Tuesday, June 23, 2015


June 16 afternoon - 21

The wind was right on our nose so we had to motor the 20 nautical miles over to Patmos. We left early because at this time of year the winds are typically high making the crossing bumpy and unpleasant. Today was an exception and was extremely calm. We arrived to Patmos with no trouble and went on a reconnaissance mission into the first bay called “Grikou Bay”. It was beautiful but very few spot to anchor. There were several mooring balls available. We decided to check out the busier bay called “Skála Patmos Bay”. As soon as we arrived I wanted to leave as it was very busy and noisy. A great place to “visit”. There was 1 cruise ship in port and another smaller anchored just outside the bay. Off we went back to Grikou to grab a mooring ball. Best decision!

I successfully made the bridal (a bow rope on each hull) that hooks up through the eye of the rope that is attached to the mooring ball and then picked up the rope attached to the ball without my usual blunder of dropping the boat hook. Woohoo! Small victories are what make my days worthwhile LOL.

It is nice and quiet here and so far one of our favourite spots. We dropped the dinghy and headed to see who to pay for the ball. To our disappointment we found out it is a private ball. After a quick swim at the local beach and with several more bug bites we headed back to the boat to find a back up place. We have since decided to take our chances on this ball and hope the owner doesn’t arrive. 

After the girls went to bed Shaun and I headed over for a walk and to have a late dinner. We walked over to the main beach area to check it out and have a 1/2 litre of local wine, olives and bread. It was so peaceful. We ended up walking back to Flisvos restaurant for another 1/2 litre and the late dinner mentioned above. Their wifi IS AWESOME! It is a shame we couldn’t pick it up from the boat. They also have a wonderful chicken on a skewer. Some of the best chicken we have had on this trip.

Flisvos restaurant
view from Flisvos
We headed to back to the boat and found a lovely string note from Paige spelling out “goodnight love Paige”. I had a hard time deciphering it (and no not because of the wine) so had to ask Shaun to tell me what it spelled out.

note from Paige
Today we woke up after a restful sleep being tied up to the mooring ball. We didn’t have to worry about the anchor thankfully. After breakfast Paige wanted to go for a swim but was nervous about the fish. She wanted someone to go in with her. I had just showered and wasn’t prepared to get all salty just yet. Jordan came to her rescue and put on her life jacket. Shaun pulled out a long blue line and attached it to the back of the boat to allow for the girls to swim but not get too far away from the boat. In they went to view the fish.

By the time Shaun was ready to swim I was warm enough to cool down and didn’t mind getting all salty. After a refreshing dip we fixed lunch and while I closed my eyes Shaun found homes for more items that needed them. At this point no one had come to kick us off the mooring ball or ask for money so Shaun had Paige draw up a sign in black letters with VHF 69. We brought our hand held VHF in case someone arrived.

We needed to head to land to find out about the local bus. We dropped the dinghy and finally got all of our items together. When we arrived at the dinghy dock and tied up there was this older greek fellow sitting on the back of his boat saying “those balls are private”. He kept talking to us but due to the language barrier we still weren’t certain we were ok to be tied onto the mooring ball. We continued on and stopped briefly at a restaurant that we had the first batch of wine at the previous evening to ask if anyone knew who the ball belonged to. The manager came out and pointed us back to the crotchety greek guy. He stayed to interpret the conversation and once everything was discussed we are good to stay until Monday for FREE!!!!!! We will drop off some beer before we leave as a thank you. It ended up being a bottle of red wine that we dropped off. We even got a small grimace out of the fellow.

We headed up a street where we thought the bus stop would be but it turns out it heads in another direction. While we were waiting for Shaun to investigate where the road lead a man with a mule on a leash came out of a side street. You don’t see that everyday now do you?

We headed back to the beautiful beachside hotel called Patmos Aktis to ask the reception where the bus stop would be. We found it finally and realized that a bus was arriving in 12 minutes. It turned out it was coming in GMT time (Greek maybe time). That being said the bus that pulled up was a tour bus. Superb! It cost 1 euro 50 for people over 5. Off we went on another adventure to the town of Skala in search of a Vodaphone to replenish the sim card.

