Lakki, Leros, Dodekanese
Monday 22nd June cont. Another yacht came in & after several unsuccessful attempts to anchor went alongside the harbour wall, an option we had avoided as it was a blown on situation & these walls are rather rough concrete. Later when the wind went down a bit the large powerboat departed with a nonchalant wave of the hand, & we took the dinghy to explore the little town. It was unusual in that it had several little streams, with water in them, not dry, running down to the sea & their valleys were green with trees. We were also hoping to find a supermarket, but this proved very elusive & only after we had walked all directions from the square & then went up the hill past the church for a second time did we find it & do some restocking.
June. First light brought calm, so it
was an early start, motoring in no perceptible breeze to beat the forecast
strong southerly (still the unusual direction) round the
There were a few tavernas, so after a stroll we ate in one (very Greek) & they filled some cans of water for us.
On the Wednesday (24th
June) we made a fairly early start to walk 2 miles up the hill to the
This gum was used for paint,
cosmetics & medicines & is still used today in chewing gum &
alcoholic drinks. As a result they were built for defence against Turkish
pirates – inland, with watchtowers, & thick walls formed from the outer row of houses.
Certainly worth the walk & subsequent exploration, although the church, the
Thursday 25th June another early start, although the concrete mixers were already hard at it. After a couple of hours motoring the breeze filled in & we were able to sail with just cracked sheets. Almost immediately the wind picked up & one, then two reefs went in the sails, & it was a very bouncy ride. Two military planes buzzed us & around lunchtime two dolphin shot past doing some nice leaps, but did not stay, still it was nice to see some as we have not seen any since the Sporades & I wondered if they came this far east. There had been thunderstorms in the forecast & mid afternoon we could see the dark clouds of one growing & the flashes to the south, but our luck held & we stayed ahead of it until we passed Mt Kerketefs (1444m & 2nd highest mountain in the Aegean) on Samos & arrived at Karlovasi, on the North coast. There we found the new ‘marina’ listed in the pilot full of small local boats & no room for yachts. Luckily someone directed us & another yacht to a stretch of concrete quay. 49.6nm.
The quay was where the boy racers played, so having rung a phone number for water, & expecting a mini tanker to arrive we found ourselves unrolling miles of hose, for them all to drive over. (The hose went to a tap, hidden behind pallets of builders stone, & needed a man to unlock the padlock on it). Still we filled the tanks, then went to look at the town, which seemed a pleasant place.
Friday 26th June.
Our plans to explore here further were scuppered with the news that ‘our’
concrete quay was where freighters tied up in the Port & one was likely to
come in, & as we could not leave the boat unattended we departed, dodging
arriving ferries. As the forecast was
for light winds we decided it was the opportunity to visit the notoriously
Anyrate we had a pleasant light airs beat most of the way & arrived in Ayios Kirikos early afternoon. The harbour is very small with limited depth, so we rafted to another bigger boat as we were too deep to go in front of them, & two more rafted outside us. 23.7 nm.
Ayios Kirikos was a useful
place, with a variety of shops & restaurants. We were able to restock the
larder & joined our ‘inside’ neighbours for a drink on their boat, Lady
Margaret. They lived in
June. A reasonable start with a very amiable de-rafting of the 4 boats. With light wind still forecast we motored to
The little Fournoi islands are only light wind anchorages, so we were lucky to have the opportunity to visit. The air was scented & the slopes were covered with something mauve, which when we swam to shore turned out to be wild thyme. We had a relaxing afternoon swimming, canoeing & listening to the goat bells & birds (we can usually only hear the birds, not see them, so cannot identify many). Then we returned hospitality with Lady M who had anchored nearby.
Sunday 28th June.
Another light airs day so we had a mix of motoring or unfurling the genny for a
gentle sail, enlivened by seeing a few ships & some rafts of sheerwaters.
We returned to
It was Sunday so the beach was busy with families enjoying themselves, & there were a lot of other boats at anchor, including a large Turkish flagged gulet that took a line to the shore.
