Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be careful what you wish for.....

Panormitis Bay, Simi, Greece
36 33 10.00 N, 027 50 73.00 E
3 May 2011

We escaped the sticky pontoons of Yat Marin and the sticky mud of Marmaris bay about 4 weeks behind the plan, but plans are made to be changed. The spring weather has been really pants, so if you were planning to come out in April, you really made a good choice not to come just yet. Marmaris will be forever raining in my memory and swimming is a far distant thought concept.

We did get lots of jobs done, including one that I've been putting off for 2 years. At long last I've put the contents of the old website (www.yachtmatador.co.uk) which is now long gone, onto a second blog site called www.yachtmatadorarchive.blogspot.com - there is a link on the top right of the page. It took ages, and I was wondering if anyone would ever look at it, but for me it was like flicking through an old photo album and journal, and was a good opportunity to reminisce. There's a link to a photo album too.

We celebrated St Georges day with British roast beef and yorkshire pudding, watched the Royal Coupling, and spent ANZAC day with the ANZACS, aboard Storm Vogel, a beautiful classic sailing yacht enjoying its 50th birthday - it featured in the film, Dead Calm, if you want an idea of what the boat is like.

Our shake down sail on 1st May was to Rhodes, as we thought we hadn't given it a fair chance to impress us. After trying to squeeze into spots that had some combinations of 20 knot cross winds, crossed anchors, lazy line conrete blocks and various obstacles, we decided we couldn't stay in Mandraki harbour after all, so we used the last 4 hours of daylight to head for the lovely Panormitis bay in Simi. Rhodes had its chance and failed!
It was full of fat pink, underdressed tourists as usual anyway.

The weather is still very unsettled, it seems to be about a month behind schedule this year, and this is a good place to sit out the latest series of weather fronts coming across the Med.
The bay is delightful, and the monastery here has a small shop for real basics, but we needed more substantial supplies, like wine and beer, so we took the bus across the island to Simi town. Unlike the numerous dolmuses that ply the streets of Turkey, Greek islands usually have just 1 or 2 buses a day, and Simi is no exception. As we wound our way up the preciptious road to the top of the hill I thought it was such a shame that I couldn't get a photo of the spectacular views through the dirty windows that are fixed shut. Well, be careful what you wish for, especially in Monastery Bay! After our shopping we waited for the one and only bus back to the boat, with about 18 other hopefuls. Alas the bus would not start, despite the attentions of most of the male population of Simi. After about an hour of trying, the bus was declared kaput. We feared an 8 hour trek over the hills,or an expensive taxi ride, but the bus driver and his colleague had by this time brought in their own personal vehicles and we were squeezed into a small hot hatch and a cattle truck. So we got a wild and windswept trip back to Monastery Bay with plenty of opportunities for pictures after all. He was very apologetic but we told him his cattle truck was much more fun than the bus, and paid him our bus fare all the same.
I will share the photos with you when we get to civilization as the monks don't provide wifi, and we can't get any internet. In the meantime this update is sent via the dark arts of Ham radio, from the computer it is turned into beeps and scratchy noises, to the radio, up the antenna, up into the ionosphere, back to Athens, down another antenna, radio and computer, and then by normal email to google's blogger, wherever that is in the world. Clever init?

Hope to move on to Crete as soon as we have fair winds or no winds.