Tag Archives: Volcano

Heading Further East

July 2018

With Keira back on board it was time to start heading east to pick up Erin and Josh from Kos.

Levitha mooring buoys.

Even the Meltemi wind had gone on holiday, so we had delightful and stress free sailing and stops in Schinousa, Amorgos, Levitha and finally Kos Marina.

An inexplicable large metal ‘pod’ near the only restaurant on Levitha

Kos Marina gave us a convenient spot close to the shower block and laundry. Were they trying to tell us something?

carved stones embedded in the wall of the fort in Kos.

The next day, with Erin and Josh too, we departed for a jaunt to Nisos Pserimos, just north of Kos, for an overnight anchorage prior to returning to sit out the next meltemi winds.   The anchorage was fantastic although there was a lot of debris on the beach including three knackered old RIBS.

View north over the fields of Kos to the coast.
Church and cemetery.

We had a great sail back to the old harbour in Kos Town.  The Town Quay is in use despite a shocking  6.7 Richter scale earthquake last year.  The quake has created quite a severe kinks and cracks in the concrete but the bollards are still in place.  We took a road trip in a hire car round the island and were pleasantly surprised at how leafy and green it was in places.

Birthday meal out.

We had a lovely few days in Kos town (Trash Tuesday turned into ‘Trash Every Day of the Week’ as we collected loads of plastic from within the harbour!)  We celebrated my birthday with a meal out and rigging up my new fishing rod!  All too soon it was time to say TTFN to Keira who was going back to the UK to work at Oxford Summer School.

Ian, Jacqueline, me and Peter.

We met up with Jacqueline and Peter from SY Dolce Farr Niente, M D R Friends, and it was great to compare notes with them despite the distractions of Wimbledon and World Cup finals on TV.

The lights surrounding Kos Old Harbour.

As soon as the wind calmed to a brisk 18kts we decided to leave Kos for an anchorage to the south of the island.  Kamares Bay is well-protected, experiences little swell and has facilities ashore, so was perfect for us.  We stayed for a couple of nights and then had a lovely downwind sail straight to Nisos Nisiros.

Gorgeous blue shutters on Nisiros.

What a pretty village and pleasant harbour.

Bell tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from the hill. Wow!!

We hired a car here to explore the caldera, villages and black sand beaches of this incredible volcano island.  The smell of sulphur wafting from the caldera was almost overpowering.

On the crust of the caldera and hoping it won’t crack, or erupt!

It was truly amazing.

Feta tin. Now that’s a lot of cheese!

 

 

Our first ‘catch’ with the new rod and reel.
The gap between Symi and the island to the north. Only 3m deep in parts.
The anchor chain straight ahead of us through the crystal clear waters of Ay Marina, Symi.
I want one of these!! But would it get up Grassington hill

Our next sail was a thirty-five miler east to Symi.  This island is tucked in under the Datca peninsula.  We anchored in Ay Marina just north of Pethi and enjoyed the crystal clear waters.  The wind was a fruity 28kts gusting in here but we were safe. Two nights here, and then we headed to Symi town to check out of Greece.

Symi town.

Symi Town is soooo lovely.  The buildings encircle the bay and creep up the steep slopes around.  They are all designed as if by a child, each with symmetrical windows, central door, red tiled rooves, colourful doors and window shutters.  The clock tower was just like the miniature wooden ones that come in a toy farm set.  Heikell describes it as ‘an exotic flower in a desert’, but it’s too cute for that. Certainly, it is a surprising and endearing place.  (More of that in a later blog!)

The Datca peninsula and S.ymi with Kos to the north

Next Stop Turkey.

Top Time in October and November

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We arrived in Marina di Ragusa, our winter berth, and within minutes had been invited round to neighbours for a coffee.  We rapidly realised that this is a super friendly and sociable place to be holed up for the winter.   This was going to be a great opportunity to catch up with the blog, www.madabouttheboat.com, and all the jobs we had been putting off.

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Ian up a make shift ladder stripping olives off a tree.
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Sarah wearing her kangaroo pouch olive collecting haute couture!
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Antipasti to keep the workers happy.

Our first outing was a day trip to a farm near Palazzolo Acreide where we were to spend the day olive picking.  Gorgeous people fabulous food and great fun!  We had a wonderful meal and were delighted to have picked about 40 kilos of olives which in turn will make about 8 bottles of virgin olive oil the colour of pale lime juice and tasting like fresh cut grass!

What with happy hours, beach exercises, volleyball, beach combing, Italian lessons, there was only just time to fit in a rigorous regime of cleaning, sorting, fixing and fettling!!

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Messina
Aurora arrives in Messina.
Aurora arrives in Messina.

On the 7th November we hired a car and set off north to Messina where we were due to meet Ian’s parents Harry and June at their cruise stop off in Messina.

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The famous clock.
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The date sun clock.

We had a lovely day with them, chatting, walking and eating.

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First glimpse of Mt Etna.
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House swamped by lava floe.

We waved them off and drove through the deepening gloom to our overnight stop in Randazzo.  Passing deserted lift stations as the rain and night descended made us feel slightly disconcerted as we spotted dark lava floes and a distinct lack of vegetation.  We pulled up into the village and found our B and B (thankfully not the derelict building first identified on Google maps) and were welcomed by Rosario.

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In the presence of volcanic ash.

We walked miles around the town to find that the restaurant he’d recommended was closed so we finally came across a pizzeria and tucked in to, what else? a firey pizza named Etna!!!

next day we drove up the slopes of the volcano and after a few dead ends found the main cable car.  The cost a a return trip to the summit being 63 Euros each we decided against going up.  The view was better from where we were.

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Dry lava walling.
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Snow on Mt Etna where there are 5 ski pistes and various lifts!

We thoroughly enjoyed the change in temp – well for a few minutes anyway!  and were so glad we’d taken a coat and hat! Down on the coast it had been a comfortable 20 degrees.

 

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Sky line of Noto.
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Spectacular church facade in Noto.

Next stop was beautiful Noto, with its incredible array of baroque buildings and over the top architecture.  Literally a church on every block.  Stunning.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cleaning the bilges.

 

After our lovely two day trip it was time to get down to some serious work
on the boat to prepare her for winter in the Marina.

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Mess making!

Completing our top tips for winterising a boat:- Cleaning everything, polishing all stainless steel, washing the anchor and chain and anchor locker, washing and sterilising bilges, winterising the engines and generator, flushing fresh water down the heads, removing and washing all lines, (using mouse lines to track the route of all the lines) and generally fixing stuff that we have broken over the summer.  More on this later.

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Threshfield Moor.
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The Wharfe in full flow.

Before we could blink it was time to return to the UK.  We had a LOVELY week catching up with friends and family.

 

 

Perfect preparation for our season in Val d’Isere!