THURS 2 October Sun, hot little wind, s/s 1/2
Finally slipped approx 09.30 after Mike had finished entry formalities. This involved 5 pieces of paper and 20.27€.
Another lot of immigrants under arrest, dressed in fatigues.
Actually saw sailing boats sailing.
Arr. 13.15 at Pythagorion on south side of island, stern to in the centre of the town, noisy and good fun. Lots and lots of cafes. Dutch boat next door with small children, 1 pregnant women chain smoking and mother of another baby smoking - disgraceful!!
Other boat owners not v friendly, again possibly because we are a motorboat. All nationalities here, 3 American, 3 Brits, 1 German, 1 Swiss and 1 NZ. Bossy harbour master.
FRI 3 Sun and warm
Did a bit of shopping then decided to leave for Samos Marina, the harbour master not keen for us to stay if/when the forecast gale arrives. He does not think we have enough chain out, he may be right as we only have 50m.
20 mins to marina, only a few years old. Shop, restaurant, bar, boatlift, engineers, sail maker etc.
Came alongside John and Clare Scott in their lovely 50ft yacht “Lazy Jacques”. He ex RAF, she 2nd wife, both pleasant and chatty. Next door to them a lovely old timber boat, sailed up the Red Sea from east coast of South Africa. Had a quick drink on board.
Walked back to Pyth for a not very special supper.
SAT 4 Sun and warm
All go to get the safety netting in place before Max arrives, also sorting out bedding and making space for all the Dohertys.
I walked into Pyth for fruit and veg. All jobs done, drink at bar then little fish for supper.
SUN 5 Wind and sun
Troops arrived at 07.15, they had had to wait 4 hrs at Manchester and then a rush for 2nd flight in Athens.
So far the thunderstorm has passed us by.
Walk back to Pythagorean for ice creams. Lots of sleeping to catch up with after sleepless flight. Children quite excited by being on boat, of course William and Adam have already been on her.
MON 6 Sun and warm Lovely day.
Set off for inlet on SEMIOPOULA, where we anchored for snorkelling, swimming and lunch, William bravely launching himself off the swim platform, Adam not sure. Water very very clear. On our way again to come alongside at MARATHOKAMBOS, south west Samos. French boat already in, Colette and Gerard, Austrian boat came alongside us later with Fritz and ? who gave us lots of tips about good stops.
Boys found the playground for football, I found excellent bakery and Greek sweetmeat shop.
French and Austrians came for on-deck drink.
TUES 7 Sun
Slipped 10.00. Good run to NISIDHA FOURNOI** (west side). Stopped for lunch anchored in cove en route, not as appealing as Semiopoula yesterday. Came alongside very small jetty, perfect for us; the village is tiny and all woodwork is painted the same colour blue.
Swimming, snorkelling, dinghy rowing, fishing etc. A lovely day.
**one of the places the Austrians said wasn’t worth visiting!
Straight to PATMOS Town, a bit lumpy as the wind on the beam. Stern to on the town quay, electricity but water by tanker only, rather too close to quite busy road for the boys.
Everyone else went to the lovely old monastery of St. John the Evangelist, unfortunately after a long climb, it wasn’t open in the afternoons.
Supper out at Taverna. On coming into mooring we dropped our anchor a bit too early (my fault), the chain ran out completely and mucked up the motor which had to be taken apart. Finally we were able to let more chain out to bring us within jumping distance of the quay. Then someone who hadn’t come in straight lifted our chain on leaving.
Port engine not quite right so in morning it will need some attention.
Too many scooters.
THUR 9 dull first sun and wind later 43rd wedding anniversary
Port engine leak on coolant system, put right. St/b engine starter electrics not good - a bad day, but all put right in the end.
Children went to GRIKOU on other side of island, to check out space on the end of the jetty. A delightful spot, 2 taverns and v. sheltered, sand, walks to “big” rock etc.
Mike and I out for anniversary drink.
FRI 10 Sun, hot
Had to wait for water tanker, then left for GRIKOU, Graeme already there by bike to keep a spot for us. Just leaving when anchor winch mechanism stopped working so Mike had to pull it up by hand.
Half an hour to mooring, then 3 attempts as we kept putting anchor out too soon, it must be deceptive.
