Lemnos Island. 39:52.314N 025:03.513E
Myrini, Lemnos Island.
Our son Matthew has been, stayed and now left again, already! It seems he was only here for a couple of days and not the nearly 8 days he was on board. It was good to see him and catch up with his news.
We last wrote from Samothraki and, after a break there and a wait for a strong North Easterly wind (the ‘Meltemi’) to blow itself out, we sailed for Lemnos Island at noon on Friday. We had occupied a sheltered berth against the southern end of the harbour wall in Samothraki the boat was calm and settled but the wind raised an uncomfortable sea outside that broke against the wall, covering the boat in spray and salt.
On the Friday it was still blowing hard but as it was to be a downwind sail and provided we could get out of the port in good order it seemed like a good idea to set off as soon as there was some moderation in the wind.
So, part way through Charlie giving Matthew a master class in strong wind manoeuvres disaster struck when a carelessly recovered mooring line slipped back over the side and fouled the propeller – yes Charlie! more haste less speed! The resultant prop-wrap left us in an embarrassing position without power and inside the port in a f6 wind. Anyway, we extricated ourselves from that situation without undue problem and then made for the lee of the island to anchor and clear the propeller. Unfortunately, the anchor didn’t hold and we drifted out into the choppy weather. The unpleasant task of diving beneath the boat in those circumstances was made more difficult as the bottom of the boat is now adorned by a number of barnacles after our prolonged stay in Kavala. These proved abrasive to Charlie’s delicate skin and he eventually emerged from under the boat streaming blood from numerous cuts and abrasions - blood everywhere! Stupid boy! However, no harm done, the prop was free and we were able to set off on a sleigh ride passage down wind to Lemnos.
Lemnos island came in sight after 4 hours but poor Maggie was quite downcast, the island as seen from the west was bleak and barren - see below.
Myrini is the largest town on the island, set toward the southern end of the west coast. The port is in a deep bay protected by breakwaters and dominated by a huge castle on the top of an adjacent hill overlooking both the bay and the town.
To our great surprise the port was full and we had to anchor in the bay - hereto we had seen very few yachts and berths were always free. Normally, to anchor offshore would be our first choice anyway but, with Maggie’s arm as it is, a berth at the quay was a priority as boarding the dinghy with only one arm is not a good idea and as yet an untried exercise.
The castle seen from the quay.
The harbour seen from the castle
In the early morning, Maggie spotted a boat leaving the quay and in quick-time we had the anchor up and were berthed in short order before anyone else nabbed the spot.
We found that Myrini is a really a vibrant and lively little town, plenty of holiday makers are in evidence but the town has retained it’s own character.
Matt hanging on on the strong wind atop the castle
There were lots of attractions for Matthew - he enjoyed himself although we think he found it a bit too hot after Maidstone.
Our plan had been to move on around the island after two days or so, but the weather was unsettled and the attractions at Myrini persuaded us to stay. We had a splendid meal out in a local seafood restaurant with lobster and pasta. We also had a not so splendid meal at a frightful tourist restaurant.
On the Thursday we hired a little Opel car and set off to see the island. The centre and east side of the island were a revelation. Picturesque and characterful and surprisingly verdant.
We visited several small villages, each with p.q. church and lively coffee bar(s)/restaurant(s) – in the mornings these are frequented by the older males of the population enjoying their gossip, coffee and games of backgammon.
The cathedral at Mourtos - big outside but tiny inside.
On the north east side of the island we visited a historic theatre dating from roman times and the norther most desert sand dunes where we saw….. sand! There were also some bizzare/interesting sandstone formations and a clean sea to swim in. We finished our tour at a fine village restaurant serving traditional rather than tourist fare. A great day out.
The following morning the hire car served as transport to deliver Matthew to the airport at 07:30 for his flight to Gatwick via Prague.
Since Matt’s departure last Friday we have stayed to sit out the passing of yet another meltemi wind over the weekend and are expecting to sail south and west to the Sporades on Tuesday where we will meet up with Karen and Phil at Skiathos next Sunday. We have taken the time to clean the boat.
A surprise on Friday night/Saturday morning was that it was cold (well 24C) and we were to be found looking for our duvets at bedtime!