Log #28f Leaving Turkey & Entering Greece

April 17, 2003 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 28 Winter in Turkey, The Logs

April 17, 2003

Hi Folks,

This will be my last log in the Log#28 series from Turkey, and I will next start with Log #29a in Greek waters. I already miss the courtesy and friendliness of the Turks as compared to the uncaring abruptness of the Greeks as indicated in the letter I have pasted at the end of this log.

We will miss the Kemer community. Last winter there were over 95 boats wintering there from over a dozen countries as follows: Austria – 1, Australia – 1, Canada – 3, Denmark – 2, Finland – 2, Germany – 11, Netherlands – 4, Sweden – 12, Turkey – 1, UK – 24, USA – 11. Monaco – 1, and New Zealand – 1. Thanks again Kemer, Faruk and Hasan!

I’ll get this saved onto floppy disc so I can send from Kos. Incidentally, I save on the floppy using the Rich Text Format which was suggested to me as a better format with less confusion of symbols from Microsoft Word. Because of the frustrations trying to send from the poor computers in Symi, I do not know if Superonline or AOL is better. I think I did send out on AOL, but I had to divide my two address lists into four, as AOL kept saying “Too Many Addresses”. The pop up screens from Napster MP3, US Green Card lotteries, and a Horoscope ad kept intruding every 20 or 30 seconds and if not immediately removed would freeze up the window. Of course any system notifications that flashed up would be in Greek, adding to my confusion. Nothing is ever simple!

The weather is nicer. We even leave the boat open at night when we sleep. I was almost wishing it would be colder so we would have an excuse to light up our wood/coal stove which we have not used for the past two years.

I found out, after leaving Kemer, that I had a letter to the editor published in the Turkish Daily News regarding Turkey’s stand on the Iraq war. If any of you would like a copy of it, let me know.

All the best,
Aubrey


Log #28f Leaving Turkey & Entering Greece

April 16, 2003

Panormitis, Symi, Greece

36 33.1 N, 027 50.8 E

We are quietly at anchor in this well sheltered oblong bay off the monastery, Moni Taxiarhou Mihail, an anchorage in which we stayed last year before checking out of Symi for Turkey. We checked out at Marmaris after picking up our new whisker pole, and went down to the Pupa Yacht Hotel bay to anchor for the night. The checkout had its usual delays, as when we finally secured to the high walled commercial outer customs dock the far side of the marina, and went in with our papers, I was informed that I needed to have them cleared with the local harbourmaster first. Rather than take Veleda across to the main part of town, I took Sprite. Once I found the Harbourmaster’s office, things went smoothly. It only cost 12,700,000 TL (about $12.00 Canadian) for two forms from him. However I felt under pressure as it was 1700 and I did not know when the Customs office closed. I got back there shortly and after filling out more forms was cleared out with no other costs.

We didn’t bother going ashore at the Pupa Yacht Hotel, and left at 0800 next morning, Sunday April 13th, for a motor sail down to Bozuk Buku, another favourite secure anchorage on the most southwesterly tip of Turkey, with Rhodes only 10 miles to the south and Symi a couple of miles off the point. We had heard ominous weather forecasts and wanted a secure anchorage, and also did not want to enter Greece on a weekend, as there might be overtime charges for any customs services. I mentioned Bozuk Buku in my logs last year when we visited this bay of the ancient abandoned Lycian city of Loryma. We anchored beneath the ramparts of the massive citadel, still standing, with its square stone bastions guarding the large, empty, uninhabited bay. Loryma dated back to 700 BC, an important trade and defense centre, the southernmost harbour in Anatolia, closest to Rhodes. The citadel extended along the sheltering peninsula 345 metres in length and 35 metres wide, with 9 square bastions and two circular ones at either end. The stone blocks were up to 2.3 metres thick! I always marvel at the construction of such structures with the technology available over 2000 years ago. The surrounding hills are barren, except for occasional ancient abandoned olive orchards, due to deforestation for ship building. There are the remains of some buildings and walls, still used by the two or three families who use the bay for their fishing boats, harvest the olive trees periodically, establish outdoor bar/restaurants in season, and graze their goats on the barren rocky hillsides.

We examined our new whisker pole from Germany. It is a heavier pole than our former one, and will need a pole lift to help manipulate it. We put a bridle on it, a couple of lanyards on the pull rods, and a leather wrap around the location it would contact the forward shroud. We have yet to fly it.

Next day we had gale forecasts, but by noon when nothing had developed we set off for Symi in Greece, only 13 miles away.

After mooring bows to and paying the local harbor master €2.00 for one night, we went through port police and customs with no problems. We were surprised that the cruising permit we had last year was still used, as the coast guard person stamped it for us. We paid only €75.00 for three receipts as a UK registered vessel; the only explanation was that we were coming from Turkey or outside the EU. By the time we returned to Veleda the boat next to us was preparing I thought to leave, but it was just relocating as its bow anchor was dragging in the slight crosswind we were experiencing in the harbor. I had the concern that our anchor might drag, and so put out a midships line upwind to the dock to ease the strain.

