Dates: 09/24/09 – 09/25/09
Distance: 55 nm
Sailed from: Paroika, Paros
The forecast was for 10-15 knots of wind, and we had hoped that by waiting until today, this would actually be the case. The harbor in Paroika was completely calm, so we decided to get around the north side of the island before the wind picked up too much, but by the time we rounded the point and headed north, the wind was soon blowing 20-25 knots on the nose. We managed to slowly make our way through the rough seas — the staysail is great for this job — and point our bow south through the channel between Paros and Naxos, the island to the east. We had a great downwind run between the islands, admiring the rocky coastline and pretty little villages on either side. Then we turned east, rounding the southern end of Naxos and snaking our way through some small islands before sailing on a reach for the final ten miles to Amorgos. Except for struggling to make it around the north end of Paros, it was one of those great sailing days which made waiting in Paros for five days worth it.
The anchorage in the northeast corner of Katápola is quite deep until close into shore, so we decided to spend the night at anchor even though there was room along the town quay. The Imray cruising guide cautioned us to stay outside of the fishing harbor and to beware of the permanent moorings which may or may not be marked. Given the prevailing northwest wind here, we had no problem staying clear, or so we thought. But just as we were enjoying a glass of wine, the sight of the crescent moon on a clear night and the peacefulness of being at anchor, the wind shifted to the south and blew us toward the edge of the fishing harbor. We turned on the engine and prepared to re-anchor but decided to take up some scope instead since winds were forecast to be light. David returned to the cockpit with the sinking feeling that we were snagged on something, but the anchor was well set. We decided to wait until morning to investigate further.
After eating a delicious breakfast of fried eggs and toast made by Chef David, we felt ready to see what was going on with the anchor. Indeed it had become fouled on a permanent mooring which required a lot of work with the windlass to get the snagged anchor up to the surface and some quick dinghy work by Lisa to untangle the mooring line and chain from our anchor. Forty-five minutes later, we were underway, and the fisherman’s mooring and line, which was attached to a much bigger mooring, was returned to its resting place on the bottom. We added the experience to our list of anchoring woes — it was the first time our anchor snagged something on the bottom since snagging a crab pot in the Chesapeake Bay, complete with large fish trapped inside, on our previous boat, About Time.