AFTER OUR FIRST NIGHT AT ANCHOR OFF THE ISLAND OF AMOULIANNI, WE HAD A VERY SHORT SAIL TO PIRGADIKIA, A SMALL FISHING VILLAGE AT THE HEAD OF THE GULF... WITHIN MINUTES ANOTHER SAILING YACHT ARRIVES .....THRILLED TO SEE S/Y 'RAPAZ' WITH SALLY & ALAN & THEIR FRIENDS WHO DECIDED TO HAVE A TAVERNA LUNCH STOPOVER ...SO GREAT IDEA!!
WE HAD 3 EXCEPTIONALLY WINDY DAYS IN LIMNOS ...THE USUAL GUSTS.....NORMAL WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SITUATION!
ISLAND VERY BARREN, FEW TREES, CLEAR CLEAR WATER, BUT COLDER....WE STAYED IN 3 DIFFERENT ANCHORAGES, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE STARTING POINT OF THE CATASTROPHIC GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN....THE BAY AT THAT TIME, WOULD HAVE BEEN FULL OF WARSHIPS, TORPEDO BOATS, TRANSPORT BOATS ETC INCLUDING OF COURSE, AUSSIE AND N.Z. FORCES.
ONE OF OUR ANCHORAGES WAS LIKE BEING just off AN OUTBACK AUSTRALIAN TOWN....EXCEPT BY THE WATER. ONE 'PUB', FEW HOUSES, SHEEP, GOATS, HORSES, FLIES, UTES, TRACTORS, EUCALYPTUS TREES, VERY SLEEPY, & SOME FISHERMAN, not very active!
OUR CROSSING TO THE THREE PENSINULAS WAS WONDERFUL ... FAST, BUT AGREABLE SAILING CONDITIONS......WITH MOUNT ATHOS AT JUST OVER 2000 METRES DRAWING US CLOSER IN.....WHAT A SPECTACLE! ABSOLUTELY MAGNIFICIENT WITH THE MONASTERIES & HERMITS HUTS HANGING OFF THE SHEER ROCKY CLIFFS. Some of the monasteries are so huge, red roofed & set in wonderful green surroundings, with pine and cypress trees growing in the valleys. But other monasteries are grey and sad looking built into the rocky landscape, still huge buildings. Imagine the whole peninsula is off limits to women, & a sailing yacht must keep at least 500 metres offshore if women on board!
We had an interesting sail along this mountainous coast marvelling at it all............Happy to be over in this part of the Aegean and new ground to explore!
WELL, BRUNO AND I FINALLY CHECKED OUT OF TURKEY WITH OUR LAST ANCHORAGE AT SIVRICE, JUST BEFORE BABA BURUN.
OUR SHORT SAIL TO SIVRICE WAS UNEVENTFUL, EXCEPT THAT THE WINDS WERE EXTREMELY GUSTY AND STRONG (UP TO 35 KNOTS) UNTIL WE COMPLETELY CLEARED THE ARCHIPELAGO.......I THINK IT MUST BE GUSTY THERE ALL THE TIME ACTUALLY!
FROM BABA BURUN TO LIMNOS WAS PRETTY SPORTIVE,TO SAY THE LEAST, BUT 'PACIFIC PEARL' SAILED MARVELLOUSLY GIVING US A VERY RAPID SAFE TRAVERSEE ... ALSO BIG THANKS TO MY SKIPPER!!
KERRIE & JEAN-PIERRE S/Y 'FOREVER'
KINDLY DROVE US UP TO THE 'DEVIL's TABLE' TO WITNESS THE MOST STUNNING SUNSET OVER THE AYVALIK ARCHIPELAGO WITH IT's LOW LYING SMALL ISLANDS...... blowing at least 30 knots up there! Local folklore describes how the devils used to meet here to feast, drink wine & make merry. These days, there are a couple of big cafés catering to the huge number of visitors who flock there every evening for this amazing spectacle....then, when the sun has disappeared below the horizon, they all clap and disappear....
the views are absolutely awesome...SEE 'PHOTOS'.....thank you Kerrie & JP for this experience!
YES, the VERY FIRST MELTEMI of the season has arrived in full fighting force.... fortunately we are safely anchored in 3.5 metres ...sticky mud at Camlik Köyu, near AYVALIK. The bay is well protected, but obviously we do have strong gusts, for the moment up to 30 knots, BUT no seas! However, outside there are strong gale warnings in force all over the Aegean, so we will be sitting tight here for a while until the winds, then seas, calm down enough for us to head north. With northerlies, Force 7/8 and up to 9, must be pretty wild out there!
