October 22nd, 2011

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Friday/Saturday Oct 21/22 Back on Samos

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

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I arrived back in Marathokambos on the island of Samos. I tried to go ashore, like I did last night, with the dinghy but half of it went totally limp. One of the valve covers is broken. I’ll have to search for the part when I am back in the USA. So, no cold beer or fresh vegetables. I am not sure I’ll get this out today. I left my anchorage at 7.30 a.m., at day break. And made it here in good time, by 5 p.m.
The conditions on the water changed from smooth to very nasty bumpy short waves it was like hobby horsing through a mogul slope. I sailed a couple of times but mostly motor sailed.  From here to Khios is about a 12 hour 60 plus miles. Since I know the harbor and it is lit I can arrive after dark if necessary, otherwise I’ll make a stop in mid afternoon in a Turkish bay and get to Khios by Sunday.

I’ll probably get on the hard by Wednesday and most likely will show up in Amsterdam by next weekend. I did finally obtain liability insurance, so, that is good news. It is affordable, 153 Euroes per year. Others had turned me down, the European underwriters are deadly afraid that since I am an American and the boat is registered in the USA that they’ll be hauled before a bunch of American ambulance chasing laywers and our ridiculous injury awards . I can’t blame them.

Saturday Evening:

When I stuck the bow around the N.W. corner of Samos the Northerly hit me straight on the nose with big waves and winds of at least 30 knots. There was no way to buck through this. So I turned back to Marathokambos. This time I tied up at the community pier and took a walk into town. First of all to find an internet connection to check on the wind forecasts. It showed force 6 for the time that I stuck my nose into it for a patch of about 10 miles and then lighter winds north of the passage between Samos and the island to the west of it. And tomorrow even stronger winds…  I decided that my only way to get to Khios is to approach it from the eastern side of Samos where the winds are not quite as strong. So, I took off after 1 p.m. for the marina in Pythagoria about 16 miles to the S.E.  It was a wild fast ride down wind with just the 90% jib to the Southern  corner and then when I turned to the East in the lee of the high mountains the wind died and a milder wind came from the totally opposite direction, the south. This is power for the course sailing between these islands. A totally new experience. I hugged the shore line to avoid the strong northerly and it was just an awesome landscape, a geologist would be totally mesmerized. The weirdest rock formations I have ever seen anywhere. See some of the pictures below.

If I had not been forced to turn back to Marathokambos I would have missed that walk into the town I took today and the town would have missed to be included into my most memorable places visited, like Kuantan on the east coast of Malaya I visited in 1962 and that small jewel of a village in Mexico, south of Puerto Vallarta, in 1980, where everything was so harmonious and in perfect balance with the environment that we tiptoed out of the village, because we felt that our intrusion would disturb the perfection. And Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. I should have taken more pictures.

Pythaghoria is also a very nice spot. The marina was opened about 4 years ago. They have just one men’s  shower stall…. for at least 150 berths. But that shower felt good. It is getting a bit too frisky to take cockpit baths. I paid $30 for a night’s moorage. Just in case, I checked their storage and haul out rates, they are just slightly less than Marmaris and at least 4 times more than on Khios. So, off I go tomorrow early in the morning. I provisioned in the town and had dinner. My neighbors here are a really nice group of about six Francais/Francaises, who arrived just after I got in, to charter the boat next to me. They are from Strassbourg and Muellhouse in the Alsace-Lorraine.  Ialso met a really nice group of Austrians from the Innsbruck area.

Most likely I will not make to Khios by this round about way tomorrow and I will probably anchor on the Turkish coast so there might not be a blog till  Monday night/Tuesday.