Freya & Us

Vessel Name: Freya of Wight
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanranger
Hailing Port: Portishead
17 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
09 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
06 April 2019 | Chios Town, Chios - 7,673 NM
28 March 2019 | Lakki, Leros - 7,573 NM
19 November 2018
17 November 2018
07 November 2018 | Severn Beach - 7,563 NM
01 November 2018 | Leros, Greece - 7,563 NM
26 October 2018 | Didim - 7,526
18 October 2018 | Yalikavac - 7,526 NM
14 October 2018 | Bodrum - 7,464 NM
12 October 2018
10 October 2018 | Bozburun - 7,424 NM
01 October 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM
28 September 2018 | Didim, Turkey 7,323 NM
26 September 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM
23 September 2018 | Didim, Turkey - 7,323 NM
18 July 2018 | Severn Beach - 7,283 NM
10 July 2018
05 July 2018 | Lipsoi - 7,273 NM
Recent Blog Posts
17 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM

Wet but beautiful Lesvos

After a day of torrential rain, with thunder and lightening thrown in, we woke to a much brighter day. We understood there was a bus from Skala Loutra to the island's capital, Mytilini, at 10.15 and so the four of us collected at the bus stop next to the quay and waited. 10.15 came and went with no bus [...]

09 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM

Things that go bang in the night

What started as 'joggling' around on the quay in Chios Town turned into chaos as the day progressed! Necessity dictated a supermarket trip in the rain and, of course, coffee - a very long one as the boats were getting more uncomfortable. Getting on and off the boats was becoming increasingly challenging [...]

06 April 2019 | Chios Town, Chios - 7,673 NM

Great sails to start the year

The wind settled after a few days and we were very ready to leave Lakki by then. It is lovely but it was time for a new view. At about 9.15 we received a message from Dee and Kevin - they were dropping their lines in the marina across the bay. We dropped ours and followed them out to sea. The sea was [...]

28 March 2019 | Lakki, Leros - 7,573 NM

Another Year on Board

It was a long journey back to Leros and Freya. We flew from Bristol to Athens, spent the night in a very nice hotel in the airport and then got an early flight on a 'baby' plane to Leros landing on the runway right next to the boat yard so that we could wave to Freya as we landed!

19 November 2018

Interactive Map

By clicking on the link below you can load an interactive map to see our route and explore the places we stopped at.

17 November 2018

2018 by the numbers

Seventh year of cruising completed. This year's numbers are:

Wet but beautiful Lesvos

17 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Wet and Cold followed by Sunny, and Warm
After a day of torrential rain, with thunder and lightening thrown in, we woke to a much brighter day. We understood there was a bus from Skala Loutra to the island's capital, Mytilini, at 10.15 and so the four of us collected at the bus stop next to the quay and waited. 10.15 came and went with no bus and we entertained ourselves with short walks and photos while enjoying the sunshine, after all, it was a very pleasant place to wait. 11.15 came and went and we were still there but a passing lady told Paul there would be one at 11.30 and sure enough it arrived - old and battered with a very lively character at the wheel but a bus nevertheless. Half an hour later we were deposited on the quay in bustling Mytilini after a beautiful drive over the verdant green hills.

Mytilini is home to the University of the Aegean and feels like a city with a buzz. We start by wandering the narrow streets full of interesting shops - but we were on a mission to buy the parts to make "splitters" for our single electricity supply, so that we can share it, rather than swapping the cable over when one boat gets too cold! We found a shop that had most of the bits and they directed us to another shop to complete it. By then the shops were closing for the afternoon and so we sat down for lunch on the quay (which was a bit average!) before heading off to find the castle we could see on the other side of the port. It's a huge castle. The biggest in the Med apparently and dominates the city. We found the entrance after exploring more windy cobbled streets but, of course, it was closed! We were able to walk all the way around it however which was lovely. It's in various states of ruin with some parts sliding into the sea, but you could easily imagine how threatening it would have been to approaching enemies. As we approached the end, the heavens opened (we knew it was too good to be true!) and so we donned our waterproofs and headed for a coffee shop conveniently situated next to a car hire shop where we'd booked our transport for the next few days. After we collected the car we headed for a very "exciting" stop at Lidl's before going back to the boats via a detour to a huge Roman aqueduct spanning a valley. This was near Lesvos' huge refugee camp and at this time of day we were stunned by the number of refugees lining the road walking back to camp after their day of doing what! We had no idea other than it must be so frustrating and boring.

