Thursday, May 22, 2014


 When we stocked up on dry-aged beef from the special butcher in Fethiye I did not follow my usual routine.  Normally I keep a written inventory of what is in the freezer locker and cross each item off the list as it is removed from the freezer.  This time I figured that was no longer necessary.  After all, we are in the Med and grocery stores are found everywhere so there is no need to really stock up only occasionally.  We had the freezer locker turned off all last summer and winter.  The only reason it was turned back on is that we had stocked up on the hard to find good pork products sold at Lidl when we made the day trip to Rhodes in early March.  Just prior to departing Fethiye I added the dry-aged steaks to the few pork items already in the freezer.  

Frozen meat everywhere!
Now...really...that should be easy enough to keep track of what is in that freezer.  There wasn't much in there.

No.  It was not.

In Gocek I added 3 de-boned rotisserie chickens vacuum sealed into individual meal servings. 

Then I cooked up a big pot of chili and froze the left-overs.

Baked enchiladas and froze the left-over homemade enchilada sauce.

Bought a few more pork items at Lidl in Kos.  Bought a few chicken breasts, etc.

The contents of the freezer were growing!

Recently after a tiring day of sailing I wanted to heat up a package of that rotisserie chicken along with simple rice and gravy and some sliced tomatoes for an easy and fast dinner.  I tore that freezer apart and could not find a single package of rotisserie chicken.  Okay...we had eaten it several times in various ways; but shouldn't there still be a few packages in there?  

Same thing happened with bacon.  I just knew there had to be several packages of bacon in that freezer but could not find any.

Today I finally broke down and inventoried the freezer locker.  Now I have a list of the contents and it will be simple to cross off items as consumed or add items if we find something we cannot live without.  Such as that really good streaky bacon that was sold at Carrefour the last time we were in Athens.  Got to stock up on that if they still have it when we get there next weekend!  Here is a list of what I found in our freezer locker this morning:

Ribeye Steaks - 25 -- stored in center compartment
Ground Beef - 3 pkg of 500 grams each -- center
Pork Tenderloin - 2 - tiny -- front compartment
Pork Chunks - 2 large pkg -- beneath center compartment
Pork Chops - 3 pkg of 4 pc -- front
Pork Chops - 1 pkg of 2 pc -- front
Pork Loin Slices - 1 pkg of 4 slices -- front
Pork Leg - 1 pkg -- front
Pork Schnitzel - 3 pkg, small -- front
Stuffed Ham Roll - 1 large - rear bottom
Ham for sandwiches - 1 med -- front
Ham Deli Slices - 2 pkg -- front
Chicken Breast - 2 pkg of 2 each, very large -- front
Chicken Rotisserie - 3 pkg -- front
Chicken Thighs - 1 pkg of 6 pc, boneless -- Lock'n'Lock, front
Lamb Shanks - 1 pkg of 2 pc -- front
Bacon - 3 pkg -- rear
Cooking Bacon (like lean salt pork) 2 2/3 pkg -- beneath center
Salami - 1 pkg small, sliced -- center
Weinies - 3 pkg, extremely tiny, finger size -- rear
Bratwurst - 1 pkg, very small -- rear
Sausage:  2 pkg of 5 lg links -- rear
                   1 pkg of 3 links, smoked -- rear
                    1 pkg of 2 links, smoked -- rear
Chili, homemade - 3 pkgs of 2 servings each -- rear
Enchilada Sauce, red - 1 batch -- beneath center
Corn - 1 open large bag -- rear
French Fries - 1 med bag -- rear
Pita Bread - 2 pkg of 5 or 6 pc each -- on top front

Nicely organized and inventoried freezer
And all that is what I consider not being well-stocked!  Why in the world would we need more on a boat in the Med when we are never more than a day or two from a supermarket!

On the other hand, we have not been off this boat since we departed Naxos on 15 May and if these strong winds do not let up then we will not be getting off this boat until 29 May when we will arrive in Kea Marina in Pireaus to meet the grandchildren at the Athens airport.  So, being over-provisioned sometimes does pay off.  We are out of fresh fruit and down to limited fresh veggies and bread but we still eat well.

P.S.  I think the meltimi started very early this year.  It has been in the 30s from the north and northeast for days now.  We are very glad to be anchored in Chapel Cove off Ormos Anavissou as it is a great anchorage for winds from any direction.  Although I think we will move tomorrow morning if the winds lie down overnight.  It is time for a different view.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finished Cyclades and entered Saronic Gulf

  As always, click on any image for larger view.

