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May 2009 - Turkey, Greece

May 31, 2009

Hi all, Our friends Ron and Susan on "Gemini" caught up with us May 28 at Kemer Fishing Harbor (Sea of Marmara) and we are now traveling together. It's fun to have another boat to travel with. May 29 We moved on to a new unfinished harbor on Avasa Adasi (little island) We had this huge harbor all to ourselves. It looks to be about 3-4 years old and just a couple of small fishing boats are using it. Al and I walked three miles to town for fruit and bread. Then Gemini invited us to dinner so I didn't have to cook.

Turkey | Sea of Marmara | Bandirma | Bandirma harbor

Yesterday May 30 we made the mistake of going 30 nm down to NW corner of Kapdag Yarimadasi to make the distance shorter to Pendik Marina (Istanbul). Unfortunately Cakilkoy and Karsikiva harbors were both jammed packed with at least 50 large fishing boats and as many smaller ones. The later even had two huge ships tied up in there and large fishing boats rafted 4-5 deep. Both of these harbors had huge additions added on. So we ended up having to go another 7 nm down to Bandirma. This is a commercial harbor with a smaller yacht harbor inside. We figured with a 1/2 price band it wouldn't be packed with fishing boats. Wrong... We did find a place to med moor where Heikell shows alongside. The other spot was rafted 3-4 deep with small fishing boats. Gemini is alongside the outside of that mole so they get some of the commercial slop. We have to get into the dinghy to go ashore as the walls are very high and we are pulled a ways off.

Turkey | Sea of Marmara | Bandirma | Bandirma harbor

We had planned an early departure this morning for Pendik (66nm)but a front came through with big winds and threatening clouds so we stayed put. I doubt anyone will come looking for money. We plan to go ashore in a bit it looks like a nice town. The singing last night was fantastic. It reminded us of Croatia and the groups of men that would start singing 3-4 part harmony at the bars. We expect it was a group of tourists as we've never heard the Turks sing other than call to prayer. Happy Sunday Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Greece | Limnos Island | Myrina Marina

May 28, 2009

Hi Didn't realize I hadn't sent a log for a while. Last Saturday May 23 and Sunday we anchored at Myrina, Limnos, Greece. Cute Greek town but under construction. Lots of dust and holes along the quay so we anchored out. We refueled by Gerry Can when the fuel truck came down. Fuel is cheaper in Greece so wanted to be full when we left. We climbed up to the castle for beautiful views of the Anchorage. We went out to dinner with friends on Alchemy and Cosmos Mariner who are continuing on in Greece.

Turkey | Dardanelles |Canakkale | Canakkale Marina

We left 0530 Monday May 25 for the Dardanelles. We picked up a significant current 10-15 nm away against us. So we slowed down to 4-4.5 kts under sail and motor. We hit 3.5 at the mouth but then picked up again after the entrance.

We sailed/motored 15 hours and decided to anchor 2 nm south of Canakkale. On Tuesday May 26 we motored into the harbor at Canakkale and stayed two nights. iIt took us most of the day to clear customs and immigration back into Turkey. We did a lot of running around first by bus and finally by Taxi. The Taxi driver made sure we got what we needed. The Turkish people are so helpful. We visited the Military Museum and castle Wed.

Turkey | Dardanelles | Troy

Then yesterday May 27 we took a bus to Troy and visited the ruins. The Trojan horse was a bit much but the one in Canakkale near the harbor was quite nice.

This morning May 28 we left Canakkale at 0530 for Sea of Marmara to a fishing harbor on the south shore called Kemer not to be confused with the Kemer in Antalya where we winter. Once again we encountered wind and current against us. We were able to sail about 5 miles, We arrived in Kemer fishing harbor at 1400 (2:00) and tied to N mole. We'll probably move on about 26 nm to Tuerkeli Adasi (Avsa Adasi) Al's working on refrigeration. The pump keeps losing it's prime.

I got to see my beautiful new grand baby Madion last Sunday on Skype. She was snuggling into Daddy and taking a snooze when we called. I expect they are home as they were scheduled to go on Monday. Hope all is well. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

May 22, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Pribyl have another grand daughter Madison Mary Pribyl born 4:51 this morning Friday May 22. She was 7 pounds 4 ounces. Mary had a c section and Mommy, Daddy and Madison are all doing well. Daddy Chris says she has a full head of hair. We are on our way to the internet cafe to see our first pictures. Al and I are finally getting our little girls. Can't wait until we're home in August to hold her. We are still on Lesvos and will leave tomorrow for Limnos another Greek Island. Then on Monday we'll head to the Dardanelles. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Greece | Lesvos Island | Molivos Harbor| Hike toward Petra

May 20, 2009

Hi We are still at Molivos, Lesvos Island Greece. It's a beautiful town and a good place to wait to head north into the Dardanelles to Istanbul. We went a 7 hour hike (including lunch) all day Monday with our friends Ginger and Dick on Alchemy and Mary from Cosmic Mariner. We were heading for Petra but got distracted by a trail map that took us past old water wheel systems flowing down from the hills and the village of Petri. Most of the landscape was rock and zillions of wild flowers until we reached the stream. Then we had walnut trees, ferns and deciduous trees.

