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Old 21-11-2011, 07:41   #1
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Hard Pressed in The Ionian

Most people think that the Ionian is plagued with benign weather conditions but those that regularly sail there realise that can provide some interesting weather and exhilarating sailing conditions.

During the height of the season the weather is usually quite predictable with regular Maestro winds blowing from the Northwest. These winds usually blow from mid-afternoon onwards and can be anywhere between F3-6 depending in what area of the Ionian you are cruising. During the 2011 season, several storms interrupted the predictable conditions.

This clip shows a residual moderate sea immediately after a gale had blown from the West for a day. We are hard pressed, although winds were moderating (c.25-30knots) and making towards the top of the Ithaca Straight separating Kefalonia and Ithaca.

We were well reefed, to minimise leeway, but still maintaining 6-7knots. We could have pointed higher into the wind but the flat fore-foot of the Bavaria 40 was prone to slamming and slowed the yacht considerably. The high land on Lefkas and Kefalonia squeeze the westerly wind in a Venturi type effect and create an acceleration zone.

The wind coupled with the residual sea made for very exhilarating sailing. However, the conditions meant that most yachts were stormbound for the day, and space was limited in Fiscardho on Kefalonia. However we managed to get some space and were rewarded a fantastic meal in the Lord Falcon, the Ionians only Thai restaurant (:

hard pressed in the - YouTube
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Old 21-11-2011, 07:50   #2
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Re: Hard Pressed in The Ionian

Yes Know what you mean, here is a short flick between Pilos & Monemvasia starting with large marble sized hail & with wind going to 28 knots , speed of the boat was doing 7-8.5knots on jib alone
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Old 21-11-2011, 08:10   #3
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Re: Hard Pressed in The Ionian

I delivered a couple boats round the bottom of Peloponnese at the start of season. Everyone should go to Monemvasia, what a lovely place and quiet outside main season. Was stormbound there for a couple days, but got a space deep in the harbour behind that big trent class type life/patrol boat that was in there. After couple days, got a little cabin fever and decided to push on.... bumpy cross seas around the bottom of Cape Maleas.....
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