Earth, Wind, Dust and Grit.

Rob & Sarah Bell
Wed 29 Jul 2009 08:10
Sunday 26th July.

Patted ourselves on the back this morning for the sound decision made last
night to come onto the quay.

Certainly it is hot and VERY dusty and gritty but the wind started blowing
hard very early and by 9.00am all the boaters including us were busy taking
steps to secure their craft against the rapidly increasing blasts.

Mid-morning saw gusts close to 40 knots across the quay and this was
whipping up great clouds of grit and dust which was impossible to keep out
of the boats without hermetically sealing them, at which point of course we
would expire from the heat!

High spot of the day was Sarah at last finding an English paper and only one
day old at that. So we were able to sit back and have a lazy breakfast
enjoying a happy read about all the comings and goings of an English summer
and the journalists' silly season.

The wind did at least keep the temperatures down a bit, but by the end of
the day Sarah was unable to complete a single sentence that did not include
the words dust, grit and hoover/hosepipe. The transom looks like an
excavator just dumped a full load of road grit on it.

Worse still is the forecast which does not show any signs of all this easing
very much anytime soon. There are gaps, but our next trip is a long one
albeit heading roughly south along with the 30 knot winds.

Limnos is a remarkable island, almost alone out here in the north Aegean it
is someway off the tourist trail even though there are daily ferries and
domestic flights into the large airport that the civilian aircraft share
with the considerable military presence here. Myrina is the principle town
and tourist hot spot, but in the main it is a Greek resort for Greeks and
there are few other nationalities here. The town has two faces as it has an
east facing beach with smart restaurants and busy bars overlooking a bay and
in the far distance is the dramatic Mount Athos. On the South side is its
beautiful harbour with an inner basin for the small fishing fleet,
overlooked by plenty of fish restaurants (that is what the guide book claims
anyway), a new (half built - very gritty) town quay, which will be very
smart and a lovely open bay used as a yacht anchorage when the wind is less
strong and a ferry port on the far side of the bay that makes the link to
the outside world without disturbing the peace of the town. The seaward side
of all this is protected now by a brand new mole that extends half way
across the entrance to the bay leaving an idyllic location. If only the wind
would die down.

In addition to all this, the island boast some fantastic sandy beaches and
is a popular winter home for flamingos. So why so few tourists? Nobody seems
to know, but rather selfishly most of us here are pleased to have the place
to ourselves. Yachts are rare beasts in these waters as only the longer term
cruisers like us venture this far north as it is off the beaten track and
takes a lot of precious holiday time just to make the passage here and back,
never mind the issue of strong summer winds.