Greece | Lesvos Island | Molivos | Hike toward Petra

We were looking across a gorge wondering how and how long it would take us to climb to the path on the other side. Not a trail I wanted to conquer. The rocks/hills in that area looked like neatly piled rectangular stepped blocks. Amazing... I suggested we continue on the path we were on thinking there would be an easier crossing ahead. Dick told me to dream on but we did continue ahead and low and behold not 5 min utes further we crossed a little bridge to the other side :-)

We had a nice lunch on a terrace looking down the hills toward the sea and the town of Petra. We decided not to continue to Petra and to head back to Molivos. We had walked for over an hour before we saw the castle looming so far ahead. We hadn't realized how far we had walked and we had so far to go. It was made easy with conversation, wild flowers and the occasional unusual bird. Al spotted a particularly colorful one that we observed for quite a while with binoculars. It was as if it was posing and turning for our observations. Ginger looked it up later in her bird book and it was a black-headed bunting. We were tired but happy to return to our boats knowing we'd sleep well that night.

Then after dark a storm hit with winds from the east and all 8 boats med moored on the quay started dragging. We pulled along side leaving our anchor out because we were the boat furthest inside and had space before the Coast Gua rd boat. We scaped the windvand a bit and bent our stainless stern rode roller but were very thankful. It could have been a lot worse. Alchemy rafted off us and then Cosimic Mariner went along side behind us and Meander rafted off them. Two boats left and tied alongside across the harbor on the other quay. So then the big power boat could pull alongside too. The final sailboat went behind him. Only one boat had fiberglass damage and he wasn't aboard when it started and we were all too busy taking care of our own boats. Fortunately they heard the commotion while eating dinner and hurried back.

Greece | Lesvos Island | Molivos Harbor| Artemis alongside

Last night was much quieter even though the wind blew harder with everyone snuggly tied alongside in front of the restaurants. We plan to stay here a couple more days as today we expect more wind and it's all coming straight from where we want to go. Tonight we're have a progressive type dinner with dessert aboard Artemis. Hope all is well. Thanks for any news you send our way. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Greece | Lesvos Island | Plomarion Harbor

Greece | Lesvos Island | Plomarion

Greece | Lesvos Island | Plomarion Harbor

May 17, 2009

Hi we spent Tuesday exploring more of Khios town and ordered some diesel delivered to the boat. We paid 95 Euro cents a liter a much better price than last fall at 1.24 euro. On Wednesday May 13 we motored to Plomarion Harbor on Lesvos island in Greece. Neat Greek village with cobble streets and huge, I mean huge plane trees.

We learned from the Customs agent that his job not only involves checking in boats but also handling illegals. Two men run the office each works a 24 hour shift every other day. They need to be open 24 hours as they may capture a boat load of illegals arriving from Turkey. These are people from Somolia, or other African countries. They work their way to Turkey then pay a village fisherman 200 Euro (enough money for the fisherman's family for a whole year)to transport 10-15 people over to Greece. They come with no ID so Greeks are not sure where to send them back to. They give them a paper good for one month and then if they are not gone they arrest them but mos t times they've succeeded in getting to greater Europe.

Greece | Lesvos Island | Sigri anchorate | Artemis and Alchemy

May 15, 2009

We spent two days in Plomari with electricity and water and paid only 10.58 Euro's. It's much cheaper to be in a harbor here. On Friday we motored to Sigri, Lesvos and met up with our friends Ginger and Dick on "Alchemy" from Kemer. It was a beautiful anchorage and a fun reunion after over a month. There is a petrified forest nearby and a museum but it wasn't open that day so we took pictures over the fence.

May 16

Saturday we both moved on to Molivos (Mithimna)Lesvos and are again moored to a town quay with electricity and water. Another American boat Cosmic Mariner from Florida came in so the only boats in the harbor were three American boats...rare. Today we hiked with Doug and Mary "Cosmic Mariner" up to the Byzantine castle overlooking the harbor. The harbor village and two harbors are quite picturesque with the colorful restaurants and fishing boats.

