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June 27th 2009
Published: June 30th 2009
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(ya ya) means grandmother

DAY 73

We wake up on the boat in our little cabin and can't wait to get up and start our sailing adventure. Breakfast is hand squeeze OJ, bread, butter, jam, coffee, juice, cheese. Breakfast lingers on and Angie especially getting impatient. Finally the boat is underway however the winds are not favorable. So we have to motor out till we can catch the wind.

The captain allows each of us to steer the boat. We find that steering with the sails up is a tricky business and needs constant and full attention to catching the wind. We are enjoying our ride even though the boat is leaning to one side while the sails are up. So most of us are on the starboard side to

Some of us want to go swimming so the captain stops on the coast of Kalymnos and allows the boat to drift. Yvonne jumps in first and we immediately find that the currents are very strong and the boat quickly drifts away from her. I jump in next and now know to stay close to the boat and Laurie jumps in after me and we both swim to maintain an arms length away from the ladder. The water is very cold and we quickly return to the boat, now cooled off we are ready to sit in the sun. The Captain is with Angela(German) up at the bow teaching her how to tie knots and doesn't react quickly to requests to go pick up Yvonne who now has drifted very far from us. She has been trying to swim back to the boat but to no avail, the current is too strong. Finally Francine gets through to the captain that Yvonne needs to be picked up. He finally stops his knot tying lesson and turns the boat around to pick up Yvonne. A real reminder that this trip has its dangers.

We then motor to the other side of island of Kalymos and dock in the marina. This island is full of mountains and is known for rock climbing. Sponge diving is the main activity and item for sale on this small island. It has 16000 inhabitants and is 111 square km big. This is a small little Greek town with a colonnade along marina with restaurants and shops. Francine and I

We have yet to use this table we always eat out on the deck. This is like the dining table at home that is the catch all table.
use our free time on the internet. But the Greek phone system is com ce com sa. Which means it goes off every few minutes. The advice from the internet owner is wait a few minutes it will come back.

Dinner is a group affair to a place recommended by Bryan a fellow passenger. It is a quaint little place in a side alley. I am not that hungry and plan to split a plate of grape stuffed leaves. But another passenger takes it upon herself to direct my order to be one for the entire group. This is something that I was unaware of at the time the order was placed as I was talking. So when the meals came, there was nothing prepared for me as my meal had been used as an appetizer by the group. I wasn't very please to say the least. There are many strong people on this boat and it will be interesting to see how the group dynamics will play out.

Off to bed to hopefully dream of a better day tomorrow.

DAY 74

The boat crew is up and around about 8:00 AM some early risers have

And even our luggage has to fit on the bed!
been up for a while. We all make our own breakfast and move away from the dock by 9:30. We are once again using the motor there is no wind today. We travel till 12:30 and anchor off the coast of Leros in a sandy bay area. The water has been really choppy today and Francine has some queasy moments but that doesn't last for long and steering the boat helps her to focus and overcome the feeling.

After a short break and some lunch we travel on to our dock for the night at Lakki. This is a really nice place with clean bathrooms, shower and washing area. Also has free internet service. Upon docking Francine, Yvonne, and Angie talk a short walk to either side of the dock and buy some items from the market as Angie Francine and Laurie will be making lunch tomorrow. It is fantastic to be able to take a shower after a long hot day. Now where to go for dinner...Laurie has met some people and they give her a name of a restaurant up on the hill overlooking the bay called Dimitri's. We jump into a taxi and off we go. It is a really nice place with a great view.
Dinner is good and as always way too much food. Francine wants a carrot for her meal that she will be cooking so she asks the waiter for a carrot. He is not sure at first what she wants and of course we are all laughing at what the waiter might be thinking.
The taxi arrives to take up back to the boat and he asks use where we want to go and we say “the marina”. He stops the taxi and turns around and proceeds to go the opposite side of the island. We don't say anything to him because we see this castle perched up on the hill that is all lit up and we travel through this really nice city and he finally pulls up at the harbor. BUT it is not the harbor where our boat is. We say we want to go to the marina and he says This is MARINA. We repeat this several times until we understand that the city is called Marina and our marina is actually called Lakki. We laugh all the way back to our boat. We paid a little extra for the taxi ride but well worth the sights and the laugh.

It is after midnight when we finally retire. Another long tiring day of doing nothing. OH how will be ever get use to it!

DAY 75


Angie is making French toast for breakfast this morning. She uses fresh bread and eggs. Us Americans are used to eating this with Maple syrup. Angie at home eats it with cinnamon and sugar. Laurie the other American tried it with honey and liked it. The people on the boat ate it with salt on it. Some have never heard of making French toast sweet only savory. None the less everyone enjoyed and we discuss cultural food differences..

Our sailing to today will be good. There are good winds in the forecast. Kutte the captain asks Angie if she want to take the boat out of the harbor and off we go.

We are headed for the island of Levitha. We are able to raise the sails as soon as we are out of the bay. This is a tricky time to steer the boat and you always have to be catching the wind so the boat has to be on to the right of the wind. Don't expect us to get too technical here because this in our maiden sailing adventure. The winds are making the sea very rough and after about an hour under Angie's sailing the captain returns to the helm. Francine's reaction is to sit up abruptly and ask in a soft panicked voice “Don't do that?” Everyone else laughed. During this time the boat is leaning heavily to starboard. Then after a short break Angie is once again summonsed to steer while lowering the sails because of very strong gusts. We eventually head around the point of the island and are sheltered from the strong southerly winds.

We arrive in the sheltered bay of Levitha. There are five other boats moored from various countries. We relax on deck and take a dip in the crystal clear water. Kutte launches our small blow up dingy and attaches the motor. The motor won't start.. Mmmm, we will have to row to the jetty.

We freshen up for dinner and notice a timber boat collecting people from other boats. We gain his attention by Francine doing her

Boats will anchor in the little cove and the Levitha family will water taxi people to shore for the short walk up to the farmhouse for dinner.
big wolf whistle. And here he comes and be all get on board and tie our little dingy to the back. We walk across the crop paddocks, surrounded by high stone walls to protect from the wind, through large swing gates, making sure we lock them behind us so the goats and sheep don't escape. 300m up the track we arrive at the homestead. There is one family living on the island and have done so for many generations. They have solar and wind energy.

We enter a small al fresco dining area within the walls of the home. We have a choice of fish, goat and lamb dishes, all taken from the island, along with mezze dishes. Dinner is delicious and in the background the goats are wandering around. It is dark when we return to the jetty and have to go three at a time in the dingy to return to the boat. We have two oars. Yvonne and Francine are at the back and Angie and Kutte are at the front stoking the oars. Angie tries to keep in time with Kutte although he is not aware of this and his rowing faster makes us turn

Our catpian has been nicknamed Walrus by Laurie. It's a long story. But take a look he has the mustache of a walrus.
in circles so Angie spends much of the time trying to correct his direction by back paddling. The laughter continues for the entire journey of about 50m, all the rest of the group can see from shore is the head lamps worn by Francine and Angie. Francine is concerned about her video camera in her bag and is too scared to move to get it out to film, as the slightest movement feels as if it will tip us over. Kutte runs with the current back to the dock to collect the rest of the group. The boat taxi at this time has arranged to take others to their boats and also brings our group back with Kutte in tow.

We are still laughing.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16



Lakki port below

Yvonne all dressed up for dinner

This means maybe a shower, maybe electric to charge batteries, maybe a toilet on shore, and then maybe not!

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