Overnight to Molyvos
18 October 2019 | Mytilini, Lesbos - 8,413 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Sunny and Still
Our overnight passage was beautiful. We left Samothraki just before 5.00 pm to do 78 miles ensuring we arrived in daylight. The sea was totally flat and we had a gentle breeze allowing the main to give us a bit of assistance. The moon was almost full and already rising as we left and it lit our way until 4.00 in the morning when it was replaced by millions of spectacular stars. Paul spotted a few shooting stars as well and even had a visit from a couple of dolphins in the dark. We arrived in Molyvos on Lesbos at about 7.30 am and found plenty of room on the quay where we managed to moor stern-to with Paul getting a line through a mooring ring from the boat and then climbing up a tyre onto the quay to attach the second line. Tea, showers and breakfast were very welcome and when Louise and Gordon, with Lily (cat) on Camira got up they brought their morning coffee to join us and catch up. We were feeling remarkably awake and so went to explore the lovely old town with its steep, narrow, winding streets full of shops and bars. It wasn't long before we were flagging however and we headed back towards Freya having lunch on the quay for a snooze. The snooze had to wait though as the port police had been and wanted us all to move to the end of the quay as they had a big boat coming in. Two stern-to moorings in one day after very little sleep seemed a bit much but we duly obliged before eventually getting our snooze which was just as well as we were joined by 2 charter yachts with British crews on holiday and the evening turned out to be very sociable! The big boat never materialised!
We went to Molyvos with Dee and Kevin in a hire car in the spring and it absolutely poured with rain to the extent that we couldn't see anything or enjoy it. We simply got back in the car and left! How different it was this time. In the morning we could see the medieval town in all its glory and we headed back into town and right to the top to visit the Byzantine/Ottoman/Genoese castle with its stunning views of the town and bays on both sides. We were just leaving when we found Gordon on a shopping trip and looking for an Ouzery he'd found before. It would've been rude not to join him and so we joined the search and eventually found the bar on a little back street. It was very basic but with lovely views and we had the ouzo mezze without the ouzo which was delicious even though it included snails and was just 3€ each. After a little more exploring we had a snooze before dinner in a lovely taverna in town with Louise and Gordon.
Just along the coast from Molyvos is the old town of Petra which is now surrounded by a modern holiday resort. The easiest way to get there was on the "wally trolley" (tourist train) which was a very bumpy ride along the cobbled streets but we were lucky as it was their last day of the season. We'd also stopped here in the rain earlier in the year and so it was lovely to explore the old town including the church perched on a rocky pinnacle in the middle of town and the Vareltzidaina mansion built in the late 18th century in the Ottoman style with vaulted ceilings and beautiful frescoes. On the return journey we got off at the beach and sat for a while - the temptation was too much for me and I had a lovely swim across the bay and back to Freya. As Paul walked back he was persuaded by a friendly taverna owner on the quay that we would really like to eat at his place that evening - another lovely dinner with Louise and Gordon.
Having really enjoyed Molyvos out of season, it was time to move on and we selected an anchorage 17 miles away on the East coast of Lesvos, Palios. It was beautiful and I enjoyed a lovely swim in the turquoise water where there were few fish but lovely yellow coral growing on the rocks before a spectacular full moon appeared. In the morning we rowed ashore and walked through olive groves around the shore to an area covered in tombs which had been carved out of the rock. Interesting but we couldn't find any information about them. We went to visit Camira on the way back - Paul rowing and me swimming. When we'd arrived in the bay Gordon had been worried about a strange noise coming from the engine. He now knew an engine mount had sheered. Paul went back to Freya to collect bits of wood and between them they propped the engine up. We left for Mytilini going slowly and following Camira in case the problem worsened. After about four hours we were back safe in the marina where Camira needed an engineer and we needed a rigger to sort our genoa.
The rigger duly arrived the next day and the forestay was dismantled. It appears it hadn't been fitted correctly 3 years ago in Italy, with glue and screws missing. We need new parts from Harken which have been ordered but in the meantime our rig is held up by the spinnaker halyard!