But the upper village is fantasic. It's an old Turkish village with cob bled lanes, three storied town houses with balcony overlooking the sea a dozen street fountains, mosque and castle. Unbelievable the number of restaurants and shops for such a small town but each of these old Turkish mansions seemed to house one or the other as well as the family living on the top floor. We plan to stay here for a few days as the wind is going to pipe up (meltemi)from NE. Fun group on the dock another two boats came in today.

Tomorrow we're planning a hike to nearby hot springs. Another day we'll hike to Petra a village with a volcanic monolith at its center. By it's base is a 16th century basilica Agios Nikolaos while a flight of 103 steps climbs to the 18th century church of Panagia Glykofilousa. It's the weekend so of course the town's internet is down so we couldn't Skype home. Our son Justin called us on our Greek phone last night and he reminded me that when calling from the US you need to dial (011) 30 695 505 4774 I guess 011 is the United States co de to dial out so it goes in front off all of our phone numbers. Happy Sunday. Love and God Bless. Sally and Al

Greece | Chios Island|

Greece | Chios Island | Mastic Villages | Pyrgi | Church Panagia and Bell Tower

May 11, 2009

Today we rented a car to visit other parts of Chios Island. Another mountainous island with spectacular views and hairy roads. The Southeastern part of the island is home to the Mastic Villages. Their are over 20 medieval villages built on the same design for defense purposes. The village is built in a pentigon shape with fortification towers on each corner. The outer circuit of houses double as a perimeter wall. The buildings are all 3 stories and about the same height so people could escape across the roofs of the town. The central square of the village has a square tower which was the last refuge in troubled times. We drove through many of these Mastic Villages but only visited two Pyrgi and Mesta.

Greece | Chios Island | Mastic Villages | Mesta

Mesta was the best preserved village and Pyrgi had neat decorations on their buildings. The outer walls were plastered in black sand and coated with a white wash. This is then scraped off in repetitive geometric patterns revealing the black undercoat. (reminds me of elementary school art project)The result makes this village quite festive looking. Mastic bushes secrete a resin or gum that before petroleum was used in paints, cosmetics and medicines. Chios harvest over 400 ton of mastic resin every summer. Today it's used for chewing gum, liqueur, and toothpaste.

Greece |Chios Island| Anavatos | Monastery of Moni Neo

Greece |Chios Island| Anavatos | Monastery of Moni Neo

We stopped at a little church overlooking the sea for a picnic lunch. Another couple from Maryland stopped too so we had a nice visit. Among other places we visited Anavatos a deserted medieval village and fortress built on the edge of a precipice. During the atrocities of 1822 over 400 Greeks threw themselves from the 985' bluff above the village choosing suicide rather than death at the hands of the Turks. The monastery of Moni Neo had a similar tragedy. Over 1000 women and children were slaughter at the monastary where they had fled from Chios Town for safety.

Our last stop of the day was to admire Daskalopetra (the teacher's stone) a place where it is believed Homer was teaching his students. Chios is the birthplace of Homer so I guess they had to find some place for the tourists to visit. Hope I didn't bore you too much with more details then you'd care to know but this log goes to our website as a sort of journal of our travels. If you'd rather not get the daily log and would rather just check our website ( and then please let me know and I'll take you off the daily log. Our son Patrick updates the site and adds the logs as we go along. Love Sally and al

Greece | Khios Island |

Greece | Khios Island | Unfinished Harbor out of town

Greece | Khios Island | Windmills along road to Khios town

May 10, 2009

Goodness now today we have another favorite Greek Island Khios. Khios (Hios) Marina is 2 km out of Khios town so we took our bikes out for the first time since Kemer. What a great idea. We rode into town along the Khios Harbor. We met a nice man who suggested we ride our bikes to Kampos about 6km from the west side of Chios town. We went looking for a Roman Catholic church and found mass at St. Nicholas and about 20 parishioners. We were invited to refreshments after mass. So we stopped for a short visit. Father spoke some English but the woman who runs the "show" was from Ireland so we had a nice visit. One lady asked Al if he would like some cognac :-) Not the traditional after mass refreshment we are use too.

After mass we rode out to the town of Kampos. This is a unique town of unmarked lanes stretched between high stone walls. Kampos is best seen by foot or bike because by car all you would see is walls. If gates were left open you were welcome to peek in or sometimes walk in and see some of the old summer estates of medieval Chian aristocracy. Most had waterwheel's once donkey powered that drew water up 95 ft to a cistern stocked with fish and lily pads. This freshwater was then used to irrigate the orange, lemon, and tangerine orchards of the estates. The wells are powered by electricity today but the cisterns still have the goldfish and lily pads. The gardens and orchards are quite beautiful.