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EAST TOWARD TURKEY

As we left the lee of Santorini, mid-morning on Friday, June 18th our destination was the island of Astipalaia about 50 NM east.   Astipalaia is referred to as the “butterfly island” because of its shape with a narrow isthmus connecting two parts of the island that fan out as near mirror images. 

Passing north of Anafi the wind died

Passing north of Anafi the wind died

The course took us north of the island of Anafi—not much more than a rock—and a north wind on the beam at a steady 20 kts. made for quite a sleigh ride.  We were averaging 7+kts. under reefed main and jib, except for a brief period of motoring as we passed close to Anafi and experienced some confused seas and land breeze.  As the day wore on the wind increased and so did the seas.

Approaching the tip of Astipalaia the wind had increased to 25-28 kts. and was gusting over 30 kts.  We motored the last several miles after rounding up into the wind through white caps that stormed across the open bay. 

We arrived at Maltazana, an anchorage protected from all directions but still subject to gusts from the meltemi off the shore.  It took us two tries to set the anchor on the soft mud covered with weed in wind that was still blowing 25 kts. 

Anchored in Astipalaia. . .one of several times!

Anchored in Astipalaia. . .one of several times!

The anchorage was large and there were only three other boats anchored, which we appreciated since the meltemi was forecast to be Force 6 all through the night.  “Force 6” is 22-27 kts., but we know to expect 30+kts. at a minimum when it is forecast.  True to our expectations, the wind howled all night averaging 29-30 kts. and Kent was awakened at about 4 a.m. by the anchor alarm and spent an hour in the cockpit ensuring that the anchor had reset and we were no longer dragging.

By 9 a.m. the anchor dragged again. . . and once again, this time after three tries, we finally got it set on a patch of sand.  It was still blowing hard when we went through this exercise, and as always it is stressful despite “no imminent danger” as the Captain contended.

With the meltemi still howling throughout the day our anchorage picked up four more boats, and now we had to worry about other boats dragging on us.  We were fairly certain at that point that ours was well set.  Sure enough one boat drops perilously close to the location of ours then decided to move, while we held our breath waiting to see if our anchor came up as well.  Thankfully, it did not. 

We had planned a lay day in Maltazana to rest up from the long passage the day before, but it did not prove to be as relaxing as we hoped.  With the strong breeze, it was a good day to dry some laundry and update the blog.

From Maltazana, we continued northeast to the island of Kos, anchoring off the little seaside town of Kamares on Sunday.  Kamares has a tiny harbor which is filled with fishing boats, but is protected from the meltemi by it location on the south coast of Kos.  

Approaching east end of Kos

Approaching east end of Kos

On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon locals were either fishing or sunning.

We don't know if they caught anything, but the scenery is breathtaking

Who says "you can't eat the view"

Sunday at Kamares Beach

Sunday at Kamares Beach

Jolie, not being a local, got a bath instead of the beach.

Had to get the olive oil off her tail. . .a funny story!

You won't believe how she got olive oil on her tail!

We anchored just off the beach and had dinner ashore at Sebastian’s Taverna, where the owner’s son greeted us in English, and said he “had spent a year in the U.S. and would probably still be there if he wasn’t engaged to a Greek girl at the time.”  The food was wonderful and very inexpensive.   

View of Destiny from Sebastian's Taverna

View of Destiny from Sebastian's Taverna

The entire south shore of Kos is dotted with hotels, resorts and beach clubs of varying sizes.  As we made our way to the town of Kos at the northeast end of the island, we passed some large and seemingly luxurious resorts that offered wind surfing, small sailing boats and parasailing.  One resort had an elevator down the hillside to the beach below. 

Outdoor Elevator to Beach

Outdoor Elevator to Beach

Upscale resorts dot the coast of Kos

Upscale resorts dot the coast of Kos

Parasailing anyone?

Parasailing anyone?

The Kos Marina is reportedly one of the best in Greece and also one of the more expensive we have found at 31 euros a day—still slightly less than Zea Marina in Athens.  The staff is very helpful and there are tailed lines to the quay which makes docking much easier. 

Kos Marina

Kos Marina

Marina sunset

Marina sunset

The Old Harbor is next to a Fortress from which you can overlook the town and the new marina in the distance.   

Old Fortress

Old Fortress

New marina viewed from Fortress

New marina viewed from Fortress

Looking east from Kos you see mainland Turkey just a few miles away. 

Turkey in the distance

Turkey in the distance

The town is lush with flowers this time of year, particularly oleander which grows to massive proportions. 

Colorful flowers and umbrellas dot the shore

Colorful flowers and umbrellas along the sea walk

Profusion of oleander

Ancient building draped in color

Oleander everywhere!

Oleander everywhere!

It wouldn’t be Greece without some Roman influence.

Roman ruins in Kos

Roman ruins in Kos

We arrived in Corfu on April 22nd and June 22nd will be our last full day in Greece before departing for Turkey, although it won’t be our last time here.  It is virtually impossible to go west without once again passing through Greece, so we’ll have another chance to see additional islands the next time through–Rhodes and Simi to look forward to.  It could be in two months, or next year.  You can spend years wandering through Greece and its islands, and we have met people who do.  We haven’t found that one country yet that so captivates us that we don’t want to move on to the next one–who knows maybe it will be Turkey.

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