This season we plan to sail the Dodecanese, across the Aegean to the Northern Sporades, up to Thessalonika and then down through the Eastern Sporades to Turkey.
After a pleasant day in Istanbul (trying to track down a lost bag) we arrived in Gocek for a mad scramble to uncover and prepare Sea Cloud for launching the next day.
It was great to see Sea Cloud looking so shiny and well looked after by Husseyin and his team at HMS. The launch is always stressful, but as usual was very capably handled by the team at Marinturk.
It seemed as though summer had come early to Gocek, with warm calm and sunny days, perfect for working on the boat.
Gocek is always so pleasant at the beginning and end of the season. The markets were great for provisions, and as usual and our stay and visits to Pruva Hotel very enjoyable.
We were amazed that we after 6 twelve hour days, Sea Cloud was ready to leave the dock, meaning we could take advantage of the beautiful weather and empty anchorages.
Although the weather was so warm there was still a lot of snow on the hills as we sailed towards Fethiye, where we planned to check out of Turkey.
Ian’s birthday was celebrated at a small restaurant overlooking sprawling Fethiye, and under the Lycian tombs.
The calm weather ended as we left Fethiye gulf. Motoring into strong wind and waves across to Rhodes was not the most pleasant of days.
What a great time of year to be in Rhodes, few tourists, only 4 yachts in the bay, room in the harbour, no superyachts lining the waterfront and only one cruise ship.
Finally had some good sailing up to Symi, where we found some excellent mojitos made by a Cuban trained barman.
We were rudely awakened by our afternoon nap by a mammoth explosion – was it a bomb? earthquake? No, just only the Symians celebrating Easter exploding dynamite on the hills above the town. Apparently they often throw dynamite into the harbour, but luckily didn’t do so this year. Locals need to keep all windows open during the Easter weekend otherwise they shatter.
After a lazy start in Symi we sailed to Tilos for a night before sailing on to Nisyros, an island we had been trying to get to for the last few seasons.
The small harbour in Nisyros was relatively crowded for this early in the season, a combination of the Russian holidays and Greek Easter.
Nisyros was well worth the visit. The colours of the extinct volcano were beautiful.
The only other visitors at the volcano were locals.
It is so green at this time of the year with lovely flora, obviously good for honey as we saw many beekeepers along the roadsides.
Mandraki with its monastery perched overlooking the town was a good place for dinner and watching the sunset.