Greece – Crete to Rhodes.

A perfect downwind sail from Anafi island, took us to Gouves Marina, about 8 miles east of Iraklion in Crete.

Lesvos to Crete and on to Rhodes.

Back in 1980, I spent three months in Greece, including a month in Crete. The objective was to have a holiday and walk a bit, to get my legs in shape again. I had stacked my Suzuki 750 motorbike on the way to work, fractured my right femur and tore all the left knee ligaments. I read about the 18 km long Samaria Gorge in western Crete, starting near Chania at an altitude of 1,230m and winding down to Agio Roumeli on the south coast. This hike inspired me to carry on hiking along the Cretan south coast, walking east for about half the length of the south coast of Crete, sleeping on the beach and wherever I could unroll my sleeping bag.

Penny, Frank & Annie at a windmill.

So here we were again, planning to cruise the north coast of Crete with Annie’s sister Penny and husband Frank. They arrived at Gouves the next day from a cycling tour in Croatia and after getting provisions and topping up the water and diesel tanks, we set off east, to go with the building Meltemi. We found shelter in Khersonisos bay with reasonably flat water and only the occasional strong gust to bother our fish barbequing on board. The following day we continued east through a very confused sea and 25 knot winds, until we turned the corner at Cape Fatsi to get into the big bay of Kolpos Merambellou and in the lee of the land.

Spinalonga island.

A mile or two to the south, at the entrance to the Spinalonga lagoon, is Spinalonga island with its Venetian fort. There is a small deserted settlement which was a leper colony in the previous century. After 33 nm we anchored at Schisma in the Spinalonga lagoon.

Schisma harbour.

Nice place for a coffee.

View from our table.

Schisma town centre.

This is an attractive town offering walks along the shore as well as numerous tavernas, to have coffees or dinner. The wind increased to a full blown Meltemi gusting up to 30 knots in the two days we spent there. We figured there had to be less wind further south and motored to Ormos Porou where there was some wind shelter, close inshore in front of a holiday resort.

Generic resort – could be anywhere.

By the evening it was gusting 25 knots again, so the next day we motored another 6 miles south to Agio Nikolaos, where we booked into the marina. It wasn’t more sheltered here, but at least we were securely tied to a pontoon in the marina. It gave us the opportunity to do our laundry in the marina laundromat. I bought a Greek gas bottle with a regulator as backup, if we couldn’t refill the Aussie gas bottles by the time they were empty. We also had a pleasant evening in the old town with a superb meal at a taverna.

Agio Nikolaos marina.

Agio Nikolaos town – beautifully landscaped street.

The lagoon in Agio Nikolaos.

Dinner time – Dirk, Annie, Penny & Frank.

Penny & Annie in front of a church mosaic.

Photo for an old friend, who loves the word “Octopothi”

On Saturday, after five days on board, Penny and Frank caught the bus back to meet their children at a pre-arranged holiday apartment near Gouves. We spent another night in the marina waiting for the wind to abate and explored the old town. At this stage, we noticed that due to the 30 knot winds, the seagulls and pigeons were walking along the road, because they couldn’t fly. The wind didn’t let up, so we ended staying a third day in the marina until the Monday when we bought more Vodafone data and posted stuff to Karen.

Screenshot of “Windy” on Saturday.

Vasilis, on the boat next to us, gave us some tips on the best route, sailing to Rhodes. By 11 am on Monday, we left the marina and motored back to Ormos Porou where we found a reasonable anchorage with varying levels of wind gusts, interrupted by the continuous drone of speedboats pulling inflatable couches of varying designs, filled with shrieking kids, testing the limits of the flexibility of their spines. The physios and chiropractors in this area must have a field day. We were to wait another two nights before the weather forecasts indicated a temporary drop in wind speed to about 15 knots, by the Wednesday and Thursday.

Ormos  Porou, in the split second that there were no speedboats in the frame.

On Wednesday the 15th August, we set off at 7am to do the 23 miles to Cape Sidheros, the eastern tip of Crete. Well, hello! Within 10 minutes, we had to fully reef the main, furl the jib to about 15% of its area. In a big sea and on a broad reach we were bowling along in 25 – 27 knots of wind, hitting 10 – 11 knots going down the waves. We reached Dragonara island, just north of the cape in record time and anchored in a sheltered bay to recover. So much for weather forecasts – Valium or Zoloft please. Hang on, I have Retsina wine for a relaxed arvo.

