Thursday, 16 July 2009

Fournoi and Patmos

Church and Castle
Old part of Town Candle lit Graves
Southern bay on Fournoi
Lots of steps
Main Harbour, Fournoi
Hi from Clare, Wednesday 15/07/09
THE PEACEFUL GLOW OF CANDLE LIGHT It was our last night in Pythagorian, Samos and we walked to an old castle and Greek church at the entrance of the bay. It was the old part of town favouring winding streets and tiny houses with most of the inhabitants sitting outside enjoying the cool of the evening. We passed by the church cemetery high on the hill. It was aglow with soft candle light as each headstone had a glassed in section where an oil candle burned. It was such a peaceful sight with numerous candles lit, flowers and photos at each grave. I couldn't help but think that far from a place of sadness, it seemed alive, peaceful and very much part of a close knit community. It was too dark to appreciate the beauty of the church, so we planned a return trip early next morning for photos.

PERFECT PEACE, BUT NOT FOR LONG The following day we sailed 15 miles at 40 degrees apparent to the south end of the next island of Fournoi. We anchored in a quiet bay with one other boat from New Zealand. This was their third day here and they raved about the calm conditions. We had a most pleasant evening with a few drinks together. Just as well as the next day the wind started to gather and it has been windy ever since. The New Zealander's David and Henrietta knew the island of Fournoi well. They said that the town harbour at the northern end of the island is very choppy in windy conditions. The best way to negotiate the town is to anchor in the bay next to the town and climb the stairs up over the hill. We ended up doing that a few days later when the wind gathered to twenty seven knots. We anchored and tied to a bollard near the pier and with the boat safe we negotiated hundreds of stairs (thanks David) up the hill, down the other side and back again. My calf muscles were complaining but I didn't dare say anything as Andrew was carrying all the shopping. I did try not to buy too much, but anyone who has shopped with me will know I failed.

THE CLASH OF TWO GENERATIONS The town is a non-tourist Greek village. Pokey little shop selling essentials, a few tavernas and lots of little fishing boats that didn't look at all seaworthy. A laidback society with a siesta in the middle of the day when most of the shops shut, but not the internet cafe. Welcome back to the progressive world, we had to wait to get a computer because I think just about every kid in town was there playing video games. I guess they don't have computers at home but that didn't stop them. Behind twenty computer screens were intent and excited faces playing the same seek and destroy game. The Greek kids were all talking on top of their voices. Andrew often says I don't speak loudly enough so I decided to match the kids. I yelled at Andrew sitting next to me, his head shot up with great alarm, but nobody else in the internet cafe batted an eye lid - I fitted in perfectly.

ANCHORS AWAY! We went back to the southern end of the island in search of our 'peaceful bay' but all that was just a distant memory and we spent the night with two anchors out in very gusty conditions. The following morning (Sunday 13th) we headed south to Patmos to seek shelter from the north westerly winds. Another great 15 mile sail with the wind behind us, doing 7.5 knots with only the jib up. We have been at Patmos for the past three days, seems like forever. We are expecting thirty knots today in gusty conditions. We spend our days going for walks, sitting on the beach, swimming, reading and doing a few chores. Yesterday I hung the washing out on the rails to blow dry, had a cup of tea, then brought the washing in.

We will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. Oh the joy of cruising! love CANDY

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