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Friday, 15 August 2014

Well, so much for keeping a blog up on our sailing trip!!! It is now August 15th, and having sailed around the Aegean and the Greek islands, we are now in Norway, and I have some time, and a good internet connection to try and get the blog up to date with a few tales from our trip and our destinations.
   I think I last wrote from Kythnos, around the second of June, and bad weather. So a little recap, and continue....
Loutra, Kythnos. …....What a lovely little place, made even better by all the guys at Sofrano restaurant, it's one of the restaurants along the sea front, but with lovely drift wood pieces, and hand made pottery ashtrays, cups and bowls. Yannis the owner makes the driftwood yachts and pot-holders himself, he is an absolute sweetheart, and we felt so at home there, and like we had made a friend for life. Plus their food is delicious, and a little bit different from the normal Greek fare. Oh and their red wine is to die for, just sorry we didn't get any to have on board with us, and Yannis wouldn't let us pay the last evening we were there either. Loutra was perfect in every way, no traffic, small, quiet, great walks for the dogs, stunning coastline walks. Clean beach and sea. Lovely people, good food.
Plus amazing walks round the coast, stunning rock formations, and natural beauty.
Got the chance to stay there a couple of days as well as the weather was so shitty, and we decided we were better off staying put. But the time did come to leave, and the morning broke with sun at last, so let ropes go, up anchor and Syros.
Not much of a sail, wind was all wrong, but pretty calm considering how it had been. WE stopped just before Finikas to have a swim, and the water was really cold once more, but still felt great. Finikas, a sort of one road village that runs along the sea edge, nothing to write home about, but served its purpose, of a rest over for the night with electric and 200litres of water to top up our tanks, ^th June dawned with a chill wind once more and overcast, but after doing the doggy morning walk and some supplies, the sky had cleared and bit and the wind felt perfect. Mykonos, as our destination, as the wind looked good for that direction. Sails up as soon as we cleared the bay, and we had a wonderful sail for most of the way to the two small islands Iriana and Delos, then the Meltemi hit us, you're just happily sailing at a respectable 7.8 knots and then all hell breaks loose!!! Ok trim sails, reef in genoa, but no, this wind will rip you in half...Mainsail up so turn into wind to get it down, and quick, a lot of flapping and bumpy rocky stuff goes on meanwhile...don't you just love my sailing terms!!!! Anyway, all good fun, and at last sails down and motor on, wind relentless, sea, actually not too bad.
Oh at this point I forgot to say, that we have both bashed our home once each so far! Each time it was whilst trying to move the boat a fraction whilst already moored. Tom bashed the bow against the quay in Monemvasia, and I bashed the stern in Syros, whilst letting the anchor out what was supposed to be a fraction, and I was somewhat too heavy handed to say the least!!!! I also bent the arm of the pasarel, as it hit a bollard, but Tom was able to straighten it again, but the dent in the stern will remain for now I'm afraid. My mind goes blank when faced with numbers...like let the anchor out a metre, like from 37 to 38, on the counter not from 37 to 44 as I did!!!!!! Bang...ooops, did I do that?!!!! Anchor practice for me I think in a quiet bay somewhere, away from concrete quays.
So in Mykonos now, and too many cars, and too much noise....in the marina, as supposed to be best shelter, though still pretty rocky. Tomorrow we'll go and explore the town, as I have always wanted to see it, then maybe we will stay another night, maybe we'll leave, depends on wind really as usual. For now, it's been another long full day and I am ready for shut eye.
Town is lovely, just as I imagined, and full of loads of beautiful shops, luckily I am no longer even the slightest bit tempted.. The most expensive beer so far though, five euros for a small bottle of Mythos!!!!
Time to move on, but it didn't prove so easy....a cat had come in to the marina late in the evening and dropped its anchor chain over ours, then with the situation there of anchor chains and mooring lines, we got in a right mess...Tom managed to get the chain uncaught but then picked up a mooring line, and another chain right under our hull and near the rudder, plus no room to manoeuvre. Eventually after a slightly bent stanchion we managed to get ourselves out, certainly not the easiest marina so far!! Next stop Ikaria, and we had a wonderful sail once more and stopped overnight at a little harbour, went alongside, but a big swell all night so not so comfortable. Had a lovely evening swim though. Off early and out into a messy sea, Jesse does not like this sort of sea, and it takes her a while to settle, not much sailing, but a beautiful sunny day otherwise. Arrived Samos, Pythagorian, where Tom had come fifteen years earlier and had sat on the sea front, looking at the yachts, and wishing that one day he would be sitting on the yacht looking at the people in the bars....so his wish came true...bustling tourist town now, but we met a very nice couple there, so spent a lovely evening with them. A few hitches with the chain knitting problems, and had to re set the anchor at one point, but otherwise a really quiet and calm couple of nights.
A good sail down to Patmos. And a stop overnight in a lovely bay called Agria Livadia...wild pastures....lovely swims, both afternoon and early morning, but a lot of wind coming in the next day, so we left and went around the corner to Skala.....Crazy wind by the time we got there, thought it would be really tricky to moor with the high winds hitting us from the side, but luckily we managed without too much problem, but then sorted more ropes as extra security later, and it was still blowing a hooly.  

Mykonos.

 Windmills in Mykonos.
 Jess, and the cats, Mykonos.

 
That was cheating a bit, as I found I had made some notes and saved them, so up till here was easy to remember...so, to make things a bit easier, I am going to show all the places we visited and in which order, then I will write little snippets about each place, and add some photos, on a daily basis whilst here in Norway.
So, starting from Gouvia Marina, Corfu 11th May, we visited.....
Mourtos
Paxos, Lakka
Lefkas
Meganisi
Kalamos
Gefalonia, Fiskardo
Poros, Cephalonia
Zakinthos
Katakalon
Kiparissia
Pilos
Finakounda
Porto Kayio
Monemvasia
Leonidion
Spetses
Hydra
Kythnos,Loutra
Siros,Finikas
Mykonos
Ikaria,Evdilos
Samos,Pythagorian
Patmos,Agria Livadia
Patmos,Skala
Lipsi
Arkangelo
Leros,Plakoudi
Leros,Panteli
Kalymnos
Turkey, Knidos
Symi
Turkey, Bozuk Buku
Rhodes, Lindos
Rhodes, Mandraki
Turkey, Bozuk Buku
Halki
Tilos
Nysiros
Kos
Astipalea
Amorghos
Naxos
Siros
Kythnos
Poros
Aigina
Corinth Canal
Kiato
Trizonia
Patras
Mesalonghi
Ithaca, Vathi
Lefkas,Sivota
Meganisi, Abeliki
Preveza
Paxos, Mongonisi
Paxos Lakka
Mourtos
Corfu, Benitses. 1st August 

Then we picked up the car,made sure Silfrania was safe and all tucked up, with people keeping an eye on her, and three days after arriving in Corfu, we left on the night ferry to Ancona, on  Monday 4th. We arrived in Ancona at 16.00 on Tuesday 5th  and drove to Norway, stopping in Amsterdam to visit my son Eusebios, and then arriving in Norway on Thursday 7th August 10.30 am!!!!......PHEW!!!!!!