Symi is an attractive town architecturally as the houses are classical square fronted, pastel, cream or pink stucco with white bordered walls and windows, peaked white trimmed roofs with rectangular or round window openings in the more solid coloured gables. We did a bit of grocery shopping, re-activated our Greek SIM card on our mobile phone, and tried with great frustration to send E-mail. Below I have pasted a complaint I sent to the local paper/Chamber of Commerce outlining problems we had while there. We left with a bad taste in our mouths for Panormitis on the SW end of the island, a large secure bay with an active monastery, beautiful bell tower, and economical bed-sittingrooms with kitchenettes for only €15.00 per night for tourists or pilgrims.

We stayed here three nights just relaxing. We met up with SY Cheri, Conny and Vagn from Denmark, whom we saw in Symi town the night earlier. Vagn has the same water maker as we do, and we had an interesting time trying his parts on ours to diagnose his, and our, problems. It also gave us the incentive to check ours through as we had not been able to get it operational yet this season. We were successful with ours and gave Vagn some of our spare gaskets to try on his.

We plan a third day here, then on to Nisiros for a couple of days before going to Kos to pick up David.

******************************************************************************

symi~vis@otenet.gr

Panormitis, Symi

April 17, 2003

To:          The Symi Visitor

From:     Aubrey Millard, SV Veleda IV

Re:          Problems in Symi

We visited, with our 10m sailboat, your attractive community for a second time on April 14 & 15, but a few unfortunate incidents marred our enjoyment.

1/

I was exceedingly frustrated trying to send E-mail from a local café. The computer allowed so many pop up screens which would then freeze the window that I was unable to download or send any of my pre-prepared messages. However, the local manager was not considerate enough to oversee the problems and assist the process. There were no other customers in his establishment at the time, and I desperately could have used more help. As it was he was not around when it seized up again, and I finally left the frozen screen in frustration, and walked out, throwing a €2.00 coin on the counter as there was no one in the bar area to let me know the cost for the 45 frustrating minutes.

2/

The holding of your harbour bottom is not reliable, as two other sail boats dragged their anchors and had to re-anchor. My anchor was dragging as well, making for a very insecure mooring, and causing me to leave early rather than go through the frustrating process of re-anchoring. Laid moorings would make your harbour front more attractive to visiting boaters.

3/

The final and most dangerous problem was over at your fuel station where we stopped on our way out of harbour. The attendant was not very attendant! The dock wall does not have any cleats or rings to properly secure a boat alongside for refueling. The attendant did not come out to the boat to help us alongside. I had to go into the station to tell him I was there and needed diesel. He started the pump for the dock and immediately left me to complete the fuelling. After filling jerry cans on the dock, and lowering the nozzle to my wife in the cockpit to fill the boat’s tank, the fuel line stopped working, and when I tried to signal to the attendant, he again did not bother to come over to see what the problem was.  He had no other customers at the time. Then the 1230 ferry came into harbour, creating a one metre or more swell at the fuel dock, bashing my boat badly against the wall and releasing the bow line. I was on the dock, and my wife in the cockpit trying unsuccessfully to fill our fuel tank from the inoperable nozzle. When I noticed the bow line was off, the boat started surging backwards and swinging onto the rocks with the wash created by the ferry. I yelled for my wife to start the engine and motor away from the rocks. I jumped the 2 metres down onto the boat to get the bow lines, and in so doing sprained a finger. When I yelled for the attendant, he then came over and I was able to throw him the bow line. He then promptly left without any awareness that my boat could have been destroyed by the incident. I gave up on trying to put any more fuel in my tank and went over to the office to pay. Of course, the station does not have facilities to accept credit cards. Fortunately I had the cash. When going to leave, I had to call the attendant over again to help cast off the lines. He did not have the common sense to assist a boat in casting off.

My rudder did touch the rocks before my wife had the engine in gear. Fortunately no damage was done (other than my sprained finger). Had my wife been 30 seconds later in starting the engine, the rudder and propeller would have bashed against the rocks. Had damage been done, I am sure my insurance company would have been suing the fuel station and the ferry for creating such a dangerous situation. The wash created by the ferry at that dock is dangerous! Had I not been so angry at the whole situation, and just wanting to get out of Symi, I would have sailed over to the ferry’s captain and told him how his poor seamanship almost caused severe damage to my boat, and then taken my protest to the harbourmaster and coast guard officials. Needless to add that this situation has caused me to have a bad impression of Symi.

I would request that you pass this message to the appropriate authorities and officials advising them that such incidents could have legal consequences as well as damaging the reputation of Symi amongst yachting visitors.

Yours truly,

Aubrey Millard

Veleda IV