From Cyclades to Saronic 2007

APRIL 25 – MAY 5, 2007, Greece,

Athens (Kalamaki), Attica (Cape Sounion), Kythnos (Loutra), Seriphos (Leivadion) Syphnos (Vathy), Hydra, Epidaurus, Aegina, Kalamaki with some additional remarks

Participants: Eckhard Kurth (Skipper), Christian Blöhs (Co-Skipper) Uwe Lippert (Smutje / Crew), Eduard Kirsch (Crew) Ship: Name: “Efi”, Type: Oceanis 393

Wednesday, April 25, 2007,

At 4:30 p.m. local time we land at the airport in Athens. It is very slightly cloudy, has around 26 ° C and very light wind. After just a few minutes we receive our bags at baggage carousel 9, and after we have loaded everything onto a trolley, we cross the exit area of the airport towards the bus stop and there we reach the bus, which is already quite full. A uniform on the bus sends us to a ticket office to buy tickets, where I buy the tickets for us (€ 3.20 per person compared to about € 50 for a taxi to the port). It starts about 10 minutes later, and after about 40 minutes we get off at the “Edem” stop, directly opposite the port (we would definitely not have been here much faster by taxi). Uwe and Christian,

Minutes the jetty where our yacht is supposed to be (and also is). Jorgos, the owner of the yacht, which runs under the name “Efi” and the flag of “Sailing in blue”, welcomes us to the ship and we put our bags on the pier. By the way, Yannis, the former owner of the “Sonja”, with whom we sailed from here in autumn 2005, greets me very warmly.

He has meanwhile sold his ship and is now working full-time as a technician for a large number of yacht owners here in the marina. What follows now is one of the most conscientious yacht handovers I have ever experienced. Together we go through all the individual points very carefully and immediately note what needs to be added or changed. Overall, it must be said that this ship is in an extremely well-kept and clean condition. This is already reflected in the very conscientious handover, but is also clearly visible, for example, in the technical equipment, the cleanliness of the storage spaces, the condition of the sails, the completeness of the maps and other documents. After the handover we heave our bags on board,

There we buy provisions for over € 200 and once again, like a year and a half ago, we are faced with the situation that apparently there is no shopping cart with which we can transport the goods to the ship. Under threat of leaving all the goods at the till before paying, the owner pulls out a car, and a short time later we are pushing our “loot” towards the ship. There we need a quarter of an hour to move Stowing everything away for the time being, then freshening us up and at 9:30 p.m. we go to “Vassilis Taverna”, which Jorge really likes

was recommended (at the top of the port gate at the gas station on the right, after about 400 m cross the street, turn left into the street behind a furniture store, a sign “Vassilis Taverna” hangs in front of the street, and then after about 300 m on the left On the way there I call the owner of “Sailing in blue”, Vagélis, who promises to come there for a drink. We sit hungry as wolves in “Vassilis Taverna”. The decor is very traditional, pennants from yacht clubs, charter companies and other companies related to sailing are hanging everywhere on the walls and under the ceiling. The menu comes up the table, and before we put our dinner together, Vassilis draws our attention to the two menus, one meat and one fish, that contain everything that we would have ordered anyway and a lot more. So we order the meat menu for four people, have a rosé house wine recommended and for the next 60 minutes we are busy satisfying our hunger with the delicacies of the house: the wine is really very tasty, and the menu offers tsatsiki as starters , Greek salad, tamarasalata, grilled aubergines, peas and beans in tomato sauce as well as breaded and fried zucchini. The main course is a large plate of bifteki, grilled garlic sausages, souflaki and lamb chops, served with homemade patates, and to round off the meal, a large bowl of yoghurt, fresh fruit, honey and nuts. Class! Thank goodness Vagélis and his wife Molly join the main course and at least help us with dessert, otherwise we really wouldn’t have made it all. I am very happy to see them both. Molly hands me a paper bag with a tastefully wrapped bottle. “Against the cold nights on the ship” she smiles at me and Vagélis grins. We are all in a lively discussion without a break and really come across sticks on sticks. The house wine container is refilled a few times and at some point it is well after midnight. The two Mourelatos’ say goodbye because they both have to get up early the next day. They wish us a great sailing trip and promise to prepare a sightseeing plan for next week. We order the invoice, drink the rest of the wine jug and leave this nice tavern. After a leisurely stroll, we reach our floating holiday home at around 1:00 a.m. and disappear into our cabins just a few minutes later.

Thursday April 26, 2007

The morning greets us with sunshine and very summery temperatures. Uwe is already fiddling around in the galley and has already made coffee and set up water for tea. Eddy looks a bit overtired, which is due to Uwe’s nocturnal noise. I grab the shopping trolley that we tied to the lantern on the pier last night and make my way to the supermarket. We still need milk, tzatziki and taramasalata, and of course fresh bread.

