the weather progresses.
Although the sun is out and there are not many clouds, with the wind building it still feels cool. However most of the other people in the bay (and there are 6 or more boats including a Gulet) seem to be swimming. So it being one of our last chances to swim off the boat we go in before lunch. It is cool but nice. Richard confirms he can see that the anchor is well dug in, so we seem fine for the night.
We laze around a bit after lunch, but then decide to row in to the shore to make a reservation at the restaurant and maybe to find some WIFI. But we are in for a shock. The restaurant is closed. It looks like they have given up for the rest of the year. So, no WIFI, and no supper! All I have on board is pasta with the possibility of at least 4 sauces. So we won’t starve, but it is a disappointment.
Back on the boat we decide to try R’s English phone to get some internet. He cannot download the paper or the Archers, but he is able to get a weather forecast. Now we are in for our second shock. The forecast has deteriorated since we last looked on Monday morning and now says that the wind will build up over night to a force 6 with waves in the morning of over a metre. The wind will be northerly, which means the journey to Leros will be downwind, but it could be quite uncomfortable.
So we make a hurried decision to leave and go to Leros. It means getting there a day early, but that is preferable to 2-3 days late! It is after 3:30 when we finally leave. It is blowing up to the top of a force 5. This makes for quite a good sail. It starts out as a beam reach, and then turns into a run. But we never go much below 5 knots in speed and usually are closer to 6. We sail all the way up to the entrance to the harbour, where we finally put the engine on and take down the sails. R is very pleased with this final sail of the season.
They were not expecting us at the marina until tomorrow, so they took some time to find us a berth. But here we are in our temporary home. We have sorted out the contract for leaving the boat here. Tomorrow we shall organise the work we want done on the boat over the winter and start to pack up. The boat comes out of the water on Monday morning and we fly home Monday afternoon. The boat is provisionally booked to be refloated on 4 May!