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20.8.2011 After seeing off our guests we remained trapped in Naxos for a further 6 days!. We had good company in the form of Alio and girlfriend on board Crapun. Alio is Brazillian, Italian and a nice guy. We were invited to go with them to a special event where Pierre Cousteau, son of Jacque who was giving a presentation, showing one of his father's films and talking about trying to preserve the marine life in the Med. Too late we cried! We also met Peter, an Australian on a Bavaria 44. We helped him fix a major battery problem he was having and ran into him again a week later on Milos. This all helped keep our mind off the 35 kn gusts screaming through the rigging! On our last night in Naxos we had pizza with Alio. We hope to meet up with him again back in Turkey. We once again braved the crossing to Naousa, Paros. Mady felt quite sick which shows you how bad it was! We anchored in Agi Ionnis again, this time swinging at anchor with the gusts. We were going to leave the next day but had toilet blockage problem which took me most of the day to fix. The next day we sailed to Paroika, the main town on Paros however after a 2 hr stop alongside the quay so I could fill water and top up my internet account ans as there was no room inside the marina quay so we carried on to Sifnos . We had a blast sailing on a beam reach with 25 kns in up to 3.5m swells. We tried to anchor stern-to in Faros but I was not happy with the security so we carried on to Ormos Vathi on the east coast. This bay is very well protected but has huge gusts coming off the high hills and we had a pretty sleepless night. The next day we had a great 3hr sail and arrived in Adamas, the main port of Milos. Milos, like Santorini is an extinct volcano and the harbour was created by a huge eruption. The town quay provides good shelter except for the odd ferry wake. We spent 6 nights in Milos. The highlight was the day we hired a beach buggy and toured the island. The buggy was fun but had no parking brakes to speak of so we used large rocks which we carried around in the luggage rack at the back. Highlights of the day were the catacombs, (early christian burial caves) in Tripiti and Sarakiniko where the soft white volcanic rock has been sculptured by the wind and sea to create a moon-like scene. There are small inlets where you can swim and explore the caves and look for the abundant fossils. We had lunch at Pollonia on the NE tip before returning to the boat. The day trip boats seemed to go out most days even though the Meltemi continued to blow up to 35 kns outside. When they returned to dock each night all on board cheered and clapped once the gang-plank was resting on the quay! We could not tell whether it came from relief or was praise for skipper and crew for a fun day out! We had planned to explore more islands down in this area but we both felt that we had had enough of the Cyclades winds for one year and so with a day or two of light winds forecast we decided to head back towards Turkey and the relative shelter of the coast.
1.8.2011 We moved the 9nm's from Dhenoussa to Naxos town basin marina. It is quite a site with the massive Portara gateway, a marble archway from the unfinished temple of Apollo (530BC) standing guard on Apollon Island at the harbour entrance. We had chosen to meet our guests here. Mark & Donna were coming out from Athens on the ferry on the 3rd. We spent the next 2 days exploring the town and then greeted Mark & Donna late on Wednesday night. The Meltemi was forecast to blow strongly for several days and so it proved. We hired a car and explored Naxos Island for the day. We found a great pottery shop and bought a wine jug and then went to Filoti, a pretty village high in the central mountains, where we had a nice lunch beneath the shade of a huge tree in the town centre. From there we crossed the mountains to the west coast village of Apollon which has a huge kouros, (marble statue), which lies unfinished and abandoned in a nearby quarry. We finished our day with a welcome swim and then headed back to the boat. We decided that we would take the opportunity to ferry down to Santarini on the Sunday. Weather was very windy but the ferry got us there quickly and smoothly. We had sailed to this island last year but couldn't find a safe berth and left without even getting off the yacht! This time we had a coach tour and guide. The first stop was Oia. This town is famous for it's spectacular sunsets and it's blue domed churches are the ones seen in the iconic photos of this most famous island. We explored the town for 90min and were bustled back to the bus and taken to Thira, the main town. We lunched at a taverna overlooking the spectacular caldera. There were 4 large cruise ships anchored below us and the odd hardy yacht clinging to a buoy. We wandered the narrow streets and Tony bought a cap and some local jewellery for Verity.
Lipso to DhenoussaTony
30/07/2011 We came across to Patmos and anchored in Ormos Grikou for lunch and a swim but decided to head around to Ormos Stavros on the west side of the island so we would have a good jump start for the crossing to Dhenoussa the next day. After a horrible hour of fighting steep 3 metre seas to get there we were happy to anchor in a lovely bay, Ag Ionnis, beneath a small monastery. Early the next day we set off on our 35 nm trip to Dhenoussa. We had a great motorsail in about 15kn to 18kn winds. We found a small bay on the bottom end of the island and tucked in with 2 stern lines to the rocks ashore. What a spot. The small beach is made of mainly white marble stones polished by the sea. We shared this lovely place with a pair of cormorants, and the odd gull for 2 idyllic days.
Nisyros to LipsoTony
29/08/2011, Ormos Lipso
29/07/2011. We had a nice motorsail up to the top of Leros via the outside of Kos. We wanted to check out the marina in Partheni as a poss place to leave yachts over winter. We discovered that the marina has no in-water berths adjacent to the hardstand area so probably not suitable. We anchored in the small bay next to the marina. We were woken at about 2.30am by a large crash! We tumbled out of bed to discover that a fishing boat had ploughed into us! Luckily damage was restricted to some stainless railings and the gunwhale rubbing strip. To make things worse the greek fisherman was yelling and trying to say it was our fault that he had run into us. To cut a long story short we escaped the place the next morning with no prospect of compensation. Insurance will cover the repairs but our excess is several hundred dollars so not a nice start to the cruise!. As often happens the next few days were a complete change. We arrived in Lipso to a fine greeting by the locals, found that there was no charge for the dock, just for any power and water you used. The town is small but vey pretty. The Island is administered by the Monastary on Patmos and seems very well run. They even have rubbish recycling! We spent a few days here waiting for the Meltemi to drop down a few notches before head for Patmos and beyond.
24/07/2011. Our first night out of Marmaris was spent at Bozburun where we checked out of Turkey for the time being. The next day we motored across to Symi into strong headwinds. It was good to be back in one of our favourite spots. We contacted Dionyssis and arranged to have dinner with him. We had met him in Marmaris. He has a Bav 42 like Delightful Lady. The next day we departed for Nisyros. This island is a extinct volcano. We went stern to the dock in Palon harbour. We had been told to make the trek up the mountain to see the crator but the bus going up were always full before they arrived in Palon and so we missed out. We have seen plenty of hot pools and thermal sights in NZ so didn't feel too bad at missing this. We were charged for 2 days even though we arrived in the afternoon and left the next morning!!! Mady was also overcharged in the bakery so needless to say we won't be returning to this island! Tomorrow we head for Leros.
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