Waiting for Wednesday at this quiet spot in Kher bay, two miles to the north of Ormos Porou.

At 6am the following day we set off, sail reefs still tucked in, to do the 36 miles across, reputedly, the worst seas, to Kasos island. “Anchor in Fry on the north side, because the south side, which although in the lee, is even worse” Vasilis said. OK, we were going to go around the south side, but let’s listen to local knowledge. The weather the next day was much like the day before and we got to Kasos having averaged 8 knots in a very big sea. Then, a big surprise – we haven’t seen any Aussie boats in Greece up to now, but tied up in the harbour were two boats from Fremantle, Perth. We were quickly welcomed and everyone met on Esprit for sundowners.

Three Aussie boats in Kasos harbour.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie …

Oi, Oi, Oi!

The small Kasos fishing harbour.

Close up of the church.

Clive and Jenny Willis from Perth on their Beneteau 45, mentioned that George, their impeccable Greek source, had told them the following day would indeed be a low wind day. They were going to leave early to do the 60 miles to Khalki island, west of Rhodes. We decided to accompany them and set off at 6 am, despite a hangover. We had perfect conditions with a flat sea and 14 – 18 knot winds on the beam, zooming past Karpathos to reach Potamos Bay, next to Khalki harbour at 2 pm. Sixty nautical miles in 8 hours, averaging 7.5 knots SOG (speed over ground).

Khalki harbour.

On approaching Potamos Bay, who should arrive from the opposite direction – Mike and Sarah Mason on Soul! After a good night’s sleep, we picked them up with the dinghy the next morning, to go ashore and walk the kilometre across to Khalki village. Here we found Clive and Jenny’s boat tied up to the town jetty and went aboard “Australie” to introduce them to Mike and Sarah. A coffee in the quaint village, with a visit to the bakery and supermarket followed, before we walked back to Potamos bay. We stayed for two days.

Church and cemetery on the way to town.

Lovely old house on the waterfront.

Dimitri’s bakery on the town square doing a roaring trade.

This guy had to go and buy a bread, but bumped into a friend – for a game of backgammon.

Our next stop was the island of Alimia, eight miles to the north, which was used by the Germans as a U-boat submarine base during world war 2. We did a long hike and visited some of the deserted buildings. In one of these, nostalgic German soldiers drew a series of cartoons, depicting what life was like back home and what life might been like on some distant tropical island, if there had been no war.

WW2 quarters on Alimia.

Some of the cartoons.

Dancing with a mermaid on a tropical island.

The following day we had a relaxing 33 nm downwind sail to Rhodes, where we anchored next to the marina. They say you either love or hate Rhodes. We love it, especially the old town. On this our third visit, the number of tourists is overwhelming, as it still is the European summer holidays.

Dolphins outside Rhodes old town.

Street with the lodges of the Knights of St. John.

Lots of tourists.

A refreshing beer.

 

Tomorrow, Joe and Mary arrives to join us for 6 days of cruising. We will report on that in due course.

Cheers for now!

Greece – Eastern Sporades and Dodecanese islands.

While checking our current latitude and longitude, I realised that we were further north of the equator than Sydney is to the south of it. Also, we have covered 120 degrees of the 360 degrees of longitude, so were now about a third of the way around the world – and with the other two thirds to go, the best is still to come!

Mitilini harbour – Lesvos.

After a brisk sail of 11 nm from Dikili in Turkey, we arrived in Mitilini harbour on the Greek island of Lesvos just after lunch on Wednesday the 18th July 2018. It took 2 hours to clear in through the passport police, customs and the harbour master and cost EU 45 for a Greek transit log and first stamp of entry. Annie with her UK passport, can stay for a year in the EU Schengen countries, Esprit for 18 months and me with an Aussie passport, only 90 days. Then I have to leave for 90 days to a non-Schengen country, before returning!

Looking for a place to buy phone cards in Mitilini.

Sappho, the Greek poetess was born on Lesvos in 612 BC. Allegations that Sappho was a lover of her own gender, gave the word lesbian to the world. Mitilini is a big town without much character, so we left at 5pm and motored south to Fteli, where we anchored at 7pm. We were alone in this quiet little bay, so we decided to stay for two nights, run the water maker to fill the tanks, clean the boat and do two loads of washing. I also managed to clean the life raft locker and while I had access to the rudder shaft, to lubricate the top bearing as the steering had become sticky.

Route: Lesvos to Crete.

Mandraki harbour on Oinoussa.