A beautiful spot, plenty of beach space for football, wonderful clear water for snorkelling, tavernas for the adults, what more do you need.
Wind getting up. All slept well.
SAT 11 Sun, wind at sea, bay sheltered
Mike and I walked up to the Chora, an incredible rabbit warren of closely packed whitewashed cottages, built like this to fool pirates.
The Chora is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist who spent time here and wrote his epistle. The building on top of the hill is in a very windy spot, several elderly, black robed clerics who must be very hardy. Museum has 980 AD vellum illuminated books, beautiful, and fabulous embroidered robes. Apparently the time to visit is Easter when the entire island is in festival mood. During the summer months cruise ships are constantly coming and going; many of the passengers are quite elderly and although they are bussed nearly up to the Chora there are still a lot of steep steps, lots of puffings and pantings, some just can’t make it to the top!
Graeme, I and the children walked to big rock which is actually the end of the isthmus, has ancient caves on the seaward side, said to have housed a hermit; the steps to this are hazardous in the extreme, but Granny made it.
William and Adam have perfected their jumping off the side of the boat and would really like to use the roof as well, but boring Granny thinks not.
The boat next door to us is owned by a delightful Japanese lady, Reiko Smith (once married to an English car salesman), she now designs and makes jewellery as well as taking parties of people on day trips. She came for a drink.
An all night Greek wedding party at the far Taverna, fireworks as bride and bridegroom arrived, and lots of singing - not much sleep was had.
SUN 12 Sun, quiet in bay but wind 7/8 outside
Emma walked to Chora, Mike varnished the stern, the rest walked to big rock again, then to boatyard which has a good cafe, but not open today.
Lunch at the taverna, perfect only 20m from water’s edge and our boat. Delicious calamari.
More jumping off the boat, football, rowing etc.
MON 13 Sun, wind dying down to 4/5
Slipped 13.30. Very lumpy run to LIPSOI, no one was seasick but only just; luckily the trip only took 2 hours. We diverted their attention by teaching them the international communication alphabet, William equals whisky, India, Lima Lima India Alpha Mike!
Harbour very big, houses and tavernas all around, but somehow didn’t seem sympathetic. All timberwork painted bright bright blue. Very good rubbish disposal arrangements. Leaflet to each arrival complete with coloured bags for :organic:metallic:plastic:paper:glass. Beats most other places.
We were getting very short of water, but none on jetty as advertised! Small store with a large quantity of everything but meat. Emma and Graeme had dinner ashore.
“Harrier” from Itchenor, John and Sheena Marsh, came into shore for the first time for 2 weeks - definitely a hair shirt couple, we have seen them a couple of times before at sea. They have been married 50 years but she only looks about 60!
A windy night and a great swell when the ferry came in/out.
TUES 14 Sun, warm and wind dropping. Dull and rain later
Slipped 10.05. Good run to AGATHONISION. Population of island about 100.
The small jetty on the right was taken by two Coastguard and Naval patrol boats - another illegal immigrant problem, this time Iraqi Kurds, we think, just sitting around on shore, guarded by Greek soldiers. Luckily, as we were not allowed there, sufficient room, stern to in village, was found and the depth was just about ok for us.
Water on the quay not connected, however, we were able to take our large containers and sack trolley to one of the tavernas for water.
The village is filled with army personnel and seconded police officers from Rhodes. There is a small shop and several tavernas, at one of which Mike and I had supper.
We went around the headland to adjacent cove for swimming. Behind the beach was a stone enclosure for someone’s goats and old fishing boats. Graeme came across a sunken fishing boat when out snorkelling.
The immigrants were allowed off quay, a few at a time, to shop; mostly youngish men, 2 or 3 women and some children. Don’t know where they slept, but somewhere dry I hope as it poured with rain during the night.
Boys had supper out, William ate goat stew which he enjoyed.
William was quite disturbed by the immigrants, he couldn’t visualise having to leave your home and family for whatever reason and didn’t like the island. After we had walked nearly to the other side the next day, through derelict house foundations, I have to agree with him.
WED 15 Grey, viz limited Sun and hot later. Wind 2
Walked over the hill to see other side of island, not that interesting. New development of roads and divisions but no construction, a bit sad I thought. Very dilapidated stone dwellings, a subsistence level living I think.
