And so the last leg of our journey to the Greek mainland. The aim was to get to Porto Rafti for a crew change. Porto Rafti is the nearest sheltered anchorage to Athens airport where crew were departing and arriving from.
We decided to break the voyage to Porto Rafti with an overnight anchorage on the southern end of Makronosis. The island is uninhabited and according to the cruising guide there was quite a scenic bay we could drop anchor in at the southern end. When we go there there was already a motor cruiser and a fishing boat taking up prime spots and after a couple of attempts to get our anchor in a place that would give us swinging room we gave up and motored up the east coast of the island. It was blowing pretty hard but we weren’t too worried as there appeared to be a few other options on the way north. The first bay we tried our anchor dragged. The second bay we had more luck and settled in for the night. Makronosis is a desolate place. After the second world war the Greek government has used it as a prison camp for communist partisans and apparently the conditions for the prisoners were dreadful. There was a terrible air of sadness about the place and we were glad to leave the next morning for Porto Rafti.
We had a good sail north, close hauled and only had to motor for the last 3 miles when the wind came straight onto the nose. When we came into Porto Rafti we could see a small quay with a space so we dropped our anchor and motored back onto the quay, only to be waved off and told that it was private. So we went to haul up our anchor only to discover that it was stuck fast on a huge mooring chain. We managed to winch it up to within a couple of meters of the surface with the windlass straining and the bow dipping, and I was thinking that I would have to go into the water when Flaminia managed to get a loop of line around the roll bar of the anchor. We gave the anchor a bit of slack and then with a tug on the line it came free and we headed off into the bay and anchored.