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Log No. 2007-3: Adriatic and Greece

Day 12-13: Monday-Tuesday, 20-21 August 2007 – Crossing the Adriatic off Albania to Othoni Island, Greece

Beachgoers in BarLeaving Bar for Adriatic crossing

all harnessed to go

24 hours later


Previous stories will be posted on Past section. Our cruising 2007 logs are posted at 2007-1 and 2007-2 in chronological order. You can read our decisions and events leading up to the purchase, boat survey, purchasing process, registration process, etc. under introduction section.

Back to where we are: Pictures: Leaving Bar from Serbia & Montenegro, Doc at the wheel on Adriatic sea crossing Albania, Grumpy and Sneezy after 24th hour crossing the Adriatic.

At 8:15, we cleared the boat and the crew, left the dock to get the fuel. Once we got our diesel, Bob also picked up a couple of wines from the gas station (I wasn’t sure why he did that but did not ask). We were on the open sea water at about 8:30 am. It was a breezy day with sunny and clear weather, barometer was around 1010. Earlier, I had checked the weather report on the internet and it showed 10-15 knots Northerly with clear conditions and occasional thunderstorms, it meant to me an easy sail to south, a few clouds here and there. We motored sailed until 10:30, then sailed with both sails on for a couple of hours, then motor sailed until 5 pm when wind started coming from the nose. The strength of the wind steadily increased as the sun started going down, we thought nothing of it since it was very likely that during the day/night shift wind speed increases. As we were hoping the wind would subside and change direction, it reached 18-20 knots by 10 pm. By midnight, we were getting 20-25 knots wind directly from south, very choppy waves, had to put on all the safety gears on including the harnesses. We were being sprayed constantly by the water. So, we took turns to have two up on deck and one down sleeping while started steering off course 20-40 degrees at a time to starboard and port to get the waves in an angle. \At the same time, we wanted to stay off the Albanian cost. By three am, the waves were 3-5 m high with white caps hitting us all the time, There were nobody else at sea at this time of the morning. I started thinking about turning in to Albania for protection and asked Elizabeth to wake up Bob to evaluate our situation.

Bob awoke with his life jacket put on, swearing at the harness, I helped him to put it on and securely fastened to a life line. I gave him the scoop, told him that the wind is constant around 25-26 knots, occasional gust to 30-32 knots. We were banging against the waves with a very loud drop every so often. He said these boats are designed to withstand that we shouldn’t worry about as long as we can keep going. (He later told me how scared he was thinking that the mast could snap). I went down briefly to check our position on the chart plotter. Bob is on the look out. What happened next scared the hell out of everyone on board.

As I was checking the chart plotter, I noticed a “restricted zone – check lower zooms” writing on the screen, then the depth alarm started beeping. Bob started yelling if there was a reef or corals around here. He had seen a red warning light. I shouted, “No, chart plotter shows unexploded devices, stay clear, I see no other marks”. He yells back, “We are in 3 m waters!” I went immediately up and I said, “Let’s get out of here!” “Which way?” Bob says, I yelled, “Follow that ship! They must know where they are going”. Depth sounder kept sounding the alarm, I kept panicking that we might hit a bomb or something big tangled under us, We were turning in circles, Bob thought the red light was a reef which turned out to be a freighter’s port light. By this time boat is going about 1.5 knots speed, shaking wildly from the waves, and we had a major front with terrible lightning right ahead of us. Bob finally said, “We are motoring out of here, just give me a course.” I said, “Go 180 degrees south for as much as the waves allow. I recorded the location as 40.45’.470 N and 18.57’.200 E. Fortunately, the lightning front went over the Albanian side. While this was happening, the sky directly overhead was clear with tons of stars even milky way could be seen.

We realized later that the depth sounder was malfunctioning at that extreme depth. A little after 5 am, daylight started, Bob and I were on the watch, we are still at 25 knots hoping that sun light will make it subside, wrong again. By 11 am, we were 15 miles away from Othoni Island off the NW of Corfu and called the Greek Coast guard for instructions. I did not want to run out of fuel nor go over the NE corner of Corfu since our guide book stated that you could be captured by Albanians, if in a restricted zone. So, we said lets get to Othoni, have some fuel, talk to the coast guard and ask for advice.I left them with my position, telephone number (which is the cell no. for Turkey) and they said stay on channel 12.

