School is out for the summer

Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 2 Aug 2008 14:44


The technical problems with the boat have now been fixed and we were very grateful to get a berth at the marina at Marmaris in order to get them fixed. However, being on the outside of the outside pontoon, exposed to the belligerent sea, was something of an extremely up and down experience, even in the catamaran. Most afternoons the wind was blowing 30 knots and the sea was very lumpy.

Mooring the boat, stern to the pontoon, with 2 lazy lines on the bows allowed us to keep the boat far enough out, thus protecting it against smashing on the concrete pontoon.

Another Lagoon 440 catamaran, en-route to Thailand, was moored alongside the pontoon and 4 sturdy men had to use all their strength to hold the port hull away, while others assisted by moving an additional half dozen huge fenders, which belonged to the marina, between the boat and the concrete pontoon.

These outside pontoons are not generally used for pleasure craft and we would certainly not have been there had we not needed access for workmen to come aboard. Although we didn’t find the sea-state a problem, I know of at least one ex-crew member who would have needed to take stugeron to avoid sea-sickness while we were moored there.

Having to stay at the marina also gave us the opportunity to fly to the UK to visit my elderly parents. Dick took advantage of being in the UK to travel from the south-east coast, to the New Forest, in order to get the VHF handsets sorted out. Both had gone faulty while we were in Israel and Dick had made a temporary repair in order that we could talk to the Israeli navy. We didn’t fancy being blown out of the water because they thought we were ignoring their calls. The model of our VHF handsets is not yet available in the Middle-east or Turkey.

I have to say that having the hydraulic passerelle back in use is wonderful. It was really dodgey having to walk the plank to get on and off the boat, particularly when the boat was rocking and rolling at Marmaris. It is incredible that last year we were so blasé walking the plank. Although we have had it only this season, we have obviously been spoilt very quickly, by the installation of the passerelle.

Like everywhere in the Mediterranean, the towns, villages and beaches are beginning to swell with the visitation of tourists, now that school is out for the summer. With this in mind, our plan is to visit remote bays on remote Greek islands, at least until the beginning of September.

With this is mind, we left Marmaris behind and sailed in a force 6, all the way to our anchorage. What a wonderful start, after our prolonged and unexpected stay in Marmaris. Late afternoon, anchored in a bay, with lines ready to be taken ashore, we spotted just 5 metres away, what looked like a moray eel in the water, using nearby rocks for shade. Its body was thicker than the top part of my arm. Later, we were told by some young Turks, plying their ware from a small rowing boat, that the creature was dead and had been disposed of by a local fisherman. True or not, I could not bring myself to swim ashore with the lines, so Dick had to do that.

Wednesday morning we were back in Simi, a delightful, relatively unspoilt Greek island not too far from both Rhodes and Kos. Although we did not arrive until just after mid-day,  there were still moorings available on the town quay, despite its popularity with visiting boats..   

While in Simi, we had to get our transit log stamped by the local officials. This can often be a lengthy affair but on this occasion, luck was with us. First, it was necessary to report to the police, whose offices are at the furthest point on one side of the harbour, opposite  the offices of the harbour master, also located at the furthest point on the other side of the harbour. However, this was not of any importance because, although we could complete the formalities with the police at lunchtime, we couldn’t even go to see the harbour master until 6pm.

I have finally succumbed to purchasing a pair of those ghastly mini-mouse shoes that are so popular at the moment. These I purchases in lieu of a new pair of boat shoes, which don’t seem to be available in these parts. These crocs look-a-likes, are so light that they feel as though they are made of polystyrene. Despite the holes dotted all over the shoes, my feet seem to get quite warm when I wear these ugly shoes.

After a couple of days on the town quay, we moved the boat to the wonderful quiet bay of Pedi, where we dropped the anchor and swam from the boat. The water was blue and transparent and populated by shoals of tiny fish which appeared to sport a phosphorescent blue stripe along the length of their sides.

There is a plan to build a marina in this bay which would relieve some of the congestion from the town quay. Already there are a number of new build properties around the bay. They have been built in keeping with the architectural style on the island and at present are not too numerous to destroy the character.


Below-mini-mouse shoes, view from boat Pedi bay, moray eel