Between Crete and Kasos, Karpathos and Rhodes the winds are Force 7, and having put up with a gale upon my return from Egypt, I was in no mood to relive that sopping experience.
My Tiller Pilot ST2000 never recovered from the gale. Despite my patient attempts at electronic resuscitation, the unit stayed unresponsive. Having opened her up (my Autohelm was so temperamental she warranted gender designation, but I draw the line at that. In my opinion assigning all the inanimate objects on my boat familiar names such as “Tilly the Auto-Pilot” is carrying things a bit too far), I discovered that the casing is not so waterproof after all. I’ll wrap the next one in plastic bags when conditions deteriorate.
Saturday the 26th of April
In stark contrast to the previous leg, Saturday was not the best of days to go sailing. The wind had turned and the swell had grown considerably (Force 6 on the nose is never pleasant) but there was no other option given the schedule I’d set myself. My entire trip hinged on making significant progress on a daily basis. Had I more time available I would have happily sat out much of the uglier weather in port, but I had to be back at work on the 5th and the longest part of the journey still lay ahead. At this point, nothing short of a gale would see me skip a day.
Broken Autohelm mount
Just north of Ischia the mount for my Autohelm broke. Years of water seeping into small fractures in the timber had weakened the laminated block and it came away at the level of the evidently rusty screw heads. I was near several well-sheltered ports so rather than spend the night at an anchorage as originally planned I made for Chiaiozza (20Euros with water and electricity) to make repairs. Lavish use of 24hr Araldite had my tiller-pilot mount looking as good as new. I spent the rest of the evening taking in the sights of this unexpectedly pretty little port.