WilsonSailingChronicles

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
19 September 2016 | London, England
19 September 2016 | Reigate, England
25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
25 November 2015 | Istanbul, Turkey
25 November 2015 | Marmaris, Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Turkey
19 November 2015 | Greece

Patmos, Lipso & Leros, Greece (2nd Visit-June 2016)

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
Phoebe
The Grand Finale!!!!

We ended up going back to the Island of Lipso, again with Songster to spend some time before we had to work on putting Three Sheets away.

We had a great hike called to the beach called Monodendri. This is a favorite hike around ten kms. A lot of up and down and rocky paths but it was worth it. There is the famous lone tree on the beach. Apparently a popular spot for naturists but we did not see any!! Some great cool views. There were some spots on some of the more remote rocky shorelines where there was plenty of evidence that refugees had come ashore there. It was hard for us to imagine what those people must have been going through.

After Lipso we returned to Patmos for another great hike on the island enjoyed with Bob and Eileen.

Then it was off to Leros for the anchorage of Partheni where we planned to work on the boat until lift out and flying home. Songster went on to the anchorage of Lakki where they were also getting ready to fly out. Before we faced the trying task of removing sails etc. we decided to take one more trip with Bob and Eileen. So we rented a car and drove around the island.

We visited the war cemetery. Leros was the second most bombed island during World War Two so there is quite a large cemetery there. It was first occupied by the Italians then Britain then Germany and back to Britain. The Old Italian barracks were used as an internment camp. We also drove up to Pandeli Castle and had a good look around there with great views. Then we travelled on to the Church of Panagia Kavouradena, which is built on the side of a steep cliff. History states that the church was built there when some fisherman found an Icon of the Virgin Mary.

A very enjoyable day. Well that is finally it for 2016. We went to Canada for various reason (most important the birth of a Grandson, Leo, to Alia and Mike) and will return to Three Sheets in March 2017.

Samos, Fournoi, Aganothisi and Arki, Greece, (June 2016)

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
Reg
We continue to enjoy the company of our friends Bob & Eileen of Songster as we travelled on to Samos. Samos is one of the larger islands in the Sporades, and our only entry into that region this year.

In ancient times Samos was an especially rich and powerful city-state, particularly known for its vineyards and wine production. It is home to Pythagoreion and the Heraion of Samos a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Eupalinian aqueduct, a marvel of ancient engineering. Sadly having walked a long way to get there only to discover the tunnel was closed for repairs. Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, after whom the Pythagorean theorem is named, the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first known individual to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun.

We enjoyed a stroll through an old orthodox cemetery overlooking the ocean. It was a bit strange to understand that the Greek Orthodox Church allows disinterment. This is ostensibly allowed for practical reasons, for families who don’t own a grave and need to remove the remains of their relative once the three-year lease on a rental is up so they can be stored in an ossuary or a permanent burial site. These ossuaries were very crowded. The cemetery was surrounded by an old ruin.

The town is very touristy and over run with waterfront cafes. We found a great back street restaurant, enjoyed a nice lunch, provisioned, did our laundry, and prepared to head on.

Two days on Samos and then to the island group around the main island of Fournoi. This is yet another place where Phoebe will tell you we/I could enjoy living. The island population is essentially around the main village on Fournoi, home to 1,120 of the total population of 1,320. It has a very picturesque main street with an authentic Greek fishing village sense to it. Tourism is obviously important but it is a low key and modest place and the people were very friendly and helpful, an easy place to meet and relax. One of the prettiest kittens in Greece lives here. The waterfront is dominated with fishing boats and very exposed to the prevailing north west winds so we anchored just south of the village and enjoyed yet another hill walk to town.

Agathonisi was our next destination, as we had agreed a week or so earlier that we would pick our travel destinations based upon the most favourable winds so we had another great sail of 18 miles to the island. Very close to Turkey and lightly populated it was one of several Greek islands to receive Syrian refuges last summer. The camp remains but otherwise there seems to be no residual affect. Of course Turkish and Greek coast guard boats still patrol closely and sometimes aggressively with each other, as there is a dispute over the waters. An imposing Greek missile boat was in the harbor one day.

Arki was a comfortable sail a few days later but difficult to find a secure anchorage as the coves are narrow and room to swing is limited due to mooring balls, so we took a mooring ball in the shelter of an offshore island and dinghied to the village. The village and quay are very small but novel, with a harbour in miniature in a sheltered corner of the main harbour.