Our first adventure in the car took us west to Sigri. Lesvos is stunning, so green and mountainous. Wherever we went over the next few days the drive was always amazingly beautiful and full of spring flowers. Our first stop was to the Lemonas Monastery. It was in a beautiful location overlooking the huge Gulf of Kolloni and had lots of baby churches in the fields around the monastery itself which had monks cells going back hundreds of years. It is a working monastery but we didn't see any sign of life except for a very vocal peacock full of his own importance guarding the entrance.

Our destination today was a petrified forest. 20 million years ago before Lesvos was an island volcanic activity buried a huge forest petrifying it's trees. It's a huge area including several parks but also fossilised trees along the road. Unfortunately most of the parks are closed this time of year as the trees need to be covered as protection against the rain but Sigri has a museum plus a 2 hectare park to visit. The uncovered trees included huge sequoia and cinnamon (which no longer grow in Europe) as well as those still around plus ferns and nuts and root systems. Absolutely fascinating!

Our next day was a wash out - literally! We thought we had to go out as we had the car and to avoid another day hiding from the rain on board but it was difficult to see anything. We stopped for coffee in the seaside town of Petra where the highlights were a man riding along the sea front on a donkey carrying an umbrella (the man not the donkey!) and a church perched on a huge pinnacle of rock in the middle of town but it was too wet to climb the 114 steps to the top where the view would've been obscured anyway! Next was the castle and old town of Molyvos right at the north of the island which I'm sure was beautiful but after a very wet walk around the port and a damp lunch we decided to head home. We spent the evening playing Rummicub in the taverna next to the boats followed by a simple but delicious dinner.

Our last day with the car was much brighter and we headed north. We had an impromptu stop at the ruined city of Thermi which was really interesting but I think the most amazing thing was the liberal covering of spring flowers. We detoured to see a waterfall further up the coast. The road was a bit rough and so we parked and walked a kilometre up a lane surrounded by olive trees and spring flowers as well a a pond with terrapins to the spectacular waterfall following all the rain. We stopped on an old stone arched bridge to eat our picnic lunch of Greek pastries. Next was the Taxiarhon Monastery which is a major Orthodox pilgrimage site which was a bit disappointing after the beautiful monastery a couple of days before. Strangely there was a fighter jet at the entrance - the Archangel Michael is the patron saint of the Greek airforce. After some difficulty on the way back we eventually found the sanctuary of Zeus at which we peered through the railings as it was closed. Looked quite interesting with pillars from what we could see! Finally, we dropped the car off in Mytilini, wandered around town and the marina and had a gyros to end our tour.

Things that go bang in the night

09 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Rain and More Rain
What started as 'joggling' around on the quay in Chios Town turned into chaos as the day progressed! Necessity dictated a supermarket trip in the rain and, of course, coffee - a very long one as the boats were getting more uncomfortable. Getting on and off the boats was becoming increasingly challenging as the swell increased and by the time we went out in the evening it was almost impossible as the gang planks flew around in all directions! We had a very nice evening but getting back onboard was terrifying and we now understood why Stellios, the marinero, had insisted on lazy lines as well as our anchors out. As the totally sleepless night progressed the rocking, rolling and jerking got worse and worse until we were worried about the boats holding together - but at least it drowned the loud music from the bars opposite. Finally, at 4.00 in the morning there was a loud crunch as if Freya's stern had hit the harbour wall! Paul flew out of bed, bearing in mind moving around the boat was difficult and I took a little longer! The anchor chain had bounced off the gypsy and the lazy line wasn't holding us far enough off the wall. In those conditions it seemed to take ages to get the anchor chain back onto its gypsy and for us to winch the lazy line, which was too fat for our cleats, secured further back on the boat to keep us in place. All this while Freya was bouncing and jerking all over the place and the noise was deafening. Luckily it was only the swim ladder bouncing about that had hit the harbour wall and Freya was otherwise undamaged. Back to bed to wait restlessly for morning - the sea finally calmed down about 5.30 - but then the bar was in full swing! I think we finally drifted off to sleep about 6.00 waking exhausted at about 9.00.

