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June 2000 Diary

21.06.2000 Finally an update. Again I have limited sources to download in Greece, but I do my best to send more stories soon. I just started to write something about Elounda, with Nina's help. Stay tuned.

June 21st 2000 We are about to sail westward. First Iraklion, than Soudha Bay. We had a nice time in Elounda and it is time to leave. We must move on.





(Picture fishing harbor in Elounda)

June 20th 2000 The weather is calming down. There was a lot of disturbance in those last day, with winds up to 9 bft. AMBERELLA was moored in Elounda and danced in those gales like a "ballerina". She proves to be more of a sea vessel than I thought. Already during the trip to Karpathos I realized that.

Yesterday I had the feeling it was spooky on AMBERELLA. At the moment we have a lot of little breakdowns. Real strange things happening. For example yesterday night our batteries went down. All power went off, by my automatic load control It prevents deep circling of my 12 V system, which would destroy the batteries. So I switched off the cooling unit for the refrigerator, to safe power. Over night the wind generator would charge the batteries I thought and it did. But to my surprise I was told by Nina, that all contents of the fridge are frozen. I looked at the refrigerator and it was still turned off. Strange. The lemonade is still frozen. I switched a few times on the switch but there was no problem. The batteries are fully charged too. Real spooky...

18. June 2000 Another day of little breakdowns. First the our diesel decided to cooperate, because the gear box needed new adjustments. Then the outboard stopped while we went for the beach. I have taken the carburetor apart for at least 15 times, but it just does not work anymore. The swimmer needle in it floods the engine with petrol and than I have a hard time to restart. I bought full sets of gaskets in Turkey, but the most important gasket , the one for the carburetor is missing in both. I can't make it myself since it is a complicated neoprene gasket. I tried a few times, but no result. The carburetor must be replaced I guess, because it is just messed up to much.

But the he most wired thing happened yesterday. I found out that there is a leakage current in my system. First I actually felt a electrifying sensation on my hands when I stood with bare and wet feet in the dinghy. I don't no why I can feel such a small current, but I must be very sensitive to it. Because later I took a voltmeter, hang a cable in the water and another on the steel railing. I measured 12 V and 110 mA (mA) That is a problem, since it can seriously corrode the metals, our steel keel and the propulsion system. The current is minimal otherwise a fuse would blow, but it could eat up the steel keel faster than I could guess.

I started to search, switched off batteries and panels and all kind of power sources, but with no luck. Than I figured out that on of my 12 V adapters, that reduces 12 V to smaller currents for the radio and the camera could be the source. I don't know why but the leakage stopped for the moment. Hopefully. I have to watch now and than and measure again.

June 14th 2000 Hot hot hot: We need a bath every day. Luckily the beach is full of children. This must be a favorite spot for families. We meet quite a lot Swiss people here. Nastasja has fun playing with the kids and she is practicing with her fins.

We hear daily gale warnings on channel 16 for eastern Crete and the Aegean sea. The Mistral is unusual strong at this time of the year. We do not plan to move for the next days anyway. But we see SY Titom, with Pascal and Christine, since 4 days leaving the bay for Iraklion in the morning, but after a few hours they are back in Elounda again.

June 11th 2000 A day on the beach: Nina wrote: Frank caught with Nastasja three small fishes on the beach. They hold their hand with some bread in the water, and when a little fish swam over they catch them like flies from the table. We put them in the clear box from the diving goggles. Skipper our cat, played with the self made aquarium. At night our cat had her personal and private the morning the fishes were gone.... "c'est la vie" that's life!

June 10th 2000 Juerg is leaving us. His plane goes from Rhodes to Switzerland. The inland flight is quite cheap. Thank you Juerg for your support.

We leave the Marina and sail to the gulf Spinalonga. Again we were rewarded with a good sail leg, although we were becalmed a few times. The bay is beautiful, perfect holding and well protected. The water is not as clear as we are used too, but the beach offers plenty of kids to play with for Nastasja. The town Elounda is filled with tourist and busses from nearby areas. Elounda offers 2 of the most famous historical sites of Crete. The old sunken town Olunda and the venetian castle on Spinalonga island. I hope I can write a special report about one of our planned excursions. We will spent a few days here, because we wait for friends to join from Iraklion, planning to sail to Kalamata with them. That gives us as well some time to fix a few jobs on the boat. The extreme situations during the last legs revealed a few must do jobs. We had water breaking into the boat, most coming from the anchor locker and the teak reeling which joins both, the deck to the hull. We got at least 60 liters of water in the bilge. All is salty and wet. Nina is angry at all the washing.

