Sailing in Greece 2006
Blog for our sailing trip in Greece 2006 by Michael Wikberg, Markus Frilund, Andreas Finne, Erik Ihrcke, Robert Broo and Mikael Riska.
All times are in EEST (GMT+3)
-- Michael

2006-08-13 14:17:11 - Finally the photos
Photos here

2006-06-13 23:59:59 - Better late than never
Finally got the notes for the last days entered. Sorry about the long delay. Picture gallery will be up soon (hopefully)... There's not even 1000 images to choose from ;)

I was apparently very tired after the vacation, slept 11 hours, was awake for 5, and slept another 14 hours =D

--
Michael

2006-06-05 00:00:00 - Only in Greece
Breakfast, we thought, was gonna be coffee/tea and porridge. This was not meant to happend.

The stove would not light up, so we concluded the gas can was empty. There is a space can for situations like these. Erik went to change the can, but to his surprise, the can was gone. This puzzled us for a while until something even worse turned up; the outboard was missing too. A quick investigation showed that the the lock had been sawed or filed open..

DOH

Perfect ending on a nice vacation. Or something. The charting company manager was not too pleased to hear about this, and went to the port authorities together with our skippers to report this incident. Greek sounds even more incomprehensible when spoken by an angry person ;)

The manager made some phone calls, and during one of them, the port authority guys first started smiling, and then laughing. The reason for this strange behaviour follows: An employee of another charting company was supposed to fetch a gas can and an outboard from one of their boats. He found the boat, but could not get the lock open, so he did what anybody would do and filed it open. Job done. A minor detail was that he was on the wrong boat...

The mystery was however solved, so we could go sightseeing. All there is to see is apparently some old stones, and even older stones. Some are just called something fancy like "Acropolis" or "Parthenon". Greek engineering is a form of art though (see pic).

After "checking in" the boat again in the evening, we went to the airport. We did have quite some extra time, and Markus, Andreas and Erik managed to kill some of it by finding a taxi driver that didn't want to go to the airport, so they only got a ride to the nearest airport bus stop. This, he said, was the cheapest way of getting to the airport.
The rest of us found a better taxi and got there much faster, and actually cheaper too. This time it cost under 20€ (compared to 30 for one, and 40 for the other taxi for the same route backwards on the first day).

Strangely enough, nothing extraordinay or even interesting happened after this. We had pizza, looked around at the airport, got half our bags checked as "special luggage" and finally got on the plane.

--
Michaelphoto

2006-06-04 00:00:00 - Last day for sailing
Just to make sure we actually make it back to Athens in time, we were gonna try to be there on the evening before, which was today.

We did some swimming and snorkeling near some unnamed (or at least unknown to me) island. Still can't believe how clear the water is..

To really test our chefs, they had to prepare lunch at a 30 degree angle (last day, so we had to do some serious sailing). It sounds a lot easier than it is, partly because of the very limited space.

The Kalamaki marina is a "jungle". You never know if there is enough space, but fortunately we found a place. Thogh it didn't last very long until some guy with a catamaran claimed we occupied his place.. sigh. After moving the boat, we found out it was not his place, but rather he wanted us to move so his bigger boat would fit.

The tram in Athens is not the best way of travelling. The subway is way faster, but unfortunately there was no station nearby the marina. Sigh. We managed to to the centre after 40 minutes or so in the tram, and went to have dinner. I think this was the most expensive dinner, and one of the best too =)

Erik, Robert and me went to check out the night life (which turned out to be pretty lame, but, well.. It was sunday). After having a few drinks in some random places and almost getting lost in the "ghettos", we went back to the bar in the marina.

--
Michaelphoto

2006-06-03 12:00:00 - Perdika, here we come
After breakfast at the internet cafe, we set sail for Perdika. Perdika turned out to be a pretty nice place. We spoke to many of the other tourists there, and got a few ideas of where to eat etc.

After a quick sightseeing tour around the city,
Markus and Mikael went to check out a nearby island with the dinghy. The outboard motor seemed to work well, so they could easyli go a bit further than by rowing. Or so they thought. They run out of gas just as they were about to return. This made the distance seem pretty long, and the rest of us got a good laugh while enjoying a cold beer.

