Fournio and Pithagorian

Rob and Jacky Black
Sun 6 Sep 2009 10:07
37 33.9N 26 28.8E
We finally got away from Mykonos on Friday the 4th of September as the forecast seemed favorable for our next passage to the east. We left early and went north of the island there was little wind so the engine was used again We were in company with Chica (Dutch friends from Lagos) and Kishorn (Trevor and Lesley, again from Lagos). We managed to get some good sailing during the passage to Fournio but the wind was very fickle no sooner was the gib set than the wind died or came dead ahead! We washed the boat down with sea water when there was no wind it was filthy - we have never seen it so bad not even when ashore in the car-park at Sussex Yacht Club and right next to the road for 6 months!! We took some photographs of the other boats and they took some of us - we will post some on the blog after this email.
When we were off Ikaria we had a pair of dolphins playing round the boat which was lovely. Then the wind filled in so we had a super romp along for a while before the gusts started to build to 25 knots; we broached and had to reef the main! having done this and partially rolled in the gib - guess what? Yes the wind died! it was that kind of day. However we were rewarded with a lovely bay off the SW corner of Fournio to anchor in for the night. The water was so clear you could see the bottom at 10 metres. I had a lovely though chilly swim (Rick on Chica told us it was only 21 degrees - so much colder than we have had recently), Lesley, Trevor and Cobi snorkeled and we all check out our anchors to ensure they were well bedded in as we were still experiencing strong gusts off the hills surrounding the bay.
There were a few people on the beach but they trekked off across the rocks and over the hill to the town as dusk fell and we were left with the place to our selves and a huge full moon - no lights, no loud music and no dust! Fantastic!
37 41.7N 26 56.5E
Samos - Pithagorian town quay.
We had to motor sail most of the way from Fournio but did get a couple of hours at 7 knots with a full gib and two reefs in the main - exhilarating to be actually sailing for a change. Samos looked so much more green than the islands we have seen recently in the Cyclades and as we sailed along the south coast we could see several bays and beaches that looked interesting to explore. We entered the port of Pithagorian (named after Pythagoras who was born on Samos, for those of you who remember your math's!) and were soon moored up stern to on the town quay along with the other two boats. This is such a lovely place the buildings vary in age and style, there are climbing hibiscus and bougainvillea all over the place plus trees! The water front has tavernas and cafes with seating under shades looking out over the bay. At either end beyond the breakwaters are swimming beaches with more tavernas and sun beds etc.It all has a wonderful friendly feel to it and so far we have really enjoyed being here. The town is steeped in history having once been the capital city under Polykrates who is described as a tyrant but ruled ancient Greece. He had three major engineering projects built on Samos remains of which  can still be seen today. The temple of Hera reputed to be bigger and better than any other of its time - though only a single column remains amongst the ruins which are near Ireon a town round the bay to the west; a mole to protect the harbour (the root of the currant west mole is all that remains) and a tunnel cut through the mountain to supply water to the city. Much of the latter still remains it was a mile long and 2.4 metres square - quite an amazing feat for so long ago!