Greek Isles

August 4th 2011

Our first Port of Call in Greece is the town of Skala on Patmos island, we checked in here last year and knew it was an easy process without the need of an agent, which could be required on some of the more popular islands. Within half an hour we had cleared immigration with the local police, acquired our cruising log with customs and did a final paperwork check with the port police...a smooth transition after a slightly more hectic process in Turkey!

The following day we rented a moped for 15 euros, with just a regular driving license and the correct answer to the question "you have driven one of these before, right?" - Yes, Yes we've driven them all over the world including Thailand...a knowing smile and enough said the bike was ours!

Patmos is a truly beautiful island and well worth taking the time to explore, we drove pretty much every road on the island and always found yet another perfect bay with crystal clear water or a cute little village with another great sea food Taverna. The island is over shadowed by the Monastery of Saint John "the theologian" and is home to the 'Cave of the Apocalypse' where St. John is said to have written the book of revelations. We've been here four days waiting for good winds to sail on and have secretly been hoping it doesn't improve for a few more as there's still lots to see.

Our general itinerary for this season is to island hop to the south side of Greece's Peloponnese island, from there we'll sail to the south coast of Sicily, then on to Sardinia and Corsica, across to the Balearic Islands, the south coast of Spain and then on to Gibraltar by November. From Gibraltar we'll head on to the Canary Islands with a possible stop in Morocco along the way. If all goes well we'll still have enough time to head down to the Cape Verde's before crossing the Atlantic in December. I have to admit this is a very basic outline of our plan and as all cruisers know plans are written in sand and forever's more of an idea!

For now though the wine is cheap and the food is to die for, bakeries sell delicious warm bread and we're back in the land of Feta and Olives...what more can we ask for!

Turkey - June/July 2011

After over nine months of sitting on the hard in Yacht Marine in Turkey Blue Moon is finally back in the water and ready to start a new season of cruising. Jimmy arrived back to Marmaris on the 14th of June to a very dusty, weather beaten boat but was surprised at how well she had fared being sat closed up for so long. This didn't mean there wasn't a lot of work to be done however, he spent the following few weeks sanding off the old bottom paint, buffing the sides of the hull, replacing old through holes and sea cocks and numerous engine refurbishments including replacing the fresh water pump, impeller and filters.
I returned three weeks later amazed at the progress Jimmy had made and after a few days of painting the hull and completing jobs that needed two pairs of hands, we slipped her back into the water. Nothing leaked and the engine started after a couple of turns...thank god! We spent the next five days tied up in the marina putting the sails and stack packs back up, getting replacement windows in the dodger and zippers replaced in the bimini, we ran a new wire up the missen mast to install an antenna for our new AIS transponder and receiver and then generally cleaned 'everything'.
After a few days anchored off Marmaris town getting our sea legs back and stocking up our food supplies from the supermarket, we upped anchor and headed north. Our next stop was the town of Bodrum on Turkey's Mid western coast where we did another Stock up with fruit and vegetables from the local market and then checked out of the country. We've loved everything about turkey from the great little cafes where you can spend all day drinking small glasses of 'Chai' (Turkish tea) while watching the world go by, to the harbours full of beautiful 'Gullets' (large wooden yachts) being expertly driven by some very skilled captains. We're sad to leave Turkey but excited to be back under way, being away from the boat has made us both appreciate what a great life cruising is...Next stop the Greek Islands!
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