After checking and refueling the outboard,
Erik and Robert wanted to go snorkeling. Erik found a new friend, a small black sea urchin. Unfortunately it didn't like being greeted by Eriks foot, and put some spines in his heel.

We heard that the best way to get the spines out is to buy two bottles of rum, one for the unfortunate guy who is gonna pull them out and one for the victim. The "operation" lasted an hour or so, until Erik decided he had big enough holes in his heel.

--
Michaelphoto

2006-06-03 08:27:32 - Bad weather (or something)
We decided to stay the whole day and next night in Poros. The weather was really bad, it rained for at least 30 seconds!! After breakfast at the internet cafe, we rented 6 scooters and went sightseeing. The price, 15€ each + the gas used, was not too bad. We discovered a few very nice beaches, some "smallish" boats, local restaurants and some goats and donkeys.
Driving like the locals here takes some skills, so even old women on slower scooters were passing us in the beginning. Also meeting a bus in a curve on a 3 meters wide road is "an experience"...

We had good pan pizza at Niki's place, a smallish pool bar. Friendly but a little slow service, due to the fact that the pizza oven could only take 4 pizzas at once.

2006-06-03 08:20:26 - Nice roads
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2006-06-03 08:18:30 -
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2006-06-03 08:16:37 -
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2006-06-03 08:15:10 -
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2006-06-03 08:14:00 - Local taverna in the middle of nowhere
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2006-06-03 08:12:32 - A.. Donkey... Kinda =)
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2006-06-03 08:10:28 - Bad boys
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2006-06-03 08:09:25 -
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2006-06-03 08:07:45 - More Poros
The harbour was almost full of boats in the evening when we went to look for some place to have dinner at. We found a pretty cheap place where they promised big portions and gave a satisfaction guarantee. Big portions indeed (pic).

2006-06-03 08:07:03 - well... boats..
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2006-06-03 08:06:35 - Poros at night
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2006-06-03 08:06:06 - Big beef
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2006-06-03 08:05:29 - and seafood
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2006-06-01 21:05:50 - Temple of Poseidon
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2006-06-01 21:03:57 - Hmm.. Sunset
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2006-06-01 21:03:33 - Putting second anchor in Loutra
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2006-06-01 21:03:13 - Sailing
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2006-06-01 21:02:03 - BIG WAVE!!!!
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2006-06-01 21:01:33 - And even more
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2006-06-01 21:01:08 - More partying
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2006-06-01 21:00:33 - Partying in Mykonos
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2006-06-01 20:59:14 - Windmills in Mykonos
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2006-06-01 20:58:26 - Loutra
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2006-06-01 20:57:44 - I can see the light
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2006-06-01 20:56:17 - Poros
Poros is quite a bit bigger than Loutra, and almost as beautiful. There was quite a lot of free space so we, for once, had no problems parking. There is a faint smell of dead fish and sewage once in a while, but otherwise this is a nice place. We found an internet cafe where we are allowed to use our USB memory stick, which explains the excessive use of images here.photo

2006-06-01 20:55:22 - Wet, wet
After once again getting up at 05.30 or so, we got on or way to Poros. The trip there was pretty boring due to the lack of a certain important element, wind. We had to run by engine the whole way. Erik, Mikael and Robert wanted to take a swim, so they were hanging on to a rope behind the boat.photo

2006-06-01 20:54:32 - Hot, hot!
Advice from other, more experienced, sailors can sometimes be very good. After discussing weather conditions and route plans with an Englishman, we decided to (once again) make some adjustments to our route plan. The places we had planned to visit are apparently very difficult with the wind conditions we have right now. The next place we will go to is Poros. We went for a swim in the excellent water, and discovered one of the esteemed hot springs along the shore. We had dinner consisting of zouvlaki and fries at a taverna along the nice beach.photo

2006-06-01 20:53:03 - Once again, problems
We got to Loutra, Kithnos, in quite strong wind, and anchoring in the harbour turned out to be quite a challenge. There were a few free spots left, but the wind made it difficult to park. Then, surprise, surprise, the anchor chain got stuck. After fixing this little inconvenience we discovered that the anchor was not quite holding. There is a space anchor onboard, but it's made of aluminium... Luckily a French guy next to us had 2 actually useable spare anchors, one of which he used himself, and one that we borrowed. Now our boat was secured tightly.

