Sailing at last

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Fri 10 Apr 2009 13:33

36:25.02N 27:23.18E

12.00 10th April

Tilos Harbour

Firstly there should be apologies for the inordinate delay in updating our
story. Not lost at sea, just making ourselves too busy. After the dramas of
returning to the marina we rose on Wednesday, finalised our departure from
Turkey and set sail, a short passage that was to take us from the East to
the West, and back into the E.U. - always a joy. The wind forecast suggested
we would have a pleasant breeze with which to sail hopefully on one bearing
straight to Rhodes. The reality was a little less than gentle, 25 knots and
pretty much on our bow. We therefore sailed as close to the wind we could,
which was very bumpy and wet and took us on a course south of Rhodes town by
about five miles. Some way down the coast we tacked back up but again
heading towards Turkey rather than into the harbour. Even in the lee of the
island the wind was scarcely any less and by the time we found our way into
the harbour we were both pretty battered and tired. Having said that, it was
a good way of getting back into sailing. Good that is if you put yourself on
a continuum somewhere between a little less than frightened but certainly
more than just nervous. We moored and tidied up and in no time Clive had
texted to say he had landed, so by the time he had taxied from the airport
we were all ready for dinner in Greece.

Yesterday was spent getting fuel, food and other supplies, engaging with the
locals in a traditional game of checking in to the country then out of the
port. This game is played by any number of people but involves walking from
one office to another, then another each in different parts of town. The
Greek version went like this. 'We want to check in and leave tomorrow' Don't
worry, do it all tomorrow'. Next day. 'We want to check in and out' 'You
need to pay 90 cents into the bank. If you can't do it before 3pm, don't
worry, I won't care'. 3pm. 'We need to check out, the bank was closed' 'OK,
now go to the harbour master'. Harbour master. 'OK, now go back to the
police. Police. 'We're been to the harbour master'. But you need to pay 90
cents into a bank, now the bank is closed. I don't care, just leave, this is
Greece'. So off we sailed, but because of the lateness of the hour, instead
of heading to Simi, we went back across the straights to Turkey, where we
anchored in a beautiful sheltered natural harbour. At anchor as the sun set,
listening to the birds, the goats and cattle and the wash of the sea was
delightful. Briefly dark then, as the moon rose you could not have wished to
have been anywhere else.

Today, up early - no booking in or out, just off. A quick change of courtesy
flag and we're out of Turkey, back into Greece, heading for another island.
More tomorrow.

Skipper here. Crew settling in but need sharpening up a bit. Still will
probably get there in the end.

Forecast today was for light winds so we set off early for a motor sail
westwards in the hope of getting some wind. Of course we did but from the
wrong direction. Still a pleasant day all the same with clear skies and calm
seas and by 14.30 we had tied up in a small harbour on the island of Tilos.
2 small fishing boats and one sailing yacht. The benefit of being so early
in the season. More soon.