Monday, March 24, 2014

Day 110

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Last night I slept under a restaraunt’s awning. I didn’t find a shower. At around midnight the bar next door decided it was a disco and there was loud music for an hour.

For the first part of the morning the water was as flat as I’ve ever seen the Mediterranean and it was a real pleasure to glide across it. The surface occasionally jumped up in a hundred small splashes when a school of fish applauded my good pace.

The bottom of the sea was grassy, and grew shallower until I paddled along the edge of a marsh. A flamingo stood in the water on long skinny legs. His head looked like an umbrella handle. As I drew close he stumbled through the water, then ran on it flapping giant wings, and took off.

He joined five of his friends farther up the shore. I didn’t want to get close enough to disturb them, but I did want to see them better. All six took off and headed into the marsh.

I paddled over enormous fishing nets stretched hundreds if not thousands of meters. One of them blocked the mouth of a river, which I hope is illegal.

A bull stood grazing on the last point before I cut across the outer bay of Igoumenista.  greek cowsWhich brings me to the subject of the Greek language: I’m clueless. It is substantially harder for me than Spanish, French, or Italian. There’s a whole new alphabet, which I thought I would have a head start on from math school, but It’s no good.

Wind and current slowed my crossing. At least the sea was relatively flat, protected as I was by Corfu. A ferry approached from behind on my right. When it got close I stopped to let it pass. There was certainly no indication that the captain would honor my right of way and let me go first.

Towards the end of my crossing I cut inland and paddled as close to the cliffs as possible to catch the eddie from an island. On the eddie line the water changed from steady waves coming at me to general chop. Past that the sea went flat again, and I could see rocks, plants, and small fish clearly far below. A school of short fat fish kept jumping up, breaking the surface.

I saw a goat on the low cliff just beside me. I looked closely. There was a whole herd of six or seven goats less than twenty feet from me. One of them was a small kid. I’ll bet he’d taste real good if he were cooked on spit with garlic and onions.

Sivota is a Greek town on the mainland. It’s harbor is protected by an uninhabited archipelago of hilly forest islands. I got out and checked my front hatch. There was only a little water in it. The previous afternoon I covered about a meter of the bow keel with a thin layer of epoxy. Maybe I finally caught the leak.

Twelve miles remained to the next port. I just finished 15. I decided to push on. As soon as I was past the archipelago’s protection the headwind came back. That would slow me down and I risked not finishing until after dark.

I pulled over to a protected beach and explored one of the islands. The underbrush was too thick to get into the woods, but a few derelict trails let me scrape by.

I found an old well and a couple of mossy glades. I lay down and dreamed for an hour. I tried to get to the top of the hill, but the trail didn’t seem to want to go that way.

I paddled back to the town. The woman at the sailing club told me they didn’t have a shower and couldn’t host me. I hope I find one somewhere. The filthier I am the more trouble I’ll have finding hospitality, and besides, it’s gross.


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Nautical miles paddle: 15
Current location: 39.408996,20.239056

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