GREECE TO TURKEY, end August 2012, 37:20.50N 26:34.00E
GREECE TO TURKEY, end August 2012, 37:20.50N 26:34.00E
We finished our sail round the Peloponnese and the month of July with a lovely sail with Keir and Alasdair to Poros. We anchored at Askeli beach, just near Consie’s cousin Mia and Giorgos’ apartment, where we had anchored in ‘Reverie’ after our sail from the Far East 22 years before. We went ashore for dinner at Panorama taverna for Greek octopus, squid, tzatziki and fried eggplant, with ouzo. Mia joined us and we saw some of the Olympic opening ceremony on a large screen.
The next night we celebrated Keir’s 60th birthday with phonecalls and dinner at Apalia restaurant, owned by our friends Spyros and Liz, whom we met on our last visit, and they produced a delicious chocolate cake. More octopus, squid, sardines, mussels, and Greek salad with ouzo. The next day, 29.7, Keir and Al took the hydrofoil to Athens and flew home to Edinburgh, with suntans and photos to prove they had a Greek holiday. They were quite ready for cooler weather after days of 36’C and water in the 30s.
It was time to do a few jobs around the boat. Mia did a huge laundry for us, and we cleaned the boat inside and out. Olivia had booked a ticket to come from 5 to 13 August, to Poros, so we had a week to do some of those maintenance jobs that there is never time for. Consie swam with Mia and her friend Nani every day, went to the shops, went to a concert, and Mia and Consie had a girls’ night out. Roland returned to Poros Chandler, that Roland has dreamt of since our last visit, owned by another Spyros, who can find anything you want, or he can order it in. We got 2 fans for our cabins, and other bits and pieces, and ordered 4 new large house batteries, and sold him a spare anchor.
Roland saw a sistership of Restless, a surprise for all of us, as Tombouctou’s Olivier and Martine had also been told their boat was a one-off. We had a couple of days looking over each other’s boats; Restless has done a lot more hours sailing, they had a much better galley design, they preferred our saloon, Olivier and Roland put on their masks and checked out the hulls. We hope to meet up again somewhere soon.
5.8 Olivia arrived, it was her birthday 4.8, and Mia organised a cake for her with horses on, which we ate by the waters’ edge at Theano restaurant, while Olivia fed bits of squid and octopus to the local cats. Olivia was only with us for a week, and she wanted to see everything, in between swims. Mia drove us to her son Phaedon’s dog training centre, near the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, and we met his girlfriend Maria, and their 10 dogs and pet snakes. Olivia and Phaedon barely recognised each other after all these years.
10.8 Mia loaned us her car and we drove to Epidavros, 375BC sanctuary of medicine. Olivia and I stood on the marble stone in the centre of the theatre, while Roland stood at the very top, many hundreds of metres away, and could hear every word of ‘Aotearoa’. We walked round the ancient ruins of the Asklepion, Katagogion, Hestiatorion, Anakeion, Abaton or Enkoimeterion, Epidoteion, and those of you who are smarter than us will know what those are! It seems the patients were bathed, purified, fed, given magic herbs and then put into a medicinal sleep. On our way home Olivia had a phonecall from her friend Miranda, whose sister Polly had just won a gold medal for NZ, sailing 470s in the Olympics.
12.8 Mia sailed with us to nearby Hydra, which is so steep that there are no roads, and Olivia was keen to kiss all the donkeys. Mia said it felt like her summer holiday, going for a sail with us, we had a lovely sail, saw 3 swordfish jump.
13.8 Time for Olivia to return home to Hong Kong, but not before she saw the Acropolis. We went with her by ferry to Athens, and after dumping her bag at the cloakroom, we walked up to the 5th c.BC Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Odeum of Herodes Atticus, together with several thousand other tourists. From there we went to Athens airport and sadly said goodbye, before returning to the boat in Poros.
15.8 Feyona and Andre arrived in Poros to sail with us for a month, from Greece to Turkey. Feyona had not seen cousin Mia for 42 years, but we soon felt like sisters, triplets even! Mia had a birthday dinner for us in her home, and we swam together every afternoon, during her siesta break from her shoeshop. We caught up on family news, and were sad to hear that our sweet aunt Clarie died on 21.8.
22.8 The weather report said the meltemi winds were easing off, so we cleared out of Poros and set sail for Turkey, with Feyona and Andre on board. We set off at the same time as new kiwi friends Donna, Mark and son Sam, on ‘Diamond Girl’ and arrived in Sounion. Mark, Feyona and Consie walked up to the ruins of (another) Temple of Poseidon. Next stop was Kea, after a lovely sail. Now the weather report showed another meltemi on the way, so we left the next morning and sailed with gusts up to 40kts, east 36nmiles to Tinos. We stayed on Tinos 2 nights, and walked up to the huge church of Panayia, a place of healing.
26.8 we set off at 0630 and sailed 71nmiles to Patmos, within sight of ‘Diamond Girl’, and anchored for 7 nights in Agriolivadhiou bay, while the meltemi blew. We went up to the monastery at the top of the hill, and visited the Grotto where St John wrote the Revelation of the Apocolypse.
Patmos is not far from Turkey, and as we have to check out of Greece before 9 September, we will stay around this area until then. Feyona and Andre return home from Bodrum 14 September, and Joanie and Rory arrive from NZ. We are gathering information about Turkish boatyards, as we will be leaving ‘Restless’ somewhere around Bodrum at the end of October, while Roland goes on the ARC with kiwis Pam and Keith on their Hanse 53, ‘Savarna’, and Consie returns to NZ via HK and Sydney.
We have had a wonderful time in Greece.