Monday 29th June. We took the dinghy ashore to visit the bustling town. The harbour, whose mole dates from ancient Greek times, is nicknamed the frying pan supposedly because of its shape, but our guide book reckoned it acquired this nickname in high summer. It was hot. Anyrate our explorations took us up the hill to the pretty church, & castle (closed mon) then on up the surrounding hills to find the ancient Greek aqueduct & tunnel through the hills. Another ‘closed mon’ site, but it was a nice walk with views over town & island. So we restocked some provisions & returned to the boat.
Deciding the harbour was
living up to its nickname we set off for the little
Tuesday 29th June. A leisurely start for the 2.6 nm trip to Agathonisi’s main town, Ay Yeoryion. There we anchored in the north cove of the west bay , & took 3 shots at it, not dragging, but there was a sunken fishing boat in the cove & although we could see we had anchored clear we didn’t want problems if the wind changed. In fact when we dived to look there would have been no problem as it was not much more than a shape in the sand & a few very fragile timbers.
We went ashore for lunch, water (cans from taverna again) & a stroll up the hill to the Chora. Not much there apart from the compulsory blue roofed little church & some lovely views.
Wednesday 1st July. Doug cleaned the log impeller, which had become home to a colony of tiny barnacles, so now our speed should be quicker, & our distances longer!
Then it was off for some lazy
sailing, unfurling just the genny with a NW 3 or 4 behind us. There were a few
yachts about, one ship heading north & a gang of sheerwaters diving, &
sitting on the water, obviously fishing. As we watched them several white
torpedoes charged towards the boat & we realised the fish were also
attracting dolphins. Two or three flashed past & did some half hearted
jumps under the bow, but the fish were obviously more interesting than us &
they returned to the feeding melee.
Passing the tiny islet of Marathi (busy anchorage) we arrived at the
The sheep & goat bells there really sounded tuneful, as though they had a conductor leading them.
Next day (2nd
July) we walked over the hill to the main, tiny town & ferry port. It had a
couple of tavernas, but no shop that we could find, & we assume the locals
caught the ferry to
Returning to the boat we
unrolled the genny for the 9.8 nm trip to Skala Patmos, on the
There was a small shop handy for provisions & we were able to get a water tanker, before heading out to supper.
Friday 3rd July we
had an early start. We realised our anchor was over our neighbours & they
were planning to move, so we moved first, back out to the anchorage. Then before the day warmed up too much we
headed up the cobbled path, mostly shaded by pine & eucalyptus trees, to
the monastery of Ayiou Ioannou Theologou (
Once back in the town we did
a bit more provisioning, & then motored to a small anchorage on the N
Saturday 4th July. A relaxed start for the 2 hour (10.6 nm) sail to anchor at Ormos Kouloura, Lipsi isle,
with its taverna & few people enjoying the beach. A very nice place until a very large powerboat anchored so close to us they obscured the view. Forgetting it was Saturday we held our ground. They were playing host to the occupants of several other (not quite so large) powerboats, & the noise lasted until the small hours. The goat bells were nice though. Peace returned at dawn when their crews took them away. We did wonder why they came there as they didn’t go ashore, & only a few went near or in the water.
Next day (5th
July) we walked the 2 kms over a hill to the port & main town of
Mid morning we left the
anchorage for another light airs sail to the
It was busy with weekenders from Leros (we assume) who had set up various camps on the beach, & had an assortment of boats anchored off. They were certainly enjoying themselves in & around the water & we did keep a watchful eye on their jetskis when swimming. Then about tea time they all started packing up, got into their boats & were gone, leaving just a few anchored yachts to enjoy the evening. A farmer came by boat, singing, to feed the goats. They responded by rushing for the food & there was a most glorious din of bells.
Monday 6th July. A relaxed start for the 8.4 nm sail to Lakki on Leros island.
Arrived at Leros marina about midday & directed to an inner berth.
We plan to base the boat here for several weeks while we explore locally, have some friends join us for some sailing, & pay a visit home. The marina seems ideally suited for this, & very helpful, although they have a lot of work in hand installing further pontoons & their tackle.