The road to Skala is windy with priceless views of the islands nooks and crannies. We arrived at the bus stop and hopped off the bus in search of the Vodaphone store. We stopped in a couple of stores and then were directed down towards the beach area. By this time ciesta (most shops close from 2-5) was in full swing so we stopped in a couple of “super markets”. Shaun had read in one of his cruising magazines about a restaurant called “Miltemi”. Low and behold there it was. Of course we needed to refresh so we stopped to wait until 5:00 PM. Fix beer was our poison, very refreshing in the over 30 degree weather. The restaurant is on the beach so the girls were able to swim and play at the lovely beach. Of course my stomach started to rumble so I waited and waited but the waitress must have been on GMT time because I had to cross the street and order a chicken and bacon caesar salad and a plate of fries. Well worth the waiting. The portion was huge and the salad delicious. We were unable to finish the plate for 6 euro 50. We left the beach and headed back to the Vodaphone to discover that on Wednesdays they close at 1:30 PM and don’t re-open until the following day……. So another trip to Skala was needed.

view of the girls from the restaurant Miltemi

not enough sun screen
The following morning we slept in. Once I got up, I decided to make pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee. It was a morning feast in preparation for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. Jordan was able to play with a little boy that she had given a toy to the day before and Paige was snorkelling. Everyone was having a peaceful time. 

We headed back to the boat as Shaun and I wanted to test the water maker. We were able to finally get the water maker working. YES, WE MADE FRESH WATER FROM SALT WATER! This is so freeing. We don’t always have to rely on marinas. Our Spectra water maker produces 30 litres an hour. It does take energy from the battery charge but is SO WORTH it! Making the water also opened up a discussion with the girls about fresh water and how incredible it is. Many places in the world don’t have clean drinking water and no means of making it and we on our boat are able to.

That evening we went for dinner at Flivos to have their chicken on a skewer with rice and fries and of course to partake in their wonderful wifi.

With our food supplies near empty (by this I mean we had no meat and very few veggies/fruit) we headed back to Skala to rent a car. As we were waiting for the bus we got to talking to a couple from England who were staying in one of the rentals on the beach. As the bus was going to be a while we offered to share a taxi with them but of course there was no taxi that could accommodate 6 people. We took our 8 euro taxi into Skala for the second time to get the minutes for the cell phone. We were successful and purchased minutes from a kiosk. We have since figured out we need to visit Vodaphone directly to get a North American package as the minutes we purchased when used to call Canada end up being 1 euro per minute. Ouch!

We walked along the beach and found Katrina’s car rental place and rented ourselves a blue Fiat…… Patmos is pricey for car rentals at 30 euros per day (we have been paying 20-25 euros per day). After we forked over the cash we set off for the Hora called Chorá. Chorá is where an old Monastery is perched atop a hill inside high walls. Chorá is accessible by pedestrians only (although the rules are always bent for the locals LOL). The streets are narrow and meander throughout the city. There are staircases that when taken lead you on a maze through the town. The buildings are painted white and the shops are unique. Most are peddling the religious items. I am not a religious person so a lot of this was lost on me. The Monastery was beautiful with intricately carved wood and beautiful fresco paintings. We didn’t have a huge amount of time as it and the museum were closing at 1:30 PM (it was 1:20 PM). We quickly entered the museum and viewed the Cretan artwork, old writings and robes worn by priests. Very beautiful.

one of the streets in Chorá
We left Chorá and went over to Kampos Beach (6 miles) to check out where we could have anchored. It was very beautiful but I really liked where we were on the mooring ball. After our ice cream we hopped in the car back to Skala to go grocery shopping. Two shopping carts filled and precariously packed into the Fiat we headed back to the dinghy to load the items in. As we pulled up 2 fellows approached us asking if we were on the Canadian vessel. They in fact ended up being from Anachordis (just outside of Seattle). While Shaun and Paige took the groceries to the boat Jordan and I sat and chatted with Doug and Ben and their significant others. Very nice couples. It is a shame we didn’t have sundowners with them before we left. Funny enough Doug knew Gwen from KW in Marmaris. We had a good chuckle about her (all in good fun). Gwen does so very much for the Netsel community. Shaun arrived back to pick us up and once back at the boat I made a lovely meal with our newly purchased provisions. 

