Two Chickens and a Falcon Arrive in Turkey

Trip Start May 22, 2006
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Trip End Aug 05, 2014


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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leros and the The Weather Gods are 'avin a Larf
 Since the last blog the Greek weather gods on Mount Olympus have been having one hell of a party and  appear to have invited the Scottish Gods from Ben Lomond (a small but lively wee bar in Paisley apparently)to add a certain Caledonian flavour to the celebrations. As a result the weather has been bizarre and more Mull of Kintyre than Mediterranean. Apparently this is the worst February weather in Greece for 100 years. It even bloody snowed. Last year Leros had only 1 day of rain. Since 1st February we have experienced about 8 days so far, some of it torrential.
 
The inclement weather hasn't deterred us from working on Tiercel. Most of the work has involved, of course, preparing her bottom for the coming cruise (this is starting to sound like an article from a particularly frank and practical gay magazine). One enjoys one's boat all year but come the winter/spring one has to pay for it by scrubbing down all the underwater parts and painting them with antifouling, thus preventing the growth of weed and barnacles.
 
This is a particularly unpleasant task and one spends more time on one's knees than a pregnant nun at Easter, scrubbing, sanding, priming and painting. Still, when it is finished it gives the boat a very smooth, colourful, efficient, pretty bottom and about an extra half knot of speed  -whoopee!! We also polished the hull above the waterline which took about 2 days of hard work, balanced on a seriously iffy plank between 2 barrels. Ironically, just as Rob had finished the polishing he got chatting to a 72 year old Greek fisherman who showed him a polish made from olive stones which would have cleaned the boat to a better finish in less than half the time - bugger! Still, the end result was worth it.
 
With typical Greek efficiency - no irony here - she was launched on a gloriously sunny day (Scottish weather gods having  donned their jimmy wigs, stripped down to their string vests and fallen asleep in their deck chairs presumably) half an hour earlier than scheduled.
 
We moved back on board Tiercel on Saturday 1st of March. We had forgotten just how cosy and comfortable she is.
 
It was Rob's birthday (58 seeing as your asking!) on the 4th so we celebrated with a delightful Gyros lunch in the local equivalent of the chippie (it ain't elegant but the food is excellent and the portions challenging). In the evening we drank our last bottle of classy wine (Terra Alta 2000 Gran Reserva - a wine fit for the gods), various cheeses, our own Greek coffee and 7star Metaxa. A great end to a wonderful day.
 
On Saturday 8th we finally left after an argument with the port police -who couldn't be arsed  to sign our papers - in which Rob stomped out of the police station in high dudgeon leaving the officer in charge still wittering excuses and probably thumbing his revolver. It took 3 visits on Friday to get the lazy sods to sign us out of Lakki and then only after the boss had gone off shift. For the info of the other yotties passing thru Lakki, the guy who seems to get things done is a Ronnie Barker look-alike who is on the evening shift - trust no others!
 
Samos - Moggies Rule OK!
We had an enjoyable sail in fickle winds and arrived  on Samos at about 13.00 to a brand new marina with everything a yottie could ask for (including camping gaz normally not available North of Kos)- and all for €22 a night.
 
Pithagorion, where the marina is, counts Pythagoras (triangle theory man) as it's most illustrious citizens. It is a resort town mostly aimed at wrinkly Germans, Scandinavians and Brits where, according to the guide books, "the local caterers don't underdstand the concept of value for money". However, it is pretty, has loads of mountains around it, a photogenic castle and we actually found a decent restaurant ominously named the Poseidon. It also has more cats than people. They seem to hang around the place either looking for food or lurking threateningly like hoodies in Leeds.
 
We look forward to returning to Samos in May and exploring more of the Island.
 
Two Chickens and a Falcon arrive in Turkey.
For the non-yotties among you, our boat is A westerly Falcon, thus the wee ornithological play on words in the title.
 
We departed Samos at the crack of 9.15 on Monday morning to travel the 20 miles to Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. Our arrival at 13.30 meant that we had now traversed the Mediterranean from West to East and had arrived in Asia (minor). After crossing various official palms with silver we were duly signed in and are now the proud possessors of a Turkish Transit Log, which means that we can travel in Turkish waters.
 
The marina has all the services we could require and, despite being in a major holiday resort, is quiet and secure. We know we are in Asia because the local muezzin frequently "gives it laldy" from the minarets, calling the faithful to prayer.
 
On Tuesday morning we had a walk round town, had huge fun in the bazaar with a number of the traders who, despite knowing that we didn't want to buy their goods, were incredibly hospitable and seemed to enjoy just telling us about their wares.
 
In the afternoon we organised coach seats to Istanbul (500kms - 9hrs overnight) for later in the week and booked a trip to Ancient Ephesus (15km away) for the next day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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