We sailed out of Marmaris Bay for the last time. The day was perfect....10 to 15 knots ... a beat in smooth water. Freebird found her wings and we sailed most of the day. We arrived at a small bay with mooring buoys owned by the "King Neptunes Restaurant" at the head of the bay. The owner rowed out to meet us and took our bow lines to one of their buoys. We enjoyed the serenity of the moment..... calm and quiet after the chaos of Marmaris. A nice dinner was enjoyed at the restaurant and that night we slept sooooo good.
After our visit to Simi last fall with our guests, Anne and Jackie, we decided to sail into the town quay to fully experience this quaint Greek village. We were shown to a spot on the wall. We dropped our anchor and backed up to the wall and secured our stern as is the normal procedure for docking here in the Med. All went well. With the boat secure we headed to the various officials to check us and our boat into Greece only to find that (after here and there and back and forth....)all the offices were closed until 6 PM. Here in Greece everything closes down form 2PM to 6PM.
Just as we were heading out totry to check in again a mega 100 plus foot sailboat with the obviously rich owner standing at the huge helm (while 2 very young crew members raced around frantically and of course... the Babe, preening) proceeded to drag his anchor over several anchors including ours! The harbor was immediately in full chaos. The wind had come up and boats were blowing everywhere. We untied our stern lines and joined the calamity. Our anchor became hooked on some debris on the bottom and we were not even able to maneuver to defend ourselves from the bumper boat game in progress. Fortunately Judy was able to play with the windlass and free us. Freebird zigged and zagged dodging the disasters on all sides. We escaped into the open water unscathed. Our only option was the bay around the corner where we were last season. Sadly the wind had picked up and we had to beat into it. Unfortunately, it was not the best for protection or anchor holding. It's getting dark. We dropped the hook and backed down praying for that feeling when the anchor takes hold into solid ocean bottom. Bang! It grabbed. Relief.... We're secure. Not too bad, a little rolly but no bumper boats. We settle in for the night.
In the morning it's still blowing. Dave makes some coffee. Judy looks out at the small village behind the boat. Wow she says, it sure looks a lot closer. Yep, it is close. We had managed to drag toward the shore about 100 meters. And we're still dragging! Motor on, up anchor, re-anchor. There, should be good now.. We did this drill 3 more times during the day. We really don't want to do these "drills" in the dark. So, the last time, we headed out of the protection of the bay and turned into the teeth of the gale for a 3 hour pound. Finally we arrived at the calm tranquil little harbor on the South end of Symi Island.
A few other yachts were anchored there but there was plenty of room for Freebird. Two boats we recognized were among the fleet. "The Southern Cross" and "Just Jane" came by to welcome us to heaven... This time we really slept all night in peace. The next morning we headed into town on the bus to do the checkin. The ride was a highlight of our stay here. Fabulous views of bays and distant islands. Finally we descended down the switchbacks and dropped into Symi Town.
We completed our checkin with customs, immigration, and the harbor master. After a coffee and tea we were back on the last bus back to Freebird. We wandered around the hills for the next few days and enjoyed a visit to the 5th century Moni Taxiarhou Mihail Panormiti Monastery on the shore of the bay.
Well so far we have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of the Greek Islands... Stay tuned