The process of clearing out of Turkey was easy, entering Greece was another matter. A cruising permit is required for foreign boats in Greece, Dan had registered on line and paid the 1,500 euros by bank transfer; however, he got locked out of the website when trying to get the completed document. He explained this to his ‘agent’ and provided copies of the application and the bank transfer. Greek customs refused the documents because there was no date on the copy of the bank transfer despite the fact that the application was dated and the numbers all matched. Finally it was resolved.
We rented a car on Lesvos and enjoyed an island tour for a couple of day. Lesvos is known for it’s olives and has a very nice Olive museum. We visited a family run olive oil processing plant, their specialty is an oil where they mix whole lemons into the olive paste. On returning to the boat, we discovered an engine problem. Amazingly, within hours we had a mechanic on board and at 6:30pm he removed a turbo and had it on a boat to Athens the next morning. Instead of hanging around, we took a ferry to Chios and again rented a car. We managed to track down Judge Jasons ancestral home and the house they are renovation. Chios is known as the ‘tears of Mastic’ as Mastic is the main crop on the island as we learned in the wonderful Mastic Museum. There are several wonderful cities on the island, one medical and another covered with amazing patterns. In the ten days we waited for the boat repair, we visited several more islands and came to rate them by the gear we used most on each island.
Back underway again, we headed south with a stops in Chios and Ikaria. Then on to Samos where we again toured the island before we were joined by the Jennifer and Mark Evans. Typical of this summer, they were originally scheduled to join us in Kos but we never got that far south in Greece; however, we did get to have dinner with the Boltons who were passing thru on the sailing ship Sea Cloud II. With the Evans, we returned to Ikaria and again drove over the mountain to our first port of call there.
Taking advantage of break in the Meltemi winds, we did a hundred mile run to Antiparos. Here we would greeted by Costis Hadjioannou, a Greek national who happen to own the only other Sabre yacht in Europe. He became our ‘Greek God’ who had boundless resources to aid us, including the only space of the dock in Antiparos. Next stop was Naxos, where we spent four days. The remote control for raising and lower the tender was not working, so we were forced to use of the boats next to us to get on and off the dock. We dropped off the Evans, who were visiting friends on the island, then we got the boat ready for our next guests. As there are no facilities for recreation boats on Santorini, the ferry was the best option for visiting this beautiful but crowded tourist island. On Santorini we met up with Cheryl, Mike and Ed Kisielnicki and spent the night.
We all took the ferry back to Naxos only to discover that the passarelle on the boat we were using to get on and off our boat was broken. A few hours later we had a welder show up to fix the break….it was that kind of summer. From Naxos we headed up to Kythnos, one of the lesser-known and least explored of the Cyclades isles. In many ways it reminded us of Chefchaouen, the blue city, in Morocco. From there is was into Athens, with a last swim along the way, where we left the boat from mid July to late August. We did this to avoid the extreme heat and crowds in ports as every charter boat in Europe is out cruising. We were also ready to be out of the winds in this part of the Aegean.
We booked a hotel in Athens near the Acropolis and did all of the normal site seeing things. The new Acropolis Museum is terrific and should be visited prior to going to the actual ruins.
Click on the photo to see the album of this trip