10 Aug, set of nice and early to meet Tag, only to discover they had left as I was underway(had to drop off passengers). Going under the Rhion bridge was quite nice, you call ahead 5 NM, then again at 1. The bridge is quite a feat of engineering, at 2.6km, it is the longest cable stayed bridge. One thing that boggles the mind - despite having a what I suspect a multilane bridge, there still is a fully functioning ferry service immediately, alongside it - WTF..
I got to Trizonia(initial destination) at 14h00 I consulted the Pilot guide and found Galaxhidi or Itea - either of these are the closest to the Oracle at Delphi. I figured since I wasn't going to catch up to TAG in a hurry might as well see a site. I motored on, I turned into a smaller cove as there was a nasty cloud to SB and the wind was starting to come in puffs and the sea was looking agitated further south. After a 2 attempts my anchor set but not enough swinging room, so the time was now 1800 so I decided to go to Galaxhidi. Shortly after leaving the small gulf, I heard a thud and a lot of vibration from the drive. I immediately assumed I'd struck something and my prop was damaged, I put the engine in neutral, reved it a bit and still it was vibrating, but sounded fine. I was on a bit of a Lee shore(300m) I put up my jib and was moving away quite nicely, I then decided I was going to Itea as it was a bigger harbour. I called Itea harbour, letting them now that I had a problem with my prop, but I was going to sail to outside the harbour and would need assistance entering and docking. I was just passing Galaxhidi, Itea insisted I stop there, I advised him no, I wanted to continue. He got back and said they had dispatched someone to help me to Galaxhidi. I continued sailing towards Galaxhidi. A small boat approached and told me he had been sent by the coastguard, I told him I could sail in bit only needed help entering the port and tieing up. Itea harbour came back and asked me if someone had arrived. I said they had and things were OK. I let the guy tow me, I asked that he just tie up alongside as it would be easier than towing. He insisted on towing, I again told him to tie up alongside and he agreed. After 10 minutes, we were tied up, the Port Police there to greet me. Nikos(pirate) came to me before the coastguard spoke to me and told me it was going to be 350 + 50 for the port police, he told me to keep it quite and come and speak to him after I spoke to the Port Police - I was speechless.
The Port Police was extremely professional and helpful and asked me to go speak to them once I'd tidied up and relaxed.I paid for my berth, 10 bucks for the night+ water+electricity ( I didn't use either), went to the port Police with.my documents. I asked him why I was paying this guy 300+50 for them. They were not happy at all, they don't take money for helping and doing their job and started calling asking WTF. They immediately called their commander and told me not to pay anything till if discussed the matter with him tomorrow. He tried to call a mechanic for me and since he got no reply, he told me to come back early tomorrow and he would walk me over to the mechanic.
I went back to the boat for a shower, then went out for dinner. I woke up this am, had breakfast, read the instructions on the prop, tried the gopro camera, but that didn't work so well. Then put on swimming mask, went under the boat and was somewhat reassured by what I sa - a bloody lot of plastic around my still intact 3 bladed kiwiprop. I took some air, ripped away the plastic, checked that all blades still feathered freely, which they did. I started the motor, put it in forward 1800rpm no vibration, no funny noise.. Tried reverse same result.. Everything sounded fine - I still need to inspect mountings and saildrive oil. Much relieved I went and updated my blog.
Come 9am, I went to the Port Police and told them I had fixed the problem and I didn't need a mechanic. I was asked to tie my boat stern to as I was tied alongside and come back at 10 since the commander Janis would be in and wanted to understand what happened.
So far my experience with the Port Police has been extremely good, very professional and helpful. Janis didn't disappoint, we went through all the events and he agreed that 350 was a bit steep, since the sea was calm and we were less than a mile from port, however, this matter was between myself and Nikos. It was explained that the Port Police, is the coastguard and also deals with enforcing and policing harbours, inland it is the Police's responsibility. He advised me to try to speak to Nikos, should that fail he would have to get involved as he was the law. He signed my logbook, to reflect that I had requested assistance and cleared me on my way since there was no issues.. On to deal with the pirate..
He wanted to go aboard my boat and I refused. I told him what he was asking was unrealistic, he insisted it wasn't , I offered him 100 euro and he went off to the Port Police. John(Janis) tried to speak some sense into him that 350 was a bit steep (Pirate said the extra 50 wasn't for the Port Authority, but for his helper - I asked him why he ran off and told me not to mention this to Port Police) - clearly a misunderstanding... Within 15 minutes he had a lawyer and they were upstairs speaking. Long story short he Pirate and his Lawyer started threatening to impound my boat an go to court - over 350 Euro. His lawyer informed me that she charges 120 an hour and this could become expensive - I pointed out equally for her client.. After a while I asked if there was a lawyer I could speak to as this was sounding fishy, a guy dispatched by the coastguard to help, tows you to dock, 1000m and he can charge what he wants? They got a lawyer to come and offer advice.. His advice, despite the facts, there was a 60/40 chance I could loose and the cost would be 1-2k.. Talk about a clusterfuck, at this point I just wanted to get out of there, I reluctantly paid the Thieving Pirate 300 Euro, asked for a receipt - he would have to pay the tax on that..
By 14h00, I was done with the Pirate and I decided to go off and see the Oracle at Delphi. I took one bus to Itea, changed and then off to see the Oracle. Delphi itself, is a nice hilltop town, sadly rather empty, a lady, I got talking to on the way, said the hotels were empty in town and she was paying 25 OORO per night.. I walked around the ruins and they were fairly impressive. There are three sites, the Sanctuary of Appollo, the Kastalia spring and Sanctuary of Athena. The main site is the temple of Appollo on the site they had an amphitheater and a stadium, where the first Olimpic games were held - the stadium had seating capacity for 5000, it is pretty impressive.. After wondering around for a while, I wend back to Delphi, had some food waited for the bus and back to the boat, next day - Corinth Canal, unfortunately, it was closed between 06H00-18H00...
|Approaching Rion Bridge (Andarion is on the left)|
|Being "Helped" by Thieving Nikos|
|Docked at Galaxidi|
|The source of my problems - new pet peeve, plastic at sea!|
|New dock - stern to, with anchor.|
|At Delphi, looking at Itea|
|Looking back at Mount Parnasos|
|Looking up at the Temple of Apollo - the retaining wall is quite impressive|
|Entrance to Temple of Apollo|
|Some Roman Emperor wanting to leave his mark..|
|Comfi charis all the way back.|
|Aqueduct used to bring water down to the sanctuary buildings|
|Yet another picture of the Temple of Apollo|
Then one walks further down the road, towards the Spring of Calista spring where people seeking answers would clense themselves before proceeding to the Oracle - guess that is what I did wrong!!!
|Spring of Calista|
|Looking down at a gymnasium and up at the Sanctuary of Apollo|
|Tholos at the centre|
|An alter to a diety|
|Axe heads and helmets|
|On the left are bronze/silver artifacts in exquisit detail - on the right, the things used to protect them (I guess)|
|The details on these stone figurines is pretty impressive|
|Twins of Thalos (on the pedestal of the one on the right, is the sculptor's name)|
|Bronze inscence burner|