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Boatless in Seattle
Day 10 – I pronounce you still married
09/20/2009, Santorini

We slept in and then in the afternoon Marla and Melissa went for massages at the Euros beach bar we found last night. We paid for 50 minutes each and got 1.5 hour. The masseuse was a gal from the UK on vacation, but in Santorini because she wanted to move there and set up a palates center. She was filling in as a favor to the owner of the bar. The massages were fabulous - set on the beach you could hear the waves and feel the nice breeze. Ahhhhh.....

We went back to the Euros bar at sunset and Dad and Marla exchanged a short set of vows. Dave ends with "By the authority vested in me by the Washington State Boater Education Card and endorsed by the Greek Port Police, I now pronounce you still husband and wife." Melissa had ordered a bottle of champagne and we had a toast to celebrate.

We then went to dinner at the Saltsa restaurant. It was described on one of the guides as being "the best restaurant in the island and the cook/owner is supposed to be one of the best 10 chefs in Greece". Directions to the restaurant were as follows: It is located in Firostefani on the right side of the main road going from Fira to Imerovigli about 800 meters after the main square of Fira. Believe it or not we found it! The food was AMAZING. One of the 5 best meals we've ever eaten anywhere any time. Every dish they served was incredible and unique. And not expensive. A bottle of wine, dessert, appetizers, and main dishes for 4 people and the total was $135 Euros.

Greece 2009
Day 9 - Now we know what a good view looks like
09/19/2009, Santorini

Today we sailed around from the little bay we anchored in to the marina just down the way. A big storm is expected tomorrow so we wanted to get into the marina early before they fill up. It's likely to be a wild night and we didn't want to spend it on anchor. The wind is already blowing 20 kts. When we get to the marina we don't know where to go to tie up. After floating around for a while, someone finally takes pity on us and waves us towards a spot. Problem is that with the wind blowing 20 kts on our side, we can't get the boat positioned in this narrow spot to drop the anchor and back into the dock. Around and around we go with Greeks yelling helpful (if not contradictory) help from all sides. At one point we end up aground on a silt build up on one side of the marina. Fortunately Dave was able to just power off the sand (no harm done). Just then another sail boat departs the marina leaving a slot where we could tie up along side - and the wind was blowing us onto the dock. Whew! We would sure hate to be doing this when it gets worse this afternoon!

We rented a car to drive to the north end of the island - Oia the town that Santorini is famous for. The view is breathtaking. Absolutely amazing staring down into the center of the volcano. We wander through the shops and buy a few trinkets. At one shop we find a place to get Hagen Das ice cream milk shakes. The guy in the shop tells us that the jazz he has playing over the stereo system is coming live from Seattle. (I'll bet he says that to all the tourists!)

On the way back to the marina, we get lost. More than once. We end up on the mountain on the South end of the island with another breath taking view over the island and the airport. One detour we make leads us down a long dirt road (we are convinced we will run into Indiana Jones somewhere along the way), to a lovely little beach bar. We have margaritas and consider whether Dad and Marla should renew their vows there before we depart Santorini. (Dad and Marla's 18th wedding anniversary is coming up and they planned to renew the vows on this trip.)

Tonight's dinner is stuffed mushrooms. We plan to cook one of the "mystery" vegetables we found in the market. Low and behold - it is a cucumber. So we have marinated cucumber salad on the side. Yum.

We spend the evening working on the vows. You would think we might have thought to bring the original vows, but alas... our memories are not so good... "I think Marla promised not to feed Dad any rat poison, but I can't be sure..."

Greece 2009
Day 8 – Who knew ham came in a tube?
09/18/2009, Santorini

Today we sailed to Santorini. A beautiful island. The pumice dome in the center is quite a sight to see. Sailing into the bowl of the volcano and seeing all the villages around the edge was no doubt the most breathtaking thing we have seen the whole trip.

Along the way, Melissa decided to cook a sausage pasta dish. She opened what she believed to be a tube of sausage or other ground meat, to find (surprise!) ham. Hmmm... ok a few modifications to the recipe and we are now having ham with cheesy sauce over pasta with sautéed green peppers and onions. Yum.

We found a small anchorage on the far side where we spent a quiet night. Unfortunately, we no longer had a dinner plan because the only meat we had left was another tube of ham. No chance of starvation as the boat is filled with food. None the less, we find ourselves improvising - egg salad sandwiches!

Today was a special day. One year to the day that Dad had heart surgery! Amazing that one year later he would be sailing the Greek Isles! We celebrated with a bottle of wine.

Greece 2009
Day 7 - Man overboard!
09/17/2009, Ios

Melissa slept through the day again today. Dave headed the boat to Ios. There was zero wind. Nada. We motored the whole way. It was excruciatingly hot without a breeze. So part way there, Dave stopped the boat and Dave, Dad, and Marla all jumped off and went for a swim in the middle of the ocean.

When we arrived a Ios we went ashore and ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Seemed odd to be having Mexican food in Greece, but we were ready for a change. With visions of microwave burritos, turns out the food was really good. We learned the restaurant had been there for 15 years.

Ios is known for it's nude beaches. Nudity is illegal in Greece, but tolerated in some areas. Alas there was no good viewing!

Greece 2009
Day 6 - Does the bus really fit through there?
09/16/2009, Syros

When we wake up, Melissa is sick as a dog. Another sinus infection. Sigh. So she sleeps half the day. When she wakes up we all take a bus ride into town. The scenery along the way is beautiful. The bus driver has nerves of steel. The roads are so narrow that if you were to hang your arm out the window you would lose it for sure.

The town is lively with a port that has several ferries and a number of sail boats. We bought a replacement camera for the one that broke somewhere along the way. We ate dinner in town. The boys ordered what they thought were Gyros sandwiches, but ended up with plates full of the ingredients you would normally find inside a Gyros.

Greece 2009
Day 5 – Saturday Night Fever
09/16/2009, Syros

Dave wakes at 7:30am to bright sunshine. His crew on the other hand is not so bright and shiny. They are sound asleep. Puzzled as to why Dave has not started the engines, Melissa arises at 8am to see what the hold up is. Dave explains he doesn't want to wake everyone. So Melissa bangs on Dad & Marla's door. Rise and shine! And we are off!

For a while we beat up wind in 4 foot seas. After about 30 minutes we can turn the corner and could sail on a broad reach all the way to the next destination, which was an island called Syros. The day was 85 degrees and sunny. Melissa is finally on this time zone and decides to cook at pot roast which bakes in the oven all day long sending out mouth watering smells of onion and garlic. Mmmm...

When Dave went to raise the main sail, the sail was flapping about and broke the starboard side of the lazy jack. Rats. Bringing down the sail is now going to be a pain. But in a stroke of genius... well, ok, maybe just a stoke of deep thought... Dad thinks to use the spare halyard to raise the broken lazy jack. And tada! It worked.

We arrived in Syros to find a fine little harbor. We had our first taste of docking - Mediterranean style. You drop an anchor off the bow and back into the dock parallel to all the other boats. You tie the stern to the dock and extend a gang plank to the dock to get ashore.

We wandered around the town and found a place to sit and have drinks. It was clearly a tourist trap, but who could resist the Saturday Night Fever Disco music? We were treated to Cher and numerous other singers of her ilk.

Greece 2009

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