Monday, 27 August 2012

Last leg

Kai and Becky caught half a dozen fish in Xerokampos.
They were too small to cook and we had no vegetables to make fish soup, so the fish were reprieved and released on Thursday morning before we left to motor up to Pandeli.

Pandeli was very crowded, with a lot of big Turkish motor yachts. We managed to anchor on the sand just off the beach, but then found ourselves swinging onto a big mooring buoy. When we tried to anchor further out there was very little room and a lot of weed, so we decided it would be much nicer to go back to Lakki and anchor off the town beach.
On Friday morning we moved into the marina. Friday was mostly tidying up and packing. Becky and Andrew took Charlie to Crithoni's Paradise, where he revelled in the water, but they forgot to take armbands and camera. In the afternoon Charlie went to the town beach with Lin and Simon.

In the evening Becky and Andrew went out for a romantic dinner/blow-out at To Petrino, while Lin and Simon gave Kai and Charlie cheesy rice and had scrambled egg themselves.

On Saturday we hired a car for the day - it hardly costs any more to hire a car for 24 hours than it does to get a taxi to the aiport. We drove around the island heights for Kai to get a bird's eye (paratrooper's eye) view of the wartime battlefields and then visited the very moving war cemetery at Alinda, which brought Kai's heroic-romantic view of war somewhat, but probably only temporarily, down to earth.

We then went to Crithoni's for the rest of the day, interrupted by an excellent lunch at To Steki in Alinda
and a drive up to the castle after lunch.

Kai and Charlie had a great time in the pool at Crithoni's Paradise.
On Saturday night we had a quick pizza. Kai had been promised a night in the hammock, but the dew was so heavy that he and Andrew could not even sleep in the cockpit, but had to sleep below.

On Saturday morning Kai and Andrew, Kai and Charlie and Simon set off to the airport to take the early flight to Athens, which gave them six hours in the city before they had to take their flights to Birmingham. Having checked our bags in we took a taxi to the acropolis. With so many disabled in our party we were able to get value for the huge money of our tickets by going up in the so-called elevator - a very perilous looking device. By the time he got to the top Kai had huge blisters so could not walk in his shoes, but the stone was so hot that he could not walk without them either.

We had to abandon our plans to go to the Acropolis Museum and instead went down to have lunch in a favourite taverna at the top of Plaka before buying Kai some shoes in the flee market.

Now that Kai had shoes, tourism could resume. We went to see the Agora and the Stoa, but no sooner had we gone into the Stoa than we were thrown out - it was closing time. Charlie was tired and thirsty, Kai was moaning and we were all very hot - it was in the high thirties - so we had a drink in a cafe, where the waiter's mother had come from Birmingham to marry his Greek father.

We took the metro back to the airport, trying to distract other passengers from the smell rising from Charlie's nappy. Washed and changed and with a new pair of clean designer shorts bought at the airport Charlie had a great time in the children's area before we all had to board our planes and fly home (Simon was coming back via Munich, the others via Frankfurt). We all arrived in Birmingham together and Andrew's Uncle Andy picked us up and drove us home.
Simon now has two days of doctors and hospitals before flying back on Wednesday morning, all being well, while Lin cleans, tidies and chills in Lakki.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Peace at last

We stayed in Lakki until Tuesday, when the wind started to drop at last. On Sunday Becky, Andrew, Charlie and Kai took a taxi to Crithoni's Paradise, a resort hotel with a pool, where Charlie almost swam with his armbands. On Monday morning everyone but Simon walked round to Merikhia to go to the War Museum. Charlie slept well when they got back.

On Tuesday morning we motored round to Xerokampos,

where we picked up a mooring buoy. Kai was in a filthy mood in the morning, but after a siesta he did his homework and, after a swim, was hauled up the mast to the top. The bosun's chair was hurting him, so he did not stay up there. When he was down he needed to lie down to recover.
We had s good, though expensive, meal in the taverna, where we were almost the only customers, although there were six boats on the taverna's moorings.
We decided to stay in Xerokampos on Wednesday. In the morning we fished off the boat and Becky caught a fish, though not enough to feed the 5,000.
We went to lunch in the taverna
where Charlie drank from a glass
and ate a huge amount.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Strong winds

The strong winds have been relentless.
On Friday we sailed down from Lipsi to Arkhangeli, where we anchored off the little beach. Andrew, Becky, Kai and Charlie went ashore in the kayak to feed the goats, while Lin swam.

There were no goats around the beach when they arrived. But the chief goat checked them out
And soon goats converged from all over the island.

