Sunday, August 14, 2011


So excited to see her baby brother again
On Saturday 24 July we sailed to Mykonos.  Family members were due to arrive the following afternoon via ferry from Piraeus (Athens).  Elisabeth was very excited anticipating the arrival of her baby brother.  The island of Mykonos is comprised mostly of granite; and, as all the islands in the Cyclades, has little water.  Mykonos lies almost in the center of the Cyclades Islands of Greece.  Cyclades means the circle islands, because they form a circle around Delos.  More will be written about Delos in another posting.  BTW, for our American readers, Cyclades is not pronounced like one might assume.  The correct pronunciation is Cee-CLOD-eees -- middle syllable strongest and pronounced as in a clod of dirt.  

Yachts are no longer allowed to enter the old town harbor (except mega-yachts apparently, as we saw several docked in there).  Yachts are required to dock at the "new" harbor about 6 kilometers away.  There are also a couple of nearby anchorages but these can become untenable if winds build.  We arrived in the "new" harbor with winds blowing at 20 to 25 knots -- right across the beam.  There was plenty of space on the inner side of the first dock, so that is where we headed.  A quick look at the other docked boats revealed several using the lazy lines and several using their anchors for the med-mooring.  Bill decided to dock BeBe just inside in the last space next to the very low concrete dock.  This would place a very low concrete dock at our stern and a very low concrete dock all along our port side.  There was no lazy line visible for this space, so we dropped the anchor and backed in.  Much to our distress, all the fenders were tied too high to fend off the very low concrete dock.  I quickly adjusted 3 of the fenders to the correct height and had just untied the fourth when I had to run back to the stern to handle dock lines.  There was no one to help us tie up and Bill was having a difficult time at the helm controlling the boat in the high wind.  I asked Zachary to hold the loose fender between the boat and the dock until I could return to tie it off correctly.

Then I rushed to the stern, stepped off (normally I cannot step off because docks are usually far too high, but this one was far too low).  I looped both stern lines around the bollards, running the lines back to the boat deck cleats.  Then back to help Zach with that fender.  As this was happening, the wind blew the boat against the side concrete dock.  The 3 fenders that I had lowered did their job, but Zach didn't hold the loose fourth fender down low enough and we scraped the wall slightly.  No real damage done, but Bill was very upset as this was the first scratch we have put on this boat.  It wasn't really Zachary's fault because we shouldn't rely on a visiting child to know how to handle boat-related tasks, especially during rapidly occurring events.  And Bill did not realize that the fourth forward fender was not yet correctly in place or he would have been more diligent with the bow thruster keeping us away from the side dock.  After we added 2 spring lines on the starboard side to hold us straight in the high winds blowing across our bow, then Bill compounded the scratch on the port side.  It is not noticeable but to completely remove it will require the electric buffer.  That can be a job for during the winter while sitting in the marina in Cyprus.

This was not a pleasant docking experience.  What kind of pissed me off is that there was a man standing 25 feet away who never even offered to help with the dock lines.  Later this same man departed in his motor yacht and Bill assisted releasing his dock lines.  Not sure why Bill helped him when he couldn't be bothered with helping Bill.  Maybe the guy will pay it forward now.

Rolling car seat.  Great idea for traveling!
On Sunday afternoon all 4 of us walked around the harbor to the ferry dock to await arrival of our younger son Aaron, his wife Lynn, and the youngest grandson Damien.  The ferry was on time.  The sleeping baby was in a rolling car seat.  Now, that is neat invention!  It is a flat device with wheels and a pull-out handle that fits onto a car seat.  Great for travel in airports (and ferries too).  They also had a stroller, but this rolling car seat was a great idea.  He didn't wake up until we arrived back at the boat.  

Christmas in August -- boat parts delivered by guests
Aaron and Lynn were tired from the flights from Houston and the ferry ride.  So we sat in the cockpit and chatted for hours, ate dinner aboard, and made it an early night.  Bill figured out where to catch a bus and went into Mykonos Town to have our transit log stamped in and to add Aaron, Lynn and Damien to our passenger list.  Different countries handle crew and passengers differently.  In most countries, each yacht has only a crew list.  Makes no difference if people are guests or actually real working crew members; they all go on the crew list.  But Greece requires children to be at least 16 years of age in order to be on the crew list.  So we have a separate passenger list for Zachary and Elisabeth.  So now there are 5 passengers on that list.  

While in town Bill found the place to buy tickets for the ferry to Delos and learned that the ferries do not operate on Mondays.  

Shucks!!  I had planned for us to visit Delos tomorrow.  Now that trip would have to wait until Tuesday.

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