Grab a Jaguar, October 2007

N 38° 19' E 20° 47'

What is that in the water

October 12, 2007

Today is a “free sailing” day as the flotilla lead crews are all meeting up at Frikes for a party.

It sounds like a noisy session, and I don’t particularly like the harbour at Frikes. This is the only place in the Ionian where you have to do a side-to berthing as the harbour bottom won’t hold an anchor. This normally results in boats being rafted out several deep.

A word of warning: They added a floating pontoon on the North side of the harbour a few years ago. Don’t use it! It is totally exposed to the wash from the big ferries heading down to Vathi or Patras and the results can be disasterous. Just after they installed it one yacht ended up ON the pontoon in the middle of the night… Damage to masthead equipment etc from neighbouring boats smashing masts together is common.

Gary and I decide to head to Fiskardo on Kephelonia, which is a far nicer village and a far safer harbour. We also decide to go the long way round, i.e round the southern end of Ithica so it is up with the birds and underway at 07:00.

Coming out of the bay we see some nasty looking towers of cloud, looks like there may be thunder around again today.

As we approach the southern end of Ithika I see something orange in the water ahead of us and alter course to avoid it, but as we get closer I can see that it is actually far bigger than it looked at first sight. It turns out to be a mooring buoy for a large vessel, about 18 inches in diameter and some four feet long, nearly totally full of water and semi-submerged.

There were some large colourful fish swimming around and under it, presumably the growth on it was tasty!

An object like that could do serious damage to a small craft so we had better get it out of the channel but how? It proves far too heavy to hook with the boat-hook so I go for a stern-to approach to it and try to lift it onto our bathing platform, still too heavy for me to lift. Time for some mechanical assistance, a tie a mooring line to it and winch it up. Well we get it half out of the water but that as far as it will come so I decide to tow it in that position.

I dont really want to haul it all the way to Fiscardo so where can I leave it where it will be safe? Then I remembered a little sheltered bay on the southern coast of Ithica that I went into a few years ago. We can tow it in there and beach it.

By the time we get there most of the water seems to have drained out of it and when we slip the tow it is floating high in the water and the onshore breeze should do the rest. If it does get washed out of the bay again then it should at least be a lot more visible.

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