One hour later, I received a call from Othoni coast guard looking for me, I gave him my position, where I am heading, When we came to the northern part of Othoni, the bay  was flat and calm at about 1 pm. We radioed the coast guard and they said they would be there in 5-7 minutes, prepare the boat for boarding. A civilian boat finally showed up after half an hour with a coast guard and a skipper in it. He demanded the papers and passports and follow them into the island port. I handed over the documents and passports and went around the island to the port. There. it was the worst experience ever I had yet with Snow White. As we were trying to enter what seemed a port, just as soon as a wave lifted us, it dropped the boat on a set off rocks and we were grounded. I started yelling, screaming and swearing. About 5 minutes later, Bob backed out of the place and we stayed open waters until the coast guard instructed us to follow another sail boat into the right harbour adjacent to where we were.

After anchoring, Bob and I went ashore, the coast guard, By that time another person came introduced himself as Vasilis and he said he owned boat to take the coast guard around. He said he had twin engines wih 1000 HP each and it spends 150-200 Euro an hour. He added that they spent two hours looking for us and I owed him at least 300 Euros. I said “that is not correct, first of all I did not call anybody to look for me, I was merely looking for information and if I could get fuel here. Plus it was a wide open sea, we never see anyone for miles and miles”. After much argument. I gave him 200 Euros Bob threw in another 50 Euros, he took the money, coast guard handed over the documents and passports and said, "You can go to Corfu tomorrow to register." So, we really walked into this, at least that was the feeling we left with.

Elizabeth prepared a nice steak dinner that evening which we had intended to have previous day, it was delicious with vegetables and sautéed onions and mushroom. Bob and Elizabeth swam late in the evening around the boat. We had a nice a bit wavy night sleep.

Day 14-15: Wednesday-Thursday, 22-23 August 2007 entering Corfu in Greece

Corfu Castle

Bob and Elizabeth swimming across the pool Watch out for the other guy

We left Othoni island at around 9 am. We sailed around the north east island without any incident until we are in that narrow channel between Greece and Albania. Our first mark was a lighthouse over rocks which we stayed in Greek side. Then the next mark which was painted red with white stripes over a steel frame confused us such that “Was it a border line or a caution mark. I went below to the chart plotter and saw rocks around it and towards the Greek side. We changed the course to port stay clear of it while watching the Albanian side. Anyway, we cross the 1 mile wide channel without incident, got into the bay of Corfu. Just about the time we were filling our thank with spare fuel container, we saw a dinghy hailing us. It was an Italian who ran out of gas in the middle of the bay. We tied him to Snow White and brought him to the old port where there was a gas station. Bob handed 5 Euro over since he tried to tell us he had no money.   

Apparently, we arrived into the old port (which was smelly and old) that had some construction on the west side and was not the port we should be in. They told us to go to the new port way over the west side where ferry boats were. Elizabeth steer the boat out of the harbour and we looked for a building like “Duane”, “Customs”, etc. which there was one. So, we steered in, tied the boat, I took the documents and passports with me. With the exception of a café place, all buildings were closed. I asked around, finally someone pointed me to further west to a harbour building. I met a coast guard at the entrance who directed to me further west about 1 km away for customs and police entry. Under 38 C, I walked over the place, got a hold of a customs officer, who filled out a booklet (I wrote the most since his English was not that good), signed and stamped, paid 30 Euro for entering and went to the police office next door.  Then I went back to the same gentlemen who greeted me at the door had me sit down, prepared all the work and we chatted a bit. He was very nice and helpful, explaining why we needed all these document. I told him about our little episode on Othoni Island. He shook his head and apologized for it. I paid 15 Euro harbour fee and 0.88 Euro for using Greek waters and shook hands with him. He wished us a happy journey and better experience in Greece and walked me out of the office. I happily returned to the boat and told crew that we now had 6 months of stay in Greece. We went to Gouvion Marina just to the west of the harbour, at 39.39’.555 N and 19.51’.458 E, the office was also closed for the day (9 pm). A quick tour of the marina revealed that they had a couple of restaurants, three bars/cafes, a swimming pool, two marine supply store and a mini market. So, we wanted to take a break and planned to extend our stay for another day. Camerons invited me to dinner, it was one of the best dinner we had so far, me having grilled calamari, Elizabeth a musakka, and Bob a souvlaki.