At last Nina left the seacock to the engine open. We usually close it all the times, for safety. The bilge run full of water and finally found its way into the engine, through the oil control stick. Luckily I saw the mess before we left Ak Nikolaos, because otherwise the engine would have had serious damage. I was angry at myself because I kept on postponing to put a hose above the water line to overcome the problem with the saltwater pump, which is always a little leaking. I pumped the water out and added engine oil. I had to refill oil for the hydraulic gearbox too, because since 3 days it is leaking again. Exactly the only part which was changed in Turkey failed. The oil seal is broken and I can only thank the Turks once again for their"perfect craftsmanship". I now ordered original parts from the USA. and will once again take the gear box apart. I am pretty good and hopefully fast at it now.

The extra hose and sealing that reeling is a must do job too.

June 9th 2000 Perfect sailing. A final day for Juerg who is leaving us in Nikolaos and takes the bus to Iraklion. We used a mooring in the new built Marina, but plan only one day, since it's price exceeds our budget. (4000 DR =14 $ per day is much if you have the option to anchor for free)

We could find an Internet cafe and get very good support. The Cretans are friendly folks. I needed to download a file for my present work. At the moment I work on a project for a website of a German cucumber factory. The center of the city is very pictures, with a lagoon surrounded by many cafes and tavern's.

June 7th and 8th 2000 I found out the gear box is leaking again. Thank you Turkish engineering! The only part I changed and fitted not by myself was the oil seal to the reduction case, and it does not seal properly. In two weeks we have friends coming from Germany and they will bring us new parts ordered from the States.

We changed the plan and sailed from beach Vai to the little city Sitea in North East Crete. Most of the time we used the engine, but we were rewarded some good sailing for a few miles.

Sitea is a nice place. From the distance it looks ugly, but as soon as we entered the harbor, we found a lot to see. The town jetty was only 900 DR per day (2.5 $) and we got water too. I was not able to find an Internet place and used the GSM modem of my Macintosh instead. At least I could send some e-mail.

June 6th 2000 We left very early at 0530 local time. Again we had the wind on our nose. I am fed up with the Mediterran sea already. We made only 230°, when we had to sail 270° and tacked a few times, with little distance made good. A rendezvous with a super tanker was perfect. The radio officer called, gave his course and altered it, in order to avoid us. After fair wishes on both sides, we continued on our course. We made 32 miles, but logged around 50, needed 13 hours to reach Vai Beach.

I did not have a comment in my pilot about the area, but it looked like an easy place to anchor. We took the dinghy ashore and discovered the beach completely empty, all restaurants closed. We ask the last visitors and they told us, this public beach is closing at 1800. The friendly Hungarian tourists took us in their rented car to the next town, (me sitting in the trunk). Here we enjoyed a Greek meal, our moral was rising and made plans for the next days. We wanted to get fuel here, but there was only a petrol station 8km away.

June 5th 2000 The wind decreased a bit and we left for Kasos, just 20 miles away. After I had all sails up, we had to reef, when I finished reefing we were becalmed. I "love" the Med. Later I put all sails up again and suddenly we had gales again, forcing to pull down the main immediately, but than again I needed the engine because it was only a few minutes windy. The wind accelerated close by the island again. We had a hard time to enter into the bay Chelatros. Here we met SY Shadowfax from England. We saw each other already in Lindos. We told our stories from crossing the Karpathos sea and were told that on the day we approached Karpathos they measured 56 knots of wind. Shadowfax by themselves made 0.2 knots with engine against the wind into the protected bay. We just did not realize that we were sailing in force 9.

June 4th 2000 The weather bulletin on channel 85 forecasted winds up to 7bft, and we decided to stay another day in Amophi. I repaired the main with a herringbone stitch and glued some sail tape over the stitch. But the tape, which I just bought, did not glue at all. I was mad at the expense and the promises of the manufacturer. The clothe is still healthy in this area and I hope that my stitch is holding until Iraklion.

I dived in the crystal clear water and checked the hull. The barnacles and growth were gone, maybe washed away from the speed we were making. Most of our antifouling had vanished too. The zinc anodes made the impression that they are not working, but the steel keel looked okay after 1 1/2 years in the water.

June 3rd 2000 Sightseeing to Karpathos, town. We climbed the mountains and had a beautiful walk over to Karpathos town. Nastasja was very brave and climbed most of the rocks by herself. On top of the mountain we enjoyed the view down to the bay and walked across the fields and forest tracks. The last 2 km we hitchhiked on the back of a forest workers tractor. Karpathos looked like a postcard, with seaside restaurants and cafes. Friendly people and quite ambiance. We enjoyed ice-cream and I bought some diving goggles and some sail repair tape, which I luckily found in a fishing shop.


