If we were a cocktail, the recipe would be something like one part sailor, two parts photographer. Usually these two blend together nicely, but today was an exception. As we left Ios to head south towards Santorini (perhaps the most photogenic place on Earth) we realized our house batteries (which power everything except the engine starter motor) were critically low. The engine alternators have apparently not been charging for a still unknown reason. After turning back to Ios and fumbling around with a confused local car maechanic (there are no proper yacht services in Ios) we realized there was no quick fix, and thus no way for us to power any of our electrical systems (refrigeration, navigation, communication, etc.) without power from the shore (our generator is also broken). The prudent responsible sailor in us wanted to head north to Paros where the service facilities are good. But although Paros is 40 miles north, Santorini (with no proper services) is directly to our south, and therein lies the rub because that’s where the photographer in us wanted to be for sunset tonight.
Resolving this conflict required a compromise, and today that meant charging the batteries for an hour using shore power in Ios, then shutting down all non-essential electrical systems before heading south to Santorini. So as our ice cream melts onto the freezer floor, and we rely on handheld nav devices and radios, the white buildings of Santorini are now clearly visible ahead, and we still think we’ll make it before sunset when the light gets good for photos. This will be a quick one-night stop due to the draining batteries. Tomorrow we’ll do a U-turn and head straight for Paros… a monster day of sailing (and probably motoring). But for now we’re focused on tonight, and with any luck we’ll have a Santorini sunset pic to go along with this update.