Kalimnos, Levithia, Patmos & Lipso, Greece (May, June 2016)

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
Reg
Our travels north from Knidos took us to Kos for an overnight break. Songster stayed in Kos while we made a fast run to Kalimnos and the picturesque vacation village of Vlikhadhia. It is home to a locally famous museum containing the personal collection from the sea of a renowned diver from the village. Some of the items in the museum were kind of gruesome but interesting (I guess).

The town of Pothia is a 3-4 km hike over a hill and a gentleman who stopped to give us a ride aided us on our walk there, and then he stopped for two more. All the time travelling the winding roads the extra passengers, mother and son continued to cross themselves in the Greek Orthodox fashion!! The driver had emigrated to Australia 40 years earlier but returns regularly to his home village. The walk back made us appreciate the ride even more. Kalimnos is now a destination for mountain climbers as the mountains are steep and the industry is promoted and supported. We rented a car and toured the island, in an afternoon.

Our friends from Songster, Bob & Eileen joined us in Kalimnos. The next day both of us sailed west to Levithia from Vlikhadhia in a forecast wind of 10-15 knots building to 25 plus by midafternoon so left early for the 3-hour trip. However, forecasts are subject to adjustment and sure enough the wind quickly built to 25 and gusts to over 35. The entrance to the cove at Levithia was a hard jibe and we were much relieved to tie to the mooring ball provided by the family resident on the island and enjoyed yet another good meal on this second visit to the island.

We motored from Levithia to Lakki harbour on Leros where we made arrangements to leave our boat for our return to Canada. Again Songster stayed behind to sight see and we headed north to Patmos after a short business like day.

Patmos and its famous monastery and Chora are visible for miles. When we arrived the first time, headed north from Leros, we could see the white of the village homes 16 miles out. The monastery dates from 1088 but is built on the site of an ancient temple to the mother goddess Artemis dated around 400 BC. The floor of the church and a couple of the pillars are the original from that period. Patmos is also the island where St John the divine dictated the Apocalypse found in the book of Revelations. We toured the Monastery but passed on the cave where supposedly St John did his writing. We did climb the conspicuous isolated "hermit rock", just a few hundred yards from our anchorage in Griko. It was apparently home to individuals in days past that carved steps in its slopes to the caves where they sheltered.

Lipso was a six-mile sail with favourable winds from Griko harbour. It is a much quieter island than the busy Patmos, though does not suffer for lack of chapels even though it too has a modest monastery. Looking out from a back street onto the surrounding hill we saw 13 chapels. We found a restaurant recommended on trip advisor for its chef/owner and enjoyed a great meal in nice surroundings.

Kindos, Turkey (May 2016)

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
Reg
Knidos lay in our path as we headed north to Kos, and though we would be illegal entering Turkish waters, the temptation to see this ancient historic city and anchor in its harbor was too great. Bob and Eileen in their boat Songster, who had joined us in Tilos as we headed north to Nysiros with the Truscott’s, joined us in this furtive venture.

Knidos was an ancient major city. It was the site where the sculpture of Aphrodite was unearthed created by the most famous Greek sculptor, the home of Eudoxos, one of the fathers of geometry who lived there and plotted the paths of the stars in 500 BC, and one of the six cities of the Dorian confederacy, which dominated in the Mediterranean at the time of Homer’s Odyssey. We anchored in the original commercial harbor amidst the ruins of the city. Our boat was on the waterfront of the “agora” (major marketplace) and the smaller of two theatres that made up what I would imagine as the commercial centre of the city. We hiked only some of the ruins and the following day hiked up the peak to the west to the modern day lighthouse, passing the remaining magnificent walls of the northwest entrance to what was the military harbor. The population had to be in the thousands and obviously very wealthy for the day. It is an interesting feeling to live for a day in the heart of ancient history.

However, modern day weather had another plan in mind for us. Late evening saw the onset of very high winds. We had been warned about this harbor if the winds came up and you did not have good holding. Fortunately we listened to that advice and made sure we were anchored well. I can’t say the same for many of the other boats. Several boats tied up to a rickety dock had to let their lines go, several boats near to us starting dragging. We spend a lot of time on deck with our searchlight making sure the other boats could see us. We had some pretty tense moments out there. Some boats even left the harbor for who knows where. One massive power boat tried anchoring several times and finally backed up and tied off some rocks facing us while the owner calmly watch his big screen TV while his crew were busy trying to keep things under control!! We were glad when that night was over!!

