Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Dodecanesse Island Hop With Martin 4 -24 July 2018.

A Mad Dash Around The Dodecanese Islands With Friend Martin From Weymouth, UK.     4 - 24 July 2018.

        We had a busy time in Kos cleaning Kisti Two and painting on another 3 coats of Teakwonder to protect the teak over the very hot 40C we were experiencing. Mid-day ice cream was the order of the day as we worked really hard to get Kisti Two all ship shape. Another notable achievement was being able to get the fridge properly repaired (filter replacement) by Dimitrius who did an excellent job. We filled up the fuel and water as well as completed plenty of shopping while in a main town. The wind blew hard and furious on a couple of days, but we felt safe although the swell could be quite worrying at times. 

       Martin arrived on the 4 July and over the course of the next 3 weeks we were able to complete 388 NM in 9 days of sailing while visiting 10 islands in the Dodecanese despite several days of Meltemi winds. It was very useful to have Martin on board and as we were able to sail Kisti Two for longer periods and in stronger winds accompanied by the usual confused swell. It was a wonderful 3 weeks visiting many old favourites except Lindos which was our first time by sea.

      The chart below shows our route in order of numbers. Starting at Kos (1), we sailed to Symi Island  (2) staying in Phedi Bay. We then stayed at Chalki (3) after visiting Alimia Island. We then went round to Lindos Bay on Rhodes Island (4) before heading back to Phedi Bay (5) on Symi. We then went to Palon on the volcanic island of Niseros (6) before heading round Kos Island to Emborios Bay on Kalimnos Island (7). We then sailed round Leros Island before anchoring to the south of Lipso Island (8). We then explored Arki Island and then crossed over to Patmos Island (9). The final leg was from Patmos to Leros Marina (10) to hide again from another strong Meltemi blow.  

The 388 NM Route Around The Dodecanese Islands. 4 - 25 July 2018.
1.  Kos To Symi Island, 4 - 10 July 2018.

     Martin arrived at Kos on 4 July along with a strong Meltemi blow. This gave him a quick chance to settle on Kisti Two and do a little exploration of the town itself on 5 July.  We had been in Kos for a week and were desperate to leave. Guy decided to leave early on 6 July to head south with the wind and seek the shelter of Symi. We raised ourselves at 0700 hrs on 6 July and left the marina swell under engine at 0730 hrs. We soon had the Genoa up in a following F4 as we headed SW from Kos towards Nisiros making sure we kept out of Turkish waters. There was a reasonable amount of cork screw swell following us as the wind gradually rose to a F6 and we tacked and sailed SE, again keeping out of Turkish waters towards Symi. We eventually headed a more comfortable NE around Symi island and then under motor went in to look at the harbour itself. There was no clear space available so we turned out and went into the next bay called Phedi which we new very well as an excellent shelter. As we entered the fjord, the wind dropped to F1 and allowed us to anchor with ease off the beach. We were to anchor a couple more times in the Bay over the next 2 days due to several yachts taking shelter from strong winds on 7 and 8 July. We witnessed one large yacht drag some 400 metres before stopping only just short of some rocks. It all happens so quickly. Guy remained on anchor watch by day while Martin visited Symi. As usual the winds would drop off in the evening allowing us all to frequent the beach Tavernas. 

The Route From (1) Kos To (2) Phedi Bay 6 July And Then To Chalki (3) 9 July.
Strong Winds Off Kos Marina.
Sunset Off Kos Promenade.
Martin Searching Symi Harbour For A Space. 

Luxury Gullets At Symi
Looking Down Into Symi.
"Bye Ginny, Off To The Taverna!"
Looking Back To Phedi Bay Entry.
The Wonderful Taverna.
Phedi Bay.
Guy And Martin Enjoying Sunset Beers. Kisti Two Anchored Behind.
The Suns Halo Indicating Strong Winds To Come. They Certainly Were.
2.  Symi To Alimia Bay And Then Chalki,  9-10 July 2018.

      We up anchored early on Sunday 9th and headed off out of Phedi Bay under motor. There was to be little or no wind all day so decided to do some exploration on our route to Chalki. We visited some of the fjords on the east coast of Phedi and Panormitris Bay also known as Monastery Bay. We then left Symi and headed SW towards Alimia Island. It was so hot and calm that Guy stopped mid way across and we all enjoyed a refreshing swim to cool down. We then carried on to Alimia Bay where we anchored at 1415 hrs for more swims and an exploration of the deserted islands 2 churches and WW2 German accommodation. We up anchored at 1745 to head the short distance west to Chalki where we tied up at the town harbour pontoon. Guy decided that we should head up to the castle on 10 July. We set off a bit late on one of the hottest days and 3 exhausted intrepid explorers eventually reached the castle to enjoy some most wonderful views across to Rhodes Island. The castle and church were fascinating as well as the Thrones of Zeus and Hekate that we just had to sit in. We enjoyed a well earned beer and meal at Shirley Valentines Table at the restaurant on the beach at the bottom of the return walk. We were also able to have another dish of our favourite Chalki prawns on the quay that night.

