Sunday, June 26, 2011

Temple of Poseidon & boat repairs

Zach at Temple of Poseidon
The first day back at Sounion while waiting out the meltimi the fuel pump on our Onan generator failed.  Not a problem; or so we thought.  Like any thinking sailor, we had stocked up on as many spare parts as possible before setting out across the Pacific.  One of those spares was a replacement fuel pump for the generator.  Just switch it out and all will be fine again.

Except for one minor detail.   Our spare pump was off by one digit.  Should have been something like 2311 and the one we had was 2331.  Anyway, the spare was the wrong pump and could not be modified to work with our generator.  After researching for hours, Bill located the correct pump at a shop near Alimos Marina.  Further research determined that a bus ran from Sounion to Athens several times daily.  Ahh!  A day of adventure for Bill and Zach.  I stayed on the boat because there was no way we would leave it unattended at anchor with winds gusting over 35 knots.  Trey opted to remain on the boat with me because riding in a bus for several hours sounded painful to his knee.

BeBe is boat just left of Zach's hat brim
We helped Bill get the dinghy in the water and the outboard mounted; and Bill and Zach headed off to the nearest resort to find out where to board the bus to Athens.  Turned out that you board the bus up near the Temple of Poseidon.  So they hiked up that hill to await the next bus.  They did not have the camera so Bill took a few crappy photos with his phone.  

Soon the bus arrived and they were off.  Bill brought the handheld GPS with the shop address programed.  How convenient.  A few hours later they had the correct pump in hand and were waiting for the return bus to Sounion. 
Zach at Temple of Poseidon
They did not know the trick to getting a bus to stop to pick them up; so the first bus passed them by as they stood in the bus stop area.  They watched other people and realized that you must hold your hand outstretched straight to signal the bus to stop; otherwise, the bus just skips stopping at the designated bus stop.  By 15:00 they were back in Sounion.  Mission accomplished.

Bill at Temple of Poseidon
They took the opportunity to walk around the Temple of Poseidon again.  They back down the hill and dinghy back to the boat.  The winds were still in the 30 knot range all day.  Minutes after returning to the boat, Bill had the new fuel pump installed and the generator, watermaker and washing machine were all operating simultaneously.  Life was good again aboard S/V BeBe.

We stayed in this anchorage for 2 nights.  On the third day the winds were down to 20-25 knots and we decided to move farther northward to a nice anchorage at Varkiza that Bill and Zachary had seen from the bus.  The sailing guide didn't offer much information about this anchorage.  Don't know why because it turned out to be the best anchorage we have visited thus far in Greece.

Varkiza has a long sand beach, half filled with lounge chairs and umbrellas and the other half open to the non-paying public -- bring your own chairs and umbrellas.  There were wind surfers zooming all around.  Also had speed boats pulling tourists laying on large floats.  Well-marked swim areas along the beach.  Really a very nice area with immediate access to restaurants. bars, bakeries and stores.  Bottom was sand and very good holding.  What more could you ask for!  People on the few boats anchored there were swimming off their boats after the winds abated somewhat. 

On the second day Trey and Zach went ashore for lunch.  They returned raving about what a good meal they enjoyed.  Also returned bearing treats from the bakery they found by following their noses.  That afternoon we tied fenders on long lines on the back of the boat so Trey and Zach could swim.  The wind was still blowing so strong that we were afraid they might get swept away.  Zachary often held onto the fenders and ropes and I think he tired quickly trying to swim and stay near our boat, but Trey swam without any assistance.

The change the next morning was astounding.  The winds were completely calm.  Seas were completely flat.  Back to "Lake Med" conditions -- as Trey has dubbed it.  The entire time he was visiting us, conditions were either flat calm with no wind whatsoever.......or winds were 25-35 knots and seas steep and choppy.  This is really a crappy place for sailing.  Better to have a motor vessel if "sailing" the Greek isles.

We motored back to Zea Marina.  It was a tiny thrill to spot a US warship anchored just outside the entrance to the marina.  We had heard Warship 61 on the VHF radio the previous day and knew they were somewhere in the vicinity.   Who knows why they are in Greece.  As soon as we were docked we confirmed with George the Famous Taxi Driver that he would pick up Trey at 03:15 for the trip to the airport.   Trey's time with us was up already.  My, the time flew!!  Wish he could have seen more of the islands but the high winds prevented that from happening.  He did not get to see very much of Greece, but he did see how we live aboard BeBe.  This was his first visit with us on this boat.  

Zucchini on steroids?
BTW, we discovered a slightly odd-looking vegetable while Trey was with us.  We think it is a version of zucchini, except that it is shaped like a cantaloupe.  Both Trey and Zachary like this version of zucchini better than the normal long skinny zucchini.  Wonder what this is called?

Chocolate filled vanilla wafer
Chocolate filled vanilla wafer
Speaking of unusual foods, in Marmaris we bought a small package of cookies.  These things were wonderful!  Wish we had bought more.  They were like vanilla wafers filled with dark chocolate.  It is the little things in life that bring so much pleasure.  Vanilla wafers are like a little piece of heaven and cannot be found hardly anywhere outside the USA.  Having vanilla wafers filled with dark chocolate is heaven on earth. 

Tomorrow morning I will meet our granddaughter Elisabeth, a/k/a BeBe, at the airport.  She will be with us until mid-August, enjoying the company of her cousin Zachary, as we explore more of Greece. 

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