SAILING DAY 8
We motor out of the harbour and wave goodbye to Santorini. Francine takes the wheel. The is not much wind and this is a shipping and cruise liner channel anyway. We travel back through the Caldera and moor the boat on a buoy below the town of Oia, under the cliffs where we had lunch the previous day.
The water is 55m deep and blue. It calls our names and we all dive right in. We now have our noodles and float around. The water is cool, yet the warmest we have had so far and so refreshing. Jen is cooking lunch and we sit on deck eating stir fry veggies and rice. Fresh bread and delicious fresh butter.
We tidy up and motor off towards the island of Ios. Still very still and we don't use the sails.
The feeling is surreal. We are lazing around in the Greek Islands without a care in the world, except what food to buy and which island to go to next. Until last week we were on the go and now, well, it's time for a siesta. Zzzzzzzzz
IOS A few hours later
we arrive in the port of Ios. More white wash and coloured shutters. We moor the boat using the anchor and ropes. Angie jumps ashore and secures the lines. Well our work is done for the day. We are moored at the far end of the marina, which is good as it is a bit noisy closer to the other boats and cafes. A few drinks on deck and we have hot showers and dress for dinner.
We go to a restaurant that will live in our memories for the rest of our lives. The Old Byron is run by and English ex-pat running the place. I can't even describe how excellent this food was in taste and presentation. My mouth is watering as I type. Francine and Angie shared their meals which consisted of garlic mushrooms, a divine skinless baked potato wrapped in bacon smothered in a creamy garlic sauce and a prosciutto and veggie wrap served with cream cheese and a sweet chili sauce. This was an OMG meal! Even the bread was delicious with pepper olive oil. We couldn't finish the mushrooms so they were packaged up for a gourmet breakfast.
SAILING DAY 9
Garlic mushrooms and French toast. Sailing to the island of PAROS today. There isn't a wind so the motor will be our mode of power. The seas are calm. The trip is a long one so lunch is cooked while we are moving. This is something we haven't done but with calm waters it is easy to do. Francine is getting her sea legs and helps make the rice salad. Job done and she races back on deck and takes her position behind the wheel. Has got her sea legs although her stomach isn't getting with programme yet and she is queasy for a short time.
NEWS FLUSH ----- We stop in the bay near the marina of Paros close to a sandy beach and we lay anchor at 2.6 meters. Our boat has to have at least 2.5 meters to be safe. This water is clear and a fantastic place to swim. Many jump in right away. Angie gets out the snorkel gear and jumps in to explore the underwater world. Next Francine, Angela (G), Jen and Dave are in the water. Yvonne and Bill are on deck. Julia is sitting on the step
ready to take the plunge when she hears the toilet being pump flushed. She listens again and confirms it is the WC pump. We note Bryan is not on deck or in the water. Realization, we are in the water, Bryan is flushing and there is only one place for it all to go. There is a mad dash for the boat. We are laughing and panicking at the same time. Francine makes it to the ladder first and laughing so much she can't get her footing. Angela (G) threatens to push her up the ladder. Finally we are back on board. Angie is snorkeling further away from the boat and oblivious to all the action. Bryan walks up on deck and cops an ear full from all of us.
Rule 1 & 2 & 3 & .... - Do not use the WC when we are moored and going for a swim. He finds it humourous. Next time he will be tied to the anchor.
Angie has missed the excitement but she has some excitement of her own. When snorkeling in the past the list of sea life has been disappointing. And today starts out the same
with just a few fish swimming around. However Angie spies a sea snail. She has never seen one before and this is really cool but she doesn't have the camera with her. Francine dashes around looking and can't find the waterproof case, so Angie gets out of the water and gets the camera and gets back into the water and search again for the snail. Angie has made some mental notes of the area and was able to find the spot with ease. And lucky snails are slow moving. So Angie's day is made!!
We leave the idyllic area for port on the other side of the island. Dinner this evening is at a beach side cafe. Angie had pork medallions with a Parmesan cheese sauce and a side a fried cheese. It was good but not the best. Francine had a fantasticly delicious seafood risotto and zucchini balls for entre. Along with the atmosphere of being on the beach and watching another beautiful sunset, we would say we have had great day....again. Ooh, we went wandering around the shops along more whitewashed alleyways and bought some more earrings. Cheap but chic.
SAILING DAY 10
NONTUPLETS IN GREECE
Can we get a reality show too?
We set sail for NAXOS, yes literally sail, we have wind today and everyone is finally getting a turn at tacking. Angie and Francine have had some chance to play sailor and today we get even more experience. The wind in our hair, the sun working on our tans and the Greek Islands. And then the breeze died and we are back to motoring.
Francine and Angie had a siesta and woke as we were getting ready to enter the port of Naxos town. We have learnt to tie clove hitch knots and place the fenders around the sides of the boats. Fenders are the oblong rubber blow up floats used along the sides of the boat to stop it hitting other boats and the jetties. (notice our use of nautical terms, impressed are you?)