We finally left the dock in Naxos Town after thoroughly enjoying our 9-day stay there.  This is our favorite marina or town dock in Greece.  Just love this little place and really like the manager, Nickolas.  Love the little town and all the convenience of everything being so close together.  We will miss Naxos.  When shop clerks and waiters recognize us on the street, it is time to move on.

Paros -- NW anchorage.  Another blue dome!

Next up was an anchorage on the northern tip of Paros island, just west of Naxos island.  This was only a short 10 NM, sailing tightly on the wind for just over an hour and motoring the last 3 miles directly into the building westerly wind.  We were looking for a place to hide out from rising westerly winds for a couple of days.  This anchorage at 37.08.622N  025.13.698E was the perfect place.  A beautiful secluded anchorage with scenic views all around.  

A half-sunken boat at Paros

And only 2 boats there, including us!  Only distraction were the thousands of flies!  We put up the screens and pretty much stayed inside the boat.  It was too cool in the cockpit in the wind anyway.  Gave us plenty of time to catch up on our reading.  

Blue domed church and 1 of 4 pocket beaches at Paros

Surprised me one sunny day to see people arriving at the several small pocket beaches that line this large bay tucked up in the northwest tip of another VERY large bay.  These folks were actually getting into the water!  Bill and I were wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts while staying inside our boat out of the cold wind and those people were swimming in that cold water! As the day warmed with the sun I sat in the cockpit shielded from the wind by the dodger and enjoyed reading a trashette...a book that requires no thought, where the author writes in a formula manner that guarantees good sales to people who do not want to think.  A trashette is the perfect book to while away a beautiful afternoon watching the scenery while at anchor.  Couples were hiking round the hills surrounding the bay.  Most would soon find their spots in the rocks near the water and shed their clothing to lie on towels and soak up the warm rays of sun.  If one were out of the wind then the temperature was lovely.  In the wind, it was still cold; at least in our opinions.   Lying nude on a large hot rock appears to be a favorite past-time here.

Kithnos anchorage north side of beach
After a couple of days the westerly winds died away.  Forecast for 17 May was for SW winds ranging 13 to 16 kts.  Perfect to sail up to Kithnos and visit our favorite anchorage.  Or, so we thought.  Sailing was perfect for a couple of hours.  Then wind died down to 1.5 knots and our only option was to motor for the next 6 hours to complete this 55 NM passage.  Just lovely.  But, on the bright side, having no wind allowed us to motor due west and then go north up the western side of Kithnos rather than the usual route of going over the north tip and back down to our anchorage.  

Isthmus beach at Kithnos anchorage

We dropped anchor at 37.24.895N   024.22.605E at 15:00 and spent the next 4 hours admiring the beach and surroundings.  Very idyllic place.  This was our fifth time to visit this isthmus beach anchorage.  And this time it was not crowded with motor boats out of Athens area.  This is a very popular weekend destination but the season has not yet started.  Nice!

South side of isthmus beach at Kithnos anchorage
Overnight a westerly swell worked its way into the long bay and the motion became a bit uncomfortable.  Not badly so, but enough that we saw no reason to stay there and roll side-to-side when we could just as easily move on.  We still had 13 days before needing to arrive at Zea Marina at Pireaus in order to meet our grandchildren at the Athens airport.  Might as well move on closer while the weather was good.  Besides, winds were predicted to rise to 23-27 kts from the north in 2 days and remain high for 4-5 days.  So we raised anchor and headed out into the swell and motored up to Sounion.

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
Built 444 B.C.
Looks like they are building a
walkway up to the temple
It seemed to take forever to cover that 23 miles!  Swell was 1.5 meter with 1 meter steep waves on top.  Motoring into it was slow and annoying.  With the engine at 2,000 rpm the boat was only making ~4 kts. SOG!!  We normally would be going 7 kts at that rpm.  We finally arrived at Sounion and dropped the anchor.  And 5 minutes later pulled it right back up again.  Too rolly here also!   Again caused by that westerly swell.
Chapel Cove anchorage in  large Anavissou bay

Tiny chapel on the hill.  Hence the
name Chapel Cove

Town behind us at Chapel Cove anchorage.  Do not know
name of this community.  Lots of permanent moorings here.
We continued northward up the peninsula to another anchorage we remembered from our last visit to this area in 2011.  At 14:00 we again dropped the anchor; this time at 37.43.006N  023.55.691E almost right on top of the track on our electronic chart indicating where we had previously anchored in Chapel Cove in large Ormos Anavissou.  Ahhh!  Much nicer!  No swell and no rolling!  Pretty scenery.  There are permanent moorings for small boats filling most of this little anchorage.  We anchored well out from the moorings yet still behind the rocks that protect from any westerly swell.  Only negative is that there are no stores or markets nearby for when our supply of bread and produce are consumed.   

