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In the meantime, we are back home in Heidelberg for almost three weeks - well docked and quickly overcoming the cold shock. Aglaya stands well covered on land in Kalamata. We quickly got out our winter clothes and are now moving ashore. The view of our living room window keeps the longing for sailing alive (although this is a completely different boat, the model of the approx. 25m long Tuiga, built in 1909, still sailing in the Mediterranean and still winning regattas). For the first Advent we hung a star over her bow today.

We wish you all a wonderful Advent season - on board or ashore, wherever you are.

After four visits (= 4 days with 3 persons incl. Saturday and Sunday) it worked: The much too small travelift lifted us onto the land. Now Aglaya stands high and dry - a berth above the marina of Kalamata. No more swaying. But that's the problem: a totally stupid feeling, because the equilibrium organ and the body feeling compensate for the small boat movements when you move on board or when there is wave. And now nothing. But the feeling of swaying remains. Even more when you look at the boats swaying in the water........

A few days working on the boat for preparing it for winter, and an order for service, and in the winter months the hull is thoroughly overhauled and new antifouling will be applied. 

Still some cleaning and maintenance work, then in March oil change will be made and coolant exchanged - then the season 2022 can start. 

But now first 3 hours by bus through the wild Peloponnese peninsula and across the (still closed) channel of Corinth to Athens. There a night in the hotel, of course, with a long tour to the spectacular Acropolis and into the chaotic winding old town Plaka - then on the 8th of November the plane goes to the cold Germany - home to friends, choir, band......that we are looking forward to.  

Mooring at Marina Kalamata

In the evening in Finikunda we went after the smell of diesel, which was still slightly noticeable since refueling in Pylos. The shock: there was some diesel on the tank, but in the bilge under the engine there was really very much. As it turned out later, it was water, but we didn't know that yet. Therefore, we changed our plans: With water in the boat and diesel across the Aegean? In heavy winds? No, we shouldn‘t do that. The next marina (with the possibility of a winter berth on land) from Finikunda is Kalamata, at the north end of a bay in the Messinian Gulf, last year we lay there for a week.
After 6 hours, again without wind, again with engine, we moored in Kalamata. The water was pumped out - 120 liters! Checking in the marina office if there is a winter shore mooring and what it costs, checking how it looks with crane for a two-master with 16 tons - that turned out to be a medium disaster.
In order for the boat to fit into the travelift (which is outdated and too small), both forestays (which brace the mast forward and give it stability) had to be removed, which took several days with hard attempts, because the stages had not been moved in years. The adjusters - bronze on stainless steel - were simply tight. With three men using heavy tools and a lot of force, including heating, they finally were loose on the third day. Now nothing stands in the way of Aglya's shore leave. Only we have to wait one day passing with bad weather, because there is too much swell in the harbor. In the meantime we are very practiced in waiting.

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Finikunda

After two nights at anchor we could finally reach the harbor pier in Pylos to bunker water and diesel and to buy food. Dialog with the resolute blonde while unlocking the water supply: "Hello, are you the Water-Lady?" "No, I am not the Water-Lady. I am the Harbour-Master.

Thereby we could practice mooring alongside, because we had to shift three times until we had everything together. Pylos is very lively compared to our visit in summer 2020. Because of Corona many stores were closed last year.

With a weak wind we went around the southwest tip of the Peloponnes. We were able to admire the impressive Venetian-Ottoman fortress of Methoni. Here you can also anchor nicely, but we decided for Finikunda, a small place with a harbor a bit further east. The harbor guide says that you can moor there - if there is room - at a small pier. When we carefully put the bow into the small harbor, we found out that the harbor was full of small boats and anyway not suitable for a yacht of our length to moor. Sometimes it is astonishing what is written in the harbor guides. In it we found again and again data, which did not agree at all with our estimate.

So we anchored again. In such a beautiful bay with good anchoring ground this is an easy decision. A beautiful scenery, a wide view, great colors at sunset and a quiet night. What more could you want?

Navarino is the largest protected anchorage in Greece, four to five nautical miles in size, surrounded by hills to the east and bizarre cliffs to the west. In the Peloponnesian War of 425 BC, the Athenian fleet defeated the Spartans. Not much is known about this battle, which may also have taken place in front of the bay. More important and still significant today is the second naval battle: On October 20, 1827, an Anglo-French-Russian fleet defeated the Turkish-Egyptian one. Thus, the Ottomans were finally expelled from Greece: the beginning of Greek independence.

On the 194th anniversary of this battle, we anchored in the middle of the bay and could enjoy the celebrations with music, laser show and fireworks.

After a grueling wait, interrupted only by our nice visit on board and ashore, the engine is running again, thanks to "our" professional excellent mechanic Dimitris from Patras. But before we could leave, we had to weather a storm (54 knots, equivalent to 10 wind forces!). It caused considerable damage to the fishermen's jetties and also in the marina.

On Sunday we set off, heading south. Meanwhile we are already more than 100 nautical miles further and approach the western southern tip of the Peloponnese, where we can hopefully turn east and sail around the capes Tenaro and Maleas into the Aegean Sea. Destination: The island of Leros off the Turkish coast, just northwest of Rhodes. There we have a winter berth on land.