VI - The Greek Islands II.
Thursday 4th September - This page of the Logbook was initially named with a high degree of optimism, we had planned to visit at least Rhodes, Karpathos, Tilos and Simi, finally returning to Rhodes to sign out of Greece before returning to Turkey for the winter. Realistically the physical effort required to sail and maintain Sailaway is clearly beyond my capabilities now, at least now, limitations are clearly recognised.
To view our previous log entries please use the following link:
V - The Greek Islands.
To view our next log entries please use the following link:
VII - Back into Turkey.
Log Entry Sunday 21st September - At last time to leave Rhodes!
We were now so tired of Rhodes we set our alarm for 0530, we planned to leave at first light, the winds would be good so an easy trip was anticipated.
As soon as ready, not that it took long, most was done before we retired last night. We lifted anchor around 0600 and began to leave the harbour in which we had sat for almost three weeks. The sun began to rise over the Turkish mountains ahead of us as we passed the British Destroyer that had been here for some days now.
With our sails soon up we caught the traditional wind, we were off! For the first couple of hours, we kept looking back and saying to each other, "Thank Christ for that!"
As light came so did a mist over the Turkish land mass ahead of us, we had over 45 miles to cover. Once we set the sails they would need little attention until we neared the coastline. Time to rest, it had again been another night of motion and noise from the winds, to rest in silence was idyllic.
Sailaway, with the wind on her port quarter ate up the miles, at times up to eight knots, as we neared the shore vessels came into site, time to change the courtesy flags over, from Greek to Turkish.
As we approach Fethiye Körfezi the winds began to drop as forecast, we managed for some time with little more than 8/10 knots directly on our stern. As we arrived deeper into the bay, the genoa would not stay out on it's own, a pole was needed. We were too tired, and could not be troubled so we rolled it up and progressed a little slower with our main only, buried in our rigging.
Eventually we gave up, at less than two knots of speed we started the engine. We entered into the large natural harbour in Fethiye, picked our spot and dropped anchor "Thank Christ for that!" we both shouted as Ann walked back to the cockpit having completed her task on the anchor ahead.
Log Entry Saturday 20th September - An evening of celebration turns into a morning of disaster!
We had, or rather I, Kevin wanted to celebrate being mobile again after almost two weeks static, so out into town we went. Not much of a celebration I guess, the pictures found on the camera the next day were very reflective of our frame of mind - "what the hell could happen next?"
In the last 6 weeks we have had:
WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?
We returned in darkness and again in high winds and of coarse swell, we sat on deck, chatted, then retired for the even. When we woke in the morning climbing up on deck we notice damage to our starboard/rear quarter. Some thing had ran straight into us, a solid print of a bowsprit, the front of a boat about 150mm square was imbedding to to our yellow foam horse shoe (floatation device). Who ever it was then bounced into our rear support from our solar panel/wind generator platform. It had bent the stainless steel support inwards approximately 250mm, it's anchorage point on the deck was also bent? Behind that, the stainless steel "push pit" frame was also damage, bent and now loose on the dec? Fortunately the Solar Panels and Wind Generator seemed good but the structure will have to be repaired before we leave for the UK in November - ANOTHER JOB!
We raised our dinghy, tidied down below and planned our departure the next morning.
Log Entry Thursday 18th September - The new Heat Exchanger components for the engine arrives, we thought?
It has been ten days since we placed the order for the replacement parts, I tracked them every day. A frustrating fact was that they were actually placed into Rhodes Depot two consecutive days, must have failed to deliver the first I guess? We receive a message from "Roditis Yachting" to let us know that our package had arrived mid-morning. I am keen to pick it up and get started, this anchorage is very unfriendly with a regular swell of 1 - 1.5 meters, getting the 20kg package aboard Sailaway will be challenging enough? The package was taken on board without problems, surprising as we had been swamped by one of the trip boats, we lost bread etc to the sea water? I did say to Ann " Hopefully he will slow down when he sees how heavily we are loaded, clearly he did not hear my words?
The package was opened to inspect all of the items, the package contained not just a heat exchanger but also a new stainless steel exhaust outlet, ours was badly corroded, I had welded it up before we left Kas. There had been a change over time (27 years) and we had to upgrade our exhaust system to suit the new outlet, those "upgrade" items we also included. Also there were a couple of suspect hoses I wanted to replace, the package was based on a "one time strip down" and a renovated system, both cooling and exhaust.
