Published: October 2nd 2010September 22nd 2010
Tuesday 21st September 2010
During the night the wind came up for the first time this trip as forecast. We slipped anchor at 6.30am to a breeze of about 15 knots which was very pleasant after all the motoring we have been doing. Mykonos, about 23 miles away was where we were headed as the forecast is for winds up to Beaufort 9 (over 30mph) for the next few days and this island would give us more options if we are delayed by weather.
The winds got stronger as we went, reaching over 31 mph and the waves making the boat most uncomfortable. Luckily, Judy had remembered to take her seasickness tablets. By the time we reached Mykonos it was about 1pm, we were all hungry, some a little queasy, and all of us happy to see the harbour. It was great to have several experienced ocean skippers on the boat, Judy & Rags not at all sorry now that they didn't go ahead and buy their own boat several years ago! Rags feels much happier towing a large caravan, even though he has sailed many boats over the years.
It was whilst berthing that all hell broke.
The anchor didn't hold when backing in, and with the strong wind the boat was bashed against the quay, putting some deep scratches in the side - not a good start. We then had to set the anchor by taking it and about 65m of chain out in the inflatable and winch the bow out, all the time keeping the sides of the boat from bashing into the pier. We succeeded and were able to use the moorings set there as well as our own, without further damaging the boat.
A relieved and hungry crew (we had missed breakfast and it was now 3pm) walked to the tavern on the other side of the harbour to a well-deserved drink and a tasty meal. After our meal, four of us returned to the boat to have a rest and to catch up on the blog, whilst the others went for a walk into the township. We are at the ferry port or new port of Mykonos which is a bus trip (or fair walk) from the old port and main town.
Mykonos is a rocky barren island however, it is apparently popular due to it's sandy beaches and dynamic
Souvenirs at Myknos
We aren't buying too many of these things as we already have enough to carry!
nightlife. It now survives on its reputation as the glitziest island in Greece.
A huge cruise ship arrived at the end of the pier filling many buses to transport them into the town. Ian had hired a car, getting it a day earlier as it was free. We joined him & Jen in a drive to the centre, the others still not back from their walk.
The town was busy with all the cruise people and as we couldn't find a parking spot Ian dropped us off to get some groceries. This worked out well, we found the supermart and were able to get some food for the evening meal and breakfast, Jen found us on the corner and took us to the parked car.
Brian & Lyn got dressed up and went into town for a romantic dinner together, Ian & Rags together preparing a pasta meal for the rest which was thoroughly enjoyed by the tired 6 who relaxed on the boat.
Wednesday 22nd September 2010
We all had a good night's sleep, the day before tiring us out. The weather hadn't improved with strong winds blowing. Hopefully this will drop in the
next day or so as we want to get to some of the other islands and need to be in Paros by Sunday at the latest.
Ian spoilt us by cooking omelets for breakfast after which the other 4 set off to hire a car, we stayed with Ian & Jen and took the car into town.
One section of town is named Little Venice because of the many narrow laneways lined with the white faced buildings, and as in Venice, we were able to lose our sense of direction. Luckily, Ian had a GPS with him and able to guide us about. The ladies found many shops to wander through buying a few things as reminders. Rags enlarged his wardrobe with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
A visit to some of the northern beaches showed that the tourist season was near its end, most having very few people in sight. Even though the bays were in the lee of the land there were not many spots where a boat our size would moor comfortably.
We headed off to Ano Mera Square, in Ano Mera, the second largest village on Mykonos and in the
middle of the island, this being the agreed meeting place for lunch. The Greek Orthodox, Panagia Tourliani Monastery has fine wood-carvings and a collection of icons and treasures. It was lavishly appointed inside, with the priest alternating between greeting people as they entered, and going out to a stall in the square near the church to sell artifacts.
The chosen cafe, Taverna - To Steki Tou Proedrou, was the chosen destination after the four of us had perused the menus and prices of all the cafes that were open and facing the square while waiting for the others. That this was the correct choice was supported by the number of people who were sitting there, and the service and food didn't disappoint. We shared a bottle of retsina whilst perusing the menu and waiting for the others, ordering a range of dishes when they arrived. Stuffed capsicum, Greek salad, sardines, Mykonos sausage, zucchini balls, grilled squid and meatballs were soon served and devoured making for a delicious and interesting repast. Just as we finished we were each given a glass of the local spirit, white in colour and very fiery.
On our return to the boat we stopped
at one of the local supermarkets to restock the fridge, the prices and range of foods away from the centre being better. Ian spent some time checking and tightening our mooring ropes, the wind still not showing any sign of abating. The clouds were scudding past and the boat rocked and strained at the sheets. Even so, the temperature is such that you can still get around in shorts and shirt, although a tracky top may be needed soon.
Thursday 23rd September 2010
Today we caught a ferry to the nearby island of Delos, an uninhabited island and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. After 167 BC the island was declared a free port and became the commercial centre of the area. The population is estimated to have reached 30 000 on this island which only measures 5kms long by 1.3kms long. We explored the ruins, the footpaths having drains underneath to flush away the sewage, other spots having large wells to store water which ran off the buildings. From some of the excavations they have discovered palaces, stadiums, temples, amphitheatres and even fountains in an environment which today is extremely harsh. The mosaics which
remain are very intricate, displaying the wealth which existed at this time.
We only had 3 hours to explore, the ferry dropping us off at 11am and the last ferry leaving the island at 2pm. Even though we hurried, we managed to climb the highest mountain on the mountain which gave us a view which showed how extensive the development was, but we did have to rush the final section. In the last section we saw amphora urns exposed to the elements, these protected in the past by the covering of sand, now weathering away. Hopefully they'll spend some of the money they earn from the landing fees (5 euro/person with up to 10 000 people each day) in giving these artifacts the protection they require if they are to be enjoyed in the future. Seeing a whole community the way we did today gives a much better picture of how the early people lived, compared to the sites we have seen on our travels amongst more modern buildings.
Lunch was at the same cafe where we had dinner last night, the food just as good but not the same atmosphere as we were served by the younger
staff, the owners not coming in until later. As Ian & Jen had already had lunch they went to the ship chandlery to get polish to reduce the markings on the side of the boat, as well as a new block to replace the one which exploded on our gybe.
Because we had a late lunch and no-one was particularly hungry, dinner was nibbles whilst we had our evening drinks of retsina, ouzo, vodka, red wine and/or beer. From this it makes us sound like a mob of boozers, but in fact it was more the large variety of drinks on board, than the quantity drunk.
There are more photos below