Extreme Mooring – the Paxos Challenge
If you read Rand’s sweet “Nautical Bad-Ass” tribute inspired by my anchoring/mooring assistance, you might be interested to know where this (in)famous episode occurred: Paxos.
Paxos is a beautiful island in the Ionian archipelago in the northwest of Greece. Cruiser friends told us Paxos was a place not to be missed, and now that we’ve been there, we second that.
We sailed first up its east coast, spent the night in Lakkas, and then came down the west side, stopping to picnic and swim in several places where the steep cliffs made way for calm inlets or sandy beaches.
On our Imray charts, one anchorage about midway down the coast looked particularly attractive; it was an uninhabited cut in the cliffs, sheltered from the wind and waves, and there appeared to be a sandy beach at the back of the bay. Oftentimes it’s difficult to tell all the details you’d like to know about an anchorage until you’re over where you want to anchor, and the chart won’t tell you about the weather or special conditions.
In this particular bay, we did find the solitude we were looking for. But we also found 25 knots of wind; barely enough room to turn around; dangerously jagged, knife-sharp lava or limestone rocks on shore; and not enough room to put out enough anchor chain to ensure safe anchoring.
To moor, we decided we would have to protect our lines, tie them up to shore, and do so bad-ass fast. This gave us a chance to try out a piece of equipment we’d picked up spontaneously many months before.
When we were in Sint Maarten getting our D400 wind generator installed at FKG, we ran into Sheryl and Paul Shard of Distant Shores, the sailing tv show. As we chatted, we discovered they were taking off a spool of webbing that they didn’t have room for on their boat. They were deciding what to do with it, one thing led to another, and we ended up buying it from them.
We mounted the spool by our starboard aft steps and there it sat unused…until this anchorage in Paxos.
Here is the deployed spool of webbing being put to the test after I swam it over to shore.
Thank you Sheryl and Paul Shard of Distant Shores for making it possible for us moor with lines tied to the shore and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this narrow bay in Paxos. We expect to use your old webbing in many more med-mooring and shore-line-mooring occasions throughout the Mediterranean sailing adventures.
a 360 degree view of this anchorage on Paxos’ west coast
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