Port of Sa'id to Athens
We arrived safely in Greece after a tough run up from Kasos - officially
ending Leg 2 of the ATW. For the last few days of the trip, the
crew was so close to reaching its final destination but our forecaster
had recommended that we wait until Wednesday the 27th to depart.
Then Tuesday we noted the barometer rising rapidly, the sky clearing
and the ragged horizon softening from the foam peaked mess that
we had watched for the previous two days. Additionally the freighter,
"SHARK", was departing so we decided to poke our nose around the
north east side of the island and see how rough it would be on our
north west course – towards Athens. Clearing the lee of the island
we noted about 20 knots of wind on our nose along with a sloppy
and diminishing sea. At reduced rpm we were getting a fairly comfortable
ride so decided to push on the last 200 miles towards our destination.
Our first waypoint after clearing Kasos would be the island of
Santorini (about 100 miles) then we would thread our way through
the Cyclades Island chain through most of early Wednesday – hopeful
to arrive about mid-day on Wednesday. By dawn, even with a Barometer
of 1010 mb, the wind came back out of the north at almost 30 knots.
We decided to keep our speed up despite a lively ride and motored
into the lee of Greece’s Akra Sounion just before 5:00 pm – pulling
into the Glyfada Marina about 5:30 – with Jeff Leishman, Pete Eunson
and Justin Zumwalt welcoming us in.
In the 62 days since leaving Singapore we had covered over 6,000
nautical miles with total 24-hour motoring days of under 40. With
minor exception (we ran about 250 miles more) we had almost duplicated
the route "Passagemaker" had taken 40 years earlier and despite
the shorter water line of the 40, she took less than five days longer
to complete the voyage.
Our greatest concern – the security of the Middle East – had proven
to be a non-issue. As many yachts as ever passed through the Red
Sea this season and not a single incident has been reported. For
the most part the weather was excellent with the only challenging
weather during the last week existing within the Mediterranean.
Leg three now begins with Jeff, Pete and Justin aboard. It’ll be
a challenge to clear the unsettled springtime weather of the Mediterranean
but "NORDHAVN" will soon again be headed south to the tropical conditions
of the central Atlantic.
Good luck to Jeff, Justin and Pete!