20th Sept - 16th Oct Porto Lagos to Aliverion
And so begins our 2011 cruise which sees us start from
Porto Lagos and socialising with our Greek friends before
making passage south down to Aliverion in the Evia Channel
We can't believe that 4 weeks of our trip are gone already
and within 24 hours of leaving Scotland our new nephew, Oscar
Michael Neilson, was born aswell. We will have to wait for
We spent the first two weeks of our trip based in Porto Lagos
where Maddie was on hardstanding and hired a car for 1.5 weeks,
whilst staying in a local hotel. It's safe to say that although
we did work on Maddie we also spent a lot of time socialising
with our friends
and their families. We spent a lot of time especially
with Dora and Dimitris and their baby Kosti and also Dimos
and Georgia and their two children, Christina and baby (she
is only 6 weeks old so doesn't have her name yet). We also
saw Yannis and Anna, Nikos and his twin boys and everybody's
parents too. Lots of time was spent eating (Maria - Dimitris'
mum made us a lovely Sunday lunch of wild boar and Dina -
Niko's mum made us a lovely 'birthday' lunch with fresh fish
from the BBQ). Soula - Dora's mum made us some beautiful biscuits
and Dimitris' dad, Kostas sent us away with a bottle of homemade
Tsiporo. So we had a fantastic couple of weeks.
We got our first Greek haircuts too but thankfully Dimitris
came with us to translate. Disaster has struck though as Laura's
GHD Hair straighteners don't work on the boat invertor...what
will she do?
As it was Laura's 40th during our time here we managed two
nights out to celebrate. We went out in Komotini the night
before her birthday with Dora, Dimitris, Yannis (Dora's cousin)
and Natasha (Yannis' wife and Dora's friend). We celebrated
with Metaxa and a few shots! At midnight a surprise chocolate
birthday cake was brought out too. The following day we celebrated
in Porto Lagos with the Tsoukas family (who own the boatyard)
and our friend Dimos and his cousin George.
The Tsoukas family are great and the prices they charge for
wintering are so cheap that we would recommend them to any
of our sailing buddies looking for boat storage. We were charges
1 euro per square meter per month which worked out at 35 euros
per month...including tax!!!! This is easily the best deal
we have had since entering the Med and we are so tempted to
head back there next year.
Finally on September 27th we launched Maddie successfully
with a new propellor and on Monday 3rd October we left Porto
Lagos to head south. It was great fun being with friends anda
big part of us didn't want to leave, but once we had we were
happy to be sailing again.
In the last 14 days we have visited the islands of Thassos,
Limnos and Skopelos aswell as Evia enroute to the Cyclades
islands which we are hoping to cruise before arriving in Crete.
The weather may change thses plans though and we may have
to head to the Pelopponese. We have been lucky enough to see
dolphins on a couple of occasions too. We also witnessed some
kind of feeding frenzy by what looked like dogfish or a variety
of small shark. The seabirds were also hanging around waiting
for the scraps of this. It was like the sea was boiling while
it was happening.
Sailing has been great albeit not constant. The new propellor
has made a big difference to our speed and manoeuvring. Madison
is carrying her speed well through tacks and we are gaining
a knot of speed on most points of sail over previous speeds.
So far so good. We are even having a lot less prop walk which
resulted in Madison actually being able to steer when going
astern. This was a first.
we had a beach day and in Limnos we moored alongside in the
town of Mirina
which was stunning and we would definitely come back for a
holiday. We managed to foul our anchor in Mirina so Karl had
to dive to free it before we could leave. The weather in Mirina
was lovely but we couldn't stay too long as we knew some bad
weather was coming and we wanted to get into the relative
safety of the shelter of the Evia Channel before it hit. In
Skopelos we moored alongside Skopelos town for a night and
a day. This is another beautiful old town with hundreds of
white houses built on a hillside with tiny narrow streets
We made it to Orei on the north of Evia on Saturday 8th just
before the winds started and the rain came. We also got a
berth just in time too as within the hour of us arriving about
15 yachts from a local yacht club had all arrived for the
night too. We did our good deed for the day in Orei as there
was an old stray dog that was starving (you could count it's
ribs) so we fed it. Not sure if will make that much of difference
to the old dog but at least we knew it had one meal that day.
Unfortunately we have been caught in some bad weather and
very high winds and after being stuck in Orei for 4 nights
we managed to sail south to Khalkis. Karl had also caught
so we enjoyed that for our dinner. We enjoyed a lovely day
out in Khalkis in glorious sunshine, with some retail therapy
thrown in (Laura went a bit crazy in the Desigual shop) only
for the bad weather to come again. So we made a quick trip
under the Khalkis bridge and headed further south to Aliverion.
The bad weather has again returned and it looks like we'll
be stuck here in Aliverion until Tuesday 18th October at least.
Thankfully we are rafted up on a lovely big yacht, B-Chewsy,
whose owners are from Liverpool and have enjoyed a few beers
and some chat with them. Aliverion is a lovely small town
with great shelter so it's not the worst place to be stuck.
We just wish it would get a bit warmer.
We have captured some nice images on our trip so far, so
we hope you have time to browse these. Hi to all and sorry
if we haven't been in touch very much so far.