We have decided to go directly from Simi to Alanya and have just passed Rhodes town on our stb side. We are having a great sail with wind force 10-12 m/s and 7-8 kts speed.
Simi is a postcard village and crowded with tourists and yachts, many from Turkey. I would like to spend some days in Simi out of season.
Nisiros is an extinct volcanic crater. I have been there before and then I rented a car and drove up to the crater itself which is about 2,5 miles widet across. It’s very large. You can walk at the bottom of it. Hopefully it woun’t erupt while you are there.
We hadn’t time for such exqursion this time. We stayed in Mandraki harbour the night over and motorsailed the next day.
It’s an idyllic village positioned on a strip of flat land between a preciptious gorge and the sea. It has a modest tourist trade. I could very well spend a week there at the end of any September.
When we arrived Poros after a great sail from Argostoli, we observed chaos as several yachts had put their anchor chains on top of each others. We anchored in the vicinity of this scene and moored stern to alongside a french boat. Unforunately we (me) had put our chain across theirs as we discovered the next day when they were leaving. Esten assisted in their dinghy and they were freed relatively easy.
Esten, the army captain, identified an American bridge across a dried-out river-bed. Probly placed there by the allied forces during WW2 or just after.
I liked Argostoli. Especially “Kelly’s Bar”, just 30 m from where we were moored. Kari and I had “Greek salad” for breakfast there every day, but Esten preferred omelettes. I dont know the bar’s real name, but Kelly is from Wales and built for running, which she has done a lot of during her past years. Kari is a “one mountain top before breakfast (Stoltzekkleiven)” runner. This Kelly had noticed. I’m more like a “can walk as long as it takes if I can do it at my own speed” kind of guy. Esten joins Kari in her morning stunts from time to time.
Kelly’s bar is the meeting place for the Albanians in town in the evenings. They sit there all night puffing their sigarettes and stretching their cups of coffee as long as they can. The Albanian news channel is always on but nobody is watching. Kelly’s buddy(i think) is Albanian and also involved in the running of the cafe. Just to mention it: We are also bathing, swimming, eating…
Have I been fooled? Is Savoritsa really a Greek word?
I’m in doubt. I’ve told Marina officials in several Greek ports that Savoritsa is Greek word, but they have shuddered ther heads and protested; “I don’t know this word, it’s not a Greek word. If I insist; then they will say: “You know, there are so many Greek words, the proffesors in Athens knows a lot of them!
Is SAVORITSA really a Greek word?
Two hours of great sail down the Messina strait, then mostly motoring across the Ionian sea. Too much plastic rubbish out there! Bottles, sheets, toys and other plastic items appeared constantly there in the water with short intervals. And very hot, 30 something in the air and up to 29 C in the water.
When passing the southern tip of Italy, we were caught in by tens of fishing vessels preventing us from taking the easterly course to Greece. I first made one attempt to get through but were resolutely stopped by fast approaching ”guard boats” with floodlights. We then had to follow the coast northwards for a while before I made a new attempt.
The same happened again, this time with 5-6 italian fishermen in one boat, all with their own personal floodlights shouting in Italian from which we didn’t understand a word. This time I placed Savoritsa at their stern making them understand that they had to lead us out of this mess. When Kari appeared in bikini on the foredeck only illuminated by their floodlights, they seemed to understand.
We used the anchor for the first time when we berthed stern to at Argostoli. It went well without complications.
I have visited the port police, the tax office and the customs. Apparently the port police first decided that Norway was a EU member(this was yesterday) and sent me to the tax office(which was hard to find) to pay eur 29,35. When I returnerd to the port police with the receipt, after having paid the tax(this was today) they started a discussion between them and landed on the conclusion that Norway is not a EU member after all. Then I had to “clear in” at the customs in the next building. I filled in the necessary papers but the guy forgot to lay in the necessary sheets of “blue paper” so I had to fill in the papers once more. Then back to the port police which issued a “transit log” in which I have to get a stamp from the port police in every port we visit. Tomorrow morning I have to go back to the tax office to reclaim my eur 29,35. I have to add that every official I was in contact with were very polite and in a good mood.
To me, Argostoli seems to have two “faces”. The first is a relatively calm, nice and welcoming waterfront avenue with traditionally greek cafe’s and tavernas. The other has its center around the town square and in the pedestrian street where it is all “café latte” chique boutiques and bars with high volume music.
Argostoli was totally destroyed in an earthquake in 1953. Before that it had an venetian/italien inspired look. Nothing of that remains now. The only town that was spared from devastation is Fiskardho at the northern end of Keffalonia. A Swede we met yesterday says its a very posh place. We will head northwards up the eastern coast tomorrow and then might visit Fiskardho.
We stayed an extra night in Cepalu because we really liked the place and arrived in Messina yesterday morning after a nights sail. Night watches bring back memories from childhood and youth, mostly long forgotten events. And there is all the time the f fishing boats, lines and nets to look out for and keep clear of.
We will leave Messina in a couple of hours for Argostoli on Keffalonia. I guess we will use about 60 hrs. Kari & Esten are buying provisions while I’m writing this for the blog.