page contents Week 3: Island hopping | mummy rates it

I can’t believe how quickly the days are passing us by and it’s not like we’re idle. Far from it. This week we sailed from Samos, through the Eastern Sporades, the Northern Dodecanese and to the Easternmost Cyclades…
Dolphins on the bow of Jade, Greece
We were sad to leave Samos and of course, Paddy Paws, the dog that the kids befriended. However, other islands were beckoning and no sooner do we mourn one island than we get misty eyed leaving the next.

Samos is relatively touristy so arriving in Nisidhes Fournoi was a bit of a culture shock. The island is split into two and we went over to the Western side (something to do with wind) in a small anchorage on Fimaina called Ormos Vayia.

We managed to tie up to a buoy and then took the dinghy over to the land to see what was going down. The centre of the action took place at the water’s edge with the fisherman and the arrival of the ferry. Just as in Samos they are very pretty keen on using firecrackers to say hello/goodbye/well done or any other excuse.

It was a Sunday night and all the local kids were getting on the boat to go to school for the week so Mums were down on the quay side waving goodbye. Those that weren’t at the waters edge usedthe ‘open shutter and shout technique’ to say their goodbyes. The acoustics were fantastic for this type of communication – who needs a mobile? It was funny as the shouting continued throughout the night to call people home for tea or just for a general chit chat.
A lovely evening on Levitha
Each step on the island was swept to within an inch of its life and then painted white just to make sure it was really spick and span. There were flowers tumbling down walls and little blue shutters everywhere, more steps and then, just for good measure, a few more. It was a bit chilly so I didn’t get to see more than a local ankle but I’m guessing underneath there is some very impressive toned calf.

We ate fish and had Ouzo at the only taverna. The owners were so hospitable that they ended up showing us around the house that they’re renovating and telling us all about their family in Greek, and broken English, Turkish with some German thrown in for good measure. Come the end of the meal there were handshakes and waves goodbye as we bobbed back to the boat.

The next day we made 20 miles to an anchorage in Patmos where dolphins came and swam in the bay. We’ve seen dolphins a few times since we started and they’ve followed us and played around the boat. Every time is like gold dust.

We then headed to Levitha a place that was just as lovely as it said in the Greek Pilot. Just as we were soaking up the atmosphere and trying to count how many goats there were (there were hundreds) another Catamaran came in with spectacular style. One of the guys on board held on too tightly to the buoy rope and was pulled into the water, trousers and all. Everyone clapped and he looked very embarrassed as he doggy paddled back to safety. Funnily enough the next day their mooring was used by a guy who jumped into the dingy without checking that the motor worked. He tried to paddle back to the boat but for reasons we don’t understand insisted on doing it standing up and facing the wrong way and therefore looking like he was going to fall in at any moment. In the end his friend had to swim over and tow him back.

Yesterday we arrived in Amorgos, the easternmost of the Cyclades and were lucky to get a place in the harbour alongside the wall. Not long after we arrived it began to fill up as there was a storm coming.

The wind always sounds really bad as there are so many jangling ropes and wires but we were also close to the ferry which made very loud howling and whistling noises as the wind blew through. We woke up this morning to more of the same as well as an argument between two boat owners. One was trying to nestle his vessel into a very tight space but the wind was blowing into the other and denting and scraping as he did so. It all came to an end with the victim climbing on board the other boat and looking like he was going to start taking revenge. There’s never a quiet moment!

Amorgos is really lovely. Again, more blue and white and lots of flowers and as I’m finding even in the tiniest places some very nice shops with a big design influence. I was really impressed with the Amorgos Art Gallery. I spoke with Stella who showed me her artwork and various bits of jewellery and ceramics she had made. I thought they were really original and would love to snap up lots of things if only I had the space and budget.
Wide open spaces - sailing the Dodecanese
Another plus here is that we’re plugged into electric and water. Only a few days ago we were plunging into freezing water to wash and now we can turn on the boiler and use warm water! Result.

Next week we are still heading for Santorini but before we hope to visit Kourfonia and Ios, both of which are said to be beautiful (and I can well believe it!)….

I hope you’ve had a lovely week – please do share your news.

Michelle x

More sailing news:
A potter in Pythagorion
You can never be fully prepared

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(4) Readers Comments

  1. Love your updates. I keep checking in to read about how you are x

    • Thank you Rachel. It’s been a very exciting few days. There was such strong winds that a boat anchored near us started to drift. It had to be chased by the coast guard in a fishing boat while the owners looked on helplessly from the shore. Drama! I didn’t sleep very well that night. There’s a lot to be said for ‘ignorance is bliss’. Now I’m all too aware of why Alex keeps getting up in the middle of the night to check that we’re ‘holding’. We’re now in a fishing harbour safely tied-on to a very heavy-duty wall! So at least we can sleep well for the next night or so. Thanks for commenting. Hope you’re well. Michelle x

  2. Just caught up with all your sailing posts! What a great read! Loved catching up on your news. Very envious of your journey it sounds amazing and I look forward to hearing more!

  3. Hi Michelle, It sounds glamorous, exciting and adventurous, your trip. Am so glad it is going so well. Miss you madly but happy you\’re happy and having fun. Keep us in touch, hon. All well here :) xx

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