Kai herded the goats

and enticed them down to the beach,

where they ate all the bread in no time.

Charlie liked the goats, but was a bit wary about going too close.

We had a very windy night in Arkhangeli. In the morning we were pleased to see that the anchor had turned around on a sixpence as the wind swung round and had not budged. That was why we got a Rocna anchor. In the morning we decided to head down to Lakki for better shelter as the wind was forecast to be even stronger for the next two days. We had a fast run down to Lakki under genoa in a Force 7 northerly. We sailed alongside the wrecked gullet we had seen in Lipsi, which was being towed back to Bodrum by a tug.
We decided that Merikhia bay was too windy, so we anchored off the Lakki town beach.

In the morning Becky, Andrew, Charlie and Kai went into town, where Charlie bought a toy boat. In the afternoon he went in the dinghy with Becky, where he dropped his boat in the sea and it sank to the bottom.

Meanwhile Kai disappeared to the cafe to play on the Play Station all afternoon. We had dinner on board and justr as we finished loud music blared out from the beach cafe. Hooting of car horns, church bells and fireworks told us that a wedding was in progress and, sure enough, the wedding was in the cafe on the beach. Loud music kept up until dawn. Simon, Kai and Charlie slept like logs, but Lin, Becky and Andrew had a sleepless night.
With stronger winds forecast we came into Lakki marina on Saturday and will probably stay here till Monday, when the winds are forecast to start to die down.

Circular tour

We have had a week going round in a circle, from Lipsi to Patmos to Arki and back to Lipsi, with strong winds, force 4-6, all week. The internet seems to have collapsed in this part of the Dodecanese. Apparently Cosmote had a special offer for August which led to a big increase in usage which has overloaded the system.

We left Lipsi on Friday 10th of August and had a windy reach motor-sailing up to Patmos,

where we anchored in a bay behind the small island of Agios Georgios, North-east of Patmos town, where we swam, canoed and chilled.

Kai dived off the back of the boat,
but chickened out of his dives from the bow.

On Saturday morning we moved to the noisy, busy quay in Patmos town.
Becky, Andrew, Kai and Charlie went to the hotel swimming pool.
On Sunday morning Kai and Andrew went up to the monastery,

where Kai lit candles for everybody he knew.

On the way down they went to the cave of the apocalypse, where St John had his revelation, and as soon as they came back we set off for another fast, windy motor-sail across to Arki.

Andrew, Becky and Charlie took the kayak to a lovely little beach in the harbour – sand, shallow, warm and nowhere for Charlie to run away to.
Kai met his Belgian friend Elliot, from last year, and spent the time cycling and playing football, while we all enjoyed Nikolas’s food in his taverna.

Charlie loves tsatsiki!

And he loves Nesquick cereal for breakfast.

 And Kai loves chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch and tea.

We stayed three days in Arki and on Tuesday motored the mile across to Marathi, where we picked up a mooring.

The mooring rope creaked all night so that Andrew hardly slept, while the wind howled all night so that Becky hardly slept, up in the cockpit with Kai. We set off early on Wednesday morning and motor-sailed round Lipsi, being buzzed by the Flying Dolphin,

to come onto the quay in Lipsi town.

That evening there was live music in Manolis’s taverna, and in a taverna in the harbour. We had dinner in Manolis’s,
where Kai loved the cheese soufflé

and Charlie gobbled up the tsatsiki. 

Charlie fell in love with a little Italian girl, who danced with him.

 While we all went home, Kai settled in to dance all night – putting on a solo performance in Manolis’s, then joining the dancing in the tavern on the harbour. He eventually was dragged to bed at midnight, but the deafening music kept going until just before 6 am, so the rest of us had little sleep.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Family Holiday!

Sorry it has been so long updating - we have had lousy internet  connections. We now have a very slow one so it is taking hours to upload this lot.

Becky, Andrew, Kai and Charlie flew out on Sunday 29th. After flying from Birmingham to Athens via Munich their flight to Samos was delayed. The previous flight had been unable to land because of strong winds and had had to return to Athens, so their flight was delayed while Olympic found a larger plane. The flight hit a lot of turbulence, Charlie bouncing out of seat, and wobbled all over the place as it came in to land. But they arrived safely.
As soon as they had settled in we went out to dinner in a garden restaurant - top rated by Trip Advisor. The service was over-familiar, the food second rate and the prices excessive, but Charlie enjoyed it.
On Sunday morning Kai's Italian friend from Agathonissi last year, Alexandros, appeared at the end of our gangplank, asking for Kai. It turned out that his family had been making their way down from Thessaloniki and had just arrived on the overnight ferry from Chios and were now waiting for the afternoon ferry to Agathonissi. Needless to say Kai could not wait to get off to Agathonissi, but we decided to stay in Pythagorion on Monday for shopping and getting sorted out.

