Log # 23m Summary of Greek Transit

March 22, 2002 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 23 Greece, The Logs

Kemer, Turkey
March 22/02

Hi Folks,
This is my last log on Greece, a summary of our transit for two months last fall. After the East Med Yacht Rally ends in June, we will probably sail from Israel to Crete, then back up into the Aegean for the summer and early fall before returning to Turkey for the winter, heading in earlier this year, as we did not like the storms we hit in late October and November.

It is pleasant warm weather during the day here, about 25 C, and cool in the evenings, between 15 to 17 C. We just came in from a pleasant lunch and swim on the swim dock overlooking Kemer Bay. It is a nice swim patio on the bay side of the breakwater, with deck chairs, swim ladders, and a fresh water shower.

On Sunday we will be hiring jeeps to head up into the mountains for a Sunday walk and picnic just below the snow level. We had a lovely day sail down to an ancient ruin called Phaselis, a vibrant port town for 1700 years or more, from approximately 690 BC to the 11th century AD, variously controlled by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and finally the Seljuk Turks. We anchored in the old north port after wending our way past the ancient breakwaters off the ruins of the necropolis. Fascinating to wander around 2000 year old ruins! We were the only boat at anchor in any of the three ancient harbours around the deserted town. I will send in a few days to those who have indicated interest in getting pictures, one of Veleda with the ruins of the necropolis in the background. We have other shots of the theatre, and of the sarcophagi, some of which have tumbled into the azure blue shallows. It is a beautiful setting.

We will be doing a few more short overnight anchorages from Kemer before taking our final leave of the Marina about April 19 when we set off to join the EMYR in Bodrum.

I am also trying to send this out via floppy disc from the local internet office here at the marina to see if I can do so. If I’m not successful, I’ll have even more problems once we set sail from here.

All the best,
Aubrey

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Log # 23m  Summary of Greek Transit

Started Nov. 27th, but not finished for transmission until March 22, 2002
Covers the period  Sept. 20 to Nov. 19, 2002

Let me give you a summary of our voyage across Greek waters to Turkey. The first three logs of the # 23 series took us from Dubrovnik in Croatia down the Adriatic into the Ionian Sea off the west coast of Greece. We entered the Ionian Islands at Corfu, then visited Paxos, Levkas, Skorpios (without landing), Cephalonia, Ithaca, Meganisi, and Zakinthos. After we finally got our Plastimo stove replacement, (expected the first week of Sept., but did not arrive until mid Oct.), we crossed to the southern Greek mainland, the Peloponnisos, at Katacolon, making a day trip to Olympia, the original site of the Olympic Games. From there we sailed around the southern Peloponnisos, to Pilos, Methoni, Cape Matapan, Port Kayio, and finally to the island of Elafonisos, just west of Cape Maleas. Finally we rounded Cape Maleas, entering the Aegean, and stopped in Monemvasia, the Gibraltar of Greece. My favourite was Methoni, a lovely well sheltered anchorage with good holding, overlooked by a picturesque Turkish/Greek fortress, and with a long curving sand beach. It was in Port Kayio we were stormed in for four days, and found the interesting monastery with human skulls haunting one of its crypts.

From here we struck off across the fabled Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. The Aegean islands are divided into several groupings. Our course eastward across the southern Aegean took us 70 nautical miles to Milos, in the Cyclades, the island of the Venus de Milo (actually, the Aphrodite of Milos, to use the Greek names). After some storm damage to Sprite while there, we made the eleven hour (52 miles) sail to Thira, also known as Santorini, still one of the Cyclades, where the gigantic volcanic eruption of around 1440 BC, which ended the Minoan civilization, possibly formed the basis for the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis. As we were getting short of time to get to Turkey by mid-November, we did another thirty hour (141 miles) sail to Rhodes, the easternmost of the Dodecanese, to Mandraki Harbour (its entrance reportedly once straddled by the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world). We had to wait there for a few days for the next Force 9 – 11 storm to subside before yet another thirty hour trip along the southwest coast of Turkey (Asia at last!) to Kemer, 36 36.0N, 030 34.3E, just twenty nautical miles south of the major city of Antalya, our furthest east so far. Our arrival was November 19. We had three heavy force 8 to 11 storms of several days duration each between Oct. 25 and Nov. 17 while crossing the Aegean. We don’t like sailing the Med in the winter.

The distance we traveled from Dubrovnik, Croatia, down the west coast of Albania and Greece, around the Peloponessos and across the Aegean to Turkey was a total of 1032 nautical miles from Sept. 20 to Nov. 19. Greece was OK, but we like Croatia and Turkey better so far.

Hallelujah! We have arrived at our winter mooring! We are very happy with it. Secure, all the amenities, including a telephone, electricity, water, a laundry, and TV (We actually have a TV on board now!), and ….. Hot Showers! In the past three days here we have had a Turkish language class, I have had a haircut (first in six months), and excursion to a movie and a large shopping complex in Antalya, and a Thanksgiving Dinner.

We’re happy to be here, safe and secure from the heavy winter winds that blow across the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. We will have some work done on Veleda while she is out of the water, and while we are back in Canada from mid-December to mid-February. I’ll write more detailed logs when back and send them from my new computer on a P.C. format.