Captain’s Log

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Captain’s Log Entries

  • 2023 Fall Voyage
Salamis to Piraeus

Yesterday we filled our morning with our last swim call and exam review. Post lunch we had a final exam, and by the mid-afternoon were ready to depart. Sadie led the watch sailing us off the anchor, and did a great job bringing us most of the way to Piraeus. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a good sailing breeze - really perfect conditions for our last sail. Dureti took over as we neared our anchorage, and did a great job executing a gybe and a tack, before sailing us up to the anchor with Millie at the helm. We settled into our final night at anchor with a nice sunset and an amazing full moon rising over the mountains behind Athens. Off in the distance, we could make out the Parthenon sitting on top of the Acropolis. 

This morning we departed for our dock at Zea Marina. Celia did a great job at the helm, while the rest of the crew helped squeeze us into our slip. A deep cleaning of Geronimo was the first order of business, followed by lunch and much-anticipated showers. In the mid afternoon,  we departed for Cape Sounion to see the Temple of Poseidon and pay our respects for such a good voyage. On our way back to the boat, we stopped in Glyfada for gyros and gelato. As I told the crew this morning, we can already feel our lives on land pulling us back as the trip comes to a close. 

Our plan for tomorrow, our final full day of the trip, is to meet up with our superstar guide Panagiotis Atsalis to experience the Acropolis and other parts of Athens. We will conclude our day with a dinner out and closing activities. The next day the crew will depart for St. George's. 

  • 2023 Fall Voyage
Agistri to Salamina

We spent the afternoon swimming and exploring the town of Hydra, and a pleasant night stern-to on the quay. The steep mountains framing the town seem to focus all the sound on the center of the harbor, where we were comfortably situated. The bells on the clock tower go off in an elaborate way early each morning, and they seemed to be focused into the bunk room and fo'c'sle to start our day.  Some of the crew reported not hearing them at all. 

Claire was JWO taking us off the dock and on our way north. As we pushed away from the harbor, the wind started to build as we sailed out of the lee of Hydra. Our fastest point of sail is somewhere between a beam reach and a close reach, and we were in that sweet spot, surging up to moments above 11 knots while Celia was at the helm. As to be expected in the Mediterranean, this did not last very long - and before too long we were becalmed in the lee of Poros. Kate had the next watch, and brought us into an anchorage on the south side of Angistri, where we went for a swim, played on the paddle board and snorkeled into a cave. To find a more comfortable spot to spend the evening, we went around the corner to the southwest side of the island. Sadie made burritos for dinner, and the crew that still had schoolwork to complete made a final push. 

Yesterday morning those that were done with work climbed into our inflatable with Mr. Brown and me, and went off exploring.  This created a quiet study environment for those still completing work to do so. It worked out well, everyone finished their schoolwork. With everyone back on board, Jacob lead the watch sailing us off the anchor and north. Just north of Angistri, the wind was steady enough - so we initiated "chase the buoy" - where we deploy a small floating object for the student crew to retrieve completely under sail. Each student takes a turn, and they all did a great job successfully stopping Geronimo next to the buoy. While this was happening, Mr. Brown was in the galley preparing a layered mountain of sushi rolls for lunch. The crew was salivating. To create order and fairness - everyone took one piece at a time, staying in order clockwise around the table. Millie started with the first one, as everyone eyed their potential next piece. We got up to 17 before we ran out.

With Athens not more than 20 n.m. away, and our trip log reading 950 n.m., Xander was lobbying to get to 1000 n.m., by intentionally steering a "snake wake" or spending the evening doing circles. It is going to be close, but I don't think we will make it. We approached the anchorage in the late afternoon and Jacob, with Celia at the helm and Sadie navigating, did a great job sailing us up to the anchor. Swimming soon followed, and of course, backflips. Xander, Celia and Dureti are fully practicing devotees, while Millie is on the cusp of joining. Speaking of Millie, her lasagna dinner was a hit, as was her tiramisu dessert. The evening was concluded with a raucous game of the Mallory Family Fun Game (similar to Salad Bowl, etc.). 

Today is our last full day before going to the dock tomorrow. When I woke up this morning, Xander was sleeping on deck in his usual spot, and Jacob was starting to think about making pancakes and sausage. Plan is to have the Marine Science final exam today, sail to an anchorage off Piraeus, and then go into the marina tomorrow morning. Cleaning Geronimo and ourselves, and exploring Athens are on the agenda for our last few days. 

