October 29, 2009
Have had a few days in Simi whilst waiting for the rain to stop and the wind to change from SE to normal. Nanaged a few more maintenance tasks. At least the boat looks clean, with all the fresh water that’s being poured on it. Looks like today is the day, have actually had a night without rain.
Went to the port police to log in (between showers) on Wed and, as usual, they were ‘too busy’: “come back when you leave tomorrow”. Ten minutes later saw them at the cafe with their mates on a coffee break! Gave us the chance to watch the “No Day” parade The Italian ultimatum
This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, on October 28, 1940, at dawn (04:00 AM), after a party in the German embassy in Athens, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified “strategic locations” or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι or no. In response to Metaxas’s refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 AM. Metaxas’s reply marked the beginning of Greece’s participation in World War II (see Greco-Italian War and Battle of Greece).
On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting ‘ohi’. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day.
It was very moving, watching the school children and soldiers marching with their banners to music.
October 26, 2009
Sun 18/10/09 Emborias:Left the buoy with John at the wheel in a 10kn E with F/S C/H then a beam reach @ 5.3kn reducing to 3kn later. John steered us all the way into Lakki and we anchored up to go shopping and have lunch. Only a short stay as the fishmonger did not have sword fish until the following day and the other shops were closed (Sunday….). After a quick lunch we set off for Lipsoi motoring against the wind. Moored up alongside the outer edge of the Town Quay. Had forgotten how easy it is to just come alongside…. Had yet another excellent meal ashore at Manolis by the church.
Mon 19/10/09 After a quiet night and catching up on sleep, we had a lovely start to the day of sunshine and slight wind. Motored off towards Leros and anchored at the NE tip in Plakhoudi Bay and had a nice swim and a lovely lunch. Wind became sailable and we goose winged (John at the wheel) down to Pandeli. Quick tour of the harbour convinced us to moor up in the S bay where er had a BBQ of country sausage and prawns (as we had no swordfish steaks!) very tasty. J&J getting the hang of ‘Frustration’!
Tues 20/10/09 Up anchor and motored down towards Leros Ormos Plakhoudi for a swim and lunch. Set off for Vaathi as the wind increased to give us a nice gentle downwind sail. John and June taking it in turns to replace the autopilot and doing very well. June very thankful that the sea is calm again! John and Jenny polishing the SS while June helmed. What a crew!
Anchored up in Vaathi near the only other boat (bit of a contrast to the last time we were there two weeks ago!) Ate at the 2nd restaurant along and had a good value meal. The octopus was yummy.
Wed 21/10/09 Up anchor and away towards Pserimos for a lunch stop. Forecast 12kn was conservative and once out of the bay we amended plans with the actual 20kn N to go straight to Kos before it got worse. After shortening sail, we had an Invigorating beam reach touching 7kn with both J&J piloting in turn. As we entered the Bodrum Bogazi, we observed a horizon full of sails coming towards us. Concluded that the annual Bodrum Gulet Regatta was ongoing.with over 50 very large yachts belting towards us on a starboard tack. As we were on a port tack and also upwind we altered course to skirt them with Kos on the starboard side. Unable to get round them as collision speed was about 20kn…… Had to amend to direction to steer a reciprocal course with avoiding actions being taken on both sides. A fantastic spectacle of multiple sails and brilliant entertainment. Kept a close eye the Sahil Guvenlik patrolling up and down the border line at 40knots so that we did not stray into Turkish waters, not that the gullets were concerned about straying into Greek waters!
J&J took it in turns to steer us into Kos Harbour where there was a nasty side wind ongoing. Managed to berth up first time, without a problem, in our usual spot. Noted that the chain that Baz and I had dragged to the harbour wall the previous week was still hanging there!
In the strong side wind that afternoon, observed a subsequent arrival (French) still flying the Turkish courtesy flag. Marinero refused to take his lines until he changed his flag. I took pity and helped him in. He didn’t understand, at first, why he was being shouted at.
A nice meal out at a grill bar watching Man U beat Moscow. Too tired to even play frustration tonight….
Thurs 22/10/09 J&J packed their bags and I surfed the net to catch the weather situation and my emails. Enjoyed a smoked salmon and scrambled egg brunch and, at 1240hrs, left J&J on the quay waving as we set off , on our own for a change, on the way to the SW end of Kos at the bay of Kefalos. Very invigorating sail as the wind was mostly in the 20 to 30kn bracket. Gave Jenny a scare when she went below and saw the galley sink filling with fresh water and the heads bowl filling with salt water. Whoops; too much dangle angle. Shortened sail to bring us more upright and AOK. Thought we were meeting another regatta ahead as we passed Kardomena but turned out to be a fleet of hotel dinghies inshore ahead of us. As the wind increased further to consistent 30kn and we were very close hauled, had to reduce sail even further but still making over 5 knots. Duelled with several wind surfers flying across the bay, skimming the waves for several metres at a time (the wind surfers, that is).
Waved to J&Js plane as it flew overhead at 1640hrs. and at 1730hrs anchored up towards the north east of the town off the beach by the rock. Nice to go below at anchor out of the wind! For a change we had a simple meal on board and watched a video on the laptop before dropping into bed at cowboy time.
