Light wind day today. We, initially, head to Nisos Rinia Bay near Delos. A predicted strong meltemi may keep us sequestered aboard for the next few days so we decide on the more active Ormos Harbor on Mykonos. We will set our tried and true “Ultima” anchor and wait for the onslaught…and it comes…30…40…45 knot winds.
June 21, 2016
Daylight hours we stand topside to watch for incoming boats. It is our outdoor ‘Television’. Sometimes it is a comedy and sometimes it is a drama, with the potential to become a tragedy. Comedies come from watching stupidity and ill-preparedness, not so much inexperience. We were all inexperienced at one time. Stupidity is failing to admit your shortcomings and sail with knowledgeable and capable people until you are one of them. “Charterers” / Once a year sailors are a big concern for most mariners. The sea is a dangerous place…suddenly so.
Watching, watching! It is difficult for an incoming boat in a big wind to set an anchor, even in good holding ground. Big winds push on the sides of the boat, “sailing” it. This flips the anchor over and keeps it from digging into the mud or sand and taking hold. Compounding the problem, improperly set anchors let loose, usually around 2 am, in a big blow. Tom and Marcelo are out early this morning sounding our air horn at a neighboring catamaran whose anchor was dragging. ‘Bwaaah! Bwaaah! Bwaaah! It is such a purposely-unnerving sound. Two sleepy boxer short and T-shirt clad souls stumble up from down below and turn on the engine, haul the anchor, and power off. Where did they go? We don’t know. Do they ever get a chance to dress while managing a boat in a wind that steadily grows? Difficult to imagine.
Reading, blogging, emailing, and taking time to catch up the news fills the day. I expend my usual quota of anxiety-ridden energy worrying about the world. Job done, I click off my computer and retire to my bunk in search of dreamless sleep.
As we entered Ormos Harbor on the first day, we saw “Turkish Delight”, a 25-meter gullet, at anchor. Owners Warren and Elizabeth, whom we briefly saw in Paros…Warren jetted over to us in the dinghy as we were leaving to say hello… are on the stern. They come for drinks tonight. They have found a wonderful business model for their totally renovated gullet (big and roomy Turkish built wooden boats that have larger than normal common space and big staterooms). They anchor in harbors like Mykonos and Santorini and provide less expensive room options than a hotel, coupled with a unique onboard experience. The rear decks are lovely and spacious for drinks and dinner. The “living room” is perfect for cooler weather lounging. Elizabeth is a fabulous chef…winning numerous awards for her cuisine. Lucky guests! (“Turkish Delight” firstname.lastname@example.org www.turkishcharters.com Tel: +90 534 073 58 29) We sit on Pakilar’s deck and share stories of favorite places and people. Warren has been in the charter business for 25 years. I say, “You must have had some strange guests aboard over the years,” hoping for a few stories. “They were all pretty nice,” he says. I reply, “I don’t believe it for a minute. You are just very kind.” He is.
Full moon tonight. We sit outside with a grappa in hand for a bit of quiet reflection. It makes my soul feel good.
June 22, 2016
The wind roars but we still manage to ready the dinghy for shore on a “mental health” outing for me. I also need the exercise. Cold water, big winds, many more visits to the quay than anchorages and some great meals contribute to my increasing sloth-like tendencies. Not a great swimmer, Marcelo suggests that I “jump off the bow, swim into the current towards the shore (similar to a swim in a hydrotherapy exercise pool) and then let the waves push me towards the stern of the boat.” “Sure,” I reply.
Short stop at “Turkish Delight” to view the renovations. Wonderful! We meet the crew and say “Hello” to two young…and very happy…guests. We seize the moment between fully booked moments to come aboard and tour the boat. I am so jealous of their freezer. Options! Fewer trips to the grocery store! If I never entered another supermarket, I would be very happy. My dislike of grocery shopping, predates my ‘lost heart’ for cooking. Any love for the incredibly nurturing and creative act of preparing a meal was ripped out, thrown on the grown and stomped on. I could almost hear the pop, shatter and heel grinding crunch of the shards. I cannot claim that this broken vessel was ever Baccarat crystal but occasionally it reached a Reidel Premium level. Thousands of meals later it can be officially pronounced “dead”! Occasional evenings, lifting a pan from cabinet to stovetop is an exhausting effort. I stare into its void and ‘sigh’.
A floating deck on the right side of bay near the beach provides an easy way to scramble out of dinghies. Tom and I wobble flat-footed on the bobbing dock, like a toddler learning to walk, towards the steps to shore. Trash bins for boaters are a bit overloaded and there is no recycling. We pack, crumble our trash down into the bins to keep the wind from littering the shore. Half a bottle of hand sanitizer later, we take the short walk to steps down to the beach and all the restaurants alongside.
We skip the on-beach restaurants and pick a tavern across the street (Porto Ormos ??). As we sit, I notice that the theme of “Zorba, the Greek” is playing…not a good sign for great food. Next tune is another version of the theme song…and the next…and the next…and the next! It is the only song they play. ‘The staff must go insane listening to that everyday,’ I think. Still, our waiter is very pleasant but a little harassed looking. (People burn-out?) We help with the usual paper tablecloth attachment, order quickly, and say our ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’. The waiter’s mood lightens. (Later, we get a smile, handshake, and “Thank you for coming”.) Tom’s spaghetti carbonara is excellent. My pork brochette is good…and becomes even better when I remember that I didn’t have to cook it!
Next stop is the AB market (both a mini-market and a larger grocery store just a few blocks inland) and the bakery. Two bakeries are located close to each other. One of them is next to the big AB Market. We check out both bakeries…to bad this is not an aerobic sport, I would be thin. The pastries in the bakery on the neighboring roundabout…not the one next to the AB…look fresher, tons of choices, and taste great! (Guess, I will be jumping on the bow of the boat when I get back.) We go on a spending spree to acquire ‘pastry” delights to bring back to Pakilar.
June 23, 2016
Hunkered in, the winds grow. Our Skype – ing to children resembles Neil Armstrong’s 1960 communications from the moon.
Late night email to our son, Jake, taking advantage of the time change to be the first to wish him a happy birthday…tomorrow!
June 24, 2016
Winds are even wilder today…gusts to 50 knots. Tom and Marcelo make a long term plan to head towards Samos and Patmos at the end of next week with our niece and her family. Don’t want a chance of getting holed up for days on end with the meltemis that are common here in the middle Cyclades. For now, we hover around Mykonis, awaiting a daughter’s arrival on Sunday.
Drinks aboard “Turkish Delight” tonight. Great fun! Tom, Marcelo and I enjoy a wonderful conversation with Warren and Elizabeth and crew. Elizabeth serves her lemon and pineapple sorbets. Delicious! Amazing what a talented person can do, even on a boat.
Dinner on shore on the beach in Ormos Harbor tonight “Kuzina” Restaurant (Similar name to the restaurant in Syros) Tel: 22890 26434 www.MykonosAmmosHotel.com They have a great sushi / sashimi bar here. Every dish was excellent. Tom’s chicken brochettes and Marcelo’s salad were fabulous.