Log #27m Paros

November 27, 2002 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 27 Summer in Greece, The Logs

Kemer, Turkey
Nov. 27, 2002

Hi Folks,

Here’s the next installment of our trip back through the Cyclades on our return to Turkey for the winter. The weather continues to be fine here in Kemer, much better than it was last year at this time.

I had an expensive lesson in Turkish health care two days ago when arrangements were made for a Dermatologist to come to the local hospital to give check ups to the live-aboards. It only cost 50,000,000 TL (the Turkish Lira is about $1.00 Canadian), and 26 of us signed up. I was one of the first to go in. I am concerned about skin problems as I had a malignant melanoma removed about 5 years ago before leaving Toronto, and will be visiting my dermatologist in Toronto when I return to Canada next month. I also have a rash developing on my forehead and nose which I wanted to have checked now rather than letting it get worse. The doctor, through a translator, identified several dry spots on my back, and I had a wart type scab on the back of my wrist. He asked if I wanted them removed, a simple procedure that could be done now. Back in Canada it would be a simple removal by cryogenic nitrogen freezing off the tissue. I thought something similar here and was told it was.

The procedure involved an injection of a local anesthetic for each of the nine spots (ouch, I hate needles), then an electric cauterization of each spot. The injections made it quite an uncomfortable procedure. I was plastered with bandaids, and given prescriptions for antiseptics and creams to change the bandages daily. I was also given prescriptions for an ointment for my forehead and a special shampoo to use. These prescriptions came to only 21,000,000 TL, a very reasonable amount. However, the removals were not considered part of the office examination, and initially cost 45,000,000 TL each giving me a bill for the equivalent of $450.00 Canadian! Aaarrgghhh! I could have waited until back in Canada and had all the procedures done on my medical insurance. Several others were similarly surprised at this expense they assumed would be part of the office examination procedures, and complained. The hospital then reduced the price for each procedure starting at the 45,000,000 TL, then reducing it for subsequent ones, resulting still for me in a final bill of $250.00 Canadian. I have to remember to ALWAYS ask the price of anything before getting a service or a purchase! The service was good, the facilities good, but the unexpected expense without being informed of the cost beforehand and the unexpected discomfort of the procedures made for an unhappy patient.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends. We will be celebrating it here in the marina tomorrow with the American boaters.

Judy and I have been instrumental in getting the boaters to donate old clothes for a Thanksgiving charity. It has been successful in that we have bags and bags of clothes, shoes, jackets, suitcases, and other materials to donate. We had a good idea for it suggested by another boater. Since the staff here are “not well paid”, on a “charity begins at home” theme, we have decided to give the marina staff first choice of the clothing. The remainder we will be giving to the Imam at a local mosque for distribution to his congregation.

The new government here seems to be doing well. They have three international issues to be dealt with, and they will probably link them; the Annan UN proposal for settling the Cyprus issue; the participation of Turkey with regards to an EU defense force liaison with NATO; and Turkey being given a date for consideration for membership in the EU. There are two major national issues to be dealt with: the economy and corruption. However the relationship of the AK governing party with Islam is raising its head in regards to the Headscarf dispute. Headscarves are not to be worn in government offices, schools and universities in order to avoid Islamic domination and ensure separation of mosque and state, a major item of the constitution, defended by the military. Headlines were made last week when one of the senior ministers attending a departure ceremony for the Turkish President on a trip to the EU, chose to bring his wife along, who (his wife, not him) was wearing – a headscarf! A second incident also occurred last week in the Ankara Hilton where several government deputies attending a conference, chose to do their (5) daily Moslem prayers in the public foyer of the hotel, rather than a separate room that was set aside for them for that purpose. Is this the thin edge of the wedge of this government tolerating religious displays in public and in public institutions? These issues hit the headlines over here. It will be interesting to see how they work out. I hope the best for Turkey, and its acceptance into the EU will be good for both Turkey and the EU.

Enjoy the log about Paros.

All the best,
Aubrey

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Log #27m Paros

Kemer, Turkey
Nov. 27, 2002

The 23 mile motor (again) over to Naoussa on Paros was uneventful, going SE into a light force 3 to 4 SSE breeze. It is convenient however that the distances between islands is moderate (25 to 45 miles) allowing us to island hop from anchorage to anchorage, although it would be nice to sail more. As we prefer anchorages and more secluded bays, preferably without local towns attached, we did not notice any crowding in the Aegean during the high season, and now in October, off season, we have most of the anchorages to ourselves, or share with only a couple of other boats. August is the most crowded as Italy virtually closes up and everyone takes their summer holidays that month.

Coming into Ormos Naoussa, a large 2 mile wide amoeba-shaped bay on the northern end of Paros, for a second time, we elected to go to the town dock for the convenience of resupply, laundry, DVD rental, internet access, and moped rental. We went in beside a large caique (a steel 100 foot two-masted cruise sailing vessel) thinking it would provide a bit of a wind break for us in the increasing westerly winds. This it did; however, it also had a generator going most of the night with the noise and exhaust a disturbing factor.

