1 July, 2016 - Nea Iraklitsa N40:51.962 E024:19.032

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Fri 1 Jul 2016 13:03
One step forward and one step back and then onward to the East and then DISASTER all this last week.

While you have all been busy voting (thank you Marion for doing ours’ for us by proxy) we were basking in the sun, swimming and enjoying the clear clean blue seas.  We see that our votes made no difference and UK has turned away from Europe.  Although I remain confident that it was the wrong thing to do, we have nevertheless done it and must now live the consequences.  It will certainly have a profound effect on our lives that’s for sure.  Not the least issue is that this has effectively dealt us with inflation of 6% in the last week.

Following our last report we made our way up to the head of the gulf to the little village of Pyrgadikia (it’s ok, we failed to pronounce it as well).


A brilliant little taverna

Street scene

The village 

We were the only visiting boat in the port so there were no complaints about crowded quaysides.  Clearly it was a very small tight knit community and the locals all seemed to know one another.  Passing vehicles would stop and block the road while their drivers chatted and the children were playing in the streets and swimming from the beach adjoining the village square.  The day we spent there was passed in good style with a delightful lunch on the verandah of a small taverna specializing in local food, but then went down hill as the fresh breeze that had made the day quite bearable until then gradually faded.  With the boat sizzling in the windless evening we returned ashore once more at dusk, this time for a pizza dinner overlooking the bay. 

Sadly, although the meal was excellent none of us slept well as, in addition to the generous night time temperatures, we were plagued all night by mozzies.  This combined to spoil what should have been a pleasant stay and we decided to up sticks and leave rather than giving the local insect population a second helping. 

So we back tracked to the island of Dhiaporos.  This time we sought out a more secluded anchorage in Kriftos bay.  The water was cleaner and the scenery better too.  The breeze did not fail us and we had the extra bimini cover rigged and wind scoops rigged at both ends so an easy night.

Unlike our last port of call, we didn’t have this place entirely to ourselves – there were 4 yachts here although all well spread out and it was not crowded.  We are now staying here until Monday to allow a nasty bit of wind to by-pass us before heading off around the eastern Akti peninsula and Mt Athos on the Monday.

We crossed the gulf on Sunday (about 8 miles) to the eastern finger of the archipelego and anchored off the west coast of Ammouliani island ready for an early start the following morning. 

Monday, and the wind had gone so we motored down the length of the Akti peninsular to the southern extremity and Mount  Athos.  We saw a truly amazing vista of monasteries most of which resembled fortified medieval castles some built along the coast and in some most unlikely fissures in the rock faces of foothills.  A truly spectacular day.  As we approached mount Athos we were prepared for the violent down draughts for which the area is fabled… nothing!  

We motored around about half a mile off shore in a flat calm.  Several small habitations were evident, presumably the homes of hermits for which the area is fabled?  We were surprised at the number, size and sophistication of most housing leaving us wondering if this is really a female-free enclave or whether in fact it is the retreat of politicians and millionaires seeking seclusion and distance from their angry subjects?

Charlie hadn’t previously appreciated how little detail of the inshore coast is accurately charted.  A coastal strip of water, up to half a mile broad, is hatched on the chart and shown as 0.5 to 1 m deep when clearly this is not the case.  This makes approaching the coast somewhat fraught at times.  We bought a Greek chart but that hasn’t really helped.  So far we have only found the bottom once and that was while trying to extricate ourselves for a shallow bay.

The promised wind for Monday eventually arrived at mid afternoon and we changed plans and headed for an anchorage off the Island of Thasos where we spent a nearly undisturbed night anchored off a popular swimming beach.   The following morning we made our way into the port of Limineria – we rather wish we hadn’t bothered.

We found the port very congested and a local boatman directed us to a small stage/jetty on the outer wall.  We dropped our anchor in the middle of the very shallow harbor and reversed right up to the jetty so that Maggie could step ashore and take a line to a strong point.  While climbing back on board Maggie somehow jarred her left shoulder and cried out in pain that she had dislocated her arm.   As soon as we were safely tied-up, we found directions to a local doctor who referred her to a local clinic for an x-ray and from there to an orthopedic consultant who fitted an enormous plaster cast.

The nearest hospital of any note was on the mainland at Kavala so the following morning we sailed across to a little port called Iraklitsa and from there took a taxi on Thursday to the hospital about 15k away.  The hospital was new but rather sad on closer inspection.  Anyway we found our way to reception and then to casualty.  In the Greek manner of doing things, we found ourselves in a treatment room before we had registered.  A very nice Doctor called Sonja attended to Maggie, arranged further x-rays and decided that a plaster cast was not necessary as long as she rested her arm in a sling.  We have an appointment to return next Tuesday.

In the meantime we are laid up in an area with places to lay-up afloat and/or ashore and even fly home if Maggie feels that is the right thing to do.  Presently our intention is to remain here or in Kavala area  for 4 weeks until our son Matthew comes out at the end of July, by which time Maggie’s arm should be better.