Our paper planning chart.  Black line shows where we have sailed so far since departing Fethiye.
About 1/3 of the way to Dubrovnik now.  The line straight down was the ferry trip from Naxos to Santorini.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Not all the domes on Santorini are the famous blue or the plain white.
  As always, click on any image for larger view.

Best way to start a holiday
On pedestrian path/Santorini
Once the wind finally died down we left BeBe docked in Naxos Town marina and splurged for a ferry trip down to Santorini.  The Blue Star Ferries newest ferry named Delos is nice!  Very comfortable.  It felt like no movement at all even though we were motoring along at 25 knots.  Seats like oversized recliners with dozens of televisions hanging overhead in the section where we chose to sit.  We skipped the on-board cafe and shops and bars, but those looked nice also.  Greece has this ferry thing down to an art!

Santorini, a/k/a Thira.  The name of Santorini comes
from earlier name of Santa Irene.  It is known as
Thira today, sometimes spelled Thera.
The ferry leaves Naxos Town at 12:50 and arrives in Santorini 2 hours later after briefly stopping in Ios.  We had visited Santorini in 2011 and anchored in the caldera next to the new dome that has formed.  It was not possible for us to go ashore.  Here is what I wrote about that visit:

And here is what grandson Zachary wrote about that visit:

This time we would see Santorini from the top view.  A very different perspective.

The gray gate door is the entrance to our patio and room.

We had arranged a 'romantic room' at the Blue Dolphins and transportation from the port was also pre-arranged.    A 'romantic room' at this hotel cost ~50 Euro more than a regular double room; the difference supposedly being that one gets a private balcony with a 'romantic room.'  Found the driver holding a sign as instructed and soon we were winding up...up...up...and...yet farther up to the top of the ridge, then north to our hotel.  

Down many steps to get to our room.
 Down many more steps to
 reception or breakfast.
That is Bill way down there walking
back up from reception 

The town of Fira is the capital of of Santorini; our hotel was located in Firostefano which is just north of Fira.  There were many steps D-O-W-N and then a few steps U-P to find the reception office.  So that we could then retrace those few steps D-O-W-N and many steps U-P to get to our room.  And what a room.  It was like a tiny apartment sans kitchen.  A bedroom with curtained off closet area, television and docking speakers for our iPhone for music.  A small room with breakfast table and 2 chairs and mini-fridge.  And bathroom with the most unusual shower built into an angled recessed area.  And the best part, a very large patio.  A really very large patio that wrapped the corner, with chaise loungers and built-in seating and another breakfast table and chairs.  Overlooking the volcano caldera.  The entrance to our room was secured by a locking gate and not too far off the pedestrian path that winds along the top of Santorini.  We wondered if they had put us in the Honeymoon Suite.  We certainly had the best view of any room at this hotel.  And the largest accommodations.
Inside our patio gate/door 

Side part of our patio
Bill sitting on front patio.  That little 'house' was our room.

Bill enjoying the view on our patio

Bill spent a lot of time enjoying view

View from our bed.

We did not understand this.  That 'hole' at the foot of the
bed was filled with rocks.  Decorative touch?  Place to
put heated rocks in winter to warm room?

View from our patio the next morning.  Fogged in!

City in the Clouds!  Actually, fog.  It was a neat experience to see
the fog dissipate and the islands and cities become visible.
City lights behind me after a long walk back (uphill!!) after dinner.

Three of those famous blue domes
Oh, BTW, the driver had explained to us that the island of Santorini is the caldera.  I told him that I thought the caldera was the depression where the water and the new dome are, but he was insistent that the caldera is the land ridge which comprises the island of Santorini.  (I think he is wrong.)

We walked to the nearest market to buy snacks, then returned to the patio to enjoy the bottle of Moet and Chandon that Maria and Wily on S/V Pitu had gifted to us back in Gocek last month.  Wonderful!  A real treat.  

Restaurant we enjoyed.  Tiny!
Excellent authentic Italian cuisine
Later that evening we strolled down the pedestrian path toward Fira and chose a restaurant for dinner.  I was in the mood for Italian and ilCantuccio did not disappoint!  
The restaurant is comprised only of that tiny patio and
the space behind that door.  Very tiny.  That stairway
leads to another larger restaurant.
I loved the way that the restaurant had made the most of the very limited space available on this steep mountainside.  We each enjoyed different pastas and shared a delicious smoked salmon appetizer.  

This restaurant had an old
windmill.  It was above the
Italian restaurant that we
liked so much.

