After a busy few months in Sydney we arrived back in Gocek to find Sea Cloud looking beautiful , shiny and ready for launch.
After three seasons wintering in Gocek, the plan is to head west through Greece, to leave Sea Cloud in Brindisi. After a wonderful sail we docked at Netsel Marina in Marmaris, ready for a few days of tradespeople crawling over the boat, doing the many ‘jobs’ Ian had lined up with Erdan from Marlin Marine, Ali from Elvstrom sails and Rashid from Anil canvaswork.
Sea Cloud now has solar panels (sort of – still not working properly), a new genoa, a furling staysail and a great new bimini, that actually shades us when at the helm. Our guests will be pleased to hear we also have a new electric toilet. Ian made sure he took all the working bits from the old one before disposal!
The more time we spent in Marmaris, the more we enjoyed it. Out of season, Marmaris is rather charming, a busy, ‘normal’ Turkish town, with some great restaurants, and to Ian’s delight, a terrific range of chandleries.
Apart from the bi weekly cruises ships, the usually busy Marmaris Bay was quite empty.
Being late April, most of Selimiye was in preparation mode, with many restaurants closed. Luckily, Sardunya with its great restaurant and lovely dock were open.
Nicolas at Navigo yachting helped again in finding a berth for us in Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes. The new Rhodes marina which they hoped to be completed for this season is still being built – maybe opening in June 2015. Ian’s birthday was celebrated with an amazing seafood dinner at a local restaurant recommended by Nico.
Symi harbor as usual was lovely, but a challenge. Fortunately it was a calm night –the charterers on the other side of the harbour had out enough anchor chain to barely touch the bottom of this deep inlet.
We moved quickly north, trying to catch up with our EMYR rally friends on Skysong, Michael and Christine who were in Lipsi harbor. We spent a memorable few days with them in Lipsi and then Leros. They are great company and we enjoyed stimulating conversation, lovely food, wine and of course, pink gins!
Michael and Christine left us here in Xerokambos, at the bottom of Leros where we are anchored, trying to work out how to get across to Mykonos or Paros to meet friends Sue and Ian Rewell – not easy with a winds and big seas separating us! It has been very windy this season, with more strong northerlies this early than in previous seasons.