We ambled

We were on our way by 0730 this morning, hoping to avoid the fresh westerlies of yesterday afternoon. As it turned out, our concerns were groundless and we ambled across a glassy, empty ocean whose noteworthy events – one dolphin, two birds and a spilled can of beer – did not spoil the laziness of the day.

Arctic dip

Arctic compass dip

Motoring on days like this I am very grateful for our autopilot. It is a venerable, robust old thing which is very amp-hungry . Electronics people tell me never to get rid of it because it is bullet-proof. The engine is apparently a starter motor from a 1929 Buick. The brains are a new TMQ AP55, which works well here in lower latitudes. As you get further north in the Arctic, compass dip causes problems with autopilot orientation. In Svalbard I was quite dispirited about the eccentric behaviour of my new and expensive TMQ until the penny dropped. Down here in the Med it is faultless. Just as well, because the Aries wind vane bearings need replacing and it cannot be used.


Along the steep southern cliffs of Amorgos, birthplace of Simonedes the poet, we marvelled at caves which were once, we presume, pirate lairs. Turning the SW corner of the island we picked up a cold northerly for the reach across to Irakleia under hard blue skies. South-westerlies are forecast tomorrow so we will need an anchorage tonight doubly protected.

Twice today our bilges filled and I finally found the source – a leak from the exhaust siphon breaker hose. There’s always something new to fix.

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