We like Naoussa, a small, friendly town, with good supply facilities, bus depot, rental agencies, laundry, fuel station and fuel truck, good restaurants, remains of a Venetian fort on the point, a fishing harbour, and typically quaint narrow Cycladic cobblestone alleys with whitewashed houses, their balconies and stairs offset by blue trim and colourful flowers adorning steps and window ledges. We saw in the anchorage just SW of the town a large 45 foot catamaran flying a Canadian flag. We hadn’t noticed it when we came into the town dock. We detached Sprite and motored over to meet Garry and Ann on Toucan Tango (an interesting play on words). We had a good chat with them and found out they were also headed for Kemer for the winter. In addition, there were a couple of US boats at anchor, Zelda and Meg, whom we had heard on the cruisers net in the mornings. We went over and introduced ourselves to find out they too were headed for Kemer for the winter. The three of them were sailing in company and knew each other well, taking their time meandering through the Aegean and over to the Turkish coast as we were, planning to arrive at Kemer some time in the first week or so of November, a month from now. Small world!

Back at the dock, we found the laundry closed, but were able to send off some E-mail and rent a DVD for the night. Later that night another charter yacht (a 45 foot Jeanneau) came in between us and the larger cruise ship, serving as a bit of a buffer from its noise and fumes. We helped it in. However, when they were rigging the landing board from the stern (a makeshift passarelle), they did not have it properly secured and the surge caused it to slip, dumping one of the crew crossing at the time into the water. No problem fortunately other than getting wet. When talking with the skipper, we found out he was Canadian of Greek origin, who returned to Paros, his family’s home island, to operate a charter business. He returns to Canada periodically, to Hamilton, his home area. I was born in a Hamilton hospital, but lived in Dundas, a small town just a couple of miles west. (We in Dundas would never consider ourselves as a suburb of Hamilton, as our town is older than Hamilton – pardon the local hubris.) Small world!

Next day the weather (rain) cleared up, but the wind was up to force 5 from the west. Renting a moped for only €12.00 (the Euro is approximately equal to a US dollar) we wended our way through the mountains in search of the quarries outside of Marathi. I say “wended” as the road maps were most inadequate, and road signs inconsistent or non-existent. However we found these ancient, abandoned (only since the early 1900’s), quarries from which marble was taken in ancient times for much of the statuary of the Hellenistic period, including the Venus de Milo. Parian marble was also used for Napoleon’s Tomb and the Pantheon in Paris. I had to explore down two of the mines, with a flashlight (torch to you Brits), going down rock strewn shafts at a 45ْ slope, probably well over 150 feet below the surface and around several bends, so that when I turned the light off I was in total absolute darkness and silence. The roof of the shafts seemed to be solid marble, but in several sections the sides were reinforced with ancient stone walls. There was no sign of timbers being used for supports. The largest chamber was about 10 metres by 10 metres, and maybe 4 metres at its highest. I saw the chisel gouges in the rock walls, marble slabs and other debris. I did not see any secure points on the walls for pulleys or other lifting devices to get the material up to the surface. I am not sure how they removed the marble, possibly carried up by laden donkeys or slaves.

I picked up a few pieces of lucent, snow white marble for souvenirs. I have quite a collection of stones and rocks picked up from different islands, volcanoes, mountains and mines. Judy gets frustrated with my collections of junk, which I will probably jettison at some point, as we don’t have much room on board. I really don’t know if I will ever be able to display it properly as we have no house to go back to, or what I will eventually do with it. Does anyone want some ebony black obsidian, rust red volcanic pumice stone, toffee brown barite crystals (desert roses), gold and granite impregnated quartz, rounded ostrich egg shaped, dappled stones from the Hebrides (used as hand warmers when heated up on our coal stove), smooth translucent beach stones, gritty grey pieces and crystal white chunks of Parian marble, 200 to 500 year old broken pieces of pottery red roof tiles with the manufacturers’ names and symbols displayed, pieces of ceramic tile from military fortresses on Malta, miscellaneous barnacles and sea shells, not to mention a few shards of ancient amphorae picked up along the way? And Judy wants me to get rid of this treasure trove! (None of these are antiquities from archeological sites, as there are laws against removal of such from both Greece and Turkey.)

We didn’t want to linger cycling around the countryside, as we were both nervous about the wind that was blowing through the mountains, and concerned for the security of Veleda – would her stern anchor hold to prevent her from pounding against the dock? Paros is small enough that a day on a moped could cover the entire island. It only took us 20 minutes to get back to Veleda. She was OK, but we tightened up on her stern anchor to take her bow a bit further away from the dock.

With Judy on board, I was free to wander around the shoreline of the bay on the moped, going over to the far side where we anchored last month at the nude beach. Disappointingly, it was deserted. However, I was able to see the sheltered bays where we might go to anchor safely in this increasing wind. Shortly after returning to Veleda, we decided it would be safest and most comfortable at anchor rather than on the unsheltered town docks with an increasing onshore wind. The ship beside us had departed and the wind had veered to be directly onshore. We were horribly reminded of the unsheltered town docks on Milos last fall when we were terrified and Sprite was sunk in a force 9/10 storm with onshore winds. I took Sprite around to the next bay where Toucan Tango was at anchor to see how well sheltered it was and if we could edge deeper into shore to get in a better lee. We then slipped from the dock and anchored in the well protected bay. We noted that most of the other boats on the outer dock relocated as well. The fishing boats inside were fine, as they were protected by the breakwater of the outer dock. However, yachts are not permitted inside the camber. The anchorage was far smoother than the buffeting we were experiencing at the docks. So we watched a DVD at anchor, after which I took Sprite ashore to return the movie, do a last bit of E-mail, and return the moped, ready to leave early next morning.