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Published: April 10th 2015
Some of you know I like to travel 'off season' - fewer crowds and cooler weather are just a few of the reasons. So when I booked this trip starting in Istanbul, then touring several Greek islands, and ending in Athens, I was keenly aware of how hot it can get in Greece. Thus, I opted for an early April date. Well, it has been not only cool but downright cold. My umbrella, rain ponchos, long underwear, gloves, and a hat from Peru have all been used. Really we had hail and sleet yesterday.
I joined the tour in Istanbul. The following day (Tuesday) we had a very early morning flight to Izmir to visit Ephesus. But that will be another blog.... We were hurried out of the carpet salesroom ( not a bad thing) because the Capt. of our ship, that was moored in Kusadasi, had called ahead and wanted to leave ASAP. It seemed a storm was headed to the Aegean Sea and he wanted to get our ship to a safe harbor. So we skipped stop #1 Patmos, #2 Amorgos, #3 Santorini, and traveled all night for a quick stop the following morning in Mykonos. We then
went to Naxos to seek shelter in their harbor for the duration of the storm.
Now it is Friday and we are still moored in Naxos. Wednesday we took a short bus tour around the island. Thursday we went out at night for a home hosted dinner which was more than wonderful. The struggle to get up and down the gangway was worthy of a video that could be entitled "really, you're going to walk down that?" The wind was howling. Six crew members were holding the walkway still so it wouldn't blow away. We arrived back about 9pm and did a slippery dance up the moving gangway with crew members stationed to catch us as we fell into the ship. Last night was the epitome of a rocking and rolling ship. Today, Friday, we are shipbound with all activities canceled.
This morning the Capt. told us that it is the strongest wind he has ever experienced and that included a stint during several hurricanes in Florida. On the Beaufort Scale (measures wind from 1-12) it was an 11! During the night the ship was really tossing. He told us that 5 of the cables holding the boat
to the dock snapped during the night and had to be replaced. He has sent for several more cables but since the ferries have also stopped running he isn't sure they will arrive. Oh, joy! The wind is hitting the bow and causing the ship to 'dance' on the swells which are caused after the waves hit the shore. The waves in port are only 4-5 feet but those out on the open sea are 21-24 feet high. He said the winds are coming down from Siberia- sure let's blame the Russians.
So here we all sit - some reading, some watching TV, some chatting, some playing with their phones, some reading and I'm letting you now that I got my wish for cooler weather. Fortunately the group is very compatible and so far no fights have broken out. The crew keeps plying us with drinks and food so there are a lot of happy 'sailors'.
Hopefully, I'll get to see more tha Naxos. No word on when we will leave here.....gives new meaning to those trite clichés " Go with the flow" or " Whatever floats your boat."
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