The following day we had a downwind sail to Khios, 38 nm to the south and put in to Mandraki harbour on the small island of Oinoussa, a mile off Khios island. A stunning little harbour where we had dinner at Pericles’s restaurant as well as coffees the next morning after walking to the Orthodox church on top of the hill. A 47 ft Dufour yacht arrived to tie up next to us and we helped to secure their stern lines to the quay. On board were three friendly French couples who invited us over for drinks. Annie had a chance to practice her French and we had a great time learning about their lives and children in France – we will stay in touch.

Walking in Oinoussa.

Up to the church.

Mini fishing boat.

Tying up in the harbour cost us EU7.50 – we paid with a smile and left Mandraki at 1 pm the next day, to sail the 23 nm to the southern tip of Khios and anchored at Ormos Kamari in a howling 25 knot north westerly. An hour later, in this strong wind, a 45 ft Lagoon catamaran anchored nearly on top of us, 10 metres away. I took photos and videos of this stupidity, in case it resulted in an insurance claim. Fortunately, the wind died down after two hours and we were able to leave undamaged the next morning to sail to Evdhilos harbour, on the north coast of the island of Ikaria.

Now, you will read the names of a lot of lesser known Greek islands. The reason being: In the seventies we all visited the popular islands – grooving to Pink Floyd on Ios, sleeping on the beach in Paros, smoking Tarzan tobacco in Santorini and sunning in the nude on Paradise and Super Paradise beach in Mykonos. Our less hedonistic lifestyle today, has focussed our minds on the less touristy islands. Did I hear someone say: “Coming back to give something back to the less fortunate”? LOL.

Evdhilos harbour.

Evdhilos is a sleepy little fishing harbour and after exploring the town, we decided to stay for two days and chill. Again, without boring you with photos of our food, we had excellent calamari, baked pork and a Greek salad with a local white wine for about AUD 18. Can’t get any better. The next morning, we took a brisk walk around town and finished off with a Greek coffee on the quay. At this stage, we were still not able to buy Greek SIM cards for our phones, so a coffee or a beer at a taverna with free Wi-Fi is the way to collect emails.

Dinner on the waterfront.

View of the town and harbour from the hill.

Moored next to us was a Beneteau 47.7 from Marmaris with a friendly Turkish couple on board. We had them over for drinks in the evening and it was interesting to hear their views about the incumbent Turkish president, Erdogan, who appears to want to be president for life (The African model). They also worry about his emphasis on Muslim schooling, as a threat to their secular republic. The next day we had a good sail to Marathakambos, a small fishing harbour on the south coast of Samos. Strong katabatic gusts of 30 knots, off the mountains hit us during the night, so we didn’t have a good night’s sleep.

Approaching Marathakambos backed by the high mountains of Samos.

This 230 foot super yacht anchored next to us.

We decided to not brave more wind and sailed the 23 nm to the small island of Agathonisi where we anchored in the small harbour of Agios Georgios. It was worth spending two days here and enjoying meals at George’s taverna and Memento’s café. At this time the fires near Athens had burned and all the Greek flags were flying half-mast. On our walks to the nearby villages of Horio and Mikro Horio, people were offering prayers to those affected, at their small Greek orthodox churches.

View from our anchorage to the village.

Water so clear, you can see your shadow on the sand 3m below.

Walking up to Mikro Horio.

Passing a chapel.

Chapel interior.

View from Mikro Horio.

On leaving Agathonisi for Patmos we were looking forward to a following wind, but this was not to be – we had to motor the 22 nm to Patmos on a mirror like sea, passing Arki island on the way. Skala, the main town of Patmos, is a bustling place with quaint buildings, narrow streets and many tourist shops. At last, we were able to buy Vodafone SIM data cards for our phones as well as decent retsina wine. Annie was brave enough to cycle the steep road up to the monastery and chora, whilst I did the shopping.

Patmos harbour.

Patmos town.

A beautifully restored Fiat 500 Topolino – check the rattan seats.

The wind kicked in the following morning and we had a marvellous broad reach in 12 – 14 knots of wind, to cover the 21 nm to Xerokambos, in the south of the island of Leros. We had an email from Mike and Sarah on Soul informing us that they were anchored in Palionisou on the east coast of Kalymnos, only 9 miles to the south. We hadn’t seen them for about 3 weeks, so the following morning after a walk through the village, we motored through a lumpy sea to pick up a mooring in Palionisou to catch up with Mike and Sarah.

Palionisou.

