Lazy Pelican has reached the Med!

08 May 2019 | Despotiko, AntiParos
08 May 2019 | Naoussa, Paros
07 May 2019 | Naoussa, Paros
30 April 2019 | Amorgos
30 April 2019 | Amorgos
28 April 2019 | Astypalea
26 April 2019 | Astypalea
20 April 2019 | Lakki
18 April 2019 | Lákki, Leros
30 September 2018 | Pathani, Leros
28 September 2018 | Pathani, Leros
28 September 2018 | Pathani, Leros
14 September 2018 | Lithi, Chios
13 September 2018 | Limnia, Chios
09 September 2018 | On passage to Chios
01 September 2018 | Lesvos to Psara
07 June 2018 | Moudros, Limnos
31 May 2018 | Marina, Limnos
26 May 2018 | Samothraki

No despots here

08 May 2019 | Despotiko, AntiParos
Maggie Fowler
Fish drying at the beachside taverna, Despotiko

This is a fantastic anchorage on the south of AntiParos. It’s beautiful, clear water, sandy bottom and absolutely tranquil. A couple of tavernas and a wonderful view. Perfect!

Paying our dues - you have to despair!

08 May 2019 | Naoussa, Paros
Maggie Fowler
The marina's been a great asset during the bad weather?

We've had a lovely time in Naoussa marina, availed ourselves of the free power and water and been able to leave the boat knowing that it was safe. Now we must pay! Yes, it all helps this cash strapped country get back on its feet.....
Not so fast, we’re talking about Greece - there's an ongoing dispute (at least 3 years) between the municipality and a former manager, and because of this they cannot formally charge. Instead they ask for 'donations' a suggestion of €10 a day - sounds very reasonable. But they can't take cash, and no, they don't have credit or debit card facilities. You must go to the bank and make a transfer.
Do they not realise the banks are only open mornings, 5 days a week (less actually as there's been a bank holiday) and yachts come and go every day? Do they not realise that even those yachties with a willingness to contribute, when they're ready to go, just want to leave - not go and queue at a bank? Well, I think they probably do, because I would guess that of the 40ish boats that were in during the bad weather maybe 2 or 3 paid. We did, but it wasn't easy.
First attempt was at the National Bank of Greece. They have an 'air lock' door system that works on presentation of your bank card. If you don't have one, you have to wait to be admitted. Once in, I queued for 15 minutes only for the cashier to look at the bank details I'd been given by the marinero and say 'you cannot pay this money in here, you must go to Piraeus Bank' as if I was some kind of idiot! I had been told by the marinero that I could pay in at any bank in the town - a fact I relayed to the cashier without effect. I held my hands up in horror, announced that the system was mad and I was giving up and flounced out - or would have done except I had to wait for someone to open the door for me!
2nd attempt. We found the Piraeus bank on one of our bike trips - about half a mile out of town and I relented. After successfully negotiating their air lock, and queuing again, I got to the cashier who duly took the cash as well as my name, boat name, telephone number - I think I’m due a phone call to say thanks!
Over the last few years we've seen even the smallest businesses in Greece accept credit card payments - it's so frustrating to see a government owned business loosing out like this!

A short break in Naoussa

07 May 2019 | Naoussa, Paros
Maggie Fowler
The totally enclosed anchorage - or the marina?

The forecast showed several days of very strong southerly winds, so we headed for Naoussa where there is all round shelter in the beautiful bay. There is also a small municipality marina, and given the choice between 4 days at anchor with only each other for company, or a place in the marina - we opted for the latter!
A choice well made - chores undertaken - shopping, laundry and boat cleaning all done. Bike rides round the area, a bus trip to Parikia, the capital. And we enjoyed getting to know Helen and Mike on Island Drifter as well as the other captive cruisers on the quay.

All dressed up at the monastery

30 April 2019 | Amorgos
Maggie Fowler
The cliff-hugging monastery, on the intimidating south side of Amorgos

Having arrived at the entrance, we are greeted by a large elderly monk who squeezes himself through the half size door (I am reminded of Winnie the Pooh looking for honey) and motions for me to cover up my shin length trousers with one of the long brown polyester skirts that seem to be what monasteries judge as appropriate attire for visiting ladies. Then we climb a narrow twisting stairway, hewn out of the rock, emerging into a tiny chapel. It's hard to see what's on the walls as the place is full of people - many of them elegantly dressed women in figure hugging, knee length dresses (How on earth did they get in, I wonder) as well as smartly dressed children and babes in arms. It dawns on us that there's about to be a christening! I must look like the bad fairy come to put a curse on the whole affair! We retreat to another room where we are offered a glass of kitron (liqueur) and a piece of loukoumi (the Greek version of Turkish delight) which fortifies us for the return journey.

