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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!

 

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