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.
|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.
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.|
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