The two sailing guides that we are using for Greek waters are written by a British guy. We happen to know him, having met him and his then-girlfriend/now-wife when in the South Pacific. When conversing with him we never encountered difficulty understanding what he meant. But his books are different. Yesterday when reading about what to expect on a particular island I found that he wrote "if one avoids the resort areas then one can find places that are naff."
Okay, all non-British readers, do you have any idea what that means? We did not have a clue what he meant by this statement. Would we want to visit places that are naff?
Today when reading about the island of Patmos I came across this sentence: "You see few lager louts and hooray henry's around and topless sunbathing is confined to the more remote beaches." He was writing about how the monks in the fortified monastery on Patmos had ruled the island for centuries and behavior and attire is more sedate than on other Greek islands. Okay, I get the "lager louts" as being drunks; you know, lager = beer. But what the heck is a "hooray henry"?
Patmos is the home of the Cave of the Apocalypse where John dictated his wild poetry of the Apocalypse, which is probably better known as the New Testament biblical Book of Revelation. There is controversy as to whether the Apocalypse was written by St. John the Divine, who wrote the Book of John which is a far higher skilled form of writing; or if it was written by a man known simply as John of Patmos. Scholars tend to fall into the camp of believers favoring John of Patmos as the true author.
Patmos was next on our planned route; however, neither of us cares a whit about seeing a cave or this monastery so we will give those a miss. Weather will dictate where we go. Originally we had planned to scoot through the Aegean and spend more time in the Ionian. But we learned this week that our granddaughter Elisabeth, a/k/a BeBe, will be joining us for the summer. We are still waiting to learn if grandson Zachary will also be able to come. Their school semesters ends 29 May and we will meet her/them at the Athens airport in very early June; then get through the Ionian and clear out of Greece as quickly as possible in order to start our required 90-days out of Schengen territory. All so we can clear into Italy in September after being out of Schengen for 90 days. The kids will fly back home from Dubrovnik. (And, yes, we know that Croatia is now part of the EU but it is not yet signatory to the Schengen Treaty; that probably will happen in 2015.)
For our geographically challenged American friends and family, we now are in the Dodecanese islands of Greece in the Aegean Sea. The Dodecanese means 'the Twelve Islands' which lie in a crescent chain down the Turkish coastline curving west towards Crete. North of the Dodecanese are the Eastern Sporades, which include Samos, Ikaria, Khios and Lesvos. We visited Samos in 2011. West of the Dodecanese and the lower part of the Eastern Sporades are the Cyclades, pronounced si-CLOD-eees. We want to head west to Paros in the Cyclades because we missed that island the last time around in 2011. However, the wind normally comes from the west or northwest in this area of the world, putting the wind right on our nose yet again. Maybe we will sail farther north into the Eastern Sporades using the southerly wind predicted in two days; so that we can then sail southwest using the northwesterly and westerly wind predicted for the rest of next week.
Now that we have four weeks to twiddle our thumbs in the Aegean before meeting the grandkid(s) in Athens to then rush through the Corinth Canal to the Ionian, our options of direction and island can be determined solely by the wind. Only *schedule* is to be in Pireaus/Athens by 31 May.