header photo

Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 11 - Remind me again why this is fun?

September 21, 2009

We started out of Santorini at 8am planning a 6 hour trek to an island called Astipalaia.  We had anticipated a long day of sailing in 25 kt winds.  Alas the weather gods were not cooperating.  After pounding away in 5 foot seas and 20 knot winds for 5 hours, we were no where near the destination and the seas and winds were getting worse... and worse... and worse...

In the end, we found ourselves surfing up and down 10 foot waves.  The winds were 35 kts gusting to nearly 40 kts.  At one point Dave said "holy shit".  Melissa knew that couldn't be good.  A 12 foot wave loomed overhead.  Thank good it didn't break on our heads.  Many of the 10 footers did.  We were soaked to the bone, shivering cold, and all wishing we could just pull over and stop.  Alas, we still had another 2 hours to go to our destination. 

Somewhere along the way we lost the boat hook and a fender that were swept overboard.  At one point, Melissa was knocked on her back as she tried to make her way from one side of the cabin to the other.  Despite holding on to a hand hold, she was tossed across the boat onto her back.  Ouch.  Oh, and  the auto pilot quit working.  So Dave hand sailed the whole long ugly day without a break (the rest of us were too scared to steer.)



At one point Dave saw two dolphins - looking horizontally into a 12 foot wave.  They were zipping through the wave without a care in the world.  We all wished we were dolphins.

After 8 hours of unhappy sailing we finally reached our cove.  A tinny little "hurricane hole" of an anchorage - with a small entrance and tall hills on all sides, we finally found calm waters.  The bay was filled with other boats waiting out the storm.



We arrived in the bay a bit worse for wear.  Melissa immediately got in a hot shower because she was shivering so hard she couldn't do anything else.  We also found that nearly all the deck hatched leaked.  So all the bunks, sheets, blankets, and pillows were soaked.  We put them out on the deck to dry.



We then discovered much to our dismay that one of the toilets didn't like being heeled over and tossed about all day in the waves.  So the holding tank spewed its guts all over.  No only did this totally trash one of the two heads, but since the boat bilges aren't properly isolated, it also dumped sewage into one of the lower kitchen cupboards.  We spent a hour pumping and cleaning sewage.  And the remaining bilges are not properly connected and draining.  So we spend another hour pumping them out as well.

Go Back

Comment