to Amorgos, Greece
July 23 - August 14, 2003
Travelogue #1 Summer 2003
August 4-14, 2003 Marmaris Turkey
This morning we will leave for
Greece. As a reference that will be used later, Marmaris has
been about 100º and is known to regularly get to 115 or
120 degrees. It is also very humid here. We have spent the last
few days getting all of the minor jobs done and a bit of shopping
so we will have a pleasant trip westward, toward Tucson. We have
found the source of several small fresh water leaks, got a new
anchor (Breugel), which is supposed to be great in weed or grass,
and in general taken our time to get off on a good foot. There
is no hurry for this trip. We decided to try the clearing out
procedure ourselves so yesterday afternoon was dedicated to procedures.
It was clean and quick, about 20 minutes of procedure and 45
minutes of travel. Last night we had our last Turkish meal at
the Yat Marine Restaurant. One of the waiters, who we met when
arrived at the marina last September, was supposed to get married
Sunday but it was postponed; trivia but a happening. This marina
is one of the best we have ever been in and we have visited a
bunch. We have been in the marina off and on since last September
15th, thus this is an opinion that formed over time. The swimming
pool is beside the outside eating area and open for luncheons.
The marina is growing rapidly and most surely will be the best
in the Med in a short time. The owner has deep pockets, a great
location and vision. There is a restaurant, East Marine
hardware store, machine shop, electric and plumbing shops, 3
travel lifts, rooms, and a great bar. We have truly enjoyed the
visit and are somewhat reluctant to leave, but as with all good
things one must keep moving.
The wind has been blowing about
15 to 25 kts every day for the past week, but today is supposed
to be different. We leave the marina in 18 kts of wind and hope
for the best as the day progresses. Sure enough we move the 30
miles to Simi and find it agreeable. We are now in Greece and
in a very small bay with a couple we met in 2001, from Texas.
We have been in contact with them and expect to sail for awhile
in tandem. We are near Simi, Greece and tomorrow will clear into
the country. Another round of officialdom.
On Sunday we always have special
music aboard Traumerei in the morning and yesterday it was the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the songs of America. This is
a tremendous CD and suggests that you think about America and
where we came from. Who are we and why do we have everything
going our way when the rest of the world is in turmoil. Surely
we are in turmoil now also, but perhaps not as much as the rest
of the world. There are few Native Americans, we are all descendants
of other nations and some are of Turkish descent, and why not.
We have met a lot of people and one recurring statement is I
want to come to America someday. Perhaps as Americans we
do not understand the desire of these people. It is a matter
of survival of the fittest and those with the greatest desire
will make it and they are the people that make America great.
Our country is like a magnet and attracts many people but only
the clever or enlightened will overcome all of the barriers to
get to the USA. We, as Americans, are fortunate indeed that this
quest exists in that it enriches our country with some of the
best and brightest that other countries have to offer. Truly
they come to share in the wealth and assist in the growth of
our great nation. How we all got where we are and who paved the
road is a discussion that I would like to have with two of my
great friends Peter and Kiki. That would be a discussion that
would last all night.
Tuesday was spent in Simi which
is but 5 miles from the SE corner of Turkey. It is a beach town
with day-trippers coming from Rhodes. We cleared into Greece
very easily, which is a pleasant surprise. Simi is at the head
of a very narrow bay and is very hot as there is no wind. It
is much too hot to spend the night. We will return to the small
bay where we spent a quiet and cool night on Monday. By 6:30
we are the only ones in the bay and it is as expected very calm
Wednesday morning and we are
off for Kos town, which is the capital town of Kos Island. This
island lives on tourists. The northern end of the island is but
5 miles from Bodrum, Turkey and there are a lot of day boats
carrying passengers from one country to the other. The beachfront
is very long and is adjacent to the road/sidewalk into town from
the marina. There are several hundred umbrellas with at least
two deck loungers under each. Many of these people spend their
last dollar to get here for vacation and in fact some of the
young girls cannot afford a complete swimsuit. For Renneckar,
the top half is a girl. They really do it first class.
