|Bill's new way of sailing. Doing email and Facebook.|
Fournoi is about 25 miles west of Samos and is one of the southernmost islands of the Eastern Sporades section of islands in the Greek Aegean Sea. According to our sailing guide book the islands of the Eastern Sporades are generally more fertile and greener than the Dodecanese or the Cyclades. Frankly, I could not see any difference. Every island seems to be high and rocky.
|Long island of Ikaria|
|See the clouds in the distance. I know that must be Naxos.|
Clouds form over the islands. Every cloud group visible
this day was over an island.
Our original plan was to sail to Paros. We skipped Paros the last time we sailed the Aegean islands, and friends had recommended it highly as a place not to be missed. However, wind strength continued to inch up and we were getting very tired of all the sea motion. We decided to turn over the top of Naxos and head to Naxos Town marina. Naxos is the large island just east of Paros. Bill sent a SMS message to the marina manager, Nickolai, advising that we would arrive at 16:00; we had his name and phone number from when we visited there in 2011.
|Narrow and shallow entrance to Naxos Town Marina as|
seen from BeBe's stern where we first docked. Later a
large catamaran docked behind us.
|Looking at Naxos Town from our docked boat.|
We were very relieved to finally be securely tied up and fender board in place to protect our fenders from that rough concrete. This is only like the fourth time we have used that fender board; but when you need it, you really need it. Soon a large catamaran arrived and was tied up behind us. Required 8 men on the dock to get that big boat tied up and they were all struggling! These new catamarans have such high freeboard that the windage is high; very difficult to control in strong wind. Boats were crammed in here like you would not believe! Everyone seeking refuge from the weather.
|Only remaining standing piece of the|
Temple of Apollo in Naxos.
The last time we were in Naxos we visited a Mexican food restaurant. Another visit was on our agenda. Unfortunately, Picasso's closed their Naxos Town location last year; now they have only the Plaka Beach location. Darn! That is much too far to walk and boats cannot anchor off Plaka Beach because of all the underwater rocks there. We could take a taxi or figure out the bus system, but that seems like a lot of effort just to eat Mexican food. We are still in Naxos and maybe that adventure will appeal to us later this afternoon, but as of this moment it appears that we will miss that Mexican dinner treat.
The northerly wind finally died down on Saturday and we took a ferry to Santorini while we felt it was safe to leave the boat at the Naxos Town dock. Only stayed there one night and I will post a separate blog posting about Santorini. I am not writing anything about Naxos in this blog because Naxos was covered in another blog posting when we visited here in 2011.
|We are blocked in! That is another Amel on our port side.|
They do not speak a word of English. Not a single word.
Minutes before we left to catch the ferry Nickolas had us move from port side tied to the concrete dock to be stern-to the first dock with our starboard side against the concrete dock. This is unarguably the safest berthing place in this marina. Today several boats left and even more arrived. We are now blocked by 5 boats docked to the concrete dock where we originally docked, with several rafted to the outsides. I'm sure they will leave before we are ready to move on. These are all charter boats and those charterers always have a schedule to keep.
|Sunset we were treated to upon our arrival back in Naxos.|
Today Bill is scrubbing the Sahara Desert off the boat while I type this blog posting. Everything on top of the boat is tinted red with sand and scum; we cannot stand it a minute longer. This was the result from the southerly winds while we hid out in Leros. We are also filling up with dock water; tests 230 TDS and tastes fine. Tomorrow we probably will clear out of Naxos and move on. Yes, we did clear in with the authorities upon arrival in Naxos. We know lots of boats do not bother to clear in and out of each town port as they move about in Greece. But we try to do the right thing when it comes to formalities. Wind will pick up again on Wednesday; this time from the south once again. This might be the last time we get winds from that direction so maybe we should use that to propel us northwesterly and skip Paros once again.
Both grandchildren, Elisabeth, a/k/a Bebe, and Zachary, will arrive in Athens on 31 May. As of now, that is our only known destination and date. That gives us 17 days to meander about 120 miles northwest.