We left our friends on the southern tip of Aegina in a lovely bay to make our way some 40nm east to the island of Kea in the Cyclades. We sailed for a couple of hours as the wind was behind us but then it died so we ended up motoring for the rest of the day. We passed the busy shipping lanes that lead into Piraeus and the Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sunion without too much hassle.
Then at 1630, out of nowhere, a charter yacht came across our bows. We collided at 6 knots. Our anchor hit just below their bow going straight through their hull and in trying to disentangle ourselves the bow roller and anchor fixings were ripped out of our deck. Whilst we were all very shaken, no one was injured and all the damage is well above the water line so both boats were able to go into Lavrion (the harbour where the charter boat was based). We then spent the next couple of hours exchanging details on insurance. It transpires that the skipper is a local and I think he was employed as a professional skipper. He let slip that he had seen us but just assumed we would change course! We should have seen him but didn’t but equally, the rules state that everyone has a responsibility to avoid a collision so I think we were both responsible.
We spent the night rafted off a catamaran in Lavrion, on the SE corner of the Athens peninsula, before making our way around the corner to Olympic Marina. Serendipitously, Olympic Marina is the one we had decided to take a 12 month contract out with from August so they were happy to accommodate us until we know what is happening. They have a large boatyard that should be able to do all the work required once we have the go ahead from the insurers. As it happened on a Friday afternoon, we won’t know anything until Monday. Poor Nimmie has the equivalent of a bloody nose and a few broken teeth. Thank god she is built like the proverbial outhouse.
We have spent the last two days getting her ready for hauling out with the usual winterisation routine including taking down sails as we don’t know how long it will take to do the work, when they have a a lot in their schedule and whether the insurers will want more than one quote.
It’s all very sad but Nimmie is definitely repairable and no one is hurt so we may well be touring the Cyclades by ferry rather than by yacht this summer! However, on a brighter note, Liz’s new solar cooker has worked really well and lunch was delicious!