The Amazing Steep Fjords Of Symi.
The Deserted Alimia Beach.
Alimia Church.
Panorama Of Alimia Bay.
Kisti Two Anchored In Alimia Bay.
German WW2 Barrack Accommodation And Church.
Chalki Town And Wedding Cake Church.

Kisti Two Tied Up To The Pontoon With Main Town Chalki Pier Opposite.

The Visitors Pontoon With Kisti Two.
Chalki, Alimia Islands And Rhodes Island From The Castle
The Drop From The Castle With Ancient Harbour And Boat Hide.
The Countryside. You Can Almost Feel The 40C Heat
Ginny In Castle Church.
Castle Church And Wall.
Ginny In The Castle Surrounds.
Castle Poster.

Sat On The Throne.
The Throne Today.
The Imposing Castle On Top Of The Hill.
The Ancient Village Below The Castle. Very Hot And Rugged.
Panorama From The Castle.
Shirley Valentines Table Where We had Lunch And Beer.

3.  Chalki To Lindos On Rhodes Island. 11 July 2018.

           There was a quick opportunity to sail round to Lindos on 11 July which we seized. It however turned into a tough sail, especially around the SE corner of Rhodes. We departed at 0930, a little later than planned after an excellent evening! We motored off but soon had the Genoa and Main up with a following F4/5 and corkscrew swell as we sailed south. We reached the SW corner of Rhodes at 1530 hrs where the winds became a F6/7.  Several dolphins joined us as we were about to round the corner and Guy took this as a warning to reef before rounding.  Much to Ginny's delight, we soon had 2 reefs and a small Genoa as we tacked round and started heading NE along the coast of Rhodes Island. After 3 hours, we rounded the corner into the shelter of Lindos Bay and were safely anchored at 1840 hrs with the gorgeous setting of Lindos Castle and the white chora town to marvel at. It had been a great sail covering 51 NM in 9 hours. Too exhausted to go ashore, we stayed on board that evening in preparation for an early start the next morning to get away from worse winds to come!

The 51 NM Route From Chalki To Lindos Round The SW Corner Of Rhodes.
Departing Chalki.
Dolphins Just Before The SW Corner Of Rhodes Warning Us To Reef.
Sudden Calm As We Approach Lindos.
Lindos Castle And Town, Rhodes Island.
Lindos Castle From Our Anchorage.
Sunset In Lindos Bay.
Full Moon Over Lindos Castle.
4.  Lindos Back To The Shelter Of Phedi Bay,  Symi Island. 
12 - 13 July 2017.

         With strong winds forecast for a few days, Guy decided that it was to be an early rise and quick sail back to Phedi to find shelter again from another Meltemi blow. We raised the anchor at 0545 hrs and had the main up as we motored into NE. We soon had 2 reefs in when a F6 developed and then just as quickly it disappeared to a F2 so we motor sailed again with 2 reefs expecting strong winds again as we rounded the flat corner of NE Rhodes Island. Sure enough we soon had a F5/6 as we tacked round Rhodes town at 1045 hrs. We spent the next 3 hours taking between Rhodes and the Turkish waters boundary heading SW before having the seaway to head north again towards Symi Island. We anchored back in the safety of Phedi Bay at 1645 hrs having completed 66 NM in 11 hours. It was a great sail full of tacking and reefing (so not many photos were taken) all carried out in shorts and T shirt. Such is the joy of Med sailing. We stayed to recuperate and hide from strong winds in Phedi Bay on the 13 July, once again enjoying the beach taverna.

The Red Route Lindos (4) To Symi (5) On 12 July.
The Blue Route Symi (5) To Palon (6) On Nisiros Island On 14 July.
And The Red Route Palon (6) To Emborious Bay (7) On 15 July. 
Sailing Round Rhodes.

5.  Phedi Bay To Palon On Nisiros Island 14 July 2017.

      We once again rose early on 14 July to pull the anchor up and head off on our travels. Much to Ginny's delight, there was no swell or wind so we motored all the 40 NM to Palon Harbour on the NE corner of the volcanic island of Nisiros where we tied up at 1215 hrs. This gave us time to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal in the Blue Restaurant on the harbour front.

