It turned out to be just as windy as forecast yesterday. We should have done boat chores all day, but we didn’t. We visited with the owner of the Nordhavn for a couple hours, then went out to dinner with him later in the evening. Other than that, we lounged.
The forecast for today was supposed to be another windy day, but when we got up, the wind was calm. We checked the forecast and saw that it had changed in our favor. We decided to take the boat to a small island an hour and a half north of Agios Nickolaos, called Spinalonga. Spinalonga has a lot of historical significance and is a popular day trip for tourists. The Venetians built a fort on the island in 1579, and when the Venetians battled the Turks over Crete, the fort on Spinalonga was the last outpost to be taken by the Turks. In 1903 the island became a leper colony until shortly after world war II. Now it is simply an uninhabited tourist attraction.
While site seeing on Spinalonga was part of the plan for today’s activities, the real reason we were taking Kosmos out was so we could go to a calm anchorage to clean the bottom. There was no way Christi was going to get into the water in the marina. She wanted clean water, a nice open space with lots of room to work, and just enough current to sweep away the gross things that float in the water after being scrubbed off the bottom. Since we haven’t cleaned the bottom since the Andaman Islands, we expected it to be a really big, nasty job this time around. A secondary reason to go out was to give Kosmos some exercise. We aren’t planning on taking Kosmos from Agios Nickolaos for another few weeks, and it isn’t good for her to sit for so long.
We untied and cast off. At first, it was a smooth ride, but as we progressed north, the wind picked up to the 30’s (with gusts up to 38 knots) and the sea was full of white caps. Darn. We got hit by some bigger waves that sprayed salt all over the pilot house, which meant Kosmos would need a really good scrubbing when we got back to the marina. Good thing there isn’t a lot of fetch here. If there was, the waves would be ugly.
We found a spot in a sheltered cove and dropped anchor in about 10 feet of water. We were pleasantly surprised to find the parts of the bottom that are painted had virtually no growth at all, just the same thin layer of fuzz that had been on the bottom in the Andamans. It would be an easy scrub down. However, we were dismayed by just how much growth was on the metal. The metal was solid barnacles, and there is a decent amount of metal down there. Christi got to work scraping the metal with a tool called a 6 in 1 scraper that we bought in the paint department at Home Depot. Eric did the water line. When Eric finished the water line, he took over metal scraping. For the rest of the afternoon, we rotated metal scraping, with one of us getting in as soon as the other stopped for a rest. After 4 ½ hours of non-stop scraping, we decided we had enough for the day and headed back to the marina. We had gotten most of the metal done, but not all of it, nor did we ever get around to scrubbing the bottom. Nor, for that matter, did we make it to Spinalonga to go sight seeing. Oh well, all things for another day.
Here is a shot of Spinalonga from the anchorage. It looks old and historic, doesn’t it?