It is cloudless, the thermometer shows 19.6 ° C and the baro is at 1018 hpas. After a hearty breakfast, the dishes are briefly done and the port toilet is repaired, as it does not suck in water from the outside when flushing out. Everything that is wobbly is stowed and fastened, a touch of sunscreen is spread on pale arms and legs and hatches and valves are closed. Shore power and the leeward stern line are hauled in and stowed away and the boat hook is ready to hand. Meanwhile, the temperature is 22.0 ° C 11:40 a.m. Engine: on / cast off Navigation: Drive to sight out of the port Day destination: Cape Sounion With a straight maneuver we leave our box, sail towards the port exit, where a motor yacht comes towards us, and after we left the port exit behind, let’s turn left on south course. After about half a mile we are clear of land, head into the wind, and pull out the sails. After starting the course, the sheets are lashed a little, but the sails are soon in perfect position and we are sailing about 4 knots according to sight along the west coast of Attica. As on the last trip here in the Saronic Gulf, we are very impressed by the high density of buildings in this landscape. One place follows the next, and here it becomes clear that everything we see is still “Athens”. At a distance of about one nautical mile we are sailing along the coast towards the Cyclades when we starboard about 4 to 6 dolphins see the same course “running” at a distance of approx. 50 m. They roll elegantly through the light swell, follow their path unswervingly and are out of sight after a few minutes. From the initially estimated 4 knots of speed, about 2 miles per hour are now left, trend: decreasing. When we are really just bobbing around, we start the engine and pull in the sails, in order to continue on our course with a leisurely 1,800 revolutions. The autopilot actively helps and so we only have to carefully observe our surroundings. Weather: 23.6 ° C / cloudless When we have brought the wreckage, which is also shown on the nautical chart, and soon afterwards the headland with Cape Kavouri behind us, the Saronic Gulf opens up clearly. The wind picks up a bit and we set our sails again. With a comfortable estimated 4 to 5 knots speed we pass the island of Fleves and can then continue to luff up on a close-hauled course, so that we can now slide beautifully when the wind continues to pick up. Christian is sitting comfortably on the leeward bench and can now touch the surface of the water with an outstretched arm.

Christian close to the water ..

The wind continues to pick up, so we reduce the sail area. At a speed of about 7 knots we “hunt” along the coast, luff up at the level of the island of Arsida on a high-upwind course, fetch the pods even closer and then go with about 35 ° upwind into the passage between Attica and The island of Gaidouroniso. Here, however, the land cover and the high cape are clearly noticeable, which ensure that the wind is now blowing very changeably. Keeping the ship always on “high-on-wind”, we partly change the course up to 180 °, but can still cross through the passage about half a mile wide. The short wave washes us with heavy spray on the upper deck, but after half an hour we are through the Stenos Gaidouroniso and come back to open water.

Here the wind stabilizes again in a NE direction and we can sail on the starboard bow for quite a while at a speed of 6 knots. From afar we can see the temple of Poseidon in the clear afternoon air high on the rock of Cape Sounion. Cable length by cable length, we move closer and around 4:00 p.m. we reach the wide bay where we want to move into quarters tonight. We leave the sails far into the bay, and only about 300 meters below land do we go into the wind, start the engine and lower the sails. The wave, which prevails due to the wind force of about 7 still blowing, is still quite uncomfortable out here, but after we have stowed all the sails and approached the anchorage, the rocking clearly subsides. We keep right behind the driveway and have free anchor space here. Only a motorboat is moored here, but very close to land. We make two rounds through the bay and then throw our anchor into the water over a depth of about 4m. With an estimated 40m anchor chain, the iron should also be at 7 bft. hold well. After a few minutes, however, I have the feeling that the land on the leeward side has come closer to us, so we bring the anchor on board again and a little later throw it again, this time with a little more chain, into the water. This time we check the hold with the motor power backwards, and this time it jerks very briefly, the chain is stretched like the tendon of a speed bow and immediately pulls the ship forward again. After the engine has stopped, With the spray hood up and the Mythos cans spread out, we toast this wonderful first day at sea. Eddy reports that he was a bit queasy in between, and everyone else on board also said that in the past three hours, with winds of more than 7, they would rather not have been in the lower ship any longer. It is always the same for me on the first and second day of sailing in these wind conditions, and I am glad that a little man in my part of my gray mass responsible for balance always signals to me in good time when I am below deck: “Now, hurry up back on the upper deck, “draw” fresh air and keep your eyes beautiful far into the distance “. If I ignored this signal half a minute later I would probably be pretty sick. With our drink in hand, we admire this beautiful bay, at the western end of which the well-tended grounