12th July 2020
The next morning we got up to strong winds still. I went to a nearby bakery to get us some treats for breakfast and take Lucy for her walk. When I walked back I saw Tim having a chat to another German couple in a yacht on the other side of the jetty. The guy that we met the night before recommended we move before the wind got really strong as our boat would be pushed really hard against the jetty.
As it happened the German couple where going to move on that morning and we could take their spot, which happened to be the only one in the whole town that has access to power and water all for free. All the other power plugs and water connections weren’t working. They gave us lots of tips and the German guy even painted a picture for Tim how it would be best to move the boat off the other side and onto the new side. It was a pretty tight harbor and the wind was blowing strong, so Tim was nervous. I love the friendliness between cruisers and the willingness to help others.
The Germans sailed all around the world 10 years ago and have now retired and are cruising in the Med. A really, really nice and helpful couple with their dog Emma. So we prepared for takeoff once they left and Timmy managed perfectly to get us safely to the other side. Pisces moved over too, so we were right beside each other. We were so grateful for our spots during the next few days when 35-40 knots wind and gusts blew constantly.
There was always action in the harbor with boats coming and going, most of them really struggling with the wind. The worst was a charter yacht with danish crew. Apparently they anchored first in the strong winds and jumped in the water for a snorkel, but the anchor wasn’t set properly, so their boat drifted right off. Then they came into the little harbor in those strong gusts when clearly the harbor was already full. Funnily enough they managed to almost get out again, when they decided to come in again backwards and promptly got blown against another couple of yachts on the other side with no way of moving away from there. The owner of the yacht they were now leaning against was clearly not impressed, but they tied up for the night. Tim and Martin went to help them and found out that they originally wanted to tie up against us, which would have been against the wind – Tim had no idea how they would have done that if it was even possible. So scary, its not only ourselves we have to watch and be careful about with our little experience, but the charter yachts seem to be whole other story.
Around lunchtime we took the the bus from the harbor up to the pretty chora (old village) on the hill. It was a hot day and the kids weren’t keen on walking. All I can say is WOW. Such a pretty, beautiful place full of original character and charm. The beautiful whitewashed houses with their colorful doors set against the dry hills and the clear turquoise water is just breathtaking. There are little cute shops scattered around the chora as well as chapels and a piazza with colorful table and chairs and a cafe. We decided to treat ourselves to a drink and snack. Nina had an ice cream, Luca an ice coffee and Tim and I home made ice tea. We all shared a Greek mezza platter with yummy things and again we had to pinch ourselves that this is really us doing this.
Tim and I decided we would walk back to town with the kids protesting heavily, but there was super comfy wide path leading back to town and so much more to see with the views up to the chora and down to the see. The wind was just something else up at the chora. You could barely keep straight and the ladies wearing skirts or dresses, including me, where unintentionally revealing their undies on a regular basis, with the wind lifting everything up.
Back in town Nina and I stocked up on fresh fruit and a few missing bits and pieces. Afterwards we shared wraps with the Pisces crew and had a movie night at the back of their catamaran. They have a big flat screen TV and after much discussion from the kids as to what movies they didn’t want to see Martin made the executive decision to watch “The gods must be crazy”. Was such a fun thing to do on a boat in a little harbor in Greece.
The next couple of days where just catching up on admin, blogs, recording yoga videos, Tim worked on our sailing videos. With the internet now being patchy and slow and we try to be a few weeks ahead.
On Tuesday another couple of kid boats arrived on the other side of our jetty. A Canadian family with 2 kids roughly our kids age and a Polish family with 4 girls ranging from 15 months to 12 years. After a bit of shyness from Nina the Canadian kids and Jason from Pisces befriended when we went for a walk to the beach and they played games on Pisces. We decided to all go out for Gyros for dinner together and the kids had so much fun, they decided to get up at 7 am (which is unheard of in our boat) to have a good bye breakfast together.
Then the time came to say good bye to everyone and start our passage to Paros, approx. 34 nautical miles and the winds where forecast light. The passage was easy and uneventful and we anchored at Aliki Bay on Paros. Its a wide bay with a little settlement of of small hotels and tavernas. It almost felt a bit boring compared to Serifos.
We went for a walk and had a coffee and pastry in town. Once back on the boat Tim started to attach new domes to our ever sliding squabs and I finally tackled Nina’s room, which looked most untidy again after she moved from the other room. I don’t know how she manages to get everything into such a mess, but each time I get so fed up I can’t look at it anymore it literally takes me hours to get some sense of order back into things. I extracted a large bag of rubbish, a huge pile of washing, a damp, stinky towel and re-sorted all the cupboards. I always thought that when we were living in a house that she had too many things to take of in her room. Now that we minimised that to a tiny amount compared to what she had before, it seems like its impossible for her still to be tidy. Her excuse is, that she was born like that and that she can’t change herself. Well, looks like we have to live with periodic tidy up missions.
The wind was blowing strongly all day with 30 knots and more and I anxiously checked the anchor several times, like every 10 minutes…. The washing needed to be done, but I was too scared to loose it all when hanging it out to dry. I felt like screaming at the wind to just bloody stop. Seriously, after days and days of those strong winds with just small breaks in between it makes you feel a bit crazy. In New Zealand we used to have strong westerly winds some times of the year and they were my most disliked weather pattern all year around. I don’t mind rain or sun or even grey or cold days, but strong winds I just can’t handle well long term.