As promised, now that Pleione is safe on Alonissos I would
like to share
some of the highlights of the trip to Alonissos with you.
Firstly, both Carol and myself would like to thank all involved with our
going away party. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. The gift of
the TMSC plaque was unexpected but thoroughly appreciated. It now holds
pride of place with the hand drawn sketch of the Mosquito dinghy kindly
presented at my retirement from rescue boating, in the lounge of our villa.
The trip out went well although it was over a little faster than I had
planned. The reason for this was my son Ashley only had 5 weeks off work and
desperately wanted to see the island and villa, so we ended up motoring more
then I would have wished (don't ask how much the fuel bill was). Still, at
the end of the day, we arrived safely which was a relief for Carol who was
waiting patiently on the island.
The initial trip to Falmouth was somewhat bumpy after the gale force winds
of the previous few days. Off Plymouth sound, we took a breaking wave over
the deck saloon that thoroughly soaked all of us. Steve Cotton, who helped
us sail to Falmouth ended up standing in 8" of water in the cockpit with
just trainers on, not a good start. Both Ash and Steve succumbed to
seasickness later on so we diverted into Fowey. In Falmouth, Steve escaped
after saying he really enjoyed the trip (he will make a good crew in the
future), and Mark Phillips joined us.
We departed Falmouth with good weather forecast of NW winds to be faced
with SW!. When the NW did arrived it was F6 and created a confused sea. It
was now my turn to suffer seasickness along with Ash so a unscheduled stop
in L'abervack was called for.
Biscay was kind to us, although we suffered autopilot failure and nearly
cooked the engine when the raw water filter blocked.
La Coruna was a welcome sight after 3 days crossing the bay. On our
passage across the N coast of Spain we went the assistance of a British
yacht with fishing net around her prop. The owner was so relieved when I
confirmed we had diving gear in board.
All down the Atlantic coast, we ran with a 2-3m quartering swell. This
reached a head at Cape Vincent when keeping Pleione on a straight coarse was
almost impossible, especially when we turned for Gibraltar and it was on the
Gib was great and we stayed there 1 1/2 days. From there on it was plain
sailing (motoring). Winds were light, apart from the occasional squall. It
was so good to raised the Greek courtesy flag as we approached Cefalonia.
Both the Strait of Messina and the Corinth Canal were worth transiting. And
then there we were entering Patitiri harbour on the 04 June 2003 at 08-30 in
the morning. Once cleared with customs and Port Authorities it was breakfast
in one of the Tavernas on Patitiri front.
Ash and Mark had a couple of days to relax and view the island before they
flew home on the Friday (poor Ash was back to work on the Saturday).
So, here we are, the boat is on her new mooring in Votsi harbour, the
villa is a little nearer completion with balcony railings, and furniture in
the lounge, although we are still working on getting a kitchen.
I have attached a summery of the ships log for anyone interested in
reading it. We would both like once again thank all at the TMSC for the
great times we have had over the years. We will certainly miss you all, but
we will never forget you. Please come and visit us sometime so we can show
you the island and why we chose to make our new home here.
Best regards and success to the club in the future.
Mike & Carol Holmes.