Took the early morning flight from London to Kos today. Visited with two of our children who live in London and, very importantly, a granddaughter. Hard to leave but we are looking forward to being back on Pakilar, Love these non-stops to Kos. Marcelo will be meeting us at the airport. It will be a wonderful to see him. When Tom and I left the boat last July, we thought it was the end of sailing on Pakilar. Worsening arthritis has taken a toll, making it more difficult to move about the boat to grab a line or pull in a sail. We had planned to put the boat on the market but Tom couldn’t find the heart to do it. It is a watershed moment for most men…selling their beloved boat…and for this woman. Somehow, it reminds us that we are getting old and there will be fewer, if any new beginnings. As I walked away from Pakilar last year, I tried not to look back. She has morphed into a person. It was difficult to think that I would never see her again. It is important that she continues to be well cared for. She deserves kind and loving concern.
Back aboard felt like coming home. For a moment, it seemed that I hadn’t been away at all. I know every nook, every random floorboard squeak…the ones I try to avoid when I am up at night writing this blog or helping writer friends edit their memories or websites. Writers are part of my tribe. It is always a joy helping one. Still, I hate to rouse the early birds. Most days I can sleep in but they need their rest, always desiring an early start to a new adventure.
Off to Ormedon in the hilltop town of Zia for dinner. George and his sons greet us like family. We catch up on the latest news…work, school, new babies.
Then we begin to celebrate with a delicious meal and some wonderful Greek wines. The sunset is always spectacular here on the hill.
kennenlernen darmstadt June 18, 2017 Amorgos
Heading from Kos we sail close-hauled for a full 12-hour day to Amorgos. At one point it appeared that we might not clear the northwest corner of the island to gain entry to Katapola Harbor but, luckily, we were able to point high enough.
Amorgos has stolen our heart. The island sports imposing cliffs and spectacular panoramas. Eco tourism would be a natural here. Still, it is the friends that we have made here that draw us. Our 8pm arrival forecloses an option at the dock in Katapola Harbor. We anchor and have Marcelo’s wonderful spaghetti with smoked salmon and a very good Greek white wine. Exhausted, we all happily head to our bunks. I think I must have been a forest creature in a former life. There is a special joy in burrowing into your bunk at the end of a day outdoors.
internet June 19, 2017 Amorgos –Visiting old friends and making new
Midmorning we watch for space at the dock as boats venture on their way somewhere else. The ferry can create difficulties in this harbor. On one of our visits here, the ferry snagged our anchor. It was hanging from the netting draping down the ferry’s massive bow as the ferry increased speed and headed off. We frantically waved to the ferry boat crew and they amicably waved back not realizing that we were trying to get their attention to avoid impending disaster. Luckily, forward motion disengaged our anchor and we were not catapulted off the dock as the ferry motored away. Now we think we have ‘figured it out’. We leave only 35 meters of anchor line out to avoid having the ferry drag our anchor line along with them when they leave.
Happily on the dock, Tom heads to the car rental office a short walk away to rent a car to visit the Chora and friends there. Marcelo decides to remain on the boat today and keep a close watch on the anchor to make sure it doesn’t drag. This turns out to be a very wise decision! As we come ashore, we meet the owners of the neighboring boat, S/Y Englas, Anne and Kess Simmasgard from Stockholm, Sweden. We mention that we have rented a car and would be happy to give them a ride to the Chora, if they would like. Anne and Kess are on a year-long sailing trip that will take them across the Med and then to the Caribbean and on to the States to visit friends. After making this momentous decision, they rented their home in Stockholm and were off. Anne is the navigator and Kess is the helmsman. They are a good duo.
The four of us head off in the car. The first stop is Georgia Kolokitha shop in the Chora some ten miles away. What a delight! Georgia has become a dear friend over the years along with her mother and sister Mary. Georgia’s shop has recently undergone a renovation. It is lovely. Slate and beautifully honed wooden shelves offer new options for display and movement in the shop. We introduce Georgia to the Simmasgards. Georgia is working, so Tom and I decide to head to Theos café, Jazzmine, for breakfast. Theo is an avid jazz lover and named his café accordingly. as and Anne head out on a walk. We invite them to join us at the café upon their return. As we depart for the café, the waitress walks up the steps to see Georgia, sees us and greets us with a kiss. Kess asks, “Do you know everyone here?” I say, “Yes, actually Tom could run for mayor!” This is not far from the truth minus his need for Greek citizenship.