I think Karpathos would have been a place to stay a little longer. Later we took a taxi back to our bay. Taxis are in Greece incredible cheap. Compared to the bus fare, it is sometime wise to use the taxi with 3-4 people instead the bus.

June 2nd 2000 After a harmonious sail from Rhodes to Lindos, and later to Cap Istros we really had a rough ride this time. The weather forecast predicted NW winds from 5 to 6 bft, later increasing. So we left very early, knowing the wind Mistral is usual the strongest after lunch time. The pilot book told us, that the south of Rhodes can have very rough seas because of a under water plateau which is rising from 600m quickly to 100 m creating wired and step seas.

I can only assure that this is the fact. Skipper the cat was the first who got seasick. First Skipper shit on the carpet near the toilet, later the poor cat threw up in the cockpit. Me myself did not feel better by then, but I usually feel much better and okay after "feeding the fishes".

The wind picked up in force pretty quickly and suddenly our main tore right above the 3rd reef. I took it down and thought about sewing it right away, but there was just to much movement on the boat. So we could not hold our course very hard on the wind and sailed with the jib only. The water sprayed constantly above the breaking waves, indicating that we reached Force 8 by now. AMBERELLAs sailed still smoothly and only little water reached the cockpit. But when the waves reached another frequency we had plenty of water in the cockpit. I was thinking about using goggles, because my glasses were so full of salt I could not see a thing.

Nina felt really bad. She was never seasick since we sail, but this time she lay like paralyzed in the salon and could not move her fingers. Juerg kept on massaging her palms, while I tried to hold course. We saw a ferry close to Karpathos about 4 hours struggling to enter the bay. Later we were told that the ferry needed 4 trials to finally bring herself on the pier.

We decided to enter Amophi Bay, just 4 miles south of Karpathos town.

Just an extract from AMBERELLAs Logbook:


course oG

speed oG
leave Cap Istros,
Cap Istros
clear 3-4bft W-NW, fresh wind, 1010mb
2.reef in main + small jib



NW 5-6
3.reef in main + small jib



NW 5-6 / gales to 7bft

1010mb clear sky

steep sea, uncomfortable, breakers over bowl



6 NW- WNW 3-4 m swell
main torn on seam over 3. reef, use only small jib



6-7 NW 3-4 m wave
small jib, some breakers splash into cockpit, sewing of main under those conditions impossible



7bft NW, 3-4 m wave, misty
heavy!! chaos on board, Nina is serious ill, seasick like paralyzed, Jürg massages her palms, the kids are sound asleep



7 NW. 4 m, 1012mb
hard rudder, no chance to change for the storm jib, to much wave.



7-8 / 4m spray flyes hundreds of meters
Karpathos in sight, misty
NW 8 / some 9bft gales
can't keep the bowl on course
use engine to keep course



sight is misty,

engine + storm jib, making little progress,we see ferry in trouble of the coast of Karpathos



8bft NNW, more step seas

anchor at Amophi in 6-12 m, very clear water, nice!!

a few gales coming down the hills

It took 4 1/2 hours for the last 6 nm, so we made the whole leg only in 13 h. This is quite okay for our old ship. I was impressed by the way she handled this sea. I think she is really a sea worthy ship.

May 30th / 1st of June 2000

We arrived in Lindos, had a beautiful sail.

Lindos looks like a postcard. Souvenirshops everywhere and restaurants for travelers.

We enjoyed a walk up to the castle and looked down to the bay.


large Lindos castle

When I came from Turkey. I did no check-in in Rhodes, instead we sailed after 5 days from Rhodes to Lindos. Greece invented a new entry tax for sailors, which basically means you pay every 30 days 6 Dollars per meter of LOA if you entered the country after April 2000. But I don't see the point of paying a tax, because I am European and don't get a stamp in my passport if I enter or leave the country. So I just never left Europe (officially) and do not intend to pay that entry tax. I will see what happens.

Naked under the shower: Here in Lindos, a little Mr. Important Coast Guard Officer came to me and I was wondering if now the trouble with the new entry tax would start. But he only complained to me, because I was using the showers on the beach naked. I pointed to the bare breasted beauties on the beach, but that was no excuse. He said he fines me if I do that again....

He wanted me to show all papers, crewlist and bills from Rhodos. I showed him the birth certificate of Selina baby (he laughed) and a few papers from our time in Rhodes in winter. The entry tax was never mentioned. I was glad about that. So I received a new stamped paper from an official. We are now on our way to Karpathos and hope to have no hassles on the way through Greece.

Maybe my naked bum made the good impression and saved me from the entry tax;) HAHAH

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