Not to be - the exhaust outlet was indeed not compatible and could not be utilised without the manufacture of a special addition adapter. The only way around this was to fit the new exchanger with the old exhaust outlet and make it's outdated system fit. The supplier, A.S.A.P (UK) did agree with my comments on the system and did agree to a £200 credit for the items when we return in November?
The old exchanger was removed and the exhaust outlet cleaned, checked and re-fitted, a new thermostat fitted just in case the sea water had caused damage?.
I also replaced the suspect hoses, it was dark before we had finished assembling, we would start the engine up in the morning and check our work?
The next day we fired her up, brought her up to temperature and re-tighten all down where needed. The engine was then shut down and allowed to cool, fluid levels rechecked etc. We then gave it a good hard run for a couple of hours, we were then happy with it!
A shame a further strip down is now needed once we have the correct exhaust outlet/system?
Log Entry Friday 12th September - We say goodbye to David, until the end of the year.
Another day to plan, in fact the last for David, he leaves us early tomorrow evening to return to the UK. Our plan is to spend the day on board Sailaway and then in the evening, head down the Old Town and have a nice meal out down there.
The day passed very quickly as David fulfilled his task a "Harbour Commercial Controller".
As darkness fell we found ourselves an excellant venue, ate great food and drank great wine!
We finished off the evening in the old square and talked about his next visit?
Log Entry Thursday 11th September - A visit to Anthony Quinn Bay, Lindos and Tsampika Beach.
We leave quite early to fit the schedule in, the streams of trip boats lining the coastline - all heading in the same direction?
One interesting thing I did see on the shoreline was a gas tanker tied back to the shore, escorted by a tug, it pumps gas into the gas plant to distribute to the rest of the island?
The Anthony Quinn Bay, renamed after him and the shooting of the film "Guns of Navarone" in that bay - it was "riveting". The bay measured a maximum of 300 sq. meters, the small beach crowded with beach umbrellas, controlled by a taverna or two - would love to go back there?
Tsampika Beach, had a similar appeal us, it was a beach, but said to be very famous - fan-tas-tic! No need to say any more on the subject, the flag was interesting?
There were a number of small settlements just off the shore, some inhabited, some not - makes my mind work over time trying to work out what has happened, or what they are trying to achieve there?
As we eventually approached Lindos, the scenery looked quite appealing with the Acropolis of Lindos standing high above the small hamlet itself, at least until one looked a little closer at the Acropolis?
The Acropolis was under going extensive rebuild with high over head cranes supporting the efforts, still I suppose they have to warrant the entry fee?
As we approach, it looks very picturesque indeed, the colourful town almost totally enclosed in a land locked bay with a couple of entrances through rocky islets, a few boats anchored just of St Paul's Beach, also said to be very famous?
It is a very nice setting if you should enjoy beach holidays?
The climb to the Acropolis was considerable, I did consider the use of one of the donkeys but eventually thought better of it and sat in a taverna to await the return of Ann and David.
The beach was lined with taverna's and the only pathway led alone the front, "running the gauntlet" we call it? At the last taverna before the gift shop and the climb to the Acropolis I decided to wait, grab a coffee and watch the world go by?
Ann took some excellant pictures from high, showing the full layout of the bay and the climb.
The rebuild had appeared to have started at the public entrance and is working it's way around, large areas closed for obvious reasons.
In an hour or so Ann and David return, we catch some lunch in the taverna which was over priced and small portions?
Then a swim to cool down!
Not really our sort of day, we have no interest in beach type places although I am sure may would have loved it!
-Log Entry Wednesday 10th September - A lazy day on board Sailaway.
After yesterdays walking around in the heat it is agreed to have a restful day on board Sailaway, gives David more opportunity to bring more commercial vessels in safely?
They pass so close it is even easy to spot the guests on board and what they are up too?
This liner comes in and in less than an hour they have lowered the safety vessels into the water and begin some form of exercise or testing?
We are joined in the anchorage by a couple of Turkish gullets, one begins some form of aerobic class - David keeps a very close eye on that!
The day finishes off well, well nobody killed anyone, that's a plus?
Log Entry Tuesday 9th September -
David has to adjust to life on Sailaway, Rhodes is a very "rocky" anchorage, it needs adjustment from us let alone David? He takes a great interest in the commercial craft's movement, once he finishes an old "Sea Shanty" - he said "cramp" he seems to settle a little?