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2006-05-31 11:05:24 - Houston, we have a problem
Mikonos is a nice place to party at. Most of us made it back to the boat,
but one crew member woke up in a local fishing boat, where some other
tourists asked for directions to the city. They must've mistaken him for a
local fisherman or something.

After leaving Mikonos (where we got cheered at after managing to to get the
anchor up even tho someone had put their chain on top of ours), we finally
got to do some serious sailing while going to Rinia where we thought we
would stay the night. The only problem was that we had trouble with the
electricity. The anchor winch would not work, and the lights were very
unstable. After consulting the charting company, we decided to go back to
Mikonos.

It was pretty dark when whe arrived, but we managed to park safely. After
shutting down the engine, all power disappeared and the enginge was dead.
Ouch. The problem was solved quickly after we found the main switch; it had
been turned off accidentally. It is located in a pretty bad place, and can
be tuned by a knee or when taking out manuals from beneath the navigation
table.

We now had to, once again, change our route plan, and are now on our way to
Loutra on Kithnos. We have pretty good wind and everything is still working
(knock on wood), spare some strange sounds from the rudder.


-- "Michael" photo

2006-05-28 23:17:45 - Wrath of poseidon
Erik and Robert went to see the Poseidon temple, but Poseidon didn't like Erik being topless and therefore made the sailing weather pretty bad. We had to run by engine almost half the trip to Episkopi bay on Kithnos.

We visited a beach, Ormos Kolona, which we had to test (by swimming there and having a cold beer). The water is fantastic, warm and clear so you can see the litter spread all around.

For lunch we had a very nice "italian pasta" (or something), bacon, tomatoe sauce and pasta. We were going to stay the night at a smallish
harbour in Merikha, but it was too crowded so we just did some shopping and went to Episkopi bay for the night. There we had some wine, Greek and Macedonian, while planning the route for tomorrow.

Dinner at sunset would probably have been pretty romantic, had we had some women aboard too. Greek meatballs, feta cheese and vine leaves filled with rice made a fine gourmet meal toghether with the better of the wines.

The sun is pretty mean around here. Despite liberal use of sunblock, some members of the crew have a distinct shade of red all over them.

Bringing the laptop with me was apparently a pretty good move, since this boat is equipped with a crappy gps plotter. Position now around 3624N 2424E and it's time for bed. I guess
everybody else is asleep already...photo

2006-05-28 10:32:12 - Survived first night
After smallish difficulties getting out of the marina, we finally got on
our way. It was pretty late in the evening and the sun set some 4 hours
efter our journey began. Being pretty dark and around midnight, we
decided to go to a harbour (at about 37°39.226N 24°01.112E) near the
temple of poseidon (picture) for the night.

I slept like a little pig since I was kinda tired. We are having
breakfast now, and then we need to decide what to do next. We only have
one match left, so we probably need to get a few more, in case we want
cooked food anyway.



-- Michael Wikberg photo

2006-05-27 11:39:55 - In Athens
Hopefully the taxi driver knows where we are going, because we only know the name, Kalamaki Marina or something :-)
-- "Michael Wikberg"

2006-05-27 05:54:37 - At the airport
Blargh.. Having hardly slept at all, me and Eki are waiting for the others at the airport. Apparently everybody did wake up, which is a little surprising ;-)
My bag is a little too heavy and big to be carried aboard the plane, so we'll see if I have to check it :-/
-- "Michael Wikberg"

2006-05-26 14:56:16 - Getting ready
The plane to Athens leaves early in the morning tomorrow, and there is still lots to do. Need to pack my stuff, buy everything that is still missing and make sure the laptop actually works as intended. The blog seems to work at least =)

-- Michael

©2006 the authors

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