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

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