|Alongside at Mitilini|
The visit to the first port in Lesbos went extremely well. We anchored in the bay at Sigri late in the evening with a beautiful sunset. The bay is shallow and good holding at the northern end. Next morning we moved alongside and I set off to visit the delightful young lady manning the Helenic Coastguard office. She duly stamped my forms, chatted very sweetly and informed me that I was berthed on a military jetty (which was virtually derelict but matters not) where I could not remain for more than a very brief visit. The only downside was that gas was not available in 3kg bottles in the village and so we were later destined to head for the capital of Lesbos, Mitilini, on the east coast, where gas was guaranteed to be available. After a very good lunch in a bistro overlooking the bay we sailed off the jetty and headed for the south coast of Lesbos to find a suitable bay for an anchorage. Around 1900 we chose a beach, headed in and anchored in 6m for the night, the wind was forecast to remain light and offshore and so it did.
Next morning we sailed the remaining distance to Mitilini and were greeted by a very polite, but equally firm, Port Police official who invited us to berth on the quarantine berth and undergo the entire re-entry procedure for entry into Greece, he was having nothing of my already existing stamps in my cruising log from Sigri, only two days earlier. Thus it was that I spent an hour and 25€ re entering Greece formally, only to have to go through the whole process at 0800 the next morning to exit Greece again. The only advantage was that the duty free shop in the quarantine area was open when we were forced to berth there again for our departure; thus we were able to restock the drinks cupboard. Our overnight berth had been on the town quay and we had found a delightful, characterful, taverna in the back-streets for supper.
|Victualling at Ayvalik|
|Supper at Ayvalik|
From Lesbos it was back to Turkey and into Ayvalik to meet up with Ale and Ray. They had both travelled up from Bodrum by bus after flying out from UK. Fortunately this time we did not get involved with bureaucracy! That night was spent in Ayvalik with supper ashore in a very local eating area reminiscent of the stalls in Singapore. Good food, ridiculously low prices.
|Hot springs at Bademli Limani|
From here it was on to Bademli Limani. This is a delightful anchorage sheltered by two off-lying islands and with hot springs along the mainland coast. We spent two nights here, the first anchored in the shelter of the northern end of the anchorage and then the next night, after the wind had abated, anchored off the hot springs where we spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening soaking ourselves in the naturally heated pools. Someone had even constructed a rough and ready 4m x 5m indoor pool to retain the hot water.
|Dennis ashore at Kizkulesi Adasi, Mardalic.|
From here it was southwards again to the small island of Mardalic where we anchored in the small bay on the NW side for lunch; an idyllic anchorage and then onwards to Eski Foca for the night and the departure of Dennis back to Holland. We spent the night berthed on the town quay, under the castle, and next morning despatched Dennis to Izmir airport in a local minibus, so packed with people it was bursting to capacity!After Dennis's departure we sailed out across the Gulf of Izmir and down the west coast as far as Egri Limani, a deep fissure parallel to the coast where we intended to spend the night. On arrival we anchored in a small bay on the western side in the shelter of the headland and passed the afternoon sunning and swimming. At 1900 the wind changed direction and started blowing hard from the east. To give ourselves more room we re-anchored further up the inlet but even this was tight once we had deployed all 50 m of the anchor chain! Throughout the night we had to keep anchor-watches as the wind gusted up to 50 almost knots and swung between E and N.
|The calm of the morning. Anchorage at Egri Limani|
Next morning, the wind abated slightly, we all caught up on our lost sleep and then set off for the island of Karaada, only 7 miles south. Weighing anchor took some time as we found as we hauled the anchor in that we had also caught a large, discarded, fishing net which had been half buried in the mud on the bottom. This had probably helped to keep us in place the night before! As we exited the bay we also met up again with Camilla, with David and Filip aboard. They had just sailed round from Izmir. Both boats anchored in the eastern bay on the south coast of Karaada and conditions were so good that we were able to raft up for the night. Supper for all in Kurukulla followed by a midnight swim in the calm, phosphorescent, waters of the bay.
|View from Karaada, eastern bay|
Lunch the next day was in Camilla after which we set off to Dalyankoy, a port on the mainland, where the pilot recommends sampling the fish restaurants. Our intention was to remain overnight, the reality was that the marina staff waved us off, informing us that the marina was full for the night. Thus it was that we decided to return to Karaanda and spend another night in a slightly different anchorage. Paradise is hard to resist!