At sundowners with Mike and Sarah on their boat, they introduced us to a couple from Slovenia, on a boat next to them. These friendly people were principal ballet dancers in various major ballet companies and at 70 and 67 years have physiques only dancers can sport. A liquid dinner with baked goat and Greek salads at a local taverna saw the night out.

Sarah with Mathea and Igor the dancers.

After a recuperating walk through the village the next morning, we sailed the short distance of 9 miles to Vathi on Kalymnos. This is a narrow fjord like anchorage at the foot of the fertile Vathi valley. Tied up at the town jetty, you step off the boat into the street with tables and chairs from the tavernas right there. A bit noisy at night, as we discovered that every male from 15 to 50 who owns a 50cc moped, removes their silencers to give them the make believe roar of a Harley-Davidson motorbike. The next morning, we took our exercise walking up the valley and climbing to some chapels for a view over the valley and the harbour.

Noise on your transom.

Vathi harbour on Kalymnos.

View up the fertile Vathi valley.

On our walk up the valley – a micro chapel.

A lazy 26 nm downwind sail later in the morning took us to Kos island, where we have visited the north coast and main town on two previous cruises. We anchored on the south west coast at Ormos Kamares. This was not a particularly interesting town, so the next day we sailed 32 nm to the west, to the island of Astipalaia. A 13 -15knot north wester had us humming along over a flat sea at 7 – 8 knots. A sailor’s dream conditions. We passed numerous charter yachts motoring without sails and we thought that buying an ex-charter yacht, will give you a boat with as new sails, but maybe a knackered engine. Different strokes for different folks.

Tied up in Skala harbour on Astipalaia.

On Wednesday the 1st August 2018 we tied up in Skala harbour on Astipalaia island where the friendly port policeman told us there are no charges in their harbour – what a welcome change, although so far, the standard port charges for our boat have been EU 7.50, which equates to AUD 11.60 and is very reasonable.

View from the beach – the castle top left.

The following morning, we walked up the hill, where the castle built by the Venetians, dominates the chora. Legend has it that the castle was successfully defended on one occasion, by the defenders throwing beehives onto the attackers (Sort of Asterix and Obelix). From the castle there is a magnificent view to the surrounding islands. It was as usual, good exercise, rewarded with an iced frappe in the chora, some shopping at a bakery and finally, a swim down at the beach.

Halfway up the hill.

Three quarter way – getting tired.

Nearly there.

The entrance, at last.

Not one, but…

..two churches in the castle.

View on the way down.

Windmills in the chora.

Rewarded with an iced frappe.

Colourful alleys on the way down.

After two days we had to start making our way towards Crete to meet Annie’s sister Penny and her family, so we did the 36 nm sail to Nisos Anafi, which is like a barren burnt lump of island in the southern Cyclades. This was a one night stop before doing the 65 nm sail to Iraklion in Crete.

Our next post will cover Crete and then the sail to Rhodes to meet Annie’s brother Joe and his partner, Mary. Cheers for now.

 

 

Turkey – the Aeolian coast.

After leaving Port Alacati in Turkey on Monday 16th July 2018, we passed the Greek island of Khios to port, and then saw a NATO warship patrolling the strait between Greece and Turkey. We were now entering the Aeolian coast as we sailed past Cesme. The wind was in our favour and with main and jib up, we averaged 7 – 8 knots to take us to Foca bay for a 52 nm day. Foca is at the mouth of the Bay of Izmir, but we decided not to sail into Izmir as it is now a huge commercial harbour – also my brothers and I travelled overland from Istanbul to Izmir in 1975 and we didn’t find much of interest on the Anatolian plain, or in Izmir.

Dikili – our last Turkish port of call.

Our next stop was Dikili harbour where we planned to clear out of Turkey, before sailing the 11 nm across to the Greek island of Lesvos. The harbour was chockers, so we tied up next to a number of big fishing vessels at the harbour entrance, requiring an interesting climbing/walking trip over 5 vessels to shore. Tuesdays are the big fresh fruit and vegie market day in Dikili, when the farmers bring their produce to town. Annie was in her element buying fresh produce at a smidgen of Sydney prices. A pain getting this all back on board.

Tied up next to the fishing vessels.

Market.

More market.

Overflowing on the streets.

In the afternoon we set off to find the harbourmaster which is your first stop in clearing out. Dikili not being a tourist town, had very few English speakers, resulting in us crisscrossing town before we eventually tracked his office down. He had decided to take the afternoon off, so his secretary called him on his mobile to ask what to do. His English was passable and he told us to call around at 8am the next morning to process our documents. So we spent the afternoon sightseeing and shopping at Migros for food, wine and beer.