The next day,we decided to check out the pool which was very welcoming and refreshing. Later I worked on the leak from stuffing box, tighten up the screws but could not find any reason for the leak. That evening, we went to the same restaurant sat at exactly the same table and I ordered fresh anchovies (a delicacy in my hometown). They were very tasty, so were the mussels Ellizabeth got and mixed grill Bob had.

Day 16: Friday, 24 August 2007, Preveza

Kayiki with full of passengesPreveza 

We set out a little after 9 am to go to our next destination, 60 miles away, Preveza. It was a light breezy day with NW prevailing winds, we motor sailed, sailed about 4-5 hours. Because it was getting dark, we evaluated our options to anchor somewhere or keep going. The anchorage did not look good so we kept the mouth of the channel providing buoyed entry into Preveza bay at 38.55’.960 N and 20.43’.660 E. We arrived at 8:30, 1 hour after sun set, but there was some moonlight and city lights, we thought it would be easy. Apparently, the harbour authorities did not keep all the lights in order. Some buoy lights were missing which confused the hell out of us. Fortunately, the chart plotter was there to guide us right through. We saw many boats anchoring at the harbour and found a spot, anchored at the second try. There was also a marina on starboard side as you enter the city which was not in the book. I

Day 17: Saturday, 25 August 2007, Preveza to Kastos

Entering Lefkas channel 

Grilled Chipura at Kastos

The next day, I had to go to the harbour office to sign off our passbook. I rowed ashore, found the place, bare footed only to be told that they needed to see my insurance. Anyway, I rowed back to the boat (we still haven’t bought the motor for the dingy) got all the documents they asked for, a uniformed man did all the signing and stamping and I was out of there in no time. 

At 9:40 am, we were motoring out of Preveza, heading out for Levkas channel. We motored sailed to north entry of the channel until 11 am (38.55’.960 / 20.43.660), caught end of the line up as we were the last boat to go through the floating bridge from North. Levkas marina looked nice as we passed by it in the channel. At about 11:30 we were out of the channel, sailing to our destination bay of Leone in Kalamos island. We sailed a good portion of the day and arrived at Leone bay at around 5 pm. It was blowing hard from North, although it was sheltered iit showed 14 knots of wind. Bob did prefer to stay there, our only option was to go to the next island over, port of Kastos at 38.34’120 N and 20.54’.730 E. After a few maneuverings, we backed into a cement dock and secured the boat. This is a small Greek village out of a movie stage with about 100 houses but 4 large restaurants. While Elizabeth and I were swimming, Bob found this windmill restaurant up the hill and invited me to dinner that evening. It also had hot showers which was very convenient before we had our dinner, grilled Chipura.

Day  18: Sunday, 26 August 2007, Mesalongi

Streets in Mesalongi




We left Kastos at 9 am to go to Oxia Island. We reached Oxia Island by noon and changed our course to Messalongi for the evening anchoring which has a long buoyed entry like Preveza. Coordinates were 38.19’.800  N and 21.24’.190. We arrived there by 4 pm.

Mesalongi is an interesting place. As you enter the long channel, you come to a round opening which you can dock along side the wall. We picked a good space with a water tap just by the wall. As we tied up, Bob and Elizabeth went for a drink across the dock, I showered and cleaned the boat. The town looked deserted. Elizabeth and I looked for an internet cafe and supply store. We walked about 2 km and came into the center of town with so many restaurants and bars, but there was no one around. We walked back to the boat and asked to Bob to go back to town center. Then a car pulled along, it was a Greek-Canadian from Montreal, named Spiros. After chatting a bit, he offered us a ride and dropped us at the central location by a huge church. We went inside, congregation had just finished with so many people coming out various food packages in their hands. A lady offered us some cake. After, we walked in town, crowd started gathering. We went to an internet coffee, checked our emails for an hour. By that time the places were filled up with many people. We ate souvlaki, bought a full charcoaled roasted chicken and walked back to the boat. By this time, the port area was packed with people. We did no waste time to go to sleep, despite a lot of noise around.