 Charlie went off to the beach, where he was not over-enthusiastic about going into the water!
In the afternoon Charlie decided to do some housework

So we bought him his own dustpan and brush.

On Tuesday morning Kai and Andrew went up by taxi to explore the ancient tunnel of Eupalinos, completed in 524BC to supply water to the town, a 1 kilometre tunnel cut straight through the rock.

As soon as they got back we were ready to go.
Charlie settled down, hooked on by his harness point.
We had a gentle sail down to Agathonissi with a dying wind behind us,

where we tied up to the rocks in town.

Kai’s  Italian friends Alessandro and Katerina were waiting for us as we came in and Kai and they were soon jumping off the boat into the sea.
We pumped up our new kayak and Becky and Andrew took Charlie out for a ride.

In the afternoon Charlie went to the town beach

That night we had spaghetti Bolognese on board.

The next day, Wednesday, we chilled, swam and had ice creams.

In the evening we went to dinner at Yanni’s,

though Kai was invited to join his Italian friends to walk over to a tavern on the other side of the island. When they got there, they found that the owner was ill so it was closed, so they had to walk back to have dinner in a little tavern in Megala Hora, up on the hill.
Dinner at Yanni’s with Charlie was a bit of a nightmare because his greatest pleasure, once he had stuffed himself, was running away. Although not busy, it was still a road so we had to keep chasing after him.

We had promised Kai that Alessandro and Katerina could sleep over on the boat. Fortunately they were tired out after their walk and went straight off the sleep.

On Thursday morning Becky, Andrew and Kai went round to Spilia beach in the kayak, while Lin and Simon walked round with Charlie.

Charlie made friends with some young Greek girls

Charlie walked back

While Kai Andrew and Becky came back in the kayak.

Charlie was not too keen to have a shower

But was happy to get to bed

On Thursday morning we decided to move round to anchor in the peace and quiet of Spilia.

Simon climbed up to the ridge with views down to spilia

And to the nudist beach on the other side (so-called because it has a battered notice saying that nudism is prohibited).

We left Agathonissi on Sunday 5th, with a good force 5-6 northerly wind giving us up to 8.5 knots. We soon reached Arki, where we went onto the quay.

Kai loves the café in Arki

And their little dog, which he tried to buy from them

And the square, where he can ride his bike and play football,

and we all love Nikolas’s taverna.

Charlie went cycling in the square with Andrew

On Monday we all (except Kai) had a hot half hour walk over the island to Paradise beach, though the sea was a bit choppy this time.

By the time we got back at lunchtime we were very hot and ready for a drink at Nikolas’

On Tuesday 7th we had to leave Arki for Lipsi because we needed water and supplies. We had a gentle downwind sail and arrived in time to get one of the last places on the more sheltered inside of the quay.
We had missed high drama the night before. A Turkish gullet had reversed at speed onto the quay. When the skipper put the engine into forward to stop the boat the gearbox detached from the engine and the gullet hit the quay at about ten knots, smashing in the stern and injuring the passengers, two of whom had to be taken to hospital in Leros and all of whom had to be evacuated because the boat was no longer seaworthy, now tied to the end of the quay till its fate is determined.

Kai had the bike out as soon as we were tied up.

On Tuesday night we had a cheap takeway – tavernas in Lipsi are not the best!
On Wednesday morning Becky, Andrew, Charlie and Kai took a taxi over to the beach at Kapsadia.

Kai was soon moaning that he was bored, so they came back before lunch.
In the afternoon we went round to the Lipsi town beach, which is shallow, sandy and warm, though Charlie insists on trying to run away up the road. Charlie’s other favourite activity on the beach is collecting stones from the top of the beach and taking them down to throw in the sea to make a splash.

Charlie almost swam – a bit of yelling but some big smiles too.

In the evening we had spag bol on board. Kai disappeared after dinner. We next saw him on a Turkish motor yacht, watching the tele in their huge lounge.
On Thursday afternoon a fishing boat came alongside the quay and the fishermen unloaded three swordfish. Kai was after them in a flash, following them into the Calypso restaurant where they had gone to sell them.

Then he came back with two swordfish heads

Favourite pastimes
On the computer

Trashing Gran's tissues (and hiding her brush, comb, makeup and anything else he can find)