National Health & Ayios Nikolaos, Crete. N35:11.177 E 025:43.152

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sun 28 May 2017 15:36
We are still here!  

We had, more or less, planned to leave about now to make our way eastward toward Rhodes and Turkey but then fate intervened. 
A gent on a neighbouring boat turned up with his hand bandaged and on enquiry we learnt that he had just had an operation to correct a problem that Maggie has been experiencing of late known as "trigger finger”.  Apparently a quick 5 minute op and that is the end of the problem.  We made enquiries and on Thursday we found ourselves in the waiting room of Dr George, who is an Orthopaedic surgeon.  The operation is to be done on Monday or Tuesday this next week followed by a check up a couple of days later.  We can get the stitches removed either by Maggie herself, or me, or done somewhere else. Once she has the all clear, then we'll off! 

Two huge advantages of healthcare out here are that it is cheap and quick - no referrals and no waiting.  

The medical specialists we have seen in Greece have all trained in London and the service they provide is excellent.  There is a gent here in the marina who had a hip replacement done last year in Heraklion.  No referrals, no waiting lists, just good results for a very modest fee.

The same can be said of dental care too. Charlie’s experience here was No charge whatsoever for a check up and then just 50 Euros for a very thorough scale and polish lasting all of 50 minutes.  
A certain dentist at home wanted more than £100 for a 10 minute check up for Maggie’s teeth last year - prior to any further treatment.  The dentists here have all the gear too, and the surgeries are fitted out to a very high standard.  It’s a no brainer really and will continue to get our treatments carried out whilst here in the Med for as long as we can.

Now to the weather!!

We read that there's a heat wave in UK this w/end.  The weather at home appears to be better than here!  We are experiencing yet another bout of changeable weather - that is to say, after a calm and sunny start whilst in the Peloponnese, we now have torrential rain and strong winds as the latest squalls continue to pass through!  We had two days last weekend when it was extremely hot! hot! hot!  However, this last week has been very changeable, quite comfortable and warm enough during the daytime, but quite cool in the evenings.  The holiday tourists will not be too thrilled with this as their beach time has been greatly reduced,  due to most days becoming very overcast by lunchtime and then heavy cloud and rain in the afternoons almost every day.  The rain was extreme yesterday and someone claimed there was a tornado somewhere on the island that caused a lot of damage?  As the evening approached the rain cleared, and was replaced by a windless but cool evening.  This morning, we took ourselves off for a walk, but all too soon the clouds came in and just as we set foot back on the boat, the rain began yet again.  Several hours later, it’s still raining and we are once again, wearing our fleeces.  The Greeks are all complaining too, saying they've never experienced a May like it, although they do seem to be enjoying the cooler temperatures; on the positive side, we’re quite sure we’ll be basking in warmer temperatures soon (at least, we certainly hope so)...

Our jobs on the boat are nearly up to date and so socially we are enjoying life to the full.  There is a weekly (Sunday) barbecue where marina ‘residents’ bring their food offerings and wine/beer and pay 2 Euros to cover the cost of charcoal and use of the small sailing club facilities.  This starts at 2pm and seems to run on for as long as there are people attending. There is also a weekly Friday evening 'happy hour' in a local bar, adjacent to the marina, where, in addition to cheap(er) drink, the taverna owners supply snacks and small eats.   However, we are both beginning to get itchy feet and as soon as Maggie gets the all clear from the surgeon, we will be off to pastures new.

We have explored the town here, tracked down the best bakers, (there are loads of them) and the best butcher (not so many), as well identifying the locations of cheep but quite drinkable wine.  Sadly we have as yet been unable to source a replacement bottle of Mount Gay ‘Gold’ Rum that we so enjoyed drinking while David & Marilyn were with us.  
We have sampled a number of the numerous eateries and bars with good/fair/indifferent results - Charlie was very taken with one establishment where there was a very shapely young (too young) Anglo/Greek waitress from Walthamstow!  I can’t remember ever knowing anyone from Walthamstow before and it seems the young lady in question had only a hazy idea where the place actually was!  She also had a rather strange accent!  Older men are easily entertained are they not!  The Ouzo was good though.

Sadly there is also a ‘British Shop’ here.  Yes, we are still peasants at heart and we have stocked up the freezer with packs of English bacon, together with ginger biscuits and Roses' lime cordial.  All things that we crave and cannot normally get out here.  The search for Mount Gay rum will continue.
Sunday 28 May

It is hard to credit it.  I am sure all you at home in the UK think we are out here basking in the sunshine - and that is usually true - most of the time - but let me tell you, two boats came into the marina this afternoon and the crews were wearing full waterproofs!   Heaven to Betty, we don’t even know where ours are!  Ok slight exaggeration  but nevertheless…!  
Actually we are both sat here in the cockpit in shorts and tee shirts AND fleeces but as soon as this is finished, we’ll be down in the saloon where it’s considerably warmer.  What's more, we have had to break out the over blankets for the bed as it is distinctly cool at night.

Looking southwards, through the marina to the mountains in the distance, we see low cloud and mist clinging to the wooded hillsides. See below-

This is the view from our transom (the back of the boat) looking south.  You can clearly see the clouds lying over the mountains.  We haven’t even got a tan so far this year as we’ve either been too busy or tucked up ‘down below!'

Look - Charlie in a fleece, at the end of May!  

We are really hoping the weather will improve before we move on in the next 10 days or so. 

Charlie Bevis

Please note:
My email address is changing n 2017 to