Sunrise Leaving Phedi Bay.
Kisti Two Tied Up Opposite In Palon Harbour. The Blue Restaurant Seen Behind Her.

6.   Palon Round Kos To Emborious Bay On Kalimnos Island 15 July 2017.

      Another early start saw us depart Palon at dawn and we had several false starts as we tried to sail NE towards Kos with small gusts of wind. Guy eventually gave up and stuck to the iron Genoa as we raced round Kos. As we passed Kos at 1030, we were suddenly attacked by an armada of noisy gullets storming out of Kos full of tourists. We had a couple more false starts of sailing where we even had to put in 2 reefs but the wind was short lived and we had to revert back to the engine. It was a very scenic trip once again around the western side of Kalimnos Island and we eventually picked up Captain Costas buoy in Emborious Bay where we once again enjoyed a cooling off swim and excellent meal in the Taverna.

The Gullet Armada Attacks Us Off Kos.
Emborious Bay On Kalimnos Island

7.  Emborious Bay, Kalimnos To Kouloura Bay On Lipso Island.  16 July 2017.

      After a leisurely breakfast, we left Emborious Bay at 0945 hrs and motored up to Pandeli Bay on the eastern side of Leros Island. We tried to sail again, but clearly the Greek wind ministry were on summer holiday so we motored on north to anchor in the lovely white sands of Kouloura Bay on the SE corner of Lipso Island at 1500 hrs. It was a wonderful spot where we enjoyed a lovely swim and a Kisti Two BBQ. 

The Red Route, Emborious Bay To Kouloura Bay, Lipso Island 16 July.
The Blue Route, Kouloura Bay To Patmos Island 17 July.
The Yellow Route, Patmos To Leros Marina in Lakki Bay 18 July. 
Pandeli Bay, Leros Island.

Pandeli Harbour.
Martin Relaxing With Cold Beer While Guy Cooks The BBQ In Kouloura Bay. 
8.   Kouloura Bay, Lipso Island To Patmos Via Arki Island.
17 July 2017.

      Another leisurely start to the day saw us depart from Kouloura Bay at 0915 hrs under motor. We headed east to explore the islands off Lipso before heading north to wander around the stunning turquoise water while meandering around the islands of Arki. After anchoring for a swim, we then headed west towards Patmos Island and were tied up in the town at 1315 hrs.  We sent Martin up to the fortified Monastery for him only to discover it was closed on Mondays! OOpppsss. Anyway, he enjoyed the views and exercise.

Islands off Lipso.
The Turquoise Waters Of Arki.
Skipper And Mate.

Martin The Crew.
A Happy Skipper With That Hat.
The Stunning Waters Of Arki.
Just Had To Have A Swim. Gorgeous.
Port Stretto, Arki Island.
Patmos Lobsters.

9.   Patmos To Leros Marina To Escape The Next Meltemi Blow.  18 - 24 July 2017.

     Guy was once again concerned about another even bigger Meltemi Blow due in for a week so it was once again an early start to go back to Leros Marina and get a safe berth for a few days. We departed at 0730 and with a long motor sail were safely tied up into a comfortable berth in Leros Marina. We were to spend a week here hiding from the winds, exploring the island tourist attractions of the WW2 Museum, The Castle at Pandeli Bay and the beautiful but moving War Graves cemetery at Alinda. It was good to relax for a week, enjoy hot showers, re-stock and generally prepare for our trip to Turkey. Martin had to leave us by ferry to Kos to catch his plane back to UK. It was great to have him on board and we certainly ate up the sea miles and islands of the Dodecanese, enjoyed several taverna meals and the excellent Greek beers. We certainly achieved a great deal despite the Meltemi winds.

Departing Patmos.
The Fortified Monastery At Patmos.
Pandeli Harbour Village, Windmills And Castle.
Greek Garden. Nothing Gets Wasted.
Pandeli From The Castle
A Knights Coat Of Arms.
The Ancient Castle Church Where Little Has Changed.
Pandeli Bay And Leros Marina Is Top Right Corner In The Blue Patch.

Alimni Bay From The Castle.
Ginny In The Castle Entrance.
Castle Bells.
Altemi Bay With Meltemi Swell.
Our Friend From Leros Marina Restaurant.
Leros Cemetery.
Ginny In Leros War Cemetery.
Ginny Relaxing At Lakki Bay.