39:05.85N 26:33.53E Mitilini, Lesvos Island
Saturday 17th August, 2013.
After 2 horrible nights of Ariel surging from the badly designed newly built beautiful harbour we decided to move. We thought the first night was unfortunate and the wind must have caused the problem but twice is not funny when you have not had much sleep. With a little more thought and a big pontoon placed near the entrance or a wall of rock positioned in the right place this would make a wonderful place to enjoy. When I went to pay the port police officer he told me that the harbour was very unsafe!
It took us quite a few minutes to undo all the lines and metal springs we had on and leave the harbour. Once outside the harbour wall the wind was blowing a good 5 to 6 and so we reefed the main and put out a small handkerchief of genny and we were steaming along doing 8’s and 9’s. It was looking as if we would not make the headland and be able to turn north with the gusts of wind and we thought about going into the Gulf of Yeras. Once we were off the Gulf we realised the wind would be heading down it and we would have difficulty getting into the entrance and perhaps have another disturbed night. No alternative but to head for the headland and hope for a wind shift.
Once we cleared Cape Agrillios we were in luck and the wind which was blowing off the mountains dropped and we motor sailed up to Mitilina. Once inside the very large harbour we could see there was no room for Ariel on the town quay as ferries, Navy ships, cruise liners and small local boats had taken every spot possible. So Jim called up the marina which has been bought out by a Turkish company and is a third full asking for a place. We were ready with lines, dinghy at the bow, fenders to find there was so much room in the basin that two marina chaps were calling us in to come along side the wall. It didn't take us long to rearrange the lines and Jim had to reverse along side as the wind was blowing him off. Electricity on for the batteries was hooked up and we were pleased to be safely and quietly tied up to the wall. We had covered just over 21 miles.
In the evening the local ladies and gents walk the wall from about 8 o'clock onwards or come and sit and enjoy the breeze. The wind is still howling at times especially at night but it is now over 50 days of meltemi but there does not seem to be any let up at present.
Sunday 18th August, 2013.
We walked into town and were a little disappointed at the grubby state of the town. Litter blowing everywhere, a big collection of gypsies camping out near the ferry point with the shoeless kids begging in and out of the restaurants. The old town has narrow winding streets and there is evidence of the Turkish influence. Around the harbour and roads into town are grand old large houses and some have been taken care of and others need B&Q help. We found one substantial Roman ruin near the marina.
We are staying here now for a while and going to hire a car and visit more of the island and do some Ariel housekeeping jobs.