Chris and Alison
Sat 6 Aug 2022 06:49
Dedicated to my dad. 1928 - 2022
We checked out of Didim on the 30th July. We sailed just around the corner from the marina to a small bay for the night. That evening the coastguard cutter came into the bay and gave us and the yacht next to us a good checking over. We were like rabbits in headlights having checked out of Turkey but still in their territorial waters! We managed to give them a friendly wave that they returned and then they were gone, we were on tender hooks for the rest of the night incase they came back. The next day we headed out into a confused lumpy sea and tacked to Agathonisi for the night before heading on to Samos to check into Greece. The following day we headed out into yet another confused lumpy sea and a northerly head wind of 25-29kts. After an hour of battling it out we decided to go back to Agathonisi until the weather improved a little. That wait lasted another 3 nights and by now we were a week into entering Greece and had not checked in. Samos was our nearest port of entry, up wind, the next one would have been Serifos over 100nm away or we could have gone south again and gone into Kalimnos, but we really didn’t want to go south as we were wanting to get to Lavrion to leave the boat there for September.
We finally left Agathonisi on the 4th July and pushed our way through the headwinds tacking all the way to Samos. On arrival at Samos, we had to go stern to the harbour wall because they do not allow anchoring in the harbour any more. That proved to be very difficult in a yacht that refuses to steer astern at the best of times and with the addition of a side wind of 25kts +. Chris made a gallant effort and after several attempts, accompanied by lots of ‘helpful’ advice from ashore and other boats, we were finally secure to the harbour wall - only to be told by the harbour master that we would have to leave at 0600 the next morning because they were going to have festival and celebrations the next day and the harbour would be closed! It was by now 1230 and we had to see passport control, customs and the port police. Passport control was closed until 1730, customs would not see us until we had been to passport control and neither would the port police. Luckily the customs officer said don’t worry, we could do our shopping, top with water and walk around the town until the passport office opened again, so we were not confined to the boat for the rest of the day. We finally got all the procedures completed by 2000 that night. All the officials were very pleasant and welcoming.
We were just having a much needed drink in a taverna when my sister called me to inform me that our dad had just past away. He had been treated for an acute illness for the last week but had been deteriorating. I had had no chance of getting back to be with him at the end, it was incredibly upsetting for me. My sister and the rest of the family were with him.
He was a real gentleman, with a dry sense of humour, kind and thoughtful and the best dad (and husband to our late mum) you could ever wish for. Despite having dementia in the last few years, he remained the gentleman he had always been and maintained his witty humour with everyone. He wished only that my sister and I always did our best, and to be happy doing whatever we wanted to do. At an early age, he installed in me the love of the sea and sailing, so it was incredibly sad, but possibly fitting, that while on passage at sea, I could not be with him when he passed away.