The island was a cultural center of classical Greece and of Byzantium. It also has Venetian and Frankish influences. This island is more fertile than other islands and they are self sufficient with their growing of fruits, olives and famous for their potatoes. Mt. Zeus is the highest peak in the Cyclades islands at 1004 meters.
The Temple of Apollo is
perched on the point. In the 3rd millennium BC there was a settlement near the islet and it is conjectured that the Palatia was the Acropolis of this Cycladic village. The area was subsequently deserted for many centuries. All we can see today are the foundations and the huge portal of the "hundred foot" temple begun around 530 BC by Lygdamis, tyrant of Naxos, but never completed
There are nice beaches and great water front restaurants.
There is free WI-FI YEAH!
Francine and Angie engage in our favorite pass time of NOTHING for a couple of hours on the boat just talking and planning our next adventure and we spend sometime in the internet cafe. We have a short visit from our former captain Kutte and plan to meet for dinner. This is Kutte's home island and we are excited to see him. The beach front restaurant is at the far end of the town. The best part is that it is a barbecue buffet. The selection of the different dishes are great and everything is delicious. And the sunset again is fantastic.
After dinner, Francine, Angie, Julia, Yvonne and Bill decided to go to a local
karaoke club. It was called ON THE ROCKS, a real hot spot on the island. Angie, Francine and Julia take the active sit in my seat approach to singing. Bill (the mild mannered teacher) surprised us all with his head banging renditions of Metallica, AC/DC, Limp Bizket. And to accompany his music Yvonne went into wild head banging dancing. I can assure you that everyone was having a good time.
After a very late night we couldn't wait to hit our bunks.
SAILING DAY 11
Francine and I slept till 9:30 and Kutte is coming at 10:00 for wind surfing lessons. So of course we are not ready so we make plans for later in the day.
Francine, Angie and Julia are the only ones wanting to try the wind surfing. We have to walk all the way to the end of town to meet Kutte and then a little further to the lagoon where the wind surfing takes place.
We are quite honored to have Kutte teaching us. Kutte started the sport in Germany in the 70's right at the very beginning of the sport. He at one time traveled the
world testing out boards and writing for a magazine also making a film about wind surfing. So now his nickname is the BIG KAHUNNA.
Kutte went to get our sails from the many to choose and saw him pass these awesome looking ones and continued to the very back and there sitting next to the kiddie sails were the school sails. Those are for us. We donned our booties and carried our sails to the waters edge to attach them to the board. We pull the contraption out into the water and get our first assignment. Stand on the board and pull the mast up to our bodies keeping the wind at our backs and swivel the board around. Well, this is not easy, balance is everything.
The second task; in the neutral position with feet on either side of the mast and the mast parallel to the center of your body the idea is to move the right foot out then the left foot is moved to the other side of the mast. Well, this is not easy, balance is everything.
The 3rd task was then to move the sail out to catch the wind. Oh
How I love ya, how I love ya
and if the wind direction or the board direction changed then you had to swivel the board around then try again. Well, this is not easy, balance is everything.
Oh and strength and stamina goes without saying!! We find out that we do not have much of any of it.
Well, we were able to get going and able to sail on the board for short distances. Francine sails off towards the marker buoys indicating our training area. Kutte tells her to come back, she is trying to turn around without success. Kutte tells her she'll have to get off and walk it back. Maybe next time she can take the turning around lesson.
Angie had managed to flip her board over with it landing / hitting her on her head, all in about 1 foot of water. She has many talents! She did get up and running on the board but not out to sea but towards the shore. She needs more time on lesson 2.
Kutte was nice enough to help us with photos after the lesson and the cabana boys were persuaded to assist with Frangie photos once they found out what a celeb
A FULL BOAT
3 kings, 4 queens & 2 jokers (that would be us)
A tiring session of wind surfing could only bring about a visit to the gelato (ice cream) shop. A perfect finish and reward for our adventure.
A quick shower and out for dinner. First off we have cocktails at a taverna. The girls in the group have bought Angie a gift. Well first of all you have to know the story of Angie's dolphin experience. To know this story you have to have Angie tell it to you in person. Anyway, she was presented with a small rubber dolphin with a piece of rope attached. For those of you who know the story, you will know what it is meant to be. So we took photos and had a great laugh, at the dolphins expense.
To dinner and this time our restaurant is roadside. By this I mean our table and chairs are actually sitting in the edge of the road. Cars are passing within 1 foot of us all night long. There is no prayer given before dinner because we are praying throughout dinner.
It is about 11pm, we walk through the waterfront street, past all the tavernas, cafes, restaurants. There are
still so many families with young children, couples, groups all taking a leisurely wander around. We are walking along the port and just happen to see Kutte sitting in front of his boat the "Chhristina" and he took us a tour of his 33 ft.boat and we again thanked him for such a great day. For us it is back to the boat and a good night's sleep.
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