Cruising Logs 2003
S/Y EFAKI is a Mirage 28 built in 1977 by Thames Marine (UK) 


S/Y EFAKI is a member of the Piraeus Sailing Club (I.O.P.)


Home Up

In this page Cruises taking place during 2003 will be presented. 


First Test Sail, June 21st 2003.

The first test sail of the season took place on Saturday 21st June 2003. After the refitting almost completed and before I actually go for sailing with friends and family I took out the boat to test the engine, the repaired sails and the trimming of the mast. With a Northern wind (Meltemi) about 10-12 knots, Efaki sailed for about an hour in the familiar waters of Saronic Gulf. Since I had the tender towed the speed recorded was not more that 4 knots but I wanted the tender with me in case something happened with the engine of Efaki so as to use it for towing back to her mooring. The test sail proved useful in the sense that helped notice things that need taken care of before actually going for sailing. That said, the winch of the mast while trying to raise the main, broke one or two of the screws (I'll check and repair today) that attach it to the mast and nearly fell off. This happened probably due to galvanic corrosion of the screws since there was no grounding on the mast of Efaki until recently. Otherwise the test sail went well and gave promises of beautiful moments in the near future. It was the first sail of Efaki the last two years. The year before last, we didn't sail at all since Efi had a difficult pregnancy and then again last year the thermo-adjusting system of my daughter (as any newborn's) was not capable of tolerating the excessive heat.  

Summer Vacations - 5 to 20 July 2003.

This year since we had our daughter with us (she became two years old on July 12th) our plan was for vacations with the boat but not really sailing since we didn't know how she would behave on board and how we could adapt to her needs and our fears. So we choose to go to the Porto Hydra Hotel in Thermisia on the Eastern coast of Peloponisos. Facing the islands of Idra and Dokos, Porto Hydra Hotel is 196 klm from our Home in Athens but we difficult roads that take around three hours to travel. The distance by sea is only 42 miles. The Porto Hydra Hotel is a complex including the main Hotel, the Marina and a complex of privately owned houses and bungalows that have 3 km of canals in between like Venice. It's quite unique in Greece although the main hotel starts to show her age and probably needs a renovation. We decided to go to the hotel for the first week of our vacations and live aboard Efaki for the second week. 

This is the road map. Porto Hydra is in the right coast of Kranidi facing Idra island.

This is the chart for Porto Hydra.

We were supposed to leave early in the morning of Saturday July 5th. I was taking Efaki with the help of Efi's brother to Porto Hydra, and Efi with her car and the baby were supposed to meet us directly in the Hotel. Since I have not had the time to make enough test sails before our actual vacation, before casting away I performed a complete and thorough check in every system of Efaki and that is when I discovered that all four engine bases (mounts) were destroyed. The engine was sitting on them normally and during the first test sail a few days before nothing seamed to have a problem. But during close inspection I discovered that only the weight of the engine kept her on her bases. This probably happened since last year I had used a turnbuckle attached to the engine room bulkhead to temporarily cure the problem of tensioning the alternator tension arm that had broken. This is the reason that worn the engine bases out (something completely logical, since these mounts are specifically designed to bear vibration of a certain kind and direction that I had foolishly disturbed with the turnbuckle). I phoned my mechanic who could not find on Saturday replacement engine bases and so I left him the keys of the boat to repair it on Monday and with Efi and our baby we headed to the hotel with the car.

Monday the boat was ready as my mechanic replaced the engine bases and realigned the shaft. Total cost of materials and work 350 Euros. Next morning I took the flying dolphin (hydrofoil speed boat) from the nearby port of Ermioni (cost 20 Euro) and after a two hours trip reached Piraeus in noon. I went home to pick up a few more things and with my parents took Efaki around 6 pm and left for the island of Egina (Aegina). The weather was a Northern 5 Beauforts, a meltemi as we call the summer northern winds in Aegean Sea that start in the morning and die at night. It took around 3,5 hours to cover the 17 miles to the Egina (Aegina) port in which for the first time in years I berthed on the dock and not at a double raft.