Dikili town square.

Next morning at 8am, we were back at the harbourmaster’s office – his secretary serving us tea until he arrived at 9:10am. From here on, things picked up – he only took 45 minutes to complete all the documentation, before giving us instructions of how to get to customs and the harbour police, who processes passports. This was completed in 15 minutes and then we had to return to the harbourmaster to drop off his stamped copies. He then wished us a speedy return and we took our leave without having to pay a Turkish lira.

This then completed our 8-week cruise from Anamur in the east of Turkey, to Dikili in the north west, during which time we covered 768 nm (1,422 km) and enjoyed the hospitality of the friendly Turkish people, saw some amazing historical sites and made many new friends.

Our Turkish coastal route.

As an aside, I had completed Andrew Mango’s definitive biography of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which strips away the myth to show the complexities of the man beneath. Ataturk was a man who enjoyed his tipple – when his secretary Hasan Riza Soyak urged him to cut down on his drinking, he replied: “I’ve got to drink, my mind keeps on working hard and fast to the point of suffering. I have to slow down and rest at times. When I don’t drink, I can’t sleep and the distress stupefies me” …… On hearing this, Annie decided to call me Atadurk!

Final chuckle – first the seagull phone, here we have the dolphin phones!

Our next post will start in Lesvos, Greece, from where it will be downwind sailing through the Eastern Sporades and Dodecanese islands – we will catch up in due course.

Turkey – the Ionian coast

First up, apologies for our website going down about three weeks ago. Our hosting company in the USA told me, that some plug-in used on the site, malfunctioned. This could only be fixed by paying a developer on their side AUD 112 to trouble shoot and sort it. Evidently, I need to update plug-ins when alerted to do so. After that came the news that we had a random malware attack on the site, which cost another AUD 584 to clean up and be given a clean bill of health for the site – let’s hope all goes well for the next couple of years!

The concrete coast.

Over the past three months I have spent a lot of time alone in the cockpit while making passages, as Annie spends all her spare hours down below, doing an intensive course in French, to brush up on her school French of many years ago. I would occasionally invite her up on deck to do sail changes or to look at once in a lifetime scenery. There was no need to call her up much, as we left Gumusluk to sail east around the Bodrum peninsula – the reason, as mentioned in our previous post, the “Concrete coast” stretching on for miles.

Entrance to Iassus – the Byzantine tower with the fort on the hill above.

Still, there is a blessing in these developments being limited to about 4-storeys, fragmented into smaller blocks and painted uniformly white. It did get a bit boring though, so we took a shortcut across the Gulf of Korfezi, to anchor in the ancient harbour of Iassus, which is entered though a narrow passage between the ruins of a Byzantine tower and a sunken breakwater. We were welcomed by two German yachts who invited us over for drinks. They had sailed from Germany via the Black Sea to visit this site, their furthest point south.

The harbour entrance tower from the hill.

Iassus was colonised from about 900BC around this harbour and has remains of the Agora, theatre and houses on the hill on the eastern side. The substantial fort on top of the hill was built by the Knights of St John, during the Crusades. We were able to explore this magnificent site the next morning, the only people about, marvelling at intricate floor mosaics, more than 2,000 years old and still in good condition – we wondered which type of tile adhesive they used! Some of the wall murals still intact. The site is enchanting.

The fort built by the knights – note the recycling of materials.

Floor mosaics.

View down to Iassus village and anchorage.

From here we motored through numerous marine (fish) farms, directly to Altinkum on the north side of the gulf, to get into the lee of the land and out of the Meltemi. This proved to be a bad choice, as the locals had decided to challenge Bodrum for supremacy in the doof-doof music stakes – until 4 o’clock in the morning. The mosquitos in town couldn’t handle the noise and decided to fly out to sea and seek refuge on Esprit!

Fish farms.

Bleary eyed, we left Altinkum after an early walk ashore, to tie up at the Didim marina, a mile to the west. We had to make this stop as the Turkish “Mavi” or blue card requires us to have our two black water holding tanks pumped out and logged, once a month – or face a huge fine. Good on them for their effort at minimising waste pump outs in their beautiful anchorages. We can only hope the day tripper boats and gulets with their hundreds of punters on board, does the right thing. We also filled up with water and diesel.

Cheerio Altinkum.

An early night in a secluded bay at Cukurcuk with one other yacht followed – with no music or mozzies.