The pilgrims path is arduous

30 April 2019 | Amorgos
Maggie Fowler
If these ladies can make it - so can we!
We are in Amorgos and a visit to the Chozoviotissa Monastery, 1,000 years old and plastered against a cliff 300 metres above sea level, is a 'must do' for visitors. We shun the road route, taking the old donkey track from the port through a once cultivated valley now covered in a multitude of brightly coloured wild flowers, to the Chora. It's a 600m climb so we pause for breath at the top enjoying the views back down to the sea. We know the monastery is 'just over the top' so imagine our dismay when we discover that the route on the other side takes you down to the road, 400m below, before you can start the climb back up to the monastery!
By the time we are on the final approach the crew is starting to protest at the excessive nature of the climb, when we come across two redoubtable old ladies, dressed in black, steadily making their way up, chatting all the while without complaint.

Caught in the crossfire!

28 April 2019 | Astypalea
Maggie Fowler
Astypalea is shaped like a butterfly, and tucked into a cove on its western 'wing' is a small beach and harbour. In front of us, behind the beach is Strada, the old fishing village and up above us is the Chora, or old town, with an impressive looking castle and straddling a ridge, the remains of 8 former windmills. Between the two settlements are numerous sets of steps and passageways which wind up between a multitude of white stone houses.
We've been promised 'competitive' fireworks on the stroke of midnight, between the church on the top of the hill and the one by the beach. Port Police arrive to tell us there will be lots of noise tonight and we shouldn't be worried. We weren't until we discover a third launch site - just 30m behind us on the ferry quay! We decide to take down the bimini and fold away the spray hood and the Skipper gets a couple of buckets of water ready just in case! Bang on midnight (literally) it all begins and we are treated to the most spectacular display of fireworks from at least 3 directions. There are also people with flares all around the harbour so that the boats appear to be floating in pink smoke! We are entertained for a full 20 minutes. The buckets aren't required but come the morning we find the boat absolutely covered with ash and debris.

Greek Easter

26 April 2019 | Astypalea
Maggie Fowler
Easter in Greece this year, falls a week behind the celebrations at home. It's all to do with calendars. Back in 325AD the churches got together and decided on a formula to calculate the date for Easter - the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox - pretty straightforward you might think (!), but they didn't allow for the Church splitting 700 years later and the two sides adopting different calendars. The Eastern, Orthodox Church still refers to the Julian Calendar which records the Spring equinox as 3rd April whereas the Gregorian Calendar used by the Western, Catholic Church has the date as 21st March. Interestingly, the Orthodox Church also takes account of the Jewish festival of Passover, saying that Easter must follow this event, because Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his disciples.
For us, it's great, it has given us time to get to Astypalea where we're waiting for the festivities to start!

Provisions Galore!

20 April 2019 | Lakki
Maggie Fowler
Fat Boys - the green grocers.

Tiny Lákki with its two small supermarkets doesn't sound like the best place to provision for an 8 week journey round remote and sparsely populated islands. But you'd be wrong - and it's been such fun! First I take the bike up to the 'big' supermarket, about the size of a Tesco Express, to get all the basics - milk, yogurt, beer and pasta to name a few. I have 2 trolleys full, but it's no problem - "you ride your bike madam and I will follow in the van" and he does - all the way to the back of the boat. Next I'm off to the green grocers, known to everyone as 'fat boys'. Just to stand outside to look and smell the fruit and veg is a pleasure, but delve inside and all sorts of treasures can be found - olives, stuffed peppers, fantastic loose wild rice, and much more. On the way back, I stop at the 'Australian' butchers where I discuss the local cuts of meats and the delicacies that are being prepared for the Easter festival. I come away with new season Leros lamb vacuum packed for a yachties convenience. Finally I call in at the bakers, it's only bread that's on the list, but it's impossible not to let a couple of slices of warm spinach pie and a slab of baklava slip into the bag! When did a trip to Waitrose ever give so much pleasure!

Return to Leros

18 April 2019 | Lákki, Leros
Maggie Fowler
All getting ready to go
Never mind that it's a scorching Easter weekend in the UK and only 12 degrees here, it's great to be back in Leros. I flew in this morning on the little 30 seater plane that squeezes through the gap in the mountains before descending to the runway and screeching to a halt only yards before the shoreline. Lazy Pelican is in Lakki where the skipper has spent the best part of a week since the launch, fitting new solar panels and doing those jobs that need to be done at the start of the season. He's in good company - there are 3 other boats doing just the same thing and there's a bit of a buzz as everyone looks forward to the new sailing season.

It’s all over now....

30 September 2018 | Pathani, Leros
Maggie Fowler
Calm returns to Pathani as boats start to leave

It certainly blew for 36 hours, and we had some rain, but nothing like the original forecasts - maybe 30/35 knots. An anticlimax you could say, but as news started to reach us of the damage done elsewhere, we felt lucky to have escaped.
Vessel Name: Lazy Pelican
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 39
Hailing Port: Poole, England
Crew: John and Maggie Fowler
Extra:
We bought Lazy Pelican - a 2006 Bavaria 39 - in November 2008 with the intention of cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean. The question then arose of how to get her there from Poole on the South Coast of England! Our main sailing experience was 5 years cruising in Croatia where we enjoyed short day [...]
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:14043
Lazy Pelican's Photos -

Lazy Pelican

Who: John and Maggie Fowler
Port: Poole, England