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Simi - Days 63 & 64 - 29th & 30th September 2009

We finally set sail from Nisyros after 3 days.  When I say set sail that is a bit of an exaggeration, there was no wind which has been unusual of late.

 

The plan was to head to Simi, Symi, Syme, take you pick on today's spelling, and the main harbour there, but we had heard that it can be difficult to get into.  Instead we were told of a fantastic bay called Panormitis towards the south of the island, so we made this our objective.

 

True enough, when we arrived the bay fulfilled the wild outlandish claims heaped upon it.  The water was still, turquoise and the sandy bottom could easily be seen.  There were few boats in the bay and so I picked a plum spot right in the middle of the bay in front of the fantastic Monastery of the Archangel Michael.

The monastery was last remodelled in the 1870's on the Venetian style and is the only building of significance in the bay, dominating the landscape.

 

 The next morning, after visiting the monks at work, we tried to get a bus or taxi to Simi town.  Unfortunately there was nothing happening on the taxi front, and the bus was a 2 hour wait plus 1 hour transit time.  We decided to take a flyer and sail around, if we couldn't moor in the harbour then we had heard of another bay nearby that was supposed to be good.

 

Like yesterday the wind was not playing again  - we did try to sail but the engine was off for a maximum of 15 minutes on the 14nm journey.

 

I was so busy reading my book - The Hunt for Red October - that I completely missed the turning,  Fortunately The Admiral was at hand to mildly point out my navigational error - it's amazing what she can do with a pointy stick, most people would call it torture, she calls it motivation.

 

Getting into the harbour was no trouble at all, I guess it was because it was so early in the day.  After mooring up I went off to visit the harbour police, whilst the kids did school work and The Admiral sharpened her now blunt stick.  This is the point when I make some observations about greek bureaucracy,  however I am still in the country, not 50 metres from his office and he might be reading this blog.  I know that sounds unlikely but he must be doing something all day, because he certainly isn't doing port police work.

 

Later we watched one of the many ferries that run the Greek islands docking in the harbour.  It was huge, that's a full sized yacht under the 'K' and the whole entrance/exit was blocked for the 10 minutes or so he was tied up.

 

 

Nisyros - Day 60, 61 & 62 - 26th, 27th and 28th September

Location

Turkey
36° 37' 7.9284" N, 27° 10' 14.1816" E

After doing the runner from Kos to avoid the €0.88 departure tax we had a lovely, and lively, 22nm sail to the Greek island of Nisyros.

 

We decided to hire a car to tour the island and we came to the conclusion the island stinks.  Mostly when someone complains about the smell it is because of my feet, but on this occasion I plead innocent.  Upon further investigation the rotten eggy smell was eminating from the centre of the island where a volcano crater is grumbling away.

What's hot and stinks of rotten eggs?

 

After looking at the volcano and visiting the volcano museum we toured some of the few villages on the island.

Nikia - a typical greek village in the mountains

 

Next it was to the 'capital' Mandraki where we wandered the streets for a bit.

 

Swimming a few hours ago - Dinner in a few hours time

 

 

Kos - Day 58 & 59 - 24th and 25th September

Location

Turkey
36° 53' 30.9336" N, 27° 18' 6.9372" E

From Bodrum to Kos it is a massive 10nm, the shortest point between the two landmasses being only 5km.

 

Entering into the EU for the first time I had to go through the rigmarole of customs, passport control, port police and obtaining a DEKPA, some sort of cruising permit for Greece.  Naturally these things are easily, and cheaply obtained, NOT......

 

Whilst certain elements could be done in the marina, for other parts I had to go into town to visit the harbour and tax office.  Naturally the marina port police told me this upfront therefore only having to make one journey, NOT.....  Back and forth for 2 days getting thoroughly peeved with each mile I had to tramp along the sea front, back and forth.  If you need any information on the coastal path in Kos I am your man.  I could tell you every pot hole, curb stone and dog turd along the way.  I never actually managed to complete all of the allotted tasks, when she told me I had to go back to the tax office a second time to pay the €0.88 departure tax, I nodded understandingly and set sail for Nisyros.

 

But before doing the runner we did go into town to look at Hippocrates tree, piles of rocks from the olden days and the Knights castle.

A 500 year old tree that apparently Hippocrates pondered under 2500 years ago

Allied Carpets finest circa 500BC

Bodrum - Day 57 - 23rd September

Location

Turkey
37° 2' 3.2928" N, 27° 25' 26.94" E

An early start as we wanted to get to Bodrum by lunch so that we could see the castle in the afternoon.  The 28nm journey was pretty uneventful and we were moored up in no time at all.  Bodrum marina is fantastic, the settling, the enviroment and the staff - naturally such things are not cheap so we were determined to spend as little time in the marina as possible.

 

We worked our way around the harbour towards the castle, stopping for lunch on the way.  At the harbour front restaurant we saw an octopus 'swimming' in the sea.

 

After lunch it was into the castle.  The Castle of St Peter is currently laid out as per the Knights of St John who did a considerable amount of construction circa 1400, although the site has been fortified at least since the days of Mausolus (it was from his impressive shrine that the word mausoleum was coined, and the shrine was trashed by the Knights for building material at the castle) around 370BC. 

 

Besides being an historic building in it's own right, the castle is also home to Turkey's Museum of Underwater Archaeology with impressive collection of recovered artefacts.

Some of the amphorae recovered in the surrounding seas

Old style stone and wood anchors recovered

For those classically trained, Bodrum's ancient name was Helicarnassus and was home to Herodotus.

It's all greek to me

Gocek Marina

Location

Gocek Marina
Turkey
Phone: +90 252- 645 1520
Fax: +90 252- 645 1897
36° 44' 54.0888" N, 28° 56' 32.9028" E

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