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Date: 20 Sep 2008 21:00:50
Title: Aghios Nikolaos

35:11.168N 25:43.075E
 
The seoond night at anchor at Elounda was not quite so restful as the wind was gusting at 30 knots down the hillside and into the anchorage.  Fortunately it was good holding and our anchor was well dug in so the night passed without incident.  Because the boat was moving about a lot we closed all the hatches, which meant it was very hot below, so we set the anchor watch on the GPS and both slept on deck to be cool and to be ready if the alarm told us we were dragging the anchor. 
 
Next day was just as blowy, so we had to decide whether to stay where we were or make for Aghios Nikolaos, just 11 miles down the coast.  We decided on the latter, having checked that the marina at Ag Nik had a berth for us, and left the lagoon to find that the weather outside was a lot calmer!  We sailed downwind under the headsail the short distance to Ag Nik and were soon tied up in the marina. 
 
This is the first real marina we have been in since Cartegena, with loos, showers, lauderette and free wi-fi.  There are marineros on call 24 hours a day (well the Greek equivalent) and the marina staff are very helpful.  We needed diesel, which they bring to the quayside in a tanker, but as the wind had blown up again today, they arranged for the diesel to be delivered to the boat in containers rather than have to move the boat to the fuel quay.  A storm is blowing through as I write, so we are more than a little pleased that we decided to move on!
 
We have made use of all the facilities, including the washing machine, although with this we had a small disaster.  We set the temperature to 40 degrees and put in a mixed wash, but the programme must have overriden the temperature setting and although the clothes came out clean (not always the case with Spanish washing machines!), some were so creased up they were unwearable. The only iron on board was a travel iron which had no effect whatsoever on the creases, so today we have invested in yet another piece of electrical equipment - a steam iron!  With this, the creases soon disappeared and now it is stowed in the back of a locker never to see the light of day again,,,until the next laudry disaster!
 
Aghios Nikolaos is a pleasant town in the same touristy vein as the others we have visited, but without the pushiness of Rethimno.  We had our first 'gyro' - the Greek name for a doner kebab- although the meat in a gyro is recognisably pork or chicken, unlike the doner meat in the UK.  They also put chips and salad in with the meat, and the bread is much softer than pitta, more like a Nan. Rolled into a cone, it is then eaten in the hand.  All for 2 euros!
 
Tonight we were really lazy and rang out for pizza which was duly delivered to the boat.  A delicious seafood pizza with mussels, prawns and squid, washed down with San Miguel beer (we seem to always be a couple of countries behind with our beer!) - not very Greek but just what we fancied!
 
We haven't decided where to head for next.  We have a choice between a short hop of 25 miles to Sitia, the last port along the North coast of Crete, or a longer one to a small island off Rhodes, or a longer one still straight to the Turkish coast.  We're going to sleep on it amd make a decision tomorrow. 

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