  • 2023 Fall Voyage
On to Hydra

Yesterday morning we kicked off the day with Claire's delicious pumpkin bread for breakfast, and then worked it off climbing the nearly 999 steps up to the Palamidi. The view from the Venetian fortress across the Argolic Gulf was quite impressive, and we could see a tiny Geronimo alongside the dock below. A little time for wifi and gelato, gyros for lunch, and we were off for points south. Millie was the JWO bringing us off the dock, and she did a great job taking us down the bay and sailing once the breeze filled in. Sadie had the next watch, and led port watch tacking our way south in a light southerly breeze. She did a great job strategizing tacks and navigating. As the sun set, the wind disappeared, and we steamed for a few hours into our anchorage on Dokos. Not long after the anchor was down and the deck was squared away, Claire served up a chicken Milanese dinner that was a crowd favorite. 

This morning we got underway after breakfast to Hydra.  One of my favorite Greek islands. Apparently others may share this opinion, based on the number of boats waiting to go to the dock this morning. Fortunately, we were big enough to go to the outer wall. We are stern-tied in a bustling, but tiny little harbor. Just a few service vehicles on the island, otherwise it is donkeys doing the heavy lifting (I once saw a donkey carrying a refrigerator up a steep trail!). Our first order of business was to climb up to the monastery, and the Mt. Eros - for an amazing view around and back down to the town. The crew just got back, and we plan to go for a swim just outside of town after lunch. 

Did I mention that Xander made fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast?  We are swimming in oranges from Nafplio. We also made lemonade. That cool, refreshing drink is presently being consumed on deck along with chicken Caesar wraps. 

  • 2023 Fall Voyage
Spetses - Tolo - Nafplio

On Saturday, we continued sailing around the Argolic peninsula, Kate led the next watch as we sailed up to the anchor on the north end of Spetses. Dureti wrapped up her day of cooking with a homemade pizza feast, it was delicious. After dark, we had a watch vs. watch hide-and-seek. Starboard watch took the win, but there were some great hiding spots - notably by Jacob, Dureti, Millie and Xander. 

With a light breeze, Dureti had the watch sailing us off the anchor and north bound in the Argolic Gulf. We sailed close by a small sloop from Sweden,  and even a boat from Canada yesterday. There are still people out enjoying late season sailing and beautiful weather. Not long after the wind decided to go away, right at about the time we saw a large tuna jump a few times. We did a few laps with two lines out, but no luck - we continued north. Celia took the next watch all the way into our anchorage on the island of Tolo, several miles south of Nafplio. In the afternoon, we had swim call and a watch vs. watch Olympic style event featuring some sailing and water skills. It was close, but starboard watch (Xander, Millie, Dureti and Kate) edged out port for the victory. Millie and Ms. Flanagan also spent time working on their backflips, while Xander, Mr. Brown and I explored the rocky coast line. Celia's burritos were a big hit for dinner, a welcome conclusion to the day. 

This morning, Jacob sailed us off the anchor under jib alone and pointed us toward Nafplio. With Kate's eggs, bacon and chocolate chip muffins sitting nicely in our bellies, an hour later we were alongside the dock in one of the nicest small cities in Greece. Nafplio is fringed by towering mountains of the Peloponnese to the west and at the foot of an amazing Venetian fortress over 600' above. Taking care of Geronimo is always our first priority, so we moved into a quick deckwash. A short drive north brought us to Ancient Mycenae, where we walked through the Lion's Gate flanked by Cyclopian walls and into the site of the ancient city. We could see the site of Agememnon's palace, several remarkable tombs and artifacts found on the site. On the way back, we loaded up on some delicious oranges at a roadside stand next to an orange grove. They will soon make an appearance in our juicer. Back on board, we geared up for a scavenger hunt. It was port vs. starboard, and amazingly, the second year in a row, it was tied. Both watches did an excellent job, met lots of people and learned much about the city. The tie breaker was learning the opening lines of the Greek national anthem the fastest. Port watch (Sadie, Jacob, Claire and Celia) edged out starboard to claim victory. Back on board we had an award ceremony, and then departed for dinner at a local restaurant. The food was delicious, and coincidentally our waiter was the one who taught port watch how to sing the Greek national anthem. Gelato after dinner was, of course, in order. The crew is now struggling to move into quiet ship, but it seems like we are there. 

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