Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Chania To Spinalonga 5 - 14 August 2016.

Alan & Liz Visit 4 - 7 August 2016

       The conditions were not ideal, but as we had been in Chania for some time and Alan was only out for a short visit, Guy decided to bite the bullet and head out to western Crete early on 5th August. We started off at 0900 in a small swell sailing along gracefully while Alan & Liz nodded on and off to sleep due to the effects of Stugeron, a sea sickness tablet. The wind and swell increased as we headed NW and soon the sea was a confused mass of waves behaving a bit like a washing machine! We dropped the sails under some difficulty and continued on SW now heading for the NW tip of Crete. It was a jolting trip but no one was ill and as we rounded the Island of north Gramvousa, the seas calmed down and were soon rounding the island of South Gramvousa into a most wonderful isolated and sheltered anchorage of Gramvousa Bay with yet another Venetian castle high on the islands hill top. 

Gramvousa Island And Castle.

Alan And Liz Asleep. Again!

Guy Breathing In Deep!

The Only House On Gramvousa Island. My Kind Of Place.

He Marched Them Up To The Top Of The Hill Then He Marched Them Down Again !         

     After a sleep and with the sun setting, Guy woke up the troops with orders to go ashore and climb the hill to the castle. Amazingly, every followed more out of curiosity and still half drugged up from stugeron, we marched our way up the steep path to the castle which proved to be a wonderful idea despite the challenging climb. The views and scenery from the top was quite magnificent with Kisti Two the only boat in the bay. The castle was also interesting in its size and location commanding wonderful views over the bay with its turquoise water and gorgeous beaches. Another swim, shower and after Champagne to celebrate Guys Birthday, we were soon to bed, but not before studying all the bright stars and satellites in all their glory.  

Kisti Two, Alan And Gramvousa Bay.

Gramvousa Bay. Simply Stunning.

Alan And Liz Climbing Up To The Castle.

Ginny On The Route Up. 

The Venetian Lion.

Kisti Two Anchored In Gramvousa Bay From The Castle.
The General Surveys His Territory! 

Ginny In Silhouette.

Ginny At The Castle Church.

The Castle Ramparts.

 Back To Chania         

      We awoke to a windless morning and Guy & Ginny raised the anchor and set off under power while Alan & Liz slept on. We motored along in calm water exploring several coves before Guy headed off SE towards Theodhoroi Island. We stopped for a swim half way across and then anchored in a lovely bay for lunch and another swim. We then returned to Chania to tie up to the quay again. Alan & Liz explored the narrow streets themselves before we went out for a second marvelous meal up the back streets of Chania. Alan & Liz left early on Sunday 7th August to catch the bus to the airport. It was a whistle stop visit, but they certainly packed in a great deal and hopefully enjoyed the experience and sampled a bit of our mad but wonderful lifestyle. 

Gramvousa Castle And One House.

Departing Gramvousa.

Another Gorgeous Bay.

Alan & Liz Awake On The Foredeck!

Swim Time Mid-Channel.

Brothers In Arms.

Happy Days.

The Wonderful Meal.

Wake Up Alan!

Back To Gramvousa Bay 9 - 11 Augut 2016.      

    We spent the next couple of hot days in Chania re-stocking and washing, while enjoying the general ambiance of the night life. Guy decided it was time to leave and so we headed back to Gramvousa Bay to enjoy two more wonderful days soaking up the amazing atmosphere of the bay. We anchored off the mainland by day and island by night. We also took the opportunity to sail down to Koutris Bay but it was totally unsuitable for anchoring overnight. We had no 3G signal and Guy knew the weather was closing in so we decided we had better head east towards Ag Nik, east Crete so as to be well placed for our next visitor, Louise, Ginny's sister.

Kisti Two In Chania.

The Venetian Lighthouse Of Chania.

The Waterfront Partying Begins!

Gramvousa Bay Mainland.

Looking Towards Gramvousa Island.

Gramvousa Bay Mainland.

Gramvousa Bay Island.

Gramvousa Anchorage.

The Wonderful Crytal Clear Waters Of Gramvousa.

Just Stunning.

Ginny Enjoying Yet Another Swim.

Buddha Cooking The BBQ.

Mythos And BBQ. What More Can A Man Want?

Clouds gathering Over Gramvousa.

Sunset At Gramvousa With Shipwreck.

Gramvousa Bay To Spinalonga 11 - 17 August 2016.

     We departed Gramvousa Bay early on Thursday 11 August and motor sailed our way east in calm waters. We even had a visit from 3 dolphins, much darker than normal and one was particularly large. We eventually arrived after 74NM at a small sheltered bay called Bali Bay. It was an excellent choice with good shelter and wonderful sand for holding the anchor. It looked a bit like Torquay in England, a small riviera tourist resort. 

Looking back To The Anchorage And Wreck Of Gramvousa.

The Three Dark Dolphins

A Sparkling Dolphin.

This Dolphin Was Enormous.

Bali Bay.

Anchored In Bali Bay.

The Tourist Centre Of Bali Bay.

Off To Spinalonga

         The weather was closing in, the Meltemi wind building up so we headed off quickly again on 12 August and after a brief look at Iraklion, headed straight on to Spinalonga Lagoon. It was a long 62 NM trip but the entry to the bay of Spinalonga with its old Venetian castle ruin on the island which had later become a Leper Colony was fascinating. We anchored in calm waters near the castle.

The Wind Starts To Pick Up.

Venetian castle At Iraklian.

The Barren Coastlin.

Approaching Spinalonga.

Spinalonga Venetian Castle. NAC!

Spinalonga Castle.

The Leper Colony 1903 - 1957.

Spinalonga Island, Castle And Leper Colony.

Anchored Off Spinalonga Island.

Spinalonga At Night.

Strong Winds For 4 Days

        We awoke on Saturday 13 August surrounded by white horses and 36 Knot gusts of wind. We picked up the anchor and headed for the SW corner of the bay off Elounda where we anchored in excellent holding next to Spirit 3 from Licata in 6 knots of wind. We have been here for 4 nights now in winds ranging from 3 - 36 knots over a matter of seconds. we have managed a few runs ashore in the dingy to eat, drink and re-stock. It looks like we may be here for some time! Ayios Nikolaos (Ag Nik), our winter base from 1 September is just around the corner so we are well placed to get back for Kate’s wedding if this wind persists which it looks like it will do. We wonder why it always does this when Louise visits? She is not known as Hurricane Louise for nothing! 

Spirit 3 (Alice) Anchored In The Strong Winds Off Elounda.

Four days Of Strong Winds!!