Theo greets us warmly. He is pleased to see us. “Have you come for the music festival?” he asks. Each year, Theo and a devoted group that includes Georgia organize a week long festival that includes musical groups, poetry readings, acrobatic events, and plays. One particular festival that we attended several years ago here was a highlight of our entire visit to Greece. That year, Tom, Marcelo and I ambled up goat-like to an ancient hillside chapel that overlooked the valley below. Directions to the location were rocks made into the symbol of an arrow. Flowers draped this rock directional. So charming! So authentic! The music and poetry that followed at the performance shared these same wonderful attributes. It is community that makes a difference anywhere and everywhere.
“Tomorrow night,” Theo tells us, “there is a production of four ancient plays with period costumes.” It is in Greek but the plays are classic tales and Theo is sure we would enjoy it. We hope to go.
We sit on the upper level balcony of Theo’s café and enjoy a delicious breakfast. The view is to the valley and the hills beyond. There is a strong breeze today mimicking the big winds of yesterday that allowed us to travel the 80 miles in 12 hours to Amorgos. Tomorrow’s weather report calls for continued strong winds. Kess and Anne join us. They enjoy Theo’s always good coffee and a piece of a delicious orange cake. We offer to take them on a further tour of the island. They happily accept.
First stop is St. Georgios Monastery. The hundred plus stair climb to the monastery is a dramatic feature pitched against the cliff. Anne and Kess have never been to the monastery. We tell them the view from the stairs is wonderful but the church itself is tiny and unremarkable. Still, the hospitality of the volunteers who greet guests with Rokomelo (a honeyed raki) and a Turkish delight style candy make the trip pleasant. Tom and I decide to wait below, having made the long trip up before. As we wait we receive a call from Marcelo. “The anchor is slipping,” he tells us.
Twenty minutes later we are all in the car heading back to Katapola Harbor. Kess offers to come aboard to help us reset the anchor. Turns out that it was a very kind and helpful offer. Passerella (gangplank) put away and lines retrieved, we head off the dock. I am at the bow retrieving our anchor when we feel and see that our wonderful Ultra (very good at both anchoring and catching ferries) has snagged a section of chain from one of the boats on the dock. The trick is to disengage the other boats chain without disturbing the set of their anchor. Marcelo has to hang off the side of our boat to attach a small length of line to gently lift the other boats chain from our anchor hook. For this you need several hands and great strength. Kess, a very fit age 70, tells Marcelo he will hold Marcelo’s full body weight off the side of boat while Marcelo uses his other hand to attach the line. It works! Impressive. (The boat who’s chain we snatched told us that there anchor was secure. No issue.) Kess shares that he put out 45 meters of chain for his 42’ Swan and that he had no problem as long as the ferry was not anchored in Amorgos. Apparently, the ferry still puts down a long length of anchor chain but has gotten in the habit of removing their chain very slowly. (Caught its limit of sailboats, I guess.) As long as your anchor is below the ferry’s, you are all right.
Relaxing evening…happily. Georgia comes for dinner on the boat and we have our usual wonderful time with this dear friend.
size zero dating June 20, 2017 Enjoying a Last Day in Amorgos
I decided to write about each day here on Amorgos so I can re-read the adventures while sitting in front of my fireplace in Maine on some winter evening years from now.
We have plans to visit Georgia this morning at her shop. Can’t wait to find a few ‘must haves’ among her ladies’ clothes line. Some food shopping in Katapola is next. (We leave early tomorrow morning.) Drinks and dinner planned with Anne and Kess, and hopefully Georgia, at a tavern on the dock. In between Tom and I have one of Theodosia’s massage. Excellent masseuse and a friend. Her massages have a Hindu / Asian feel and heal both mind and body. Theodosia went to an ashram last year in India. While she was there, she shaved her head. Now she sports a cute little pixie cut.