In the morning Shaun and Jordan took the car back to Skala and waited to catch a bus back to Grikous Bay. Paige and I hung out on the boat in the peace and quiet. It was too windy to swim so we lazed around and I napped. We wanted to be rested for our long journey to Mikanos the following morning. 

view of the Monastery in Chorá from the water
view of Skala from the car

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Mikanos - June 21 - June 30 morning

We got up at 5:30 AM to “sail” the 70 nautical miles to Mykonos.

It turned out that the wind was light and right on our nose so we had to motor the whole way. Better than strong winds and a heavy swell. 10 hours later we arrived in Anna bay (Kalo Lavadi beach), dropped our anchor and swam for a couple of hours before heading to the local marina that has been a work in progress for 10 years. It was a nice fathers day for Shaun (even if the kids forgot what day it was).

Arrived to the marina in the new port on Mykonos. It is designed poorly for med mooring. Let me elaborate, the original design worked as it used lazy lines. There is a chain set in the water in the middle of the marina basin to which rope lines are attached and brought to the wharf walls. Ideally a boat arrives and grabs onto one of these ropes and ties it to their bow preventing the bow from blowing around in the wind while they back up and tie their stern to the wharf. This eliminated the use of anchors. Over the years peoples propellers cut the lazy lines and the marina gradually stopped replacing them. Now there is a large chain 7 meters down on the bottom of the marina floor with all the rope debris. As a result of the lazy lines no longer being there people have to drop anchor and reverse to the wharf. Unfortunately, Mykonos is a very windy island so you want to drop your anchor as far away from the wharf as possible to hold your boat away from the wharf in strong winds. And Bob’s your uncle you’ve hooked the old lazy line chain. The local divers are circling like sharks charging between 60-80 euro to unhook from said chain……. WE WERE DETERMINED NOT TO PAY THIS. The chain did help us in the 30 knot winds to stay off the wharf. We headed to bed as it had been a very long travel day. 

In the wee hours of June 22 the winds increased so we had to get up and add 2 more bow lines to keep our boat straight so that we didn’t hit the wall and so began our very trying day. At 10:00 AM is when the proverbial shit hit the fan and a sailboat hit our port bow significantly damaging it above the water line. As he was departing and raising his anchor the wind caught his stern and swung him around. As he swung around his anchor started to drag and in doing so caught our anchor chain and the chain of the boat next door with his rudder. Once the neighbour dropped his anchor chain the rudder was freed creating the HUGE problem. The heavy wind caught the boat and swung him sideways like a baseball bat allowing him to hit us straight abeam. To add insult to injury our anchor is now caught on an unused chain at the bottom of the marina. On the bright side it has allowed our boat to stay in place without hitting the wall in the 30 + knots of sustained winds. It also has helped as 3 other vessels have caught our anchor chain with their anchors attempting to moor along side us. On the downside we have to figure out a safe way to detach our anchor from said chain without having to employ a diver. This may end up being the case but we are going to wait until the winds calm down and hope for the best. Shaun is contemplating snorkelling a line with a heavy duty hook to the anchor trip loop to see if we can winch it. Never a dull moment. There were no injuries and everyone is safe.

the results of the collision
The last few days have been frustrating for lack of a better word. I would like to use a lot of foul language but know that it is inappropriate. I have felt stressed to leave the boat in fear that yet another one will hit us. Mykonos marina is where many charter boats come in with a lot of inexperienced people at their helm. I will NEVER come back. 

The silver  lining is that we met Katarina and Alex. Katarina was working on a catamaran next door as crew, cleaner and cook and we got to know her. Katarina and Jordan hit it off. She invited Jordan to make biscuits on her boat and while I was over there she showed me where she slept with her captain. It was shocking the tight quarters that two people who are not related or in a relationship must share. She explained that George her captain had to take her foot next to his head to help her climb into the bow hatch. Her work days were long with very little time off to herself. She had already made the decision to head for the island of Milos July 1 to work with her boyfriend. She invited us to visit so, we will visit her later on in July.