Halki, Nysiros, Greece (early May 2016)

05 January 2017
Reg
After Alimia we headed the 6 miles to the island of Halki and a reunion with two people we have become good friends with, Paul and Janet Truscott. We had a great dinner the first evening but the more memorable event was the hike to the castle at the top of the HILL. The castle was built in the 1400's as an early warning observation site to let the Knights of the Hospital in Rhodes know of approaching fleets. It was a very strenuous climb, with a magnificent view for miles as a reward, with a cold beer as a further reward upon our return to the town. The base of the peak to the castle retains the ruins of a village abandoned when the castle could no longer provide protection due to more sophisticated artillery in the 1800's. It is hard to imagine the lifestyle of such a physically demanding village, as everything would have to be carried uphill significant distances on steep grades.

The Truscott's' then led us north to Tilos (where we hooked up with Bob & Eileen of Songster), and subsequently further to Nysiros, having volunteered to show us their favourite sites after many years cruising Greece and Turkey.

Nysiros is an active volcano, though smoldering not spouting, and has three settlements, two ancient villages on the peak of the ridge surrounding the volcano, and one newer and now dominant village of Mandraki on the coast, renowned for its sunsets from the tavernas on the shore. The villages on the ridges are narrow with a main path along the ridge and houses perched on either side. The views are magnificent and the villages very picturesque, though the houses are deteriorating in a few cases. My restoration urges bubbled to a boil as we walked among the old villages.

Our last stop was on a very strange beach that was extremely rocky. The cliff face was pocketed with many erosion made chambers. The chambers are used by folks in the summer who actually put tents up to come and live there. There is a small restaurant on the roadside that is only open during the season. One person was already there and tented up!!!

Sadly we parted ways with Paul and Janet again as their plans took them west and north, and we were headed north to eventually leave our boat in Leros as we were committed to an early return to Canada.

Rhodes, Alimia, Greece (early May 2016),

05 January 2017 | Toronto, Ontario
Reg
We exited Turkey and returned to anchor in Pethi harbor, a small bay on Symi just south of Symi town. A day exploring the bay followed our official entry into Greece and the EU. We rounded to the south and anchored again in Panormitis. From there it was off to Rhodes, new territory!!

Rhodes, a world heritage site and major tourist attraction was only 15 miles back the way we had come from Marmaris, but it would never get closer and so we elected to see this famous city before resuming our west and north voyage. We anchored in the historic old harbor. The city is a world heritage site as it is a surviving medieval walled fortress city. It withstood all attempts to take it and changed hands only when the competing forces came to a treaty. The streets are the narrow meandering cobblestone paths you would expect. It was occupied and reinforced by the Knights of the Hospital, an army run by the pope, in 1306 and held until 1522 when it was surrendered to the Ottoman Turks. The walls are massive high and thick and surround the city, and outside of that is a deep trench leading to an outer steep wall so that attacking forces were held within the trench and fired on from above. In more recent times it has had some of the major buildings restored, most significantly the Hall of the Grand master of the order of the Knights of the Hospital. The Jewish synagogue has become a museum to the memory of all but a handful of the Jewish population who were rounded up and shipped to the concentration camps. The survivors were the few who were protected by the Turkish ambassador who refused to surrender the 40 plus Turkish Jews who were in Rhodes at the time.

We left Rhodes after 3 days, destination Alimia, a small island abandoned by the Greek citizens when the Germans arrived in 1943 to establish a gunboat base. It has a large and perfectly protected harbor, no doubt the attraction for the German navy. The three building that constituted the base are still there, though derelict and overgrown. One of the navy crew was a pretty good artist as there are a number of pretty good paintings on the barrack walls. The islands two churches remain in an operational condition, but only barely, and some of the buildings remain in an open and deteriorating state. It is possible to see it as it was in 1943 with some imagination and remains a bit of a museum for living conditions at that time. We had the island to ourselves.
Vessel Name: Three Sheets
Vessel Make/Model: Lafitte 44
Hailing Port: Sarnia Canada
Crew: Reg & Phoebe Wilson
About: We hail from a little village called Bayfield on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario Canada. We have retired, released our worldly possessions and have set off on our next adventure.
Extra: We crossed the pond and arrived in Lagos Portugal in June of 2014. A great trip across thanks to our crew Peter Berkely and Mike Saker. In between visits home we are now sailing in the Med. We have enjoyed the Balerics, Sardinia, Sicily, Greece and are now in Turkey.
Three Sheets's Photos - San Evaristo
Photo 8 of 18 | Back To Album
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Beauty in the dusty dry landscape
Beauty in the dusty dry landscape
Added 31 December 2011