This had to be the quietest night ever, only disturbed by the anchor chain graunching over the sea bed around 0400hrs as the wind dropped and shifted 180degrees.
Friday 23/10/04 Woke at 0800hrs to a beautiful sunny morning, rocking in the slight swell. Motored due S towards Nisiros, picking up a very light N and goosewinging to the W tip of Ak Kalouti then close hauled to Palon Harbour. The port upgrading there is now complete and all services are available (5E elect 5E w). Thankfully still no charge for berthing. Got a weather update over wifi at the Aphrodite café and a reasonable meal of saganaki followed by spinach pie and then rice cream pudding plus half litre of tasty local wine for 20E (only 1 portion of each!)
Sat 24/10/04 Quiet night and sunny morning. Set off 0830 S C/H then, after avoiding a tanker at close quarters at about 1100hrs, went M/S and eng as we were heading the increasing SE wind. By 1230 had to increase engine to almost flat out to maintain 4kn, plunging into the mounting short swell. Turned into Megalou Bay on the W side of Tilos in the vain hope that we could stay the night but too swelly. Straight up with the anchor (Jenny on all fours from bows to cockpit) and ploughed back into the rough water to gain the S end of Tilos. Wind stayed at about 17knots true and as we turned E was able to switch off and use half sail C/H then B/R. Became a pleasant ride and quite scenic. Goosewinged until in the lee of the headland and had to take the genoa in and motor for ten minutes until the wind came from the W at 10kn C/H F/S. Managed to stay C/H under full sail all the way to Livardia harbour. Berthed with lazy line, for the first time for two months, stern to the quay. The German mariner, as usual, directed every action of berthing (she must get some right idiots there). Mind you, I did manage to leave the eng in tickover fwd as she hung onto the sternline whilst I was hauling in the bow lazy line (actually, thought the line had been brought back on board, my excuse anyway). She then asked us to put another bow line on and go out as far as possible because “big S storm coming in the night and if you are pushed onto the quay you must cast off and go out at full speed to anchor across the bay between the two hotels”. Thanks for that…. Jenny made chicken fahitas for dinner and we played cribbage again. Thanks to Dave and Jackie for the extra lessons and to Steve and Jo for the gift set. Jo, it wasn’t strip crib either (thank you) although might graduate to that at Symi Panormitis bay…
Sunday 25/10/09 Had a sleepless night waiting for the ‘storm’ but only an hour of rain at 0300-400. Bit Bill Haley after that but OK. Faired up at dawn. Wind due to swing to the E during the day so set off 0830hrs to reach Symi Panormitis whilst still sailable. Wind gradually came up to enable motorsailing then halfway across we could see that Tilos was obscured by an awful black cloud and the wind rose to a close hauled 10knots and after another hour 17knots making a good sail but now more easterly so having to tack. At least the sun came slowly out and made things less ominous. Flew straight through the commercial channel avoiding a procession of five freighters/tankers, pleased to see them taking avoidance measures well in time, although it restricted our tacking manoeuvres. Now gusting true wind 19knots but with shelter only two miles away, did not bother reducing sail as enjoying the spirited conditions and only a couple of miles to go to Panormitis. The British flagged boat that had been in Tilos harbour the previous night passed us, motorsailing, going direct for the anchorage and we fell in behind when we eventually switched to engine only. As usual, contrary to our last visit six weeks ago when Mark kept anchor watch all night in the strong winds, it was a pleasure to drop back from the anchor in peace and quiet. Pleasant evening on board playing cribbage and listening to a thunderstorm approaching. At about 2130hrs; still felt as 2230hrs to us as the first day of the clocks winding back; we retired to read in bed. Five minutes later there was a flash and a simultaneous tremendous crash of thunder that had us both jumping out of bed to check round. Everything appeared OK. The noise reduced overnight but it rained on and off throughout.
Mon 26/10/09 Woke to a fairy quiet morning with thunder and lightening in the distance still. The boat that had preceded us into the anchorage dinghied over and asked if we were OK? Seemed that the lightening strike of the previous night had hit his boat whilst they were in the cockpit with sparks flying everywhere and all his electrics blown. Signed his declaration of evidence that there had been a storm.
The storm gradually returned and then a tremendous squall hit us whilst I was contemplating the three day old weather report. Very dark, windy and noisy as we swung in crcles, observing clearance with the other boats.
Weather cleared by 1200hrs so, having carried out more maintenance jobs (changed engine start relay that Daran managed to temporarily fix in Spring in the Cyclades), we set off for Simi Town and t’internet. Three hours of tacking later we ran into a thunderstorm just as we were entering the gap between Simi and the small island to the north. just as if we had not had enough excitemet! Vis dropped to 50meters and we seriously considered dropping anchor in the adjacent bay until it maybe cleared but decided to carry on to check out the quay. A kindly German took our lines in the rain but the anchor did not take…… Decided to ‘do a Baz’ and motored out in the dinghy with the main anchor. Bit difficult with only one person on board but managed it and now OK.
As you can see, now on ‘t’internet! Nice and sunny again and steaming.
Hope to tank up diesel tomorrow and set off for Bozborun on Wed to meet our friends from Marti, Paul and Kit, for dinner.