Great day but sad to say “good bye” for now. Georgia has promised to come visit and stay with us in St. Martin for a week or so. Anne and Kess will be in the Caribbean in December, so our hope is to see them too. Tucked in my bunk, the next sound I hear is the engine starting at 6 am and the rattle of an anchor chain. Great visit!
rencontre sur internet gratuite June 21, 2017 Sifnos (Yialos Harbor)
Able to sail to weather today to Sifnos. (I had to ask Marcelo to make sure this was the case, since I slept most of the day. Still jet lagged and feeling a little lazy today, the nap was great!) Syfnos is a lovely island and well worth a visit, but tonight we come for one thing…dinner at “Omega 3”. Yorgos is a fabulous chef and all his fish dishes are amazingly good. In his former life, Yorgos was a bio chemist, so he understands what enhances the flavors in the fish, making his dishes exceptional.
As we enter the Yialos Harbor, the harbor closest to the restaurant, we have our own little mini-drama. We easily could have anchored in this beautiful harbor but decide on tying up in the new marina to make it easier to walk to the restaurant. The dock master Spiros, waves us to a ‘stern to’ position between two 40+ ft. boats but suddenly changes his mind and tells to switch over to another spot. The harbor curves to the right. Boats on the left and the right of this curve are at a 90 degree angle to each other. We power forward to better align ourselves to our new spot on the quay. As we begin to back up and into our new spot, there is a dramatic wind shift that swings our boat perilously close to the bow of one of the boats. “Use your bow thrusters,” Spiros yells. Yes, that would be nice if we had bow thrusters. Maybe next year Santa will bring them, but we don’t have them now.
Marcelo races to the bow and brings in the mooring line as close as he can. The crew on the other boat race forward to fend off their bow. Tom and I dash aft to fend off the stern from the quay with extra fenders. Pakilar’s bow does not touch the other boat but remains perilously close. The wind makes it impossible to move our bow back to a safe position. Marcelo and Tom decide to throw a line to the quay above midship and then crank the line to give us purchase on the bow. Slowly, slowly the bow swings back and we are able to tie up, no longer with our stern pressed up against our fenders protecting us from the quay. Spiros, the dock master, came aboard during the operation to add some muscle and encouragement. (He confesses that the reason for his last minute move to a new spot on the dock was the depth of our boat. We draw 3.2 meters. He believed the new spot to be the deepest.) Miraculously, there is no damage to any boat. Time to celebrate! What a relief! It is just another day sailing.
Yorgos, the chef at Omega 3, and his wife Elisa and new baby boy Raphael greet us upon our arrival at the restaurant. Elisa is Brazilian and her husband Yorgos, Greek but Portuguese speaking, engage in a fun conversation with Marcelo. It is always nice to hear your native tongue spoken when you are far away from home. Baby Raphael was born back in Brazil this past year. Elisa is a singer and percussionist. Now, being Mom is her very fully time job.
“We are celebrating tonight,” we tell Yorgos. “We will do the tasting menu with the wine pairing.” Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! What amazing offerings come with some wonderful Greek wines. Actually…a lot of wine! Yianas, our host and sommelier, delights in telling us the details of each wine. Greek wines, particularly the whites, are quite good. Tonight we indulge since we are ‘walking’ home to Pakilar,
http://theeasybreezyway.com/?parkyw=conocer-gente-murcia-capital&b7e=cc check June 22, 2017 Salidha, Mylos (Southwestern Tip)
Sailed from Syfnos this beautiful clear morning on a close reach to the southwestern tip of Mylos. Good wind allowed us to average between 6 and 7 knots. Greeted in Salidha in Mylos by eight to ten boats, mostly power, all here to enjoy the beauty of the limestone formations and grottos. It is quite a dramatic anchorage with good swimming. All the boats have left now, except for us. How nice! Marcelo went for a long swim…over an hour, while Tom and I played backgammon (Tom is soooo lucky!) and watched ourselves grow a bit wider.
Happy to see that Marcelo made it safely back. (Never quite know what we would do to check on him if he wasn’t able to get back. He swims parallel to the shore to ensure a Plan B.) Lunch was one of Marcelo’s famous salads. Tuna melts for dinner tonight but missing some key ingredients a gin and tonic filled the gap in flavor.
Planning for the big trip to Sicily. Approximately 350 miles away, it will take us more than two full days. Need to find fuel and a good grocery store on the island of Kethira, our last stop before the long voyage.
Hope for a movie tonight or maybe just sitting on the deck and watching the light on the Mylos shore with its beautiful limestone formations.