More fish farms.

Going north from here to the narrow strait between Turkey and the Greek island of Samos, there are dozens of fish farms to navigate, until you reach the small anchorage of St Nikolas, 21 miles to the north. This little anchorage presented us with the worst challenge in anchoring since we left Sydney. After 11 attempts, the anchor eventually bit in a sandy patch between the luxurious seaweed on the bottom. All of this accompanied by loud outdoor voices – thankfully, there were no other yachts in the anchorage. Although only midday, this necessitated a few calming Efes beers, as soon as the GPS confirmed we were stationary.

St. Nikolas anchorage.

The next morning, we motored through the Samos strait, slightly less than a mile at the narrowest part – the closest Turkey and Greece get to each other. We took the shortest route to Setur marina in Kusadasi harbour, as this west facing bay is in the teeth of the prevailing westerly Meltemi and there are no other anchorages between the strait and Kusadasi. We took the bikes out and cycled through Kusadasi, which is a quaint town, focussed on tourism. The old caravansari and the castle in the harbour were really worth the visit.

The Samos strait.

Entering Kusadasi.

Kusadasi town – colourful housing.

Visiting the castle.

It also gave us the chance to take a taxi early the next morning to Ephesus, about 18km inland. Ephesus is home to some of the most impressive ruins in Turkey. Originally occupied by the Lydians, until the Ionians arrived in 1,000BC. Ephesus survived Alexander the Great’s conquest and later as the Roman capital of the province of Asia, entered its greatest period of prosperity. It was sacked and destroyed by the Goths in AD 263. The site today is impressive – you can walk down the marble streets and see the ruins of the theatre, agora, library, odeon, stadium, gymnasium and even the brothel, the bones of the ancient city laid bare. It takes little to visualise what life was like here. After a two-hour walkabout, the taxi took us back to town.

Entrance to Ephesus.

The Great theatre could seat nearly 24,000 people.

Inside the theatre.

The Curetes street.

Temple of Hadrian.

The Celsius library.

Celsius library detail.

Gate of Mazeus to the Agora.

Vicinity of the State Altar.

The Nike of Ephesus.

Inside the hillside houses – marble wall cladding.

Frescoes on the higher walls.

Seeing that it was still mid-morning, Annie decided decided on some retail therapy. She noticed that ladies clothing and swimsuits were very well priced compared to Sydney. Turkish ladies also have fuller figures and therefore she could buy bikinis for gals, with more than a handful. I managed to buy a 665 page English biography on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the much revered father of the modern Turkish Republic. Afterwards, we set sail for Cam Limani and had a robust 14-mile sail in a building north easterly, to anchor in a small bay.

Kusadasi marina.

One of the new bikinis.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The good sailing continued the next morning until we rounded the Doganbey Cape to set course for Teos Limani, when a 25 knot northerly hit us. After tucking in two reefs in the main and furling the jib to 50%, we were still overpowered. With only the reefed main, we managed to motor sail into an increasing swell to reach Teos anchorage at around midday. The anchor bit well the third time in sandy patch and we enjoyed lunch and a beer watching the board sailors screaming past us in the pumping northerly.

Strong wind sailing.

Fun, fun, fun – longing back to those days at Big Bay in the 80’s.

The plan was to sail around the Teos peninsula to Sigacik to visit the old walled town, but the wind was still gusting 25 knots the following morning. We were confident that the anchor had bitten well in the sandy patch amongst the seagrass, so we went ashore and walked across the peninsula through the remains of ancient Teos. It was a pleasant 3km walk through ancient olive trees and citrus orchards, and it took 40 minutes to reach Sigacik. After walking through the walled town, we had brunch and coffee at a bakery, before walking back along the 3km dirt road. The dinghy and boat were still there. We slept well that night.

Inside Sigacik walled town.

Another pretty street.

The weather forecast indicated two more days of a strong Meltemi, so we upped anchor and had an exhilarating sail in 25 knots of wind on the beam, with only the jib up to reach the lee shore of Kirkdilim bay. Beautiful clear water with not a soul in sight – but unfortunately a swarm of bees came to visit us at sunset. Annie tried some earlier advice and burned ground coffee, which, together with my frantic swatting, drove them away. The following day’s sail to Port Alacati was a replay of the previous day, minus the bees. We sailed out of the Ionian coast area when we passed Cesme the next day to enter the Aeolian coast.

We will report on the Aeolian coast in our next post. Cheers for now!