The water here is also extremely clean, so a morning dip is very refreshing.
Today the plan is for David and Ann to visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, I would sit in a cafe some where and await their return. It is a medieval castle in the city of Rhodes, it is said to be one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece. The site was previously a citadel of the Knights Hospitaller that functioned as a palace, headquarters and fortress. The palace was built in the early 14th century by the Knights of Rhodes, who controlled Rhodes and some other Greek islands from 1309 to 1522, to house the Grand Master of the Order. After the island was captured by the Ottoman Empire, the palace was used as a command centre and fortress. Some parts of the palace were damaged by an ammunition explosion in 1856. After the Italian occupation of Rhodes in 1912, the Italian architect Vittorio Mesturino restored it between 1937 and 1940 and made it a holiday residence for the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, and later for Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, whose name can still be seen on a large plaque near the entrance. On 10 February 1947, the Treaty of Peace with Italy, one of the Paris Peace Treaties, determined that the recently established Italian Republic would transfer the Dodecanese Islands to Greece. In 1948, Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese were transferred as previously agreed. The palace was then converted to a museum, and is today visited by the millions of tourists that visit Rhodes.
The fortifications of the town of Rhodes are shaped like a defensive crescent around the Medieval town and consist mostly in a modern fortification composed of a huge wall made of an embankment encased in stone, equipped with scarp, bastions, moat, counter scarp and glacis. The portion of fortifications facing the harbour is instead composed of a crenellated wall. On the moles towers and defensive forts are found. They were built by the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John by enhancing the existing Byzantine walls starting from 1309, the year in which they took possession of the island after a three-year struggle. Like most of the defensive walls they were built with a technique called rubble masonry which allows for a great mass capable of withstanding the gunshots with smooth external stone faces to avoid climbing. The defence of different portions of fortifications was assigned to different Langue (tongues) of Knights. The North face was under the rule of the Grand Master, then moving West and South the posts were hold by the Langue of France and Alvernia, the Langue of Spain (Spanish and Portuguese), the Langue of Germany (English and German), and the Langue of Italy. Bastions and terrepleins still hold the name of the langue involved (e.g. Bastion of Italy, terreplein of Spain).
I was greatly relieved to have left Ann with David and had no concerns over David's ability to navigate through the maze of passageways?
The street "beggars" still perform today as they did in the Medieval times?
They arrived eventually, clearly led by David and joined me in the cafe in which they had left me, we discussed there trip.
Log Entry Monday 8th September - David, Kevin's brother arrives.
David has been on the island of Karpathos to the south of us for the last week. We had planned to join him for a time then he was to sail back to Rhodes with us to connect with his flight back to the UK. Our circumstances had put a stop to our visit to Karpathos so David flew into Rhodes a few days earlier.
We wait for him in the "Yachting Club" a cafe just off the entrance to Mandraki Harbour as arranged.
In time he joins us, we chat for a couple of hours about his holiday on Karpathos and of coarse "life in general?"
We pop into the local store, pick up a few beers and spend the evening on board Sailaway, chatting and watching the sun go down.
Log Entry Sunday 7th September - "Plant" goes from strength to strength.
Having our breakfast up on deck we watch the old Bosphorus Ferry leave us, now privately owned flying the British ensign.
My attention is turned to "Plant" we, or rather "I" water the cacti nightly, Ann displays signs of jealousy at times over the attention I pay to them. We have new shoots on the three tall cacti, unfortunately the other three species are not doing too well - survival of the fittest I guess. Plant drove over with us in 2013 and has remained as a full time member of the crew since.
Log Entry Saturday 6th September - At last we find out what the nightly noise was about - "Giving Blood!"
For most of this week we hear a noise, trumpets, drums and people cheering around the harbour area, to relive our boredom as we await our engine parts we decide to go ashore to try and find out exactly what it is?
We head just off the main street, chat and await the fall of darkness, the street cafes get busier as people finish work.
There are few tourists in this area, mostly local Greek folk and us, darkness falls and the street lights up. It is time to leave and make our way down to the harbour front to try and find our "noise?"
We could not have timed it better, as we arrived the car horns had already started, a procession was on it's way towards us, joined by the local public cheering them on. I asked one of the marchers what it was all about, "Giving Blood!" was the reply above the noise, the procession was a campaign to encourage the local people to donate blood for the blood banks!