Day 19: Monday, 27 August 2007, Navpatkos

Rion Bridge east entrance of Corinth canal

At the harbour of Navpatkos

We left Mesalongi as early as possible at 8:30 am, having a short breakfast along the way. As soon as we hit the open waters, surprise surprise! “We have 20 knots of winds right on the nose.” As we were hoping the winds would die down, we headed for the center of the Korinth sea. The wind was now 30 knots with gusts to 35, no such luck. Thinking that we will have less wave effect from north, I turned to north shores again making our journey longer.  The wind was blowing hard. I asked Bob if we would call it off. He said, “Trust your boat and move ahead, there is plenty of time in the day and it is only 15 miles distance.” After what seemed forever, we reached closer to shoreline, waves were less but wind was blowing hard. A couple of hours later, the Rion brigde was in visual. As we approached the bridge I called “Rion Traffic” to ask for instruction. They told me to take south most opening, which we did. After passing, I called them again and thanked them. We were only a short distance from our destination, Navpatkos, about 5 miles. As we approached the port, we realized that it was too small to enter. So, we anchored outside, left Elizabeth on boat, and dingied in to get some diesel. As we assessed the situation, Bob and I decided to give it a try inside.of the sea wall. We got 20 litres of fuel, brought in by dingy (all rowing against the wind, what else is new). Then took to Snow White inside. She held well and looked beautiful alongside the other boats which were small fishing and power boats. There were no more space for other boats, so we held the best spot for the night.

The town is spectacular again with many restaurants and bars. We got another 20lt diesel to carry to the boat. We will fill our supplies here. A coast guard came by to tell us to register with the port police before we leave.

Day 20: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, Isidhoru Bay

  Snow White at Ishidoru BayBob's picture from the cafe

It was another balmy that about 6-8 knots wind right on the nose. We motored all the way and motored-sailed a bit in between. We made our first choice anchorage by 1 pm, the proceeded to the next one which was Isidhoru bay in Andikion. We arrived this beautiful but quiet fishing/resort village by 5 pm. We went ashore and walked to this café that was on the beach. It was full of people enjoying the sun and beautiful afternoon. Elizabeth and I went in for a swim while Bob took pictures and ordered us drinks. After the swim, I thought them how to play backgammon. Elizabeth won the first game, then went on to beat Bob.

We went back to the boat, Elizabeth fried the fish I bought (could not catch a thing so far). That was a nice dinner, we had a couple of glasses of wine and enjoyed sitting under the stars until all fell asleep in this absolutely beautiful evening.


Day 21: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, Corinth Canal to Athens

Just a taste of the canal

Looking East in Corinth Canal, mid way

Looking at the eastern entrance

We left Isidhoru bay 7 am to go to Corinth. It was yet another balmy day and yes, another light wind right on the nose. We did manage to get sails up for a couple of hours. It was so quiet and flat, we were doing 6.5 knots at 2000 rpm. We arrived Corinth at around 12:30. Bob suggested continuing to Athens. I immediately agreed and called the Corinth Canal Control for instructions. They advised us to wait for about 40 minutes which was our lucky streak since it is one way traffic and one could wait for up to 4 hours before crossing. We waited for all the boats to come out and then the blue flag was up, all big ships and power boats went in, we followed the first sail boat. This was one of the major highlights of our cruise on water. We were doing about 6 knots against 1.5 knots of current which meant our actual speed was 4.5 knots. It was a fascinating experience which mesmerized us by just looking at the immensity of a man made canal. We took many pictures and video shots. We crossed the bridge in 40 minutes (between 1:30 – 2:10 pm), pulled by the control tower at the eastern exit starboard side, paid our dues (157 Euro including taxes) and were on our way to Athens. 20 nm later, we were in Athens heading for Zea Marina at 38.55’.800 N and 23.39’.220 E at the entrance. I radioed them in and they told us to proceed in. When we entered the marina, a small motor boat came in and told us that there were no spaces available and asked us to leave. After some argument and mentioning that we had to go to police which was at this marina, he pulled us in right in front of cost guard building. We squeezed in between two large motor yachts and stepped into the office of a very friendly coast guard who did the initial registration. We  went out for a dinner since it was about 8 pm.

