We stayed in Arki for three days. Having wondered last week where all the yachts had gone, boats came pouring in and on Tuesday August 11th the quay was full with another half a dozen boats anchored in the bay. The vast majority of boats are Italian, both owned boats and charters, many more than in previous years. In Arki we chilled and swam, waiting to hear that our new dinghy had been delivered to Partheni. In Arki, Kai met a Greek English boy, Manolis, who had come on a day trip and whose father owned the taverna To Pefko in Lipsi, number one on Trip Advisor. So, of course, we had to move on to Lipsi so that Kai could meet up with Manolis.
We motored down to Lipsi on Wednesday August 12th, again in no wind, and tied up on the quay. Kai shot off to play computer games with Manolis. Since the new dinghy was arriving in Partheni the next morning, we motored down (again no wind) to arrive about 9. We waited for another boat to leave the place alongside the slip and went alongside as soon as they left. No sooner had we tied up than a big motor boat arrived to tell us that they had to go on the slip for repairs. We asked them to wait for an hour while we sorted out the dinghy. Simon went up to the office and the courier’s van arrived just as he got there. Two people from the yard brought the dinghy down to the slip for us and we unpacked it. Lin went off with all the packaging to put it in the rubbish bins. The yard told us that we could leave the old dinghy on the slip, for anyone who wanted to repair it.
As Simon pulled up the old dinghy to get the water out of it the temporary rope with which he had attached it to the davit broke and Simon fell flat on his back, banging his head on the deck, with his thumb pouring blood. Kai leapt up from below and Dmitra’s father (from the tavern at Arkhangelos) leapt aboard, as he had just come into the slip to collect passengers for the trip to the taverna. Kai insisted that Simon should not get up, but the bang on his head was not bad, so he wound some kitchen roll round his thumb. Meanwhile, Dmitra’s dad and the guy from the motor boat took over, lifting the old dinghy onto the quay, launching the new dinghy and attaching it to the davits, so that by the time Lin returned we were ready to leave. We motored over to Arkhangelos and anchored near the tavern. Lin dressed Simon’s wounded thumb – it was a big cut but not deep, with a big flap of skin to be secured with butterflies. Simon then pumped up the dinghy and we went ashore for lunch with Dmitra, who had already heard about the saga from her dad and greeted us like long lost friends.
As we were preparing for dinner aboard a couple of young Italians came alongside in their dinghy to warn us that they had a flotilla of ten yachts who were going to have a party on the beach at the other side of the bay. They apologized for the noise and invited us to join them, though we preferred to look, more or less in vain, for shooting stars and to get to bed in good time. In the end we could hear the party, but it was far enough away for us not to lose any sleep.
Next morning, Friday August 14th, we went back to Lipsi to do some washing and so that Kai could spend more time with Manolis. We met Manolis’s parents, Sheila, who had come to Lipsi when she worked for Laskarina Holidays and had eventually settled down with Nikos, who owned the tavern. She and Manolis had lived with Nikos on Lipsi for three years, but decided to go back to England for his schooling, coming to Lipsi for the summer, Easter and any other chance they could get, while Nikos came to England when he could get away in the winter. That evening we ate at To Pefko and, unusually, it certainly justified its top rating on Trip Advisor – undoubtedly the best restaurant in Lipsi town.
Saturday August 15th was Panagia. The church bells rang out early (actually it was not the bells, Kai told us, but a recording) and the liturgy went on for a couple of hours. There was to be live Greek music at Karnagio restaurant, close to the quay, that evening. Last time we had experienced music there it was deafening until 3 in the morning, so we decided to move off the quay and anchor off the beach on the other side of the bay. Nikos and Manolis came past in their motor boat, whose engine they had just been fixing, and Kai called out to them. A bit later Manolis and Sheila swam out to the boat from the beach. When they left, Simon took Kai ashore in the dinghy to play some more with Manolis. In the evening Simon went to pick up Kai and bring back some pizza for dinner.
Kai wanted to stay in Lipsi, but Lin was keen to get up to Samos in good time to be ready to meet Andrew and Charlie on Thursday morning. On Sunday morning we motored up to Arki (still no wind) and went into the anchorage. When we reversed there was a clunking noise from the transmission. Simon dived down and checked the propeller and transmission and could not see anything wrong, so we all went for a swim.
Kai then rowed us ashore to walk over to lunch at Nikolas.
Next morning, Monday 17th, we left Arki, in absolutely no wind, and motored up to Marathokampos on Samos.
We found a space on the inner quay, where the mooring line was very short, but just about OK. The clunking in reverse had got worst. Simon and Lin went to book a car for Wednesday and to do some shopping. Soon after they returned a Greek motor boat arrived and told us that we were in his place – there were indeed mooring lines attached on the quay. We did not want to make an issue of it, so we moved to the outer quay, which was a bit tricky as there was nobody to take our lines, but Kai jumped ashore to do the job and we tied up.
Simon dived again to find out the source of the clunking noise and discovered that one of the bolts had fallen out of the shaft anode so it was sliding on the shaft and banging on the cutless bearing. Simon, helped by Kai, got the anode off, found a bolt that fitted, and reattached it, so all should be well.
In the evening we went to an excellent giro restaurant on the front, the owner of which had studied aerospace engineering at Coventry University for four years. When we got back to the boat we saw that the passerelle of the French boat next to us had fallen in the water. Kai retrieved it and went to tell the French people, who were eating in the giro restaurant, what had happened. When he did not return, Simon went to look for him and met him surrounded by a dozen cats. He had bought himself four pork kalamaki and had given some to the cats. Kai made a run for it and Simon fended off the cats with his crutch so we got back to the boat without a flock of cats. The passerelle had fallen in again, so again Kai retrieved it.