We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.....

24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
23 January 2022
23 January 2022
23 January 2022
23 January 2022
23 January 2022

Nisos Samos

26 July 2021
Jane Paulson
Nisos Samos

 

It happens after every winter. A mix of excitement and trepidation.  We have been static for 10 months and finally we were leaving Ikaria. Would we remember how to sail our boat? Would everything work? What if...........?

We were heading for Samos, just 20 miles away. We decided on an early start and slipped  our lines at precisely 7.30am on Monday 12th  July.  We had wind but also some pretty strong gusts so decided to err on the side  of caution and put a reef in the main sail. Stiletto grunted and groaned (as did I) as the sail  came out and within just a few minutes we both got back in to the  groove and our nerves settled. Until a big gust flipped over Dubsy the Dinghy and the two of us battled for  a while trying to get him flipped back over without falling off the transom!

We had a “sporty" sail just with the main sail and averaged 5 knots. The sea state was good with white caps  created by the wind but as we got into the lee of Samos it completely died, instantly, and we were forced to put away the sail and the engine on. It was so good to be out on open water once again after such a long while – that  wonderful feeling of total freedom was back and we were happy chappies.

As we were preparing ropes and fenders for our arrival at Ormos Marathos, the wind picked back up again and was gusty.  There was an empty slot at the end of the dock, two fellow  cruisers,  having seen our approach  were waiting to help us by taking our lines, and we were able to tie up alongside rather than have to drop the anchor and reverse onto the quay. Job done.

 This is one of our favourite places and we know it well. Small  and unspoilt. The beach is a couple  of minutes walk away, there is a small supermarket , a bakery,  car hire, hairdresser and an excellent choice of shady tavernas. It is peaceful but sadly very quiet due to so very few visitors.

The marina is yet another that is not managed and is slowly falling into disrepair. It is free to  berth here, there is free water on every pod but the (free) electricity is very random. Once tied up on the dock, we found a pod with electricity (hoorah) and we are still here!!!!!

Next morning,  we had to be in Samos Town for our appointment with the police, which was scheduled for 11am, to have our fingerprints taken for our new biometric residency cards.  The fact that our boat is our home and our address is the marina in Agios Kirikos,  Ikaria,  had thrown them into a spin. This was completely new to them and Andreas had very patiently  spent a couple of weeks answering their many questions via email.  Eventually they were happy  and allocated an appointment time.

We hired a car and set off allowing plenty of time for the one hour drive to Samos Town. We certainly did not want to be late!! Parked up, found the police station (a very attractive stone building) and directed to the first floor.   

First we went to the Police Office where after much checking of our passport and new, untouched by human hands, passport sized photos, we were given our “decision “ (?) papers which we then  took to the Immigration Office which was the next office along.

Here we met Mr. OCD. The Greek officials just love to stamp  paper - to the point where it can be both frustrating and highly amusing. The higher up the ranks you are , the bigger the number of stamps on your desk. Mr. OCD had a lot.

He dealt with Andreas first. Each piece of paper was very precisely placed on his desk, centrally in front of him. Everything was thoroughly checked, stamped, stamped and stamped again with each stamp being replaced in exactly the right place.

The finger print machine was in a box. He gave Andreas hand sanitiser, flipped off the lid of the box with his pen, instructed him to place the forefinger of each hand onto each of the units. After a few seconds, he could remove his fingers and the top of the box was flipped  back on with said pen.

It was exactly the same meticulous procedure for me.  If the situation wasn't so serious we would  have been convulsed with laughter.

We were told our cards would be sent to the police on Ikaria  in 10 days, maybe 2 weeks, maybe 3................this is Greece after all. 

As we had a car we stopped off at Lidl on the way back to Stiletto and did a big shop. Bottles of water,  soft drinks and staples – all the heavy stuff - and then early evening drove to  Pithagorion and met with our friends Steve and Karin for drinks and a catch up.

They recommended a restaurant in the village of Platanos where the views are spectacular and the food superb, so the following day we drove up for lunch and we were not disappointed. It was not traditional Greek food by any means and frankly it made a very pleasant change. The food was excellent.  The white wine exceptional. We felt we had both earned a treat .

A couple of days later,  we were sitting in the cockpit when this huge yellow dust cloud appeared in the sky. It really was awful. Our neighbours  informed us of a very large forest  fire on the island. So big that fire services from other islands were brought in. The result was that wildlife was seriously disrupted, including the dreaded mosquito.  One of which  sought out Andreas, bit his foot in the same place (same foot) and next morning we woke to horrid blisters  and a repeat of before.

To say we were a bit miffed is an understatement.  Incredulous that this could happen again and repeatedly asking  ourselves , why, why, WHY???   This time however we were well prepared.  I had the foresight to make sure that I  had the antibacterial spray, sodium chloride, antihistamine and sterile gauze for cleaning  all in my medical box, little realising it would all be needed again so bloomin' soon.

So we caught it much quicker this time and while it is not so bad as last time, it is bad.

So we are staying put, again. But not only because of Andrea's foot but also the Meltemi wind is particularly strong, has been for the last week with BIG gusts and no one is going anywhere  soon. !!!

Muse for this post: the best things in life are the people we love, the places we've been, and the memories we've made along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 15 years and have owned Stiletto for 13 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:34308
Stiletto's Photos -

One life, love it, live it!

Who: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
Port: Gosport, UK