Day 22-23: Thursday-Friday, 30-31 August 2007, Athens

Zea MarinaBob is talking Elizabeth out of purchasing an itemTempleView of Athens from AcropolisWalking the streets in Plaka after dinner

The registration office gave us another place just 5 boats down on the same dock. We paid a total of 138.50 Euros ( courtesy of Camerons) which included three night stay, water and electricity and 6 hours of internet time. Bob and Elizabeth went for coffee, I washed the boat. No attendant came to help us move the boat, so we moved the boat to its new place. Then, we all went for the Acropolis tour.

We got a taxi-cab which was about 10 Euros to “Plaka” the shopping center of city in what seemed to be within walking distance of Acropolis hills. But at 38 degrees, 11 am, sunny conditions, we could not risk it. Then we saw this little train like tourist vehicle touring around. It was indeed a tour train up and around Acropolis for 5 Euro per person which was to leave in 40 minutes. We hopped on the train and got through interesting streets, countless number of shops, restaurants and bars, arrived at the entrance of Acropolis. Acropolis with its magnificent view and surroundings were a real treat to our eyes. We paid another 13 Euros each to enter the historical site. Elizabeth could qualify for a senior European discount but they asked for a passport, so we all paid the full fee to enter. It was a sunny and hot day about 40 degrees Celsius. We took many shots of pictures and videos and came down to have a cold drink. Even at a 4 Euros a glass, an ice-cold fruit punch felt soooo good!

On the way down, we waited for the next train a little while. It took us through yet again many streets, on to the Greek parliament and central town, narrow streets again with full of restaurants and shops. After having a cold drink, we walked in “Plaka” for a couple of hours then settled at a Greek restaurant for a nice dinner. I ordered Greek salad, dolmades, egg plant salad, humus for the middle, Bob ordered stuffed lamp, Elizabeth stuffed cabbage leaves and I chicken souvlaki. It was all too much for us, so we decided to get a taxi-cab back. He would not open the meter and I asked for a fixed price, he said 18 Euros, I said it was 10 Euros, we settled for 12 Euros. Unlike the first taxi-cab owner he did not fight a caller on the phone. 

Once at the boat, we tried internet, it was on/off so, we decided to do the internet business in the morning at the marina office. We met an English seaman on a boat called “Sea Thrift” following the same route as we are since Corfu. He said he was going to Bulgaria. At night, I walked around the marina, (which was too long at least 5 km) surrounded by restaurants on sidewalk all the way. Most of them were full with people enjoying the night out.

The next day, I hailed a tanker and topped up the fuel, 0.95 Euro X 110 liters. I went for an oil change mechanic, found Mr. Gerochristodoulou, he promised to do it at 20 Euros labour only with all material provided by myself. He said he would be by the boat within 30 minutes. One hour later, his son showed up and said his father had to leave for an emergency call and could not make it. In frustration, I went to buy another manual oil pump, got a replacement filter (an aftermarket type), spend another 100 Euros in various tools but still was not able to pump out the oil out. I decided to wait until morning to do it or find another mechanic. I found a tiny hole in the dingy, so I put a small patch on. After washing and topping up the water, I relaxed in cooler temperatures at the boat.

Meanwhile, Bob and Elizabeth completed the laundry and purchased the supplies from a Carrefour department store nearby, a taxi-cab cost them about 3 euros to bring the supplies in. After a few hours of additional internet, they went for the swimming pool.

I found a tiny hole in the dingy, so I put a small patch on. We met an English seaman on a boat called “Sea Thrift” following us since Corfu. He said he was going to Bulgaria to retire in this new member of EU.

We still have to get the oil change. So far, there is no leak from the stuffing box.


Day 24: Saturday, 1 September 2007, entering eastern Greece, Kithnos

sunset at Kithnos Island

Leaving Kithnos

As I was looking for a solution on how to change the oil, I saw a pickup truck passing by with “diesesl service” written on it. After much discussion and dealing, I finally gave in that this job will be completed immediately for 50 Euros. He pumped the oil in no time, yes it was black. He change the filter and put the new oil (4lt) that I had. It did not even reach the dipstick. He cleaned up and emptied the black oil at a nearby soil ground. I paid him 50 E and went to buy some more oil from a gas station up the street. Altogether it took about 10 lt of oil. After testing the engine and check for leaks, I closed the engine compartment for a job well done. 