We are enjoying the company of our lovely neighbours, Philippe, Lulu and Scuba, from S/Y 'JAD' over aperitifs/dinners etc....all reading lots, swapping books, swimming, catching up on small jobs etc. Lulu and I have explored AYVALIK, visited the Setur Marina where we found S/Y 'Forever' and S/Y 'Shirley Valentine' ...both Aussie flags!! Both from Queensland!!
Now tomorrow, the weather man has announced an increase in winds, ....then a decrease towards the end of the week ......on verra!!
COU! COU! KERRIE (Australian yacht 'FOREVER') & DIMITRI ...great to see you in the AYVALIK archipelago (POROSELEN anchorage) The AUSSIE flags were flying!!
I FORGOT TO SAY......BETWEEN ALL THESE WONDERFUL ANCHORAGES, WE DO IN FACT SAIL!
SOMETIMES SHORT HOPS, SOMETIMES A WHOLE DAY, MORE OR LESS ...
WE ARE REALLY SO FORTUNATE THAT IN GREEK AND TURKISH WATERS, WE CAN SAIL REASONABLY SHORT DISTANCES AND FIND A DIFFERENT MOUILLAGE FOR EACH NIGHT. THEN OF COURSE, IF ALL IS OK AND WEATHER CONDITIONS FAVOURABLE, WE MAY STAY LONGER..........WHICH IS OFTEN THE CASE!
'PACIFIC PEARL' IS SAILING BEAUTIFULLY, WE TRY TO USE THE MOTOR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, AS WINDS HAVE BEEN PRESENT MOST DAYS GIVING US EXHILARATING SAILNG CONDITIONS. IF BY ANY CHANCE THERE IS NO WIND AT ALL, WE PREFER TO STAY PUT ......WE WILL NO DOUBT BE EXPERIENCING SOON THE MYTHIC MELTEMI WINDS WILDLY BLOWING DOWN THROUGH THE AEGEAN SEA SO FIERCELY DURING JULY AND AUGUST.....!!! Just have to be patient and hide in a well protected bay!
FELICITATIONS! TO STEVE & TRISH WHO HAVE JUST COMPLETED THEIR AMAZING 4 YEAR CIRCUMNAVIGATION ( FROM and TO IPSWICH in England) ON THEIR VERY STYLISH OYSTER 56 S/Y 'CURIOUS' .....
we had the privilege to meet them briefly in YATLIFT, near Bodrum, heading off for their last leg.
WE MEET SO MANY INTERESTING AND DIFFERENT PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE...THAT's WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT!
Recently, we came across SALLY & ALAN in the idyllic anchorage at GOKOVAR LIMAN, then in the turquoise waters of NERKIS LIMAN...Happy to learn that they also have an OYSTER, 22 YEARS OLD IN INCREDIBLE CONDITION! BRAVO! S/Y 'RAPAZ' is an OYSTER 406. So loads to talk about during our aperitifs together, as one can imagine!! 'Pacific Pearl' is 21...
So, since my last blog....in Turkey, apart from these last two great mouillages, we stopped at CESME, but not in the Marina, out on anchor, then BADEMLI LIMAN...we JUST LOVE IT THERE! See photos and you will understand why! Again memories of the Caribbean! Except that we had the whole anchorage between the two islands to ourselves....we swam off the tiny sandy coves in crystal clear water, walked amongst the century old olive trees, listened to the happy birds, explored by dinghy, had a BBQ, dranks lots of aperitifs etc. What more can one want! Could be compared just a little with the islands off Cannes, les iles de LERINS, but without Cannes and without the hundreds of pleasure boats at anchor, and the icecream man etc.!!
In GREECE.....SAMOS is such a spectacular island, with steep mountains, green valleys, forests, olives and oranges groves everywhere..very famous for locally produced Muscat and wine.
As for KHIOS, we only stopped at MARMARO in the north, a very long indented bay, with dark green forests behind, no discos, calm, calm! Spent one night alongside the quay. Also a very mountainous island....to explore one day! One day??
Actually, today in LESVOS moored on a quay in the very very empty Marina of MITILINI. WHY EMPTY?? This is where Joe and Josianne wintered. We have yet to visit the town....SO SO hot, will wait until it cools down a bit this evening.
By the way, we decided not to revisit EPHESUS in Turkey...did that in 1998! what a memorable day! Certainly had no desire to return to Kusadasi , nor Izmir ...too big & noisy for us these days. However, we hope this week to exlore the ancient site of PERGAMON, not far from Dikili.