June 2015 – The Adventure Continues On

With Dee and I back in Greece, and a serious lack of blogging going on (due to numerous excuses I have to say), its well and truly time to fire up the blog and let you poor folk shivering away in the Australian winter know just how good cruising around the Med is. We got to Greece in early June, spent a couple of days recuperating in a seaside hotel close to the airport, before hopping on the plane to Leros with our five heavy bags full of boat parts and half a blow up windsurfer/SUP (as Emirates decided I couldn’t bring the sail section).

In Leros it was not all fun and cocktails. Before the play comes the work. In no time at all I had Dee scrubbing the decks, removing the effects of a Saharan red mud rainstorm. We worked through a long list of boat jobs – 60 odd jobs in total. Dale had reconditioned one of our shower sump pumps and machined up some latch locks so we gratefully fitted those. It took us a little longer than we thought to work our way through our list. After a week and a bit, the day before Kim and Jane were arriving, La Mischief was looking pretty darn good (to quote George of the Jungle) and we were getting closer to finishing when, bugger me, the fresh water pump’s pressure sensor refused to play ball!!

Never mind, it was out to the airport to pick up Kim and Jane at 7.30am (ouch) in our hire car, and we finally gave ourselves a break and spent a day being tourist – breakfast at Skippers (at the marina), lunch on Pateli Beach, looking up at the castle, a quick drink at The View to guess what, check out the view, and then back to Ostria for dinner, an old favorite. In between, I organized for someone to look at my pump, and for some fibre-glassing work to be done.

In Leros we also found time to socialize with the other yachties – a great past time given the stories and information they have. We had drinks on a Seawind 1160 from the USA and Dee keenly did the grand tour to see what Camelot was like. Also ran into a couple of Australians in Garry and Marti – Garry being the guy who set up the original Cruising Helmsman magazine and his wife.

Next day, it was time to pick up Tiki and Scott to bring us up to the full compliment of crew. Of course we needed to check out another restaurant and as the request was for live music and seafood, we headed to the Pateli Beach Bar. Logistics were somewhat of an issue, but with three slim girls and some slow and steady driving, we managed to deliver 6 people to the restaurant in the hire car. Certainly not OH and S compliant.

Being the weekend it was impossible to order a new pump until Monday, so we decided we would cruise down to Kalymnos for a couple of days, until the pump was ordered and delivered from Athens. We headed for Emporios on the NW side, and had a great reach down in 20kts of breeze, before making our way into the bay and picking up a restaurant mooring. Emporios was a cool little spot, with sugar white houses set against a pebble beach with crystal clear water. Out came the two SUPs and much swimming and paddling was done. Tiki and Scott had arrived from France with a suitcase full of wine (and a few clothes), making our pre-dinner drinks on the front of the boat a very delightful occasion.

Dinner was according to the restaurant name written on the mooring ball, so off we went in our dingy to Artistico Café, just off the beach under some tamarisk trees. The name suggested music, as did the posters and photos, and George the proprietor did not let us down with an impromptu jam session with House of the Rising Sun being the highlight.

After a windy night, we got up to find one of our front cushions blown away, due to a combination of some good French wine being spilt the night before and us forgetting to re-attach the cushion to the boat following the cleanup exercise. So off in the dingy to comb the shoreline to no avail. Meanwhile Kim had gone for a swim and a beachcomb and heroically returned with a somewhat damp cushion. Disaster averted.

Now that we were finally on the water, we’d decided that we would push on with our dodgy water pump rather than going back to Leros for a new one. So then it was off to Arki.

For photos of Leros see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202129610274664.1073741933.1620379103&type=1&l=9feb07d97f (includes photos from last year as well)

For photos of Kalymnos see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202129600234413.1073741932.1620379103&type=1&l=e7ee7e7a6b (ditto about last years photos)

Supermoon over the Venetian Castle

Things are so close here that we decided to duck up to the next island from Kalymnos for a lunchtime stop, only to decide we liked the bay and couldn’t be bothered ducking back down to Kalymnos for our nighttime anchorage. So that is how we found ourself in Leros. We said goodbye to Court who was flying off to Boston via Rhodes and Istanbul. A nice guy with lots of experience and very helpful. In the short time he was with us, he quickly worked out our VHF antenna had been incorrectly fitted – another end of season job added to the list.

Next morning we shifted around to the east coast of Leros and anchored up in Pandeli, under the castle and the Greek windmills. Michael and Elaine wanted to organize their ferry tickets to Rhodes so we walked across to Lakki on the West side – not far.

Then we attempted to walk to the Venetian castle but took a wrong turn and Sherry hailed a painters van to take us back to the right road. Karin, DeAnne and I all piled into the back amongst the paint cans and other bits and pieces whilst Sherry travelled in luxury in the front.

Now on the right road, our weary legs found their way up to the castle where the views were magnificent. The little restaurant strip on the beach (and I mean right on the beach) was very pretty with the castle and windmill backdrop all lit up at night – worth a nighttime dingy ride to sample a local wine or two.

Next day the meltemi was well and truly in, so we stayed put and walked over the hill to Ayia Marina and then around the corner to Alindas, where we found a great little restaurant and bar (another Sherry recommendation), which Dee and I decided would make an excellent venue for a romantic dinner, complete with the supermoon. The restaurant was super booked so we could only get an early booking (7pm!!!), which turned out perfect as we saw the moon rising over the castle.

Next day we ventured out and sailed North to check out the White Islands. These are small islands at the top of Leros. Once again, Sherry earned her keep by taking us to a beautiful bay on Nisis Arckhangelos, where we anchored in 2.5m of crystal clear water. We swam around the bay and enjoyed the sunshine before heading down the other side of Leros to Lakki. Ah – it was good to have a following wind for a change after beating our way north for ages.

We got ourselves a berth at the marina, which turned out to be a lovely little spot. The staff were really nice (and very competent) and by the end of our stay we had decided to winter there. Close enough striking distance to Gallipoli and good tradies.

Here it was time to say goodbye to Michael and Elaine, who were catching a ferry to Rhodes to make their way home. We had another great time together seeing quite a bit of both Turkey and Greece, whilst enjoying Elaine’s cooking and Michael’s help.

I now had a Charlie’s Angel situation on my hands – myself and 3 women – now there’s a challenge. I dared not go anywhere near the galley.

We had some repairs to be done as our 12V motor on the watermaker wasn’t working and we had to rely on the 240V motor (it has both) to make water. Unfortunately we were burning through impellers on our genset like nobody’s business so this really did need to be attended to. The watermaker problem turned out to be a thermal fuse and the genset problem turned out to be a non-return valve that decided to turn its into a return valve.

Problems resolved it was time to move to yet another island – this time Lipso – again to the north.

For pictures of Leros please see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202129610274664.1073741933.1620379103&type=1&l=9feb07d97f.