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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.

We rode another 3 km to Karfas a village along the coast, for lunch. We found a great traditional Greek restaurant called Pimento in English. Our waiters Mom and sister live in Chicago and the sister goes to De Paul University. Midway through our meal "the family" began to arrive for Mother's Day dinner. At least we think the 30+ were all one family. We had a beautiful Greek salad (took pictures)and the special of the day. It was veal baked (much like a pot roast) with pearl onions and tomato sauce. Excellent...cinnamon/nutmeg sort of flavor. After lunch we biked back to Kampos to explore the lanes and mansions some more. By the time we made it back to the boat we had gone over 30 km for the day on our little folding bikes (uphill both ways). Tomorrow we plan to rent a car to visit the Mastic Villages (medieval towns) in southern Chios. Happy Mother's Day. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Greece | Island Samos | Pithagorion

May 9, 2009

Hi well we have a new favorite Greek Island Samos. The town of Pithagorion (Pythagoras was born here 580 BC) was very quaint. Lots of narrow streets, colorful homes and beautiful flowers everywhere. We walked through the local ruins Roman Baths, castle and along the beach on Thursday.

Greece | Samos Island|Herion ruins

Greece | Samos Island|

Greece | Samos Island|

Yesterday we rented a car for the day. We visited Heraion ruins early (8th century BC)and then explored the island. We visited many beaches, anchorages and harbors. The island is mountainous. Mt Kerketifo is the 2nd highest peak in the Aegean. We got went in search of Pythagoras Cave but chickened out after the road continued to deteriorate. When it became dirt and rock chunks with steep steep drop offs we decided to turn around. After that we always asked someone's opinion whether it was a good idea to travel a particular road by car.

Greece | Samos Island|

We stopped for a late lunch in the little coastal village Kokari. Vathi is a large seaport town with ancient Samos Town connected. The archeological museum was closed so we headed up into the mountains again to visit Monastery Zoodechon Pigis. The views were spectacular but the monastary was closed :-(

Greece | Samos Island|village Kokari

Greece | Samos Island| Vathi and Ancient Samos Town

Greece | Samos Island|

Today we left Samos at 5:15 well 5:45 once we were untangled from an anchor that was dropped over our chain. We had a little of everything. Motoring, motor/sailing and 3 hours just sailing. Our last 2 hours was on the nose current and seas. We arrived about 5:30 at Khios (Hios)Marina, an unfinished harbor so it's free. We plan to be here a few days. We were hoping for internet on board again but no such luck. Happy Mother's Day ladies. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

May 7, 2009

We absolutely loved Scala Patmos. Al and I rented a 50cc 4 wheeler with two big racing helmets. Everywhere we went we got huge smiles. I guess we made quite a picture. We tied alongside the town quay and then checked in at the Port Police. We visited the major attraction on Patmos first, the Monastery of St. John and the Apocalypse Cave/Chapel of St. Anne. The cave is said to have been where St. John the Divine was living when he got the inspiration to write the Book of Revelations. The monastery built in 11th century is one of the most important places of worship among the Orthodox and Western Christians. Is was founded by a monk Blessed Christodoulos in honor of St. John the Divine. The Chora surrounding the monastery is a maze of white narrow lanes with over 40 monasteries and chapels. The paths twist and turn to confuse the pirates of old and the tourists today.

We then rode our "chariot" around the island enjoy the panoramic views of various villages and bays. We stopped for beer and kalamari overlooking Lampi Bay, before returning to Scala. Scala town is cute, touristy, nice bakeries and grocery store. We left this morning after returning our 4 wheeler and checking transit log out. We've decided to head to Pythagoreio, Samos Island next. It's about 30 nm from here. Samos is only a couple of miles off the Turkish coast. I apologize if you have trouble locating the towns we are in as the Greeks spell everything at least three different ways :-) If all else fails, remember to go into our website and click on the "Find Us" button. I update our position each time we move. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo, We are sitting out a blow in Lipso an Island in the Dodecanese Islands Greece. We had quite an eventful day when trying to check out of Turkey in Datca last Thursday. We were told we needed to hire an agent because our boat was over 10 ton. We've never used an agent in the past two years to check in or out so we didn't believe what we were being told. We only had 6.90 Turkish Lira (about $4.50 American)to pay but they wanted us to hire an agent for 30 Euro (about $40) to pay it. Evidently it's a new law that we hadn't heard about. So we kept trying to pay it on our own and everyone we talked to would call the harbor master and get into a heated discussion we couldn't understand. We just stood with our handful of coins saying we didn't want an agent. Finally someone sent an agent to track us down. He took our $6.90 lira explained this new law but didn't take a fee from us. They stamped us out of Turkey but we anticipate the same issue when checking back in. We talked to another boat who heard Marmaris wanted 120 lira and finally accepted 60 lira. It doesn't make sense but we suspect too many exit fees were going into someone's pocket rather than the tax office thus the new law.

We had two days in Old Kos Harbor below the castle. It's one of our favorite places to visit. We had lunch at a favorite spot. The restaurant owner saw us coming up the street and greeted us with a hug like long lost family. He sat at our table and visited with us. Kos also has a Roman Catholic church so we were able to go to mass. Most Greek islands only have Greek Orthodox churches.

We left Sunday afternoon and spent a night on Leros Island. We had rented a car there 2 years ago so moved on Monday hoping to get to Patmos before this weather. Unfortunately winds and seas kicked up yesterday early so we ended up going to Lipso Island. It's a colorful little village with several chapels, restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. We're tied up to a pontoon. The wind has bee n howling non stop since yesterday afternoon and no end insight for today. It rained during the night and we have a leaky prism that Al is rebedding. We plan to move on to Patmos Island tomorrow. Hope all is well Love and God Bless Sally and Al

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