We had a really enjoyable stay in Pithagorian on Samos. We had a full 2 weeks tied to the town quay which was free during March. We then had to plan our sail south to Kos to pick up Sophie. We were still getting 5 days of wind to every 2 days of calm and it quite often happened that I was working on the calmer days.
We were able to have a lovely sail back to Lipsi via the island of Agathonisi which we had been told was a lovely stop off. The wind back to Lipsi was perfect and we had a whopping sail reaching 8.5 knots. In Lipsi we had the quay to ourselves for a couple of days and then the weather turned horrid again.
We spent 3 nights hopping from one side of the quay to the other. When the wind is coming from the west we need to be on the east side of the quay, when it is from the east we needed to be on the west side so we will be blown away from the hard concrete quay. We woke one morning with the wind just changing so we agreed to help the French sailors who had come in the night before, move around and then they would help us with catching ropes etc.
Once again we were so thankful for having the 2 engines in the catamaran. It makes these manoeuvres with the wind and the rain so much easier. The poor French couple had a real job getting close enough to the quay even to throw the ropes to us.
Once we caught the lines we had a horrendous time trying to pull them in and secure them now in the driving wind and rain. We then went to release TopCat and drive her around and it was so much easier for us, we could get close enough to secure us easily so that the wind would push us off the quay but we were close enough to get on and off the boat.
The next morning though we had to do the whole procedure in reverse as the wind had changed back to the west and we needed to be back on the other side. It was lucky there were only the 2 boats so there was plenty of room for us to choose our spot.
Our next leg was a short sail to Leros where we would anchor and shop. We also needed to get Lilly to the vets as she has to have a rabies shot every year in order to have a pet passport in Greece and Turkey. Luckily the vet was able to see us on that day so I took Lilly around for her treat at the vets.
Obviously they don’t meet many Lilly’s, and in fact we were the only people in the vets apart from the a builder and someone making an appointment. This was just as well as they had set the clinic up with toys and dog biscuits at dog height. Lilly thought she had walked into a Doggy Play Centre. She was beside herself! Even the poster on the walls of cats and dogs had her standing on her back legs totally intrigued.
Just to put you in the picture, Lilly is a Hungarian Vizsla with the energy of 6 dogs or even 6 puppies. Living on a boat most of the time at anchor, she is still fascinated by every new scene, new beach, town or quay. We walk somewhere new every day and still she is hyper active. The vet couldn’t believe it. He was taking photos and videos of her as she leapt into his arms pleased at having all of this attention. When we had finished I had spotted some floaty toys and balls and asked if we could have one. The minute Lilly saw him getting one off the hanger she began barking in excitement. I suggested he cut off the labels and give it to her now to avoid her jumping over the counter in excitement. She stood swinging the toy into the air and leaping around like a circus performer. By now she had quite an audience as people were coming into the clinic just to see her performance. I was exhausted and ready for a lie down.
With the cupboards refilled and water tanks full we left Leros and the veterinary practice to sail to Kalimnos on route to Kos. We stayed there overnight and had a magnificent meal and a lovely walk around the old town which was very narrow streets and lots of colours. Kalimnos seems to be two mountains with the village sprawled through the valley in the middle. The visitors are mostly climbers challenged by the multitude of rocky outcrops.
Kos harbour was expensive. We soon realised why. 2 years ago they had had an earthquake which had seriously damaged the harbour and the remaining ancient buildings and castle. We realised a lot of the town was new building built amongst ancient ruins. A devastating earthquake in 1933 had demolished most of the town. The town had been rebuilt with earthquake defences in the 30’s and 40’s so lacked a lot of the old charm of many Greek places we have stayed. So the earthquake in 2017 had impacted only on the remaining ancient buildings and the town quay. We found this video on Youtube … (it isn’t my video so I can’t be responsible for all of the spelling and grammatical errors).
Because the strong northerly winds had set in again we knew we would be holed in Kos for a few days. Luckily Paul found entertainment in the chandlery who were quite happy to discount a lot of old stock. We also realised that they did life raft servicing, so we made the most of this and put our 6 man life raft in for it’s 3 yearly service. This is a great job that we can tick off the list. We had bought the boat with the life raft already one year out of date. For this reason we had bought our old 4 man raft with us which was still in date. Throughout the whole year of sailing, this was the first place we had found that actually did the servicing here that didn’t involve shipping it to Athens. This option hadn’t been favourable for us as it always means waiting 2 or 3 weeks so now we were pleased that we could get it done in the three days we were staying to wait for the wind to settle.
With Sophie safely on board we are nearly ready to carry on south to Symi and then onto Rhodes for Ben’s (Paul’s son) wedding.
Just a quick note about the wind! I know we are in a sail boat and a lot of you will be saying why can’t we sail when there is wind. We like to sail when there is between 3 and 20 knots of wind. In TopCat we can sail from 50 degrees to 150 degrees port or starboard (so that is not if the wind is directly in front of us or directly behind us because of the way the sails are set up). We don’t much like getting caught in gusty winds as we have a big sail area of 935 square feet with a “fully battened” mainsail and this gets a bit hairy in the catamaran as it has lots of power.
We are back on anchor and free to sail. (In the image above is the bay we are now sitting in). Well that is the theory anyway! In reality we need to do another shop and we need to pick up a parcel that hasn’t arrived yet So in the meantime we can test all of our...
Overwintering on a boat in Samos Marina, on the beautiful Greek island of Samos could be quite a lonely affair if it wasn’t for the live-aboard community, let’s refer to them as the ‘exuberant partakers of the odd libation’.... so one naturally forms, The Sunday Lunch...
With all of unknown surrounding Brexit, many UK sailors have been exploring all of the different ways in which we might or might not be affected by Brexit. Before we left the UK, we were approached by several doom and gloom merchants who felt that there was already...
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