Hi Everyone, We took a look at Xerxes Canal but not much there today. All that remains is marshy land where it once was. We sailed about 10 miles to a fiord like bay. We were tucked back into the island with little islands protecting the entrance. It was like being on a little lake and no other boats around. There was a house at the one end. It rained all day Friday so again we chose to stay put. It felt like a Minnesota rainy cold spring day.
Yesterday we motor/sailed 35nm to the "middle leg", SW Sithonia peninsula to another absolutely gorgeous anchorage Porto Koufu. Thank God for GPS and Navionics charts. You can't believe approaching the shore there is anywhere to go in until you're on it. Then shortly into the bay you turn 90 degrees into another entrance to the bay where the little town Sikia is. This is the largest natural harbor in Greece. Porto Koufo means "deaf harbor" named because you can hear no sea sounds inside the bay. It was a base for Turkish pirates and also WW II German U-boats. We anchored, had lunch, and went to shore for a walk.
Greece | Aegean Sea | Porto Koufo | Artemis anchored center
Greece|Aegean|SW Sithonia| Porto Koufo
We hiked about 4 hours by a beautiful golden sandy beach, the remains of a fort and climbing to the ruins of an acropolis with views of the harbor. Then to another hilltop with a cement sign post. From there we had great views of the surrounding area. We surely would not like to do this hike on a hot summers day.
Today we walked back to Torini and went to a fantastic butcher. We were getting low on meat so it was a good find. He was boson on a ship for 20 years and had been to Duluth:-) We got back to the boat before it started to sprinkle again. We decided to try one of our butcher friend's famous sausages with onions and peppers for lunch. Yum...we should have bought more.
We had to send grand-daughter Maddie a flip video for her 1st birthday yesterday because our internet wasn't fast enough for skype. Today she's having her Elmo birthday celebration. Mommy was still up early this morning putting the final touches on Elmo and making a second cake for the guests.
Tomorrow we're heading for the NorthernSporades about 35 nm from here. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Sorry we couldn't skype but hope to have better luck next week. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Greece | Aegean Sea | Thassos Island | theater/Thassos harbor
May 19th, 2010
Hi Everyone, The rain didn't quit all day on Saturday so we stayed aboard read, and did some internet. On Sunday we hiked for 3 hours on the hills above Thassos Town and explored the Hellenistic and Roman ruins. It was a great hike with easy trail to follow. We saw ruins for the agora, temples to gods, Hellenistic theater which had spectacular views of the town and out to sea, and ancient citadel rebuilt by Venetians and Byzantine's, shrine to Pan, Temple to Dionysus and even one to Artemis. The trail looped around the hilltops to steps carved into the rock leading down to the wall and back into the town. While we were gone the wind had picked up and poor Artemis was bouncing against the quay again. She was alongside so we added another spring to help settle her down. Not much help. We bounced in 2 ft chop for two days.
We left for a bit on Sunday and visited the Archeological museum. It's a wonderful building and exhibit. I love when they include English on the signs. Monday we stayed close to the boat due to the winds entering the harbor.
Greece | Aegean Sea | Thassos Island | Theologos
On Tuesday we took a bus 50km to Theologos. It was the Ottoman Era capital of Thassos. The houses were tiered, large chimneys and slate roofs. We walked around the town and ruins and had a nice lunch with great views.
Greece | Aegean Sea| Artemis cockpit enclosure
We left Thassos early this morning in drizzly rain and light winds. The rain quit soon after our departure but the clouds and dampness made it chilly. We are loving the wind/splash guard Al made this spring. It encloses the cockpit behind the mizzen mast, attaching to the bimini. It keeps the wind, spray, and rain out of our faces. The wind didn't pick up until we hit the bottom of Akti peninsula. We started flying 8.4 for about half hour then it died off.
Oh well...we wanted to go along the shore of Akti because both sides of this peninsula has monasteries. There are 17 large monastary colonies (look like a village) scattered along the shore and mountainside. Most were established in the 10-15th centuries. Moni Ayiou Panteleimonos once supported 15,000 Russian Monks. Simonopetra is built on a rocky bluff connected to the cliff by a bridge. Heavy beams overhang the rock sides so that parts are literally hanging in space above the sea and rocks below. We had to stay 500m off shore because a woman was aboard the yacht. Only men are allowed to visit this peninsula. Since women are not allowed on Akti peninsula it was not allowed to join the EU with Greece.
We are anchored south of Ammouliani town, on Nisos Ammouliani near Xerxes Canal. A Persian, Xerxes tried to dig a canal through the Akti peninsula on his way to Athens to conqueror it. We plan to go take a look tomorrow and then move across the bay to another beautiful anchorage for tomorrow. Hope everyone is well. Love and God bless Sally and Al
May 14, 2010
Hi Everyone, We've had another busy fun week. We left Mitilini, Lesvos, Greece Tuesday morning and motor/sailed up to Molivos, Lesvos. We spent five days in Molivos last year so we didn't go sight seeing. We changed oil and transmission fluid instead. Work has to get done sometime:-)
Greece | NisosSamathraki | Kamariotissa
We left Lesvos Wed. early for Nisos Samathraki. We checked into Kamariotissa, the main port of the island. We made dinner and had an early night after our long day.
Greece|Samathraki | winding road to Chora
Thursday we took out our bikes and became tourists. We rode and pushed our bikes 5km up the mountain to the Chora. Neat old town, marvelous views, cobbled streets winding throughout,and Genoese castle(little remains).
