Rob and Jacky Black
Wed 22 Jun 2011 07:23
40 50.6 N 25 52.6 E
18th - 22nd June
We left Samothraki early on Saturday a lovely clear day with a slight breeze from the NE. We motor- sailed all the way to Alexandropoulos saw little boat traffic but did have the company of some
dolphins for a while. The on arrival we found the outer arms of the port have been extended considerably and the outer harbour provides plenty of room for taking down sails etc. We motored in towards the inner
harbour past several laid up Seos ferries. We entered the narrow inner harbour cautiously but there was always at least 3.5 meters however there didn't seem to be much room for us and then
a chap indicated we should go out to the mole on the eastern side of the quay near the lifting area. We duly proceeded to this point and were maneuvering to go along side when there was an almighty crash
and the boat stopped - well we were almost alongside and the engine was in fact in neutral. I thought we had hit the bottom but we had clipped the lifting gantry of the large crane which was hanging over the dock with the top of our mast!
I reversed off and the mast didn't fall down thank goodness. However the Windex was bent. We were then directed to go back to the inner harbour and a very friendly chap indicated where we should go. Lazy lines were passed to us and
we were soon stern to on the harbour wall with a blue double step conveniently positioned on our stern port quarter for getting on and off so no need to rig the passarelle. There were several local boat owners around all being very helpful but not able to speak much English. We noticed that within a couple of hours of our arrival the crane arm had been moved to be positioned over the land! It was so unfortunate as we had the bimini up and neither of us had registered that we might hit the retched thing - we were too busy watching the depth and getting alongside with no thoughts of looking up to the mast head. Neither of us fancy going to the top of the mast to see what damage has occurred but the arm of the Windex has definitely been bent and seems to move with the wind so at some point we will need to investigate!
The city here is very large with some lovely shops, cafes, restaurants etc. The harbour front road is closed to traffic from June to September every evening and the place comes alive with folk strolling along stopping for ice creams and at the numerous bars and cafes that have seats and umbrellas on the esplanade a lovely atmosphere.
The Port office were most helpful and we got all the paperwork done on Saturday afternoon though we had to wait until Monday for the passports to be stamped.
Rob found the Gas depot and we were relieved to get two replacement cylinders (we had been down to our last bottle). later the chap on the boat next to us a 4 meter pleasure craft with a cuddy kindly let us use his power supply. There are power and water points on the quay but they are all privately rented; the water points are all locked and the power has to be switched on by the berth holders. Anyway we were delighted to have power and soon had all the systems re-charging.
Jacky headed off to sort out the Greek communications and came back with a 'Wind' dongle for internet and a new Greek phone sim all for the sum of 50 Euros. The dongle will need topping up every month for 15 Euros but there was no need to take a contract out which was a relief as some of the providers require this and then you need a Greek address! Both Rob and Jacky's expensive Omega watches have stopped working - we think the batteries have failed so later we went in search of a cheap watch shop to buy replacements until we can get them sorted out. We ended up with a Greek equivalent of Casio - two water resistant watches for 50 Euros! We then went to explore further and found the two supermarkets - both closed unfortunately as it was Saturday evening. However on the way back to the boat there was a great deal of police activity (we were concerned there was a demonstration happening) but it turned out to be the Olympic Torch being paraded through the main streets what a lovely surprise! We stood and clapped with the others lining the road as the 30 odd runners past by.
We tested the air conditioning unit the following day as it was so hot - having the power supply was great until we managed to trip- the fuse out by using the electric kettle while the air con was on! This happened on Monday evening and the chap whose supply it was didn't return to his boat before we left so no more power for us!
Our friends June and Steve arrived on Piper later on Monday and were able to get a place on the quay just along from us. We enjoyed being with them again and Jacky and June had several coffee stops over the next two days. June discovered where Lidl shop was and on Tuesday we all went by bus to get some essential supplies. June also found a laundry which was quite near the eastern exit from the inner harbour so no distance to walk to. She had a load washed and dried with a charge of 3 Euros per kilo. It was all done within a few hours so a good place to use if we are ever there again.
All in all we enjoyed our stay here very much but we both felt the need to be somewhere quieter with possibly some water for swimming! So we left early on Wednesday morning and are now heading west along the coast towards Thasos probable destination a lagoon type of harbour called Port Lagos!