We are early enough to do a walkabout and see the castle, much
like the one in Rhodes. There is a main harbor to Kos and it
is filled with goulets and a couple of large motor yachts. Nice
evening and it is strange but the fact is it is cool enough to
need a cover when you sleep. Things have changed regarding temperatures
and we have been told that it will get even cooler as we cross
the Aegean. That sounds real nice to both of us.
Thursday. We took the small town
train to the asklepieion
for our cultural activity. This facility was built about 30 or
40 BC and was a regional healing center. It was sort of like
Canyon Ranch is to the southwest. It is where the people went
to get their mind and body straight. It wasnt a surgery
center or an inpatient facility but it was a healing center.
Hippocrates, the one who recognized medicine as a study in science
and not witchcraft, was from Kos. In mid afternoon as we were
returning to the boat there was a great number of sailing boats
approaching Kos from Bodrum. It looked as though Kos was being
invaded by the Turks. In fact there was a race mark just off
the marina for the Gant Cup, third annual, organized in conjunction
with Bodrum Race Week. The race was from Bodrum-Kos-Bodrum and
finishing in Kos. About thirty 40-45 footers swept upon the Kos
Marina for the night. The cooperation between the officials of
Greece and Turkey was great. The visiting Turkish boats flew
the yellow quarantine flag while in port, but did not clear in,
quite sensible. We had a very pleasant night out and prepared
to head west again tomorrow.
Friday. There is no hurry to
leave as we have only 13 miles to go to the island of Kalimnos.
This is a rather hectic day because the wind was 18 to 30 kts
just about 15 degrees to the starboard of our course We looked
for the sail boats in the race but have not seen them. They are
sailing to Turgutreis, where we were just before Orthodox Easter.
We understand that this beautiful marina is hurting for boats.
Supposedly there is an offer of annual space for a rate of about
$5 per day, as opposed to the opening price of $50 per day. We
are now in a somewhat sheltered anchorage on the island of Kalimnos.
The anchorage is rather small and beneath some tall hills to
the west. This position causes us to get wind gusts all night,
safe but still not as settled as we have been.
Saturday. We are up before 6:30
and after a cup of coffee we sail from the anchorage to the west
side of Kalimnos. We are going to a bay
that has several mooring buoys for use of the customers of the
café/taverna. It is but 10 miles but we find this new
place to be one where we could stay awhile. It is sheltered for
180 degrees, open to the south, by Kalimnos Island. The hills
of Kalimnos are several hundred feet high and give wind protection.
To the south there is a large island blocking the wind and ocean
waves. The community
is 100 yards wide and stretches up and down the beach for perhaps
a couple of blocks. The water is about 10 degrees cooler than
where we have been and so is the ambient temperature. It is very
nice. There is a stone
structure on a hill east of town. It appears to be an old
church with a prominent position on the face of a hill overlooking
the bay. It appears to have a vaulted rock ceiling for the whole
length of the building, not just the entryway. It is the first
one of these we have seen. I have included some photographs of
the building showing its location, outside view and an inside
shot. There are about 6 buoys just off of the beach and if you
take one you are obliged to eat at the restaurant of the provider
of the buoy. We select one and find the meal very fine. She has
swordfish for one evening meal and the next it is goat. Both
choices are great with an accompaniment of vegetables and Greek
salad. There are perhaps 100 beach chairs set out for the day-trippers
that come from Kalimnos and Kos. It is so cool at night that
one must use a cover, this is a distinct change from Marmaris.
Again some poverty amongst the young girls on the beach.
Monday. This morning we are sailing
to Levitha, which is but 22 nm from where we are. We leave with
Perception and find that the distance is covered in about 3 and
half hours under sail. The wind is force 5 or 6 which is between
20 and 35 kts. It is a bit off of our starboard beam and a bit
exciting. We had a top speed of 8.24 but averaged close to 6.
The lee of Levitha is a great place to be. We motored into the
quiet bay and found a mooring. This island is one of the Dodecanese
islands. These are the 12 islands in the southeast Aegean and
are in the proximity of Turkey. Supper at the farmhouse in the
center of the island is a fish dinner with fine Paros wine. It
is a mile hike to the farmhouse.