Katerina and myself
Alex is a skipper of another catamaran and sat with Shaun for a couple of hours gave Shaun some insight about places to visit while in Greece. We are very grateful! We plied him with beers while he told us that his current group of 11 guys was very intense as they are HUGE partiers. By the time they arrived in Mykonos some of the 11 decided to get a hotel room to get away from the boat.

We took the rental car and headed “downtown” to explore the main city. The city itself is beautiful. Snow white painted buildings, narrow corridors and beautiful sea views. What I have come to realize is how I cannot stand the tourists. If there is one thing that angers me the most is being ripped off. Because Mykonos is a cruise ship hub the prices in town are triple to quadruple anywhere we have been. Also, the amount of people wandering around…….. I felt like punching people. I even wanted to return to the wretched marina.

Mikonos town

Mikonos town

Mikonos town

Mikonos town

a narrow street
We returned to the boat to find out it had been hit yet again (three times). This time it is was only superficial small divets down the starboard side out of the gel coat layer. Another charter boat. At least they were honest about it.

We decided to leave the boat for a brief drive over to where we were first anchored on  fathers day. Paige was not wanting to join us so we left her at the boat knowing that our new friend Katarina was two boats down if Paige needed anything. As we were driving along we saw the go kart track. It looked completely empty. We filed this information away for another day.

We arrived at Kalo Lavadi beach for a swim after a windy drive through a very barren looking island. Mykonos is a Cyclades island versus a Dodecanese island. Very dry rocky and barren.

Kalo Liva

On our drive to the beach the day before I noticed a large toy store. I was hoping that there might be some english books as we have been reading the same books to Jordan over and over and over. Off we went to Jumbo Toy Land - turns out it is an everything under the sun store. We were able to get toys, swimming fins, table cloth clips, a new bread knife and some gum. We decided to stop at the go kart track for a go. It was so much fun! Paige seemed pretty nervous but faired well on her own. Jordan was in a 2 person car with Shaun who of course drives fast, and I had my own car as well. It was a pleasure to watch the smiling faces of Shaun and Jordan as they lapped me on the track. Jordan was shouting to Shaun “go faster daddy!”. Eight minutes later we were directed back into the pit.

When we arrived back at the boat we allowed the girls to go to the beach near the marina. Paige found a very small cuttle fish (about the size of a quarter). Very cool little dude. After, Shaun did some research and found out that cuttle fish bones are used in parakeet cages for calcium supplements. They also used to use this same piece (smaller versions) for a mould to make jewelry.

On Saturday June 27th we left the boat to go to the island of Delos. We caught a ride into Mykonos town in preparation for a ferry ride to the island. We bought our 11:30 AM tickets and had some time to spare so we went on a walk in search of Pedro the pelican. We were told that he likes to be around a fish market. We were directed to turn “left and then take your first right and look for a picture of a fish above a door”. We followed these instructions or so we thought to no avail. Thinking that we were out of luck, we decided to head back to a taverna for a beverage before the ferry departed. At one intersection we decided to turn left to go towards the water and as we rounded a corner there he was the HUMUNGOUS Pedro the pelican waddling down the street. I was trying so hard to get a picture of him and think I scared him. Paige was able to touch him as he passed by. He walked right into a restaurant and in behind the counter where the kitchen was. Shaun was able to get a great video of him. Priceless.

resting on a swing bench in search of Pedro the pelican

stunning flowers against the contrasting white

back end of Pedro

Pedro heading for refuge into the taverna
We left Pedro to his own devices and headed back through the labyrinth of streets and found a lovely gelato place to have a snack and a coffee. The best watermelon gelato I have ever tasted for 1 euro. The restaurant is called “gelarte gelateria artigianale” If ever you are in Mykonos you must go there.

The winds were blasting as we boarded the ferry. We decided to sit in the most stable part of the vessel which happens to be in the middle on the bottom floor. We departed promptly at 11:30 for our 30 minute trip over to Delos. As we left the calm of the harbour the waves were 6-8 feet high on our bow. As the captain turned the vessel we were being hit by the waves on the starboard. We were pitching and rolling pretty good (thankfully it was a short ride). There were moments when my stomach left its rightful place. Shaun kept saying “people pay money at the PNE to experience this feeling”. The girls and I were smart and took our travel medicine that morning.