I checked out from the marina and coast guard office. At about 10:45 we waived goodbye to Zea Marina and Athens. Athens as a city stretched along the coastline perhaps 20-30 km to south. We could see the city building for a couple of hours. There were a lot of traffic of freighters, cruisers, ferry boats, and fishermen out of the city. However, after about 10 miles, it quieted down with a power boat here and a sail boat there.

We arrived in Kithnos Island at about 18:30 on the west side, picked a bay between a small island and main island joined with a sand bank. This must be a popular place, it was full of yachts, sailboats, power boat. Only a three buildings over the hills, one of which was a restaurant and others were the white square buildings we were so anxious to see in Greece. The bay was pristine with clear bottom, rocky and sand mix, we anchored at about 5m. Bob and I inflated the dingy, it held well with no leeks and went ashore together while Elizabeth decided to fix us a good dinner. After a bit swimming and discovering that the restaurant was the only place open and many more boats on the other side of the sand banks, we returned to the boat for an excellent fried chicken and vegetables meal. It was about sun set, took many pictures of the bay and Snow White. 

After dinner, we sat on the cockpit and fell asleep watching the stars.

Day 25: Sunday, 2 September 2007, Siros

Varis bay in Siros

leaving Siros into 30 knots of wind

We left Kithnos at about 8 am the next morning thinking that it would be another nice day. Well, as soon as we turned around the corner, southeast side, we started getting strong wind blowing on the nose up to 20 knots. As we got away from it, it got harder to 30 knots. Fortunately, we went north far enough so when we turned to Mikonos, it was almost going 60 degree angle into the wind. The wind was blowing so hard, white caps were everywhere. We were literally going over the top of 2-3m high waves and coming down hard.

We were just about to make another turn about 10 nm away from Mikonos, a couple of dolphins came up to greet us. All of a sudden there were four or five racing with us, jumping up and down. We got some video shots in that wind and waves, hopefully it all came out alright.

As we turned to Mikonos, we got some shelter from Naxos Island from north. We put both sails up and making 7-8 knots for about half an hour, then we got high winds again. Took the genoa in and left the main sail and motor on. With the wind almost behind us, we had an easy run to Mikanos marina. As we got to the new marina, they were still working on construction so, it was only side docking in a few places. We docked rather speedily (my steering) into a place almost hit the wall nose in. After exploring the area, we found a better place a few boats ahead. We moved the boat there, tied securely and went for a shower at the newly built facilities. The time was about 1 pm.


Day 26-27: Monday, 3-4 September 2007, Mikonos

Docked at Mikonos new harbour, a new boat comingVladislav making sure the boat is secureCumhur Gokava in his Gokava boatMikonos in the evening, packed with people

As we were tidying up the boat, washing and cleaning, another person asked where we were from. I said Toronto showing the flag of Canada. He said he lived in Vancouver but he now lives in Marmaris. I asked him in Turkish if he was a Turkish Canadian. He replied yes. His name was Cumhur Gokova, a 3 times Atlantic crosser, 1 time around world sailor, a well known sailing instructor, taking his crew/students to hands on training around Mediterranean. They were coming back from Sicily on the way to Bodrum. We chatted a lot and I got some information from him as to the Turkish coastline conditions. Alper and Huseyin from the crew came over to visit our boat.

Later that afternoon, everybody cruising in the area came in and started rafting side by side. We had to woo away a couple of boats. Then, a 50 ft Beneteau came along, made a few rounds and asked for permission. I shook my arms as to giving up, come in and tie in. Then the skipper of the boat started yelling my name. I looked up and it was Vladislav the Czech Beneteau dealer who sold me the boat. Apparently, he and 8 other his friends chartered a boat in Greece, following the same root we had. What a small world and what a coincidence. We happily help them to tie their boat to ours. Of course, we did not miss the opportunity to ask Vladislav a few more questions about the operation of the boat. This was two good surprises back to back.

When we looked around the harbour that evening, there were seven (7) cruise liners emptying their personnel into the harbour. We did not count the ferry boats came and went every half hour.

In the evening, we took a taxi-cab (5 Euro) into the old town, centre square. There, I had us checked in and signed off at the harbour coast guard office. No fees.

