Monday, 24 April 2017

Spinalonga To Rhodes 26 March - 22 April 2017

Lift Out 26 March 2017

     We were lifted out for a power wash and bottom scrub on 27 March at Ag Nik marina. It only took one hour to clean her up and with the help of hydrochloric acid clean the propeller. So, all in all, only 1 hour 15 minutes for the whole operation.  Guy was hoisted up the mast on 28th to check the rigging.

Lift Out At Aghios Nikolaos Marina.
Not Bad After A Year In The Water - Coppercoat.

1 Hour Later After The Power Wash.

Spinalonga 2 - 10 April 2017.

We departed Ag Nik on Sunday 2 April after spending 7 months in the marina. We decided to just head for Spinalonga, only 12NM away, and test everything en route. We motored round due to a head wind and 2 1/2 hours later dropped our anchor in our favourite spot opposite Elounda. 

    We were to spend the next 8 days here due to strong winds and swell predicted for our route to Rhodes. Elounda was beginning to open up again for the season so we went for a few walks and enjoyed one 10 mile long hike around the Spinalonga peninsula among the Mycenaean and Dorian ruins and an old Roman road. It was a glorious day and the Bays of Kolokithia and Krios looked stunning with a charming Church between the two.

   It was good to get into the routine of living on the boat and get the outboard serviced again, although we have yet to go swimming as the water is still far too cold. Everywhere certainly looked much greener and there were plenty of spring flowers on view. At one point, there were 13 boats from Ag Nik marina all anchored in the bay waiting to start their summer sail.

Krios Bay.

Ag Nik Bay.

Kolokithia Bay.

Kolokithia Bay Church.

First Cockpit Meal Of Summer.

Kisti Two Anchored In Spinalonga Bay Again!

Spinalonga Bay.

Spinalonga To Rhodes 11 - 12 April 2017.

    A small window in the weather was predicted so we decided to head to Rhodes quickly where we could spend the time to explore the Island until the weather was more settled. We pulled the anchor up at sunrise on Wednesday 12 April and set a NE course for Rhodes. We motorsailed with the genoa up in a slight swell and were doing a good 7 knots  until about mid-day when the swell picked up in the gap between Crete and Kasos/Karpathos islands which slowed us down and made life a little uncomfortable.

   The swell started to reduce as we reached the western side of Kasos and Karpathos Islands and we were joined by a couple of dolphins. We always believe this to be a good omen for the season as we watched them play on the bow of Kisti Two. There followed a fantastic sunset as we approached the southern tip of Rhodes Island and the wind dropped so we started the evening motoring only. We reached a small Island called Khalki off the west of Rhodes and anchored in the center of a small bay in calm conditions at mid-night after 113 nm in 18 hours. We settled in to bed feeling good about the days trip and were soon asleep only to be woken up by strong F6 winds. The anchor was well set so we nodded off to sleep again.

    We awoke on 12 April to strong winds with a prediction of further strong winds for a week, so lifted up the anchor and motor sailed off towards Rhodes Town. The wind was very strong and the swell exceedingly uncomfortable so after 6 hours and 40 nm, it was a relief to motor into the shelter of Mandraki Harbour where we were met by Navigo Agent, Nicos who guided us to an excellent position with mooring lines. It costs us €10 a night with free electricity and water. Compare that to UK £20+ a night.

First Sunrise Departing Spinalonga.

Ginny Dolphin Hunting.

Always Good To Have Dolphins On The First Trip Of Summer.

Mother And Child.

Sunset Off Rhodes Island.

Departing Chalki Bay Anchorage.

Chalki Island With Castle And Windmills.

Cold Start To The Day.

Chalki Island Town On A Cold Grey Day.

Ginny Kitted Out For The Cold And Rough Weather.

A Horrible Wind And Swell.
Rhodes 12 - 24 April 2017.

      We planned to only spend a week here but due to strong winds and much swell, we have ended up enjoying a most wonderful 2 weeks exploring Rhodes Town and Lindos on the east coast. We were later joined by Princess Orsini with Gaille and Ian and their daughter Ali.

     The Medieval City Of Rhodes.  

       The Old Town of Rhodes is fascinating in all respects. We have visited the Grand Masters Palace, walked around the enormous moat, explored the various small streets and shops, tavernas and museums and still after 2 weeks continue to find new parts we have not seen. We met up with friends Brian and Rose from Licata who wintered here and gave strong advice not to use Rhodes Marina due to terrible swell. Rhodes is a magnet for cruise ships, indeed there were 4 in the harbour one day, but the Old Town is so large that it can cope easily with the crowds.  There is so much fascinating history here that we spent ages exploring the Old Town and most importantly sampling the various Tavernas with Thomas’s being our favourite in a quiet spot at the SE corner.

Ginny Reading Old Rhodes Town Guide.

The Street Of Knights.

The Knights Street.

The Grand Masters Palace Entrance.

The Grand Masters Palace Courtyard.

Palace Courtyard.

Entrance To First Floor.

Old Town Ramparts.

Old Town Garden.

Marina Entrance Castle.

The Three Windmills We Tied Opposite.

