It’s Sunday and my crew has departed. As stated earlier my plans have changed and so Eileen will head north through the Messina Strait and then follow the coast of Sicily to Palermo rather than stop in Malta. After checking the tides I’ll set off at sunset.
IMRAY Chart G1 Mainland Greece and the Peloponnísos ISBN 08522 805 8
IMRAY Chart G3 Aegean Sea (South) ISBN 9781846230769
Admiralty Chart 4302 Mediterranean Sea Eastern Part
BlueNav XL3 Electronic Chart Number: XLG34 for Magellan GPS Product Number: 980843-20E
November 1st, Day 1
Flight with Olympic Airlines to Athens, 4hrs later I was on my connecting flight to Corfu and by 11pm my voyage begins on Eileen of Avoca.
I was surprised to find the marina full of life as partygoers reveled well into the night. Apparently it was the last day of a flotilla outing for sailingholidays.com and everyone was “at it” with abandon. “At it” principally being the tavernas supply of alcohol. I happily went to bed as the sounds of nightlife turned decidedly ugly.
**Snapshot of Eileen of Avoca’s route in 2007. Note that the GPS was switched off most of the time while traveling through the Belgian and French canals.
I’d ranted in my log for many paragraphs on topics ranging from impossible work deadlines, horrendous Amsterdam traffic, long airport queues, unhelpful service desk personnel, zealous airport security staff, unannounced flight destination changes due to storm-force winds and forest fires leading to hours on a bus from hell. To save the reader from too many diatribes I’ll summarize my journey to Calvi as follows: “emotionally challenging”.
For the next two days the wind blew at Force 8 and it rained proverbial cats and dogs.
Saturday the 31st of March 2007
The long term weather forecasts had promised ideal sailing conditions but the high pressure system poised over England and Wales was stubbornly refusing to move south. With the wind blowing from the NE at a consistent Force 6 my planned trip to Belgium was evidently not going to be easy.
I called Yarmouth Harbour on my GSM and reserved a bridge opening for 19:00. Shortly thereafter, and with some trepidation, I moved Eileen from her pontoon at Yarmouth Marine Services to the visitor berths in the outer harbour to ensure a hassle free and timely start the next day.