We walked around the narrow back street of Mikanos, it was packed with tourists. Your could not walk side by side. We took some video shots and found a restaurant (Italian), courtesy of Bob to have a dinner. After the dinner, Camerons went back to the boat and uploaded our trip via Internet on our website. On the way back, I started talking with people in the taxi line who were Turkish. Apparently, the rafted to our boat as the third one.

The next morning, we woke up several times due to people walking on our boat, drinking, talking, singing and smoking until  am. Our crew were happy to see the Czech boat leave in the morning. There were too much foot mark on the deck. The Turkish boat which was going to Istanbul also left early. That day, Bob and Elizabeth took the whole day to tour the city, shopping and dining. They had a good time the whole island was almost empty. I did some cleaning and tidying up in the boat. A big wooden boat came along who asked me to turn the boat vertical which I agreed. They also turned out to be young French party goers who came back at 4:30 am continue to party on the boat. We slept just a little more and left for Ikaria Island 7 am in the morning.

Boats rafted, sided all over

Day 28: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, Ikaria

IkariaOwners of Lila and Carpe-Diem\Cats in Ikaria

We arrived at Ikaria by 3 pm in the afternoon. We had both sails up as soon as we turned around Mikonos. It was almost perfect sailing all the way to Ikaria. We found yet another port under construction. It was a small town with a few restaurants and quaint streets with cobble stones. We did our port registry, took a short swim by the boat. We got some information from a German boat who motorcycled around the Island. Then two more boats came along, both were with Turkish crew. We chatted a little, they started out from Bodrum, planned to go to Istanbul from Greek waters. Pictured here Murat A. and Taner B., their crew and family members.

The town was a quiet but got crowded in the evening as usual with restaurants on the sidewalk. There were a lot of cats in town. At some point during the dinner time, there was a big commotion, people screaming and cats were running. They were chasing a mouse who hid by a stone house in between cracks. After half an hour of being watched by cats, he escaped followed by an army of cats and jumps over the side walk into the sea. It disappeared across the bay.

We left Ikaria 7 am in the morning, to go to Khios which was almost directly to North.

Day 29: Thursday, 6 September 2007, Khios

Khios portAn old mosque in KhiosLeaving Khios

By 8 am on the way to Khios, clouds started gathering and wind picked up to 18 knots. We had both sails up and I had the fishing line trolling behind us. At around 9 am, we had something on the fishing line. I grabbed it but as we were making over 6 knots, it was impossible to pull it in. So, Bob at the steering, Elizabeth with the camera, we turned the motor on to run over the line. After struggling a bit, the boat did a 180 turn over the fishing line which got tangled under the boat. It was so strong, it broke the top of the fishing rod and the line with it. I was furious to let that get away, jumping up down and cursing all the way. Some of that got it in the video which we should edit. For the rest of the trip, we had strong winds and occasional motoring. We faced strong winds in the channel almost on the nose and had to do a couple of tacks.

We arrived at Khios headed for the marina. We tried to enter a small fishing marina further north which was very shallow. Backed out of there and went into the other marina which was left incomplete. There were a few sail boats, some freight ships and lots of small fishing boats. We pulled up alongside a dock with the help of a Greek man called Mike. It was almost 4 pm. Khios has been known as the Greek revolt starting point against the Ottoman. It is also known for its mastica flavour that is used in chewing gum. The substance is extracted from the plant grown in the island, hence the name in Turkish "Sakiz Adasi = Gum Island".

After locking up the boat, we went into the town for boat exit procedures. We learned that we had to surrender our transit log to the harbour police which we had to visit in the morning by boat.

Then we walked around town, had a dinner at a Greek restaurant, took a cab back to the boat (3 Euro). Turkish boats also arrived in the same marina but they were away. I was able to get information on port of entry at the Cesme, Turkey side from another German boat.

We had a quiet sleep and got up at 7:30 am and were at the city port by the customs building by 8 am. The procedure turned out to be first, you dock the boat at the customs building, then get a customs checkout, take that document to the next building to harbour police, get all the papers stamped and pay 0.88 Euro, take all the papers and passports to police in the customs building, get your exit stamps, give a copy of the stamped papers to customs and leave the port. Then inform the harbour authority on Channel 12 that you are leaving. It all worked out pretty smooth with the exception of police asking where the entry stamp was. I said it must be in Corfu. He laughed and let us go.

It was a beautiful morning, we crossed the channel across to Turkish side in no time at all.

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