On the road again...

Rob & Sarah Bell
Thu 18 Jun 2009 09:58
39:05.8N 26:33.5E

Wednesday 17th June
A day of contrasts as we set out at 5.00am (finally we had a good use for
the early morning alarm call from the local minarets!) clad in jeans,
T-shirts and fleeces (Sarah also had a jacket on) motoring out of the marina
just as dawn was breaking on a windless morning. Within minutes we were out
beyond the protection of the headland and facing a fairly rough sea
generated by 3 days of hard winds. The wind then rose swiftly to 25 knots
bang on the nose again and we pounded our way north towards Oinoussa Island
(Greece) which we left to port, passing between it and the Turkish mainland.

Oinoussa Island provided a lee and the seas evened out behind it and at the
same time the wind eased a bit. We did expect the open sea (North Aegean)
beyond to be very lumpy but to our surprise it was very benign and although
we were headed by the winds almost all the way, we were able to make much
better time than we had expected.

Arrived in Mitilini (Lesvos Island, Greece) around 2.00pm and got one of the
few remaining berths alongside the mole in the unfinished marina. By now the
sun was at full strength and with very little wind, we were aware perhaps
for the first time this year, that summertime has arrived!

Took a couple of hours off before we set off into town to do some essential
shopping and present our boat papers etc. to the Port Police. Seems that
most of the boats here also only arrived today having all been sheltering in
various places and unusually there are two other British yachts, one Irish,
one Australian and one Belgium amongst the usual international suspects!

Expecting another two days of strong winds so we plan to stay here as our
next port of call has very poor protection from these northerly blasts.

Slightly embarrassed by our ensign today. The old one has faded badly and
has been repaired several times by Sarah, but we felt that it had reached
the end of its useful life, so we replaced it with a new one bought last
winter in the UK. Unfortunately, it is not a nice quality cloth one but a
rather tacky synthetic one (albeit 'sewn' which Sarah considers to be a good
thing) and so we have this brand new ensign flapping behind us and there is
something about its material that makes it flap noisily rather than
serenely! We are seriously considering putting the old one back up and
seeing if we can get a decent one in July when we pop home for a week.