Front Surfing

Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 10, 2019 — 3 min read

From: Agrapidia bay, Antipaxoi island, Greece
To: Palaiokastrita (Alipa), Kerkyra (Corfu), Greece

Our alarm sound of this morning was a gentle grating of our boat against the anchor chain of another boat. The wind had turned during the night. The other boat had less chain out than we did and so their turning circle was smaller than ours. Result: Our boats were getting really intimate with each other.

When I came on deck, I saw the other captain trying to stare me to death. We had three options: shorten our chain, reanchor or leave. Barbara said, “If we reanchor we’re gonna be wide awake anyway. The wind is good. Let’s just go.”

We pulled in the anchor, deployed the Code D and sailed off. Barbara gave a little wave to the grumpy captain. He didn’t wave back.

Slowly waking up
Slowly waking up
Tea for breakfast
Tea for breakfast

The wind wasn’t much, but it came from behind us and the sea was flat, so we made about 3 knots. I wanted to change the Code D for the spinnaker. This was a good decision. Our speed increased to 6 knots and our estimated time of arrival changed from 23:30 to 17:30. Very rewarding for 5 minutes of work.

Nice day for sailing
Nice day for sailing

After a morning of very pleasant spinnaker sailing, we saw a front approaching from behind. The front was pushing a thunderstorm with our name on it. It was thundering ominously.

We rolled in the spinnaker and turned the engines on. If the boat gets hit by lighting, it could be impossible to start the engines. But being diesels they don’t need electricity to keep running once they’re started. I also steered closer to land to have some high mountains near us. Just our luck that we were passing the lowest point of Corfu right then.

The wind picked up. It started pouring down. We closed the door and let the autopilot take care of it. Barbara discovered the forward berths have a pretty good view even in heavy rain. It becomes impossible to see out of the saloon windows if it’s raining heavily.

Because of the wind, a large swell was building, and Vite & Rêves started surfing down the waves. We exceeded the 10 knots a few times. It was hypnotizing to watch her hulls glide down the waves. Our ETA went down to 16:00. Nice!

Surfing the waves!
Surfing the waves!

We anchored in Palaiokastrita bay on the west side of Corfu. The sun tried to come out again but didn’t succeed entirely, only just before sunset. That was all we needed.

Sunset in Palaiokastrita
Sunset in Palaiokastrita