The anchorage in Paros / Aliki Bay was not all that great, so we decided to move on to the island Schinoussa, which came highly recommended by Dot and Jonathan from the Sunday cat. It was a 5 hour sail that was fairly uneventful. When I say uneventful it means great for me. I love uneventful sailing.
We arrived in Mirsini Bay, a beautiful bay with the most stunning clear water, a few houses and taverna’s and a chora to walk to. We anchored stern to right next the Germans who helped us in Serifos. Quite professionally we layed our anchor over 2 others, as the bay was quite full to what we are used to so far, but probably empty compared to what it usually is like this time of the year.
We all had a swim and snorkel and got the boat tidied up and in the afternoon went for a walk to see the old town, the chora. It was the usual pretty greek old town with the whitewashed housed, the small stone pathways, the pretty flowers winding their ways up the walls and around arches and pergolas, the little tavernas, cafes and shops and the churches and chapels that are never missing. The days are so hot, Tim and the kids had ice creams to cool down and we walked back down the hill to the boat. Unfortunately our budget does not allow us to support the local economy as much as we would like and buy drinks or food in the little taverna’s more often. Most of them are still relatively empty and its a bit sad to walk past all those colourful, comfortable eateries with the delicious smells and inviting seating.
The next morning Tim and I woke up to glassy water early in the day. Tim suggested I have my first paddle board, we blew it up and I took Lucy to the beach on it for her toilet brake. I took her back and had a nice long paddle all around the bay by myself. It felt so good and dreamy and luxurious, with the bay still being quiet, the water so clear that I could see to the sandy bottom. Tim had a turn too and once the kids woke up they had swims and paddles. These are the times that I love most, when we can wake up when want to, do what we want to, start the day in such a beautiful way, rather than rushing to work and school etc. These are the moments when I have to pinch myself to make sure its true – we are right here and doing this.
Since this bay was quite sheltered, so the wind wasn’t blowing with super speeds I decided it was time to tackle the washing basket and the stiff towels. I did about 5 wash loads and had to borrow pegs from our German neighbors, because we didn’t have enough. Polly looked like a Chinese laundry. Its quite a process to something as simple as washing on a boat. We have to start the generator and disturb the peace of the other boat owners. Because we have limited water on board, Tim also ran the water maker to top up what I was using. Tim was using the washing suds to wash the salty boat down and a few wash loads in we decided we would use the washing powder water for 2 wash loads to save on water, carefully managing with buckets all around. I really makes me realise how thoughtlessly we waste so many precious resources in NZ and the other first world countries just running appliances for hours on end, without even spending a second thought on how much energy or water we use.
Tim heard from another cruiser on Facebook that there was a little taverna who served them delicious cactus juice, so off we all went with google maps to find the place. Every walk is a great big effort in this heat. Luca decided he wouldn’t come for walks with us anymore, especially since halfway into the walk we realised it was Sunday and maybe the place wasn’t even open. We finally found it after walking through the old chora, down country lanes to the next little settlement. The taverna was miraculously open with a couple of guests. Tim inquired about the cactus juice and after the daughter of the owners translated our request we where told that the season for cactus juice was August not July, so we were a month early. We decided to have a drink anyway and sat down at one of the tables. The owner brought us 4 cactus fruit to eat and try. It was really yummy and she was happy to see us enjoying them, since she didn’t have what we were asking for. A little while later we were also gifted 4 slices of their freshly baked lemon cake, which was so delicious and still warm. The kindness of the people is so heartwarming and we went happily back to our boat, despite not having had our cactus juice.
Once back we motored around the little bay to see a chapel that was facing the ocean. We had a walk and looked at the beautiful rock formations and the huge flag that is flying from a big flag pole on most islands.
A notable thing about this bay was one massive motor super yacht and one really big sailing super yacht with several crew and tenders. One tender had 3 huge motors on it, that where way more powerful than what we have for our whole yacht. At sunset you can watch the owners / guests being ferried back and forth to the tavernas. The crews are busy all day polishing, serving, cleaning. It makes me wonder each time I see this wealth why this is necessary and how many people could be fed and more fairly paid if the few who accumulate so much wealth weren’t taking it away from others and if wealth was more evenly distributed in the world. We all could lead such comfortable lives, as there would be enough for everyone.