Since I left in a hurry and in Microlimanon there is a coast guard office operating only in office hours, I took my papers and went to the harbor master's office to declare arrival, pay harbor dues and take permit for early next morning departure. Thanks god I met a friendly officer who explained me that in the last two years that I had not sailed Efaki (due to Efi's difficult pregnancy the first summer and next year due to excessive heat for the baby to bear) bureaucracy had made her miracle again and I was lack of two new papers that I was supposed to have and the lack of which made me responsible for a heavy fine. Thanks to this person early next morning I issued this new papers, which is something like a traffic license and a traveling form at a cost of 80 Euros. No fine paid. Right now the papers of Efaki I have with me are: these two new papers, the nationality paper (proof of ownership), the general inspection paper, the measurement paper (of the boat's dimensions), the radio transmition license, the VAT paid proof, the marina dues paid receipt and last but not least the insurance proof (that the last two years is compulsory). Oh yes, and the crew list paper that I must get stamped before each trip.

It is Wednesday morning July 9th as we leave Egina (Aegina) and head for the Poros island and about half an hour since we left port, the charging alarm buzzer sounds. I shut down immediately the engine only to discover that the screws that hold on the engine the tension arm of the alternator have snapped even breaking some pieces of the point of attachment on the engine. I tension the belt that except of the alternator turns also the engine raw water pump with a rope that is tied to the eye strap on the side bulkhead of the engine room (where last year I had placed the turnbuckle that destroyed the engine bases). I called my mechanic on the cell phone who told be that tensioning the belt with a rope was a better solution for the vibration of the engine rather the turnbuckle that could make the same damage to the new engine bases. With reduced engine speed and only the main hoisted since there was only a force 2 northern winds, we headed for Poros and continued to the Marina of Porto Hydra Hotel that we reached around 6 pm.

Did I tell you that I was burned by the sun although the repeated application of sunscreen? A white shirt with long sleeves and a white set of trousers is now long the compulsory outfit during sunny sails. The following days were spent on the hotel and in near places like Ermioni and Porto Heli that we went by car. I didn't want to chance the possible bad experience of both my wife and daughter in sea with a damaged engine especially since Efi would be occupied with the baby to be able to help me in repairs or by sailing Efaki. We enjoyed the sea and our daughter so much that we didn't really missed the sailing. The only "sea" activity we had was touring with the tender to the 3 kms of the canals of the hotel.

There are about 150 (?) houses and in between the 3 kms of the canals. There are bridges to connect the created "islands" of houses to the main hotel facility and the marina and the beach that has a "blue flag" awarded by the European Union authorities for organization and cleanness.  


Left:A ride with the tender to the canals. Right: My daughter playing on the dock.


Left: Me and my daughter in front of Efaki. Right: Elpida (my daughter) on her cabin.

Efi and Elpida on the bow of Efaki.

On Saturday 19th July was the end of our vacation (we departed Saturday rather than Sunday so as to have a day to rest and prepare for our jobs on Monday). With the help of Efi's brother that came Friday night with the hydrofoil, we departed around 9 am from Porto Hydra Marina heading to Microlimanon Piraeus. We first paid the electricity and water bill of the Marina (cost 20 Euro) and then left facing a continues force 5 Meltemi with gusts ranging from 20 to 30 knots. It took us exactly 10 hours to cover the 42 miles since we were facing an opposite wind and there was a heavy swell. We had the engine running in low revs all the time and the rope that kept the alternator belt tensioned worked remarkably. As we reached the permanent mooring of Efaki on the dock of the Piraeus Sailing Club, Efi was there to meet us along with our daughter. That concludes our summer vacations for 2003. Efaki was used rather as a hotel than a sailing boat but will finally retrieve her true nature as we slowly get used with our baby aboard during short sails to take place in August.


Last updated: August 6th 2003.