Slipped 10.55 for easy run to SAMOS MARINA. Before leaving we went into adjacent bay and found the sunken boat Graeme had swum over. Did “man overboard” exercises in the Samos straits, on the way, boys thought this great fun.
On arrival we filled up with water, down to our last 2”.
For the first time we had supper on deck, a bit of a squash and also dark by 19.00. We managed to get the boys showered for the first time in several days.
THURS 16 Hot and calm
Emma finished packing and we all set off for Pythagorean to catch bus to Samos Town for lunch.
Interesting to go inland, olive groves, some vines, very mountainous and wild.
Found a delightful taverna, William had squid he is becoming very adventurous. The restaurant owner said we were the last English group of visitors on the island.
Bus back to Marina, taxi at 15.15 to airport and now they have gone!!
It is VERY quiet. A miracle no one fell overboard, only Max’s train, which Graeme was able to recover.
We have enjoyed having them all, William was quite enthusiastic, Adam not certain and Max jolly good considering he was so very curtailed.
FRI 17 Sun, calm and hot
Filled up with water, paid our mooring fee and off and away into a flat calm sea but poor visibility. Arrived KUSADASI, our winter home, around 12.45, lunch and a well deserved beer.The marina is large and very full, all manner of boats, we seem to be with the catamarans and other plastic motor craft. Assiduous (Basle) is in, we saw her in Patmos and I think Pythagorean, keen sailors.
Now time for winterising, varnishing etc.
There is a pretty clapboard cliff above us, we will have to walk up to find out more.
Kusadasi is on the cruise ship itinerary because of Ephesus up the road. Oldish town around the port, bazaars, cafes etc. As far as I can see only one mosque, a few women in head scarves and only 2 completely dressed in black.
Migros supermarket at end of marina, good showers and loos, laundry and swimming pool, BBQ area and tennis courts.
SAT 18 Sun, hot, a little wind
Washed boat, rubbed down varnish. Engine work, black and grey tank smell problem again.
V tired, didn’t go anywhere.
Soulmate a S. African registered catamaran with noisy family on board, I think another 2nd wife.
SUN 19 Hot, sun, little wind
More of the same, though managed a good exploring walk into town.
Cruise ships come and go every day, their passengers must be exhausted with a very quick turn round time including their visit to Ephesus and bazaar shopping.
MON, TUE, WED 20, 21, 22 hot
Frantic to get boat ready for over wintering, lots to do and not quite enough time. Next year I hope we have a “tick” list to avoid wrong order.
Marina is very nice, some good restaurants and bars, very helpful marina staff.
Eventually we set off for Dalaman airport. Taxi from marina to Otogar. Dolmus to AYDIN, another bus depot, not as large as that in Istanbul but nearly as noisy. Found a workman’s cafe for lunch where I was made the most beautiful salad, the tomatoes were cut to make a rose bud and cucumbers into hearts; the clientele a mixture of smart business men and workmen, the regulars had their food on the table in about 2-3 mins.
Eventually caught the coach to Dalaman about 3 hours through some magnificent and extraordinary landscapes. Again a mixture of old ladies with the usual assortment of aged luggage and smart business types.
Arrived Dalaman c. 18.00. Took a long time to find a hotel, eventually hailed a taxi who took us to a clean 2*. Supper out, not particularly special. (Peter and Bridget had found an authentic Turkish sitting on rugs restaurant.
Next day breakfast of hard boiled eggs, bread and cheese and tea. Taxi to airport, plane to Istanbul Atakoi, bus to Taxim Square, good lunch at smart Italian rest, then bus to Sabiha Gochen airport on Asian side of city. Flight to Luton.
Dreary and raining in England,
We caught the wrong bus to Milton Keynes so had to get a taxi back to station. Bought our supper at M & S to eat on train to Liverpool. Arr home c. 23.00
Nice to know that Emma, Graeme and boys plus Jasper were in the house. I must say I felt a bit shell shocked for a day or two.
What a fabulous trip we have had and how lucky we have been with weather, bureaucracy, health and Eos splendid throughout.
Lovely that friends Jim Nicol, Tom and Madeleine, Ann and Kevin, Alexandra through the Bosporus, lucky her, and of course the Dohertys who so enjoyed swimming in and around the Dodecanese.