39:52.421N 25:03.459E Mon 3rd July 2017
After 3 very hot, airless days on Samothraki we finally got some wind and headed off. In fact the forecast was for several days of really strong northerlies, starting with a cloudy, wet, maybe thundery spell, so we had to get out of the exposed harbour anyway. We woke to quite strong winds and it took us a while to get safely off the harbour wall and squared away to face to rough seas outside the entrance. As soon as we left the shelter of the harbour we were in winds gusting to 37kts and quite bouncy seas. We were in for a great sail – or so we hoped. However, within an hour the wind died and we ended up motoring for the rest of the 12hr passage, boo hoo. When we arrived in Myrina on Limnos we found the harbour full of racing boats, about 20 of them rafted 4 deep alongside the town quay. We found room elsewhere next to several Turkish boats (we are, after all, only a few miles from the entrance to the Dardanelles) but in a position that would not be great in the >30kt winds that were still forecast. The winds did eventually arrive and we were indeed blown sideways and back onto the harbour wall despite the 70m of chain we had out. After some debate next morning, we moved over to the town quay, now vacated by the racing boats, and have since been nice and secure despite cross winds gusting into the 30s.
So we find ourselves in one of the more picturesque harbours we’ve visited. It is dominated by a huge fortress on a high hill overlooking us and the arms of the harbour enclose a nice little beach just a few minutes’ walk away. On the other arm of the entrance is a typical Greek chapel on one of the many hills that wrap around the harbour. The air is crystal clear and, for a few all too brief days, pleasantly “cool” (i.e. less than 30C!).
Myrina castle by day:
…and by night:
One of the reasons for visiting Limnos is that it has one of Europe’s earliest towns. This is Poliochni on the east coast, sort of opposite Troy on the Turkish coast. Its lowest layers date back 6,000 years to the mid-Neolithic and it had been flattened by earthquakes before Troy had even been started. They are still uncovering structures, quite a few archaeologists were busy on site when we visited it. Although there isn’t that much to see it was nonetheless a moving experience to walk around and imagine life there, in a great setting made all the more impressive by the very strong winds and large waves racing across the nearby beach. We also visited the ancient sanctuary site at Kavirio. It is similar in date and function to the one on Samothraki but there really wasn’t much to see. Our drive around the island was marred by roads that meandered through villages with no route signs at all. The driver found it quite stressful, making wrong turns and reversing into traffic from both directions!
Work continues at Poliochni:
We’ve really enjoyed our stay here (prolonged because of the high winds) but we’re moving on to Lesvos tomorrow (8th July).