Lakki, Leros, Greek Islands

Vasco da Gama
Ian Strathcarron
Sat 16 Jun 2012 13:48
The most noticeable thing about the Greek Islands this afternoon is the heat. After months of cold, rainy England it is almost shocking, although beautiful for those like moi who love being hot. Vasco was lowered into the water by a huge crane on Thursday morning. We jumped on board and immediately felt at home. She is not too dirty as no-one has been living on board since last September, just a bit dusty, but I'm finding her easy to cope with after nine months in Otterwood, compared to which, she is like a doll's house.

This is a very quiet island, barren and not particularly beautiful, but she has a lot of charm. The hotel we stayed in for the first three nights was almost empty, just us and a group of Greek pensioners, we imagined they were on a Saga tour from Athens. We left the boatyard and motored to a neighbouring deserted island called Archangelos, moored in a bay, swam and watched seagulls and listened to the sound of goat bells before dining on a plate of pasta covered with garlic, dried chillies and parmesan - very simple but tasting delicious in the open air. The next morning Ian had to fit the sails, a huge job, and we set off for Lakki marina for a pit stop, hoist the sails, but then were taken up by our old friend the Meltemi, a viscious north easterly wind which we were hoping to avoid as we got here early in the summer. Ian went from one minute saying, she is sailing beautifully, to shouting we've got to get the sails down, there's too much wind. One by one the sails plopped down, but their sail covers were not in place, so they covered the decks, making it very difficult to see where we were and to take control of the boat. This frightening experience actually made us laugh as we were so unprepared. Hours later the sail covers were fitted after much zig zagging around a lagoon which was supposed to be wind-free but wasn't.

Yesterday afternoon we tied up here, and in the evening went to watch the football in a bar on the quay. France/Ukraine was abandoned because of a storm, we returned to the boat and were asleep a long time before the England/Sweden game started. At about 11.30pm I heard a loud roar, and thought 'England has scored and won' and fell back to sleep (we're 2 hours later than UK time).

So today we are provisioning the boat and getting ready for our departure West tomorrow towards Naxos and Paros. That should take 2 - 3 days with overnight stops at quiet islands where there'll be no internet connection, so I'll blog again as soon as pos. To see our position Google Lakki, Leros as I'm afraid we don't have the map connection any more.