SAILING DAY 6
Francine gets up at about 3am and checks that the boat has not moved. At 5am the motor starts up. Angela (G) has woken the captain as the boat has moved very close to the small beach. We assume positions and set off for the day. After about an hour Francine goes back to bed as she hardly slept during the night, whilst worrying about the boat hitting the rocks.
We are on our way to Santorini. There isn't much wind to begin with but later in the morning we are able to use the sails without the motor.
Santorini is one of several ancient volcanoes lying on the southern Aegean volcanic arc. The circular island volcano erupted in about 1450BC causing the centre to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs. The island is widely believed to be a candidate for the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
There were eruptions in 1929 and 1935 and we saw some photos of these eruptions. There was a major eruption in 1956 devastated the major city of Thira and it was rebuilt, terraced into the cliffs with domed churches and barrel-roofed cave houses.
We sail along the Caldara (meaning caldron). The Caldera is the centre of the volcano now the channel for shipping, cruise boats and us. We see the whitewashed house with coloured shutters and blue domed churches, many other coloured houses clinging to the sides of the cliffs. We sail past Oia on the point and moor under the town of Thira for lunch. Mooring the boat is interesting. There are very large mooring buoys, so Kutte instructs Angela (G) to jump onto the buoy and attach the rope and throw it back to Yvonne to secure. Then we have to get Angela back on board. She wants to jump in the water and swim to the back of the boat but Kutte insists she makes the precarious jump back onto the small timber seat on the bow of the boat. Eventually she is safely back on board and it is time for a swim and lunch.
We pull in the ropes and head to our port around the other side of the island Vlichada (pronounced Le Harder). It is Laurie's last night on the boat and her birthday in two days, so we are going out to celebrate. First
it is off to dinner at the taverna at the port and then we squeeze into the car hired by our next captain Dave and go into the town of Perissa for a few drinks. We find a taverna selling 3euro cocktails. Cheap as they don't have much alcohol and still taste good. The staff are told that it is Laurie's birthday and happy birthday is played over the sound system and they bring her a free cocktail.
Frangie heard that it was Laurie's birthday and made her appearance at the cocktail bar. She made a wonderful toast and got in on all the fun. We are sure Dave will warm to her eventually. She fitted in with girls immediately and they all wanted to know where she buys her clothes.
It's off to one of the beach side bars. We can't believe it is Saturday night and the place is deserted. We later find out that it is a new area that has flourished over the past two years and yet undiscovered by the Brits. Mostly Greek tourists venture here for their holidays. So we have the place to ourselves. There about 6km of beach. We meet
up with the group from the other GAP boat at the Question Bar. Francine tries her first Vodka Red Bull and likes it. The girls play pool with the guys from the other boat and Francine and Angie take another table and have a few games of their own. There are a few heated moments when rules are disputed and it is decided to play American rules, then Australian pub rules and then back to a game of skill with American rules. Fran agrees that American rules are better and fairer. We won a game a piece and Fran won the first game by default when Angie sank the black early in the game. It is getting late and Angie, Francine and Yvonne have had enough and are getting bored (bored in Santorini??) and take a taxi back to the boat. The other girls arrive back only about 30 min. later. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
SAILING DAY 7
We have the entire day in Santorini. We check the bus time table and it is a race up the hill to catch the 10.30am bus. Francine, Angie and Laurie arrive at the bus terminal in Thira. We find Laurie's
hotel and drop off her bags, then it is time to explore. It is a real tourist town. As we were walking up the hill we heard a loud bang and rev and a young guy in a black turbo car roared past. He only travelled about 6m / 20 feet and had to stop for the other traffic. We felt as if we had been transported back to our home towns. There are car / quad / scooter hire places all along the road and many people taking advantage of their services.
We wander back to the cable car and take a trip down to the harbour. This is where we see all the old photos of the volcano. Donkeys take tourists up and down the zig zag steps from top to bottom and vice versa. Further along the cliff we spy the buoy that we had tied our boat to the previous day. More souvenir shops and back up to the top on the cable car.
We meander through the maze of narrow streets ooing and ahing at all the beautiful glass work, jewellery and clothing. It is all euro so out of our price range.
We then see Yvonne and Angela (G), they have made their way into town and have just commenced sightseeing. We are on our way to the bus station.
The bus takes us along a winding, cliff side road, just wide enough for two vehicles and buses have to stop at the bend to if other vehicles are approaching. Oia is on the northern point of the island and is so picturesque. This is the picture post card town. According to legend the town is haunted and home to vampires. However we did not encounter any other than the street vendors. There is a marble staircase that leads to the red pebble beach and floating pumice stones. We scout around for a place with a view for lunch. We find the perfect restaurant and enjoy a leisurely lunch.. In fact time gets away from us and we scurry off to the bus station. We have to change buses in Thiro and luckily we are there in time for the last bus of the day. We bid Laurie a fond farewell as she is staying here in Thiro and catching the plane home to Tennessee in the morning. Francine and Angie
are lucky to have made it in time to catch the last bus to our harbor.
We are a little late for the group meeting. But Dave the captain is aware and not concerned. We do meet our new passengers for the next week. Bill is American, Jen and Julia are Canadian. So our boat in now full. Francine and I having a large late lunch decide not to go out for dinner this evening. Instead we write and do our favorite thing of NOTHING.
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