We then had a 3km, beautiful downhill ride to the sea again where we rode along the sea coast to Palaiopia. We explored the ruins of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods and saw remains of the old medieval town. We spent over an hour exploring the site and we were the only people there. This was the major religious center of ancient Aeolia, Thrace, and Macedonia.
Greece | Samothraki | replica Winged Victory
We visited a small museum there that had a replica of the Winged Victory of Samothraki. Its a marble statue that was on the Nike Fountain discovered by the French in 1863. Thus the original is on display in the Louvre in Paris. The wings are the logo for the Nike Company.
Greece| Samothraki | Thermis | picnic on beach
Next we peddled along the coast to Thermi. We had hoped to go for a swim in the hot springs/baths but discovered it was closed until June. So we had a picnic lunch on the beach and then peddled the 12km back to Kamariotissa and Artemis. The closer we got to the port the more the wind picked up. We found Artemis with 28+kts of wind and 2' waves splashing against her haul. She was safe with 10 fenders out but it was irritating. We decided it was important to move on early in the morning before the high wind/rain forecast for Saturday arrived.
Greece | Nisos Thassos | Nea Limani harbor
Friday We had virtually no wind Friday and we motored to Nea Limani the new harbor in Thasos Town on Nisos Thassos. Ancient Thassos ruins are spread throughout Modern Thassos and are well marked. Thassos has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The discovery of gold near ancient Thassos helped it became the seat of a seafaring empire. It was taken by the Athenians in 462 BC. Today Thassos only mines white marble. We road our bikes around town and got an overview of the various sites we plan to explore later by foot.
Greece| Thassos| Gates of Zeus and Hera
Saturday This morning we woke to the pitter patter of rain which we expect may be preceding the high S winds in the forecast. So depending on how long the rain continues we'll do sewing projects and then get out to see the Archeological Museum. We plan to stay here until Monday or Tuesday until the winds change and we can head to Khalkidhiki area of Northern Greece. We plan to rent a car if not too expensive. Otherwise we can buy an Around the Island bus ticket. We have good internet so we hope to see our girls and their parents on skype today or tomorrow. Hope all is well and everyone has a nice weekend. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Greece | Lesvos| Mitilini | Artemis on quay
Greece|Lesvos| Mitilini|Artemis on quay
May 9th, 2010
Hi everyone, Happy Mother's Day! Al and I said our sad good-bye to Turkey on Friday morning and spent our last Turkish Lira on fruits and vegetables. They have the best Farmers Markets. We're going to miss that as we travel west. We cleared out in Dikili and we arrived in Mitilini (Mytilene) Greece around 1500. We cleared into Greece and got our transit log. Then we tied up alongside the quay in the inner harbor. It's rather noisy in this spot with all the traffic (cars/people)but interesting to be in the midst of it all.
Greece |Lesvos |Mitilini |Castle view town/harbor
Yesterday we wandered the streets around the harbor and then climbed the hill up to the Byzantine/Genoese/Ottoman Castle and museum. The old town has narrow winding streets are lined with market stalls and local craft shops. Along the water front are some beautiful old houses from the prosperous mercantile era. Many have been turned into cafes or restaurants. Al claims it to be on his list of favorite cities in Greece. No internet on the boat but internet cafes close by. We're looking for a quieter one to skype from today. Otherwise it's difficult to talk and hear in such open busy areas.
Greece | Lesvos Is | Moria | Roman Aqueduct
We took a bus Moria to see a beautiful old Roman Aqueduct. We had a nice hike up to the site that loop around back to the town. A lady leaving church gave us whatever everyone was eating as they left. It was some type of crumbly sweet confection;brown sugar, currants, nutmeg, nuts, powdered sugar...Then we caught the bus that was heading on to several little towns ending in Komi. There was a large church complex there but not sure what it was. Our lousy guide book doesn't mention it. It wasn't one of the two monasteries on Lesvos maybe we'll find out later and take a ride back up to visit it before we go. This afternoon we plan to hike around and see more of the old houses and find a place to have Mother's Day dinner. Hope to skype this evening (morning to you). We plan to stay another day here to get fuel and shop at Lidl's.
Turkey | Gumusluk anchorage N of Bodrum
May 4th, 2010
Hi everyone, It was great having internet for a few days and being able to skype people. Most enjoyable was watching our grand babies play via skype.. I'm sure it gets boring for the kids to have skype on so long but we so enjoy watching our grand daughters do their thing. They change so quickly especially Emma. She's over 8.5 pounds now and growing more beautiful each day. She so much more alert. Josie was showing off her somersaults and gymnastics and Maddie was playing catch and bounce the ball. She has quite an aim and coordination.
We left Gumusluk anchorage north of Bodrum, Turkey today for St. Paul's Bay which is only 3nm from Samos Island Greece and even closer when we pass through the straits tomorrow. We decided to make a couple of jumps to get into the N. Aegean by Thurs. when the winds are picking up in the S. Aegean. We took a 30 min bus to Turgutreis to get supplies. It's a bigger town with more selection of goods. We could also go to a good size chandlery and get some things we needed for the boat. We had a nice sea bass dinner last night. We had to erase the horrible and I mean horrible meal we had on Saturday in Cokermne. A beautiful rose was placed on our table and Artemis was anchored alone in the sunset below a hill flying the Turkish flag. Too bad we left the camera on board. Our tea was served on a floral tray with tea candles and flower petals. We also were given Gumusluk grown strawberries. We'll probably be in Greece by the weekend. We have our plane tickets for Seattle so we are officially all set for trip to our niece / god child Annie Sikorra's wedding in July. We arrive in Seattle Thurs. AM and leave the following Wed. around 3:30PM. Hope all is well Love and God Bless Sally and Al