The forecast for the three hour passage from Wreck Cove to Poros was less than 2 knots of wind, so for the first time this season, Mark didn’t bother to unpack and ready the mainsail … I think he’s depressed. Since we had the thunderstorms a few weeks ago, the temperature has steadily risen, but unfortunately the wind has disappeared…. so no white flappy thing, just lots of chug chug. The only breeze on our passage, was created by our forward momentum, however that little breeze was so inviting that Hudson and I took advantage and went forward to sunbathe leaving Mark at the helm.
We arrived at mid-day and after a quick swim we did the social circle visiting Alice and Christine on Spirit 3 and then Tina and Tim on Shiraz, all agreeing to meet later at 18:30 on the beach for boules and a BBQ.Neorion bay is a large bay a mile or so north-west of Póros, close to Russian Bay which got its name after the war of independence (1821 and 1832) against the Ottoman Empire, when the Russian fleet was based there. Neorion bay, on the other hand is overlooked by the magnificent Villa Galini where Henry Miller wrote “The Colossus of Maroussi” and Seferis composed his poetry – I am sure you are familiar with their works. Both of these bays are very popular with day trippers from Póros as they are the closest sandy beaches, lined with tall shady pine trees, there are a couple of tavernas, a petite shop and a few small hotels. It is a very pleasant setting and because of that, it attracts a little bit too much activity, water skiers try to see if they can jump into the back of your boat and the occasional ferry wash sends your mast into swash buckling mode, none the less, being able to cool off each time you feel like you are being baked from the inside is worth its weight in gold.At 18:30 our convoy of dinghy’s head for an empty spot on the beach, making for the welcoming shade under the pine trees. Hudson likes to perch at the front of the dinghy, paws resting over the forward tube like a figurehead on the prow of a ship staring fixedly to shore and amusing the other yachts as we pass them by. We arrive at the perfect spot, there are benches to sit on and a wall forms the table for the BBQ’s.
So with the BBQ’s heating up, its time for Boules. We split into boat teams, poor Mark got stuck with me and unfortunately my boules all seem to have a manufacturing defect as they seem to want to head in the opposite direction to the jack … hmmm!! Fortunately for Mark, the game stalled as we all compared our adventures of the last few weeks and then the food was ready before we could resume the game. So with our boules abandoned, we chatted the evening away with only the starlight to illuminate the beach (OK there were also a few street lamps, the lights from the hotels and the headlights of the cars as they passed close by, etc, etc). It was a really pleasant evening, the 3 dinghies returning back to our anchored boats in the dark … you can tell we are all seasoned yachties, as we all remembered, as we left in the daylight, to turn our anchor lights on and bring a torch.
Sunday was full of activity, starting with a swim, then a walk around the bay for Hudson, followed by wind surfing lessons for Mark. Alice has been wind surfing since she was 14 and has a couple of boards on her boat, so Mark decided to give it a go, having never done it before. Hudson and I joined Christine on Spirit III to watch, whilst Alice patiently instructed Mark, unfortunately he had managed to clog up his ears with seawater and so partially deaf, the instructions went mostly unheeded. It looked hard work as Mark got up, repeatedly fell off and got back up again, however with perseverance he finally managed to stay upright and surfed off across the bay… well half the bay. Returning to the boat exhausted Mark went for a well deserved afternoon nap … surprise, surprise.
The trio became a quorum when Alice had a call from Roger and Sisca from Waterval, who spotting her on the AIS and realising we were nearby, set off to join us, arriving around 14:00. I went to see the new arrivals and check in with the others on our evening plans, but rather than row the dingy, I had a quick lesson from Mark in using the outboard, for some a simple task but it was my first time, so off I went visiting. I was ok crossing between the yachts, but mooring on the transom was a nightmare, it took me five attempts to get onto Waterval, it is definitely easier to moor a 45ft Yacht than a 3ft dinghy. With greetings done and plans confirmed for the evening I set off back to our yacht nearly running over Alice’s windsurfer .. oops…. I think I’ll keep to rowing from now on its safer for everyone else.
We met on the beach for pre-dinner drinks, and then moved onto a local taverna in the bay for supper, the food was excellent, my calamari and Mark’s roast pork were delicious. It was great to have all four yachts together for the first time in four years since we all crossed from the UK to Portugal on the ARC Rally. There was a lot of catching up and the mandatory reliving of our (not so pleasant) Biscay passage, but all good things come to an end and the evening concluded with au revoirs as we go our different ways until September, when we may meet up again in the Ionian.