We'd all had enough of Chios Town quay even though it was calmer later in the morning. We wandered around the harbour as we needed to get off the boats and stretch our legs and decided to move up the coast to Langada which should be totally sheltered from any swell. We had a lovely, relaxed, albeit slow downwind sail in the sunshine before motoring into the very pretty fishing harbour and mooring alongside the quay. It got a little choppy for a while and we all began to panic - oh no, not again! But it calmed down to a very peaceful night after a lovely dinner on Kestrel.

We knew we didn't have a very long weather window to get north (in the dry) and so set off early in the morning for Lesvos, 41 miles away. As we left we were joined by a large pod of dolphins who had clearly got bored of patrolling the fish farms and decided to entertain us instead - always a fantastic start to any passage! We even managed to get a picture of the dolphins with Dee and Kevin on Kejstral. We didn't quite have enough wind from the right direction to sail without the engine but we averaged 7 knots with the Genoa out ensuring we arrived before the rain. Lesvos has 2 huge lagoons or inland seas and we moored near the entrance to the Gulf of Gera after negotiating the beautiful, green, hilly, island strewn channel to Skala Loutra, and our second dolphin sighting of the day. On arrival it didn't look exactly as we'd imagined, as it had been recommended. It's in a very pretty spot but there is very little here - a couple of closed tavernas, a fisherman's quay and a rundown boatyard giving the feel of a scrapyard! We moored stern-to on the outside of the quay, it's very sheltered and we have free electricity even if we do have to share a single working socket! The rain duly arrived with thunder and lightning not long after we enjoyed our arrival beer and carried on into the next day and again we hid onboard.

Great sails to start the year

06 April 2019 | Chios Town, Chios - 7,673 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Wet and windy
The wind settled after a few days and we were very ready to leave Lakki by then. It is lovely but it was time for a new view. At about 9.15 we received a message from Dee and Kevin - they were dropping their lines in the marina across the bay. We dropped ours and followed them out to sea. The sea was still a bit choppy but the wind was perfect as we set the sails for Patmos - a fantastic first sail of the year averaging 6.5 knots over the 20 miles. We tied up side-to on the empty quay which had been so busy in June last year and we were able to catch Kestrel's lines as they arrived just behind us. We walked around the sleepy village as it prepared for the summer onslaught before having fajitas for dinner on Kestrel followed by Uno - a good day.

No time to hang around before the weather changes again and so in the morning we set off for Ikaria 25 miles away. We weren't expecting a brilliant sail but we set the sails and again managed to sail a reasonably straight course to the still empty marina. The sea swell was a bit too big for comfort but a great sail nevertheless. At one stage Kestrel and Freya were so far apart we could barely see them on the horizon - it was hard to believe we were going to the same place but as we got closer our routes converged and we arrived just in time to catch their lines again! After a short walk around town we all had dinner on Freya before a good, peaceful nights sleep. We decided to stay put the next day as we waited for the winds to turn southerly. We walked along the coast to the next village, Thermia, which was like a ghost town almost completely closed or preparing for summer. It's a strange village that's seen better days. Its huge spa hotel dominates and sadly becomes more and more derelict. It was a lovely walk though, finished with lunch on the quay. Kevin caught a bonito on route to Ikaria and so we got the Cobb bbq out in the evening and cooked it on the quay for dinner.