Night View From Kisti Twos Mooring.
Grand Masters Palace And Muslim Market.

Rhodes Cathedral.

Marina Entrance, Monastry And Cathedral.

Old Town Backstreet.

Mandraki Harbour Entrance.

Muslim Influence On Rhodes.
Acropolis Of Rhodes And The Ancient Stadium.     

       Overlooking the city is the Acropolis of Rhodes dating from 3rd Century BC with an ancient stadium with its small theatre. The site is set at the top of the hill in some 3 acres with piles of carved stone and foundations all over the area.  We walked up and enjoyed walking round the 400 m track of the ancient stadium which could quite frankly host competitions even today. The acropolis was a bit of a disappointment all wrapped up in scaffolding but must certainly have been very impressive in its day. We concluded the day with a long walk around the  outer walls of the Old City and harbour.

Hellenistic Stadium From 3C BC.

Haleion Games Stadium In Honour Of The God Helios.

Restored Marble Theatre.

The temple Of Pythian Apollo.

Old Town Moat.

Guy Admiring The Old Town Moat.

The British Knights Responsibility - Looks Like Pendennis Castle!

The British Knights Responsibility And Moat.

Old Town Harbour Walls.
Virginia At The Virgin Marys Gate.

Ruined Church.
Old Town Shops.
Old Town Harbour Wall.
Old Town Harbour Dolphins.

      We took the bus on Sunday 16 April to Lindos 50 km away which was an unforgettable experience. The old sea captains town with its fascinating small streets, shops, tavernas and small apartments is colourful and lively. But the majestic castle which overlooks the bay and town is fascinating. The Knights of St John Castle draws you up the hill where you suddenly discover an enormous and famed ancient Acropolis of Lindos and the ruins of the Lindian Temple of Athena waiting to be explored. The pictures of Lindos, the bays, the acropolis, castle and temple clearly speak for the magnificence of the place themselves. 

Lindos Town And Castle.
The Acropolis Of Lindos.
Lindos Bay.
View From Lindos Castle/Acropolis.
Lindos Castle.
Lindos Castle And Acropolis.
Lindos Acropolis.
Lindos Acropolis.
Lindos Temple.
St Pauls Bay From Lindos Castle/Acropolis.
Lindos Acropolis.
What A View From The Acropolis.
Lindos Temple.
Lindos Explanation
Lindos Acropolis And Bay.
Hellenistic Stoa In The Castle.
Explanation Board.
Hellenistic Stoa And Temple.
Hellenistic Stoa And Crusader Castle Accommodation

Hellenistic Temple.
Hellenistic Stoa.
Hellenistic Storage Rooms.
Lindos Crusader Castle Entrance.
Lindos Bay.
Lindos Castle Entrance.
Lindos Castle.
Bar Doorway.
Lindos With Crusader Castle Which Has The Acropolis.
Lindos Town, Bay And Castle.
Lindos Town, Castle And Auditorium.
St Pauls Bay And Lindos Castle.
Lindos Bay.
Lindos Town And Crusader Castle With Acropolis

Discovering Rhodes.      

     Rhodes should be a must on everyones bucket list to do. The Minoans were here followed by the Myceneans in 15C BC. The Dorians settled and it was later allied to Alexander The Great until the Romans captured it in 42 BC. Rhodes became part of the Byzantine Empire until the Arabs took it over in 653. The Genoese occupied the island in 1046 and the Venetians enjoyed trading rights. The Knights of St John captured the island in 1309 and it was used as a raiding base on the Holy Lands. Sulleiman the Magnificent and the Ottomans took Rhodes from the Knights in 1522. The Italians then occupied Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese in 1912 and then finally, the Dodecanese were eventually handed over to Greece in 1947 by British Brigadier A. S. Parker after WW2.  So much history, great ruins, beaches, tavernas and shopping makes Rhodes a fascinating place to visit. We loved it here but must move on now that we have a week of settled weather ahead.

The Minaret Of The Suleiman Mosque.

Old Town Street.

Old Town Street With One Of Many Tavernas.

Old Town Street.

Knights Of St John Court Room.

The Pink Mosque Of Suleiman The Magnificent.
Constructed In 1522 After Defeating The Knights.

Archeological Museum In The Hospital Of The Knights Of St John.

Archeological Museum With Guy!

Marine Gate Square.

Knights Hospital.

3 Cruise Liners In Rhodes Harbour.

Typical Old Town Shop.

Red Wine With Kates Boquet.

Spit Roast Lamb.

Cracking Red Eggs For Easter.

The Bourges Clock Tower.
Sailing The Med In April.     

      This is our third year in the Med and I have now concluded that the weather in April is not conducive to sailing and anchoring as the weather still remains generally unsettled. It does however provide a good opportunity to depart from ones winter base and visit a major tourist area or areas where you can find a place to tie up with relative ease and see all the sites without swarms of other charter yachts or tourists. We now look forward to some island hopping towards Kos.

Charter Yacht Exiting Into Strong Wind And Heavy Swell. They Returned Wet And Sick!

Kisti Two In Our Safe Mooring.