Tuesday. Kathy and I walked to
the farmhouse this morning to give some crayons to a 3 year old
boy, Dimitri. In the
conversation we found out that the current resident is of the
6th generation to live here and his family has been the only
ones on the island, except for contract workers, for 350 years.
There are several miles of stone fences and enough rock to fence
the island in again and again. There is a pile of stone beside
the restaurant which is about 3 feet high by 15 feet wide and
50 feet long. The stones are piled up in a manner that makes
it look like they are saving them as one would firewood. This
afternoon there were 3 boats in this small bay. About 3 pm there
was a flotilla of 13 boatloads of Italians that swooped in. They
were followed by 3 more boatloads of Italians. There appears
to be 4 couples of young people on each boat so we now have 132
young people here to share this small space. Most of them will
walk to the farmhouse for supper. How would you like to be the
cook and find out at 4 that there may be more than 100 people
for dinner? I am glad we are eating on board tonight. The night
is cool and there is a full moon. This is a grand place to be
relatively calm, full moon and a safe harbor.
Wednesday. Kathy and I were going
to leave early for our next island. However the wind is a bit
strong for this early in the day, 15 kts at 6:30 am and it usually
builds from there. Fred awakes and we decide to take off for
Amorgos which is only 23 miles to the northern tip and another
11 down the west side to Katapola. This day has all of the elements
of a sail, motor, motor with main, main alone (reefed and full),
jib (reefed and full). We have from no wind to 28 kts of wind.
The seas build up as they approach the flat west face of Amorgos
and build to some 10-15 feet within 1 mile of the coast. We arrived
in 6 hours and upon entering the bay find that it is just as
windy, just not as lumpy. This trip west is a real grind, perhaps
going west is somewhat like a salmon trying to swim upriver.
The wind in the Aegean is always present in abundance. We have
about 130 nm to go before we are in the lee of the Peloponnesos.
There the wind will have a more favorable pattern we have been
told. The chart indicates that there are strong gusts here, we
can attest to that. The anchor is in 40 feet of water and we
are blown offshore to where we are in 88 feet of water. We have
only 150 feet of chain out so are somewhat concerned about holding.
Not to worry: we are fine all night and are only awakened when
a Blue Ferry arrives at 2 am.
Thursday. As usual we are up
early and find the wind to be somewhat calmer, 7 to 12 knots,
so we are moving to the town quay. This is an easy thing to do
in the wind shadow of a very large ferry. The boat next to us
is a charter by two young Greek couples. They have had the boat
a week and have sailed, moved the boat from one place to another
for one day. They chartered in Paros and were stuck there for
two days because of high winds, sailed to Amorgos and have been
stuck here ever since. They called the charter company today
and told them to come get the boat; they were through sailing.
They asked us if we wanted their unused supplies, that weren't
practical to carry back to Athens. As in Cesme, we came into
a great load of good supplies. One of the guys is from a family
of confectioners in Athens and he gave us 2 one-kilo boxes of
cookies, three jars of jellied fruits and 2 pounds of roasted
and flavored pistachios.
We took a trip to the monastery,
pictures enclosed, and it is beautiful. It dates from the 11th
century. It is built on the side of a 2000-foot cliff. The monastery
is 964 feet above the sea and the rock face goes on for another
thousand feet above
the monastery. The view is direct to the sea. I couldn't go in
because I had on short pants. After Kathy exited I tried to get
in by wearing her shawl, as a skirt, to cover my hairy legs but
that wasn't acceptable either. The trail to the monastery is
hewn out of the steep cliff and affords a spectacular view of
the sea. The wind is blowing about force 7 and the sea is white
with white caps and foam. There are gusts of wind whipping around
the small inlets and islands around the base of the cliff. These
winds are blowing the tops off of the white caps and forming
great bands of eddies where the fast moving squall type action
moves like a zephyr,
perhaps at 70 or 80 miles per hour. The spray is thick enough
to appear as a fast moving cloud, some even have properties such
that they support a rainbow.
This ends Travelogue 1 of the
summer of 2003.