In the morning the weather had turned southerly as predicted, not quite strong enough to sail the 50 miles to Chios but a comfortable motor sail with the Genoa poled out. Now our luck with the weather has run out and we're both moored on the town quay in Chios town. It's pouring with rain and there's a big swell in the harbour causing the boats to continually joggle around, very tiring! There was also loud music until the early hours in one of the bars near by last night! But we also have high winds forecast and so we have to occupy ourselves on board until it all passes.

Another Year on Board

28 March 2019 | Lakki, Leros - 7,573 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Lakki, Leros - warm and calm (before the storm)
It was a long journey back to Leros and Freya. We flew from Bristol to Athens, spent the night in a very nice hotel in the airport and then got an early flight on a 'baby' plane to Leros landing on the runway right next to the boat yard so that we could wave to Freya as we landed!

We had booked a lift in for the next morning and so had a busy day doing all the things we need to do to get Freya sea worthy after a winter on the hard. It was a long and exhausting day made worse by finding mouldy carpets in our cabin and a mouldy bathroom. She was sitting at an odd angle in the cradle which we assume allowed rain, which they had a lot of in Leros this winter, to find its way in but we have no idea where! We found water collecting in the headlining in the bathroom which needed to be squeezed out sending black gungey water squirting everywhere! Anyway, added to our long list of tasks was drying out and scrubbing carpets!

At 8.00 in the morning the boat lift duly arrived and we were launched without problems and we were on our way down the coast to Lakki. The main was raised only to find the sail bag had been home to a bird during the winter and bird poo dropped out covering us and Freya! No damage was done and so after sluicing the boat with buckets of water we motor sailed to Lakki marina for a few days to complete our recommissioning including buying and fitting a new carpet to replace the damp stained one in our cabin. Our friends Kevin and Dee on Kestral are across the bay in Leros marina and so we've spent time with them in between ticking things off our list. We really like Lakki - it's in a beautiful setting, there are enough shops to find what we need, Poppy's bar is always friendly and we're comparing all the gyros cafes.

Monday was a bank holiday here - how unusual! This one celebrates Greek Independence Day and the band had been practicing near the marina all week. There was to be a procession in Agia Marina and so we got a taxi with Kevin and Dee to the pretty port of Agia Marina. All of the local dignitaries in uniform and the priest were there and a very professional brass band accompanied the marchers which included the army, scouts, local schools and clubs. It was very impressive for such a small island and most of the island's residents must have lined the sea front to watch. After a little walk around the harbour in the howling wind we had a gyros for lunch (indoors) before heading back to hide from the wind.

The wind abated for a couple of days, but we know it wasn't for long and so we decided to stay put. Dee suggested a walk to Pendeli which is another pretty harbour near the island capital. We tried to avoid the main road and walked into the hills along lanes lined with beautiful spring flowers. It was lovely but we found ourselves back on the main road after a few kilometres! We then walked down a steep road to the beautiful turquoise sea but couldn't find a way along the coast and so had to climb back up and found ourselves on the main road again! Finally, we walked down steep, narrow steps into Pendeli where we had lunch on the beach in the sunshine.

Paul and I had taken the dinghy over to Leros marina to meet Dee and Kevin as there is a petrol station near by and we thought that was the easiest way to fill our fuel cans and change a rusty gas bottle. We tied the dinghy onto a small, wobbly jetty and walked over the beach and across the road with our cans - the strange things we find ourselves doing! We did feel a bit overloaded on our trip back across the bay.

The winds are due to pick up again this evening and stay with us for a few days. Maybe after that we'll be on our way. We know the Meltemi blows here in the summer but we weren't expecting it in March!

Interactive Map

19 November 2018
By clicking on the link below you can load an interactive map to see our route and explore the places we stopped at.

Click here for the interactive map

Enjoy!

2018 by the numbers

17 November 2018
Seventh year of cruising completed. This year's numbers are:

Nautical miles travelled: 957 (Total of 7,563 since leaving home)
Number of ports of call: 51
Total time at sea: 6 days 21 hours
Longest single passage: 48 NM (8 hours)
Average passage length: 18.8 NM

Click here for the interactive map
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Freya of Wight's Photos -

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