The trees that produce the flower buds that are known as capers grown wild all over Santorini.  No surprise that capers are integral ingredients to so many of the culinary delights.  Our one night in Santorini was complete enjoyment.  This meal was so good that the following day we returned for a pizza lunch.  It also was great.

Pretty window on pedestrian path -- at yet another eatery

I liked this window display at the Crazy Donkey.

Weather was dreary, drizzly and cold on Saturday evening.  Sunday dawned beautiful.  The entire caldera was invisible and most of the island covered in fog.  It was like we were in our own little world.  Within an hour the fog had cleared and sun was out.  What a difference a day makes!  This day was sunny and warm.  Almost too warm.

Pedestrian path to north
Stopped to admire the view -- while I rested to breathe
We walked north on the pedestrian path until I was too winded to continue any farther uphill.  Which did not take far!  We then turned around and walked the path down to Fira.  Interesting tiny shops and restaurants and bars every step of the way.  The clubs here do not open until 23:00 and supposedly go on loudly all night.  Glad our hotel was well away from the thumping of nightclub music.  We picked the perfect hotel for us.  We no longer fit in with the youthful party crowd.

Going south on pedestrian path.  Path was much nicer
in this direction.  Also more commercial.

As we walked we took dozens of photos, mostly of the blue domes for which Santorini is so famous.  There are more than 300 domed structures on this island and dozens are painted blue.  It is just a gorgeous and magical place.  No wonder it is so popular with tourists from all over this world.
Down the path to Fira

Through Fira and then I declared this the end of our pathway
walking.  The pedestrian path continued.  We did not.

Bill noted that we are so fortunate that the common language is English.  We noticed groups of people speaking every language imaginable, and when they wanted to communicate with anyone who was not of their heritage they would switch to English.  That is good for us.  Cannot imagine how we would manage in our travels if people switched to French when needing a common language.  Or Italian, or German, or whatever.  Americans just lucked out that the rest of the world adopted English as the common language.

Turned around and headed back north

I won't go into a lot of historical detail about Santorini, anyone can research that on their own.  Suffice it to say that the volcanic eruption in the 1600s BC affected the climate of the entire world.  The eruption created a tsunami that is estimated to have been 300 to 400 meters high (985 to 1310 feet) that traveled over 210 mph.  This tsunami obliterated the northern side of the island of Crete 65 miles south of here and destroyed civilization there.  Archaeologists tell us that there was a sophisticated civilization living on Santorini that flourished 3,500 years ago.  There was dense infrastructure, extensive sewage systems, multi-story buildings, animal stables housed out of towns, etc. 

Continuing on back toward our hotel.  We did a lot of
walking this day.  Stone paths are tough on arthritic hips.

The greatest archaeological find is the city of Akrotiri on the outside southern tip of the island.  This city was buried under tons of ash and remained buried for nearly 3,500 years.  The first signs of this civilization were discovered by French engineers who dug for pumice in the 1800s.  Professor Spyridon Marinatos began systematic excavation of Akrotiri in 1967 and worked on it until his death in 1974.  The frescoes which were unearthed are supposed to be amazing; their brilliant colors preserved by the ash that covered and protected them for eons.

Imagine the view from this restaurant.  It was well out
of our price range.

That is the one thing that I regret that we did not see during our visit.  A tour was offered for a cost of 50 Euro per person.  But we declined.  That was just too expensive just to see ancient Akrotiri and we were not interested in any other destination listed on the tour.  We have seen many ancient ruins and never paid $70 each.  Santorini is expensive.  On one cafe menu posted along the pedestrian path were listed milkshakes at cost of 8.50 Euro.  That is $11.85 for a simple milkshake!  Oh no, I think not!

The transport back to the port came all too quickly.  We sat at a bar for an hour awaiting the ferry -- with Bill enjoying his $8.50 beer and me sipping a bottle of mineral water.  Would have enjoyed a cup of coffee but I don't pay $7 for a cup of coffee.  Or $5.60 for a single can of Coke.

Ferry seating area.  Nice!

On the ferry ride back I noticed that there now are about 5 moorings in place where private yachts can tie up near the northern tip of Santorini beneath the town of Oia.  It appeared that one could land a dinghy at a low wharf there.  This should be very good news to cruisers who want to visit on their own boats.

We thoroughly enjoyed our one day/night trip to Santorini.  Here are a few photos of some of those famous blue domes.

This one was north of our hotel.
A darker shade of blue

Not every church had a blue dome.  This
one also had a new angular bell tower.
Different shades of blue in distance.  I think that is the
old monastery on top of that mountain.
Needs some paint touch-up
Caldera side of the pedestrian path
One just south of our hotel