We docked at Delos. I don’t know what I was expecting but the vast sight that laid before me was not it, I was awestruck. We have seen ruins on our travels but nothing like this. This was huge and well preserved. I don’t normally copy information but I feel so strongly about Delos that I want to share some information I have read in the lonely planet Greek Islands book:

“Delos won early acclaim as the mythical birthplace of the twins Apollo and Artemis and was first inhabited in the 3rd millennium BC. From the 8th century BC it became a shrine to Apollo, and the oldest temples on the island date back from this era. The dominant Athenians had full control of Delos - and thus the Aegean - by the 5th century BC.

In 478 BC Athens established an alliance known as the Delian League, which kept its treasury on Delos. A cynical decree ensured that no one could be born or die on Delos, thus strengthening Athens’ control over the island by expelling the native population.

Delos reached the height of its power in the hellenistic times, becoming one of the three most important religious centres in Greece and a flourishing centre of commerce. Many of its inhabitants were wealthy merchants, mariners, and bankers from as far away as Egypt and Syria. They built temples to their homeland gods but Apollo remained the principle deity.

The Romans made Delos a free port in 167 BC. This brought even greater prosperity, due largely to a lucrative slave market that sold up to 10,000 people a day. During the following century, as ancient religions lost relevance and trade routes shifted, Delos began a long, painful decline. By the 3rd century AD there was only a small Christian settlement on the island, and in the following centuries the ancient site was looted of many of its antiquities. It was not until the Renaissance that its antiquarian value was recognized.”

We saw the house of Dionysys and Cleopatra and Triton. Shaun saw the house of Hermes. Paige and I hiked up to the top of Mount Kynthos (1001 steps on steroids for my OP peeps). I could visualize the very wealthy people walking around and living their extravagant lives. Have wonder what became of the thousands of slaves that were sold there. Incredible. We are so fortunate to have set foot in such a historic place. Another highlight on our travels. Here is a link to our YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KFNqJprUC0

the amphi theatre

steps up to the top of the sanctuary of Zeus

we made it!!!!!

the view from the top

house of Hermes

As mentioned earlier we met another young captain “Alex” of a catamaran who can dive down 5 meters equalize his ears and tie a bowline onto our anchor to act as a trip line (in less than 30 seconds) so that we were able to dislodge from the cursed chain lying on the sea floor in the marina. We looked like professionals leaving the marina. Shaun at the helm, Paige taking up the slack on the trip line and myself on the anchor chain. We were awesome.

We motored the 12 nautical miles back to Kalo Lavadi leaving the stress of that marina and our new found friends behind. We arrived into the bay and dropped the hook by 8:30 PM. There was only one other power boat and us. It was lovely. The winds were 15 knots and our anchor was set up in a 10-1 scope (for every meter of depth there was 10 meters of chain, we were in 5 meters so I dropped 50 meters of chain). The bottom was sand so our anchor dug right in and we didn’t dudge. 

The following morning we decided to splurge and rent 2 beach chairs and hang at the beach for the afternoon. Well worth the expense (20 euro a chair ouch!!!!!!). We weren’t supposed to eat or drink our own food (but we snuck in our own lunch). To evade suspicion Shaun and I ordered some beers (it was a hard sell). The beach is beautiful soft sand and stunning blue water. Unfortunately, there is a bunch of garbage in the water from all the partiers. As the day goes on the beach gets more and more crowded and more and more people are drunk and don’t respect their garbage.

Kalo Lavadi is one of my favourite places on Mykonos. Mykonos town is wonderful when there are NO TOURISTS crowding through. Not to be negative but Mykonos is not  one of my favourite islands.

view of Kalo Lavadi beach from our anchorage

the extremely large fresh made doghnut

fun in the water

view of the boat from the beach
This is a fun picture below of our on board laundry of our under garments.....

where do you hang your under garments? In the head of course.
Follow our video adventures on the following youtube channel: