This morning we got ready to go back to sea. At 1100, the lift came to pick us up and put us back into the water. The wind had been screaming yesterday, and the forecast was the same for today. But, so far, the wind wasn’t too bad and the sea in the bay seemed to be calm. This is a very good thing.
We had planned to take Ali and his family for a quick ride around the bay so they could experience being on a Nordhavn for themselves. There were a few cruisers staying at the yard that were watching Kosmos being put back in the water, so we invited them along, too. We were only out for 30 minutes, and it was a fun little ride.
We dropped off the guests, then took the 2 ½ hour ride over to D-Marina, where we tied up to the customs pier and checked out of the country. This was the fastest and easiest check out of all time. Within 15 minutes of tying up, we were pulling out again. We were so sad to see that our gleaming boat is already covered with salt and dirt again. Man, that was quick! We were even more sad to discover the port stabilizer squeak has returned, though not nearly as bad as it was.
The weather forecast for this passage is ugly, with head winds in the 20 30 knot range. The forecast doesn’t improve any time in the near future, so we are taking off anyway. We have probably stayed in the eastern Mediterranean too long, and we need to head west to get to the favorable winds.
By 1730, the wind was up to the low 20’s, and the waves tolerable. So far conditions were better than they were on the trip to Bodrum. By 2030, the seas were up to 4 feet, with the occasional 6 footer, coming from the starboard beam (middle right). We were rolling pretty good. It was uncomfortable. The moon was ¾ full and bright, which was nice. Good visibility is a plus.
Conditions stayed pretty much the same for the rest of the passage. It was only a 21 hour total passage. You can live with anything for 21 hours, right? We arrived back in Agios Nickolaos around 1230. As approached the marina entrance, Eric increased RPM to blow out the stack. He likes to stand outside and watch to see how much soot there is, and was dismayed when he saw the soot came from the base of the stack instead of the top. Uh oh. When he had done the engine room checks on this trip, he had thought the smell was just slightly off, but assumed it was his imagination. He had also noticed a little soot in there, but hadn’t thought much of it. But on seeing the smokestack, he knew we had an exhaust leak.
On a more exciting note, we rolled up 20,000 miles this morning. We have spent 126 days at sea, a total of 27% of our time since we left for this journey in April 2007. We are averaging about 2.7 miles per gallon, which means we have burned through approximately 7,400 gallons fuel since we got Kosmos. We have 3390 hours on the main engine.
Now seems a fitting time for commentary on ocean life. We’ve mentioned this before, but since we’ve gone 20,000 and still find it to be an issue, we think it is worth mentioning again. Often, on the first day or two of a passage, as we get hungry we will begin to feel nausea instead of hunger pains. The more hungry we get, the more nauseous we feel. Logically, we know it is simply hunger and that as soon as we eat, we will feel good again. As much as we know we need to eat, it is hard to force ourselves to do it. Our bodies forcefully tells us “NO, don’t do it! Don’t do it!”. We often gag when trying to swallow because our bodies are fighting the food so hard. It is truly an exercise in willpower to make ourselves eat. And once we have eaten, we always feel better.
Another thing worth repeating is that in rough seas, it takes a lot of mental preparation to do anything. You really have to psyche yourself up to do even the littlest things, like go to the bathroom. The slightest physical effort can seem overwhelming at times.
We have mentioned that we are really different from most cruisers in many ways, such as being on a power boat, being younger, etc. Another area where we are different than most other cruisers is our passage preferences. Many cruisers like to move often, doing lots of short hops up a coast or from close island to close island. Not us. We prefer to move less often and do longer passages. We find that the first couple days at sea are the hardest, and assuming the seas aren’t terrible, we’d rather keep going once we are adjusted to the seas than to stop for a day or two, only to have to have to readjust to being at sea all over again. We also think parking the boat is stressful, whether parking in an anchorage or a marina, and stopping less often means less parking stress.
Back to our day”¦. Needless to say, between the rough passage and the horrible discovery about the exhaust leak, neither of us was in a good mood. We proudly pulled out our passarelle, which we had trouble getting properly adjusted. We were too far from the sea wall and needed to back up some more to get close enough to use it. One of the marina staff had to come aboard and help us. We used the winch to tighten the mooring line, which is certainly easier than trying to crank it tight by hand. Even when the boat and passarelle were properly situated, it still didn’t seem to be totally stable. Sigh.
We then immediately went to check into the country. Customs told us that their computers went down about 15 minutes ago, and that we couldn’t check in until tomorrow. Another sigh. We went out to lunch to a restaurant we hadn’t tried before. The food wasn’t very good. The day just seemed to be getting worse and worse.
Back on board, Christi did laundry and gave the boat a quick scrub down. Eric looked at the exhaust. It turned out to be a worn gasket. We believe that the gasket began to wear out when we went through the Suez Canal. The bad news is that we don’t have that particular gasket in our collection of parts. One of our friends had told us specifically that we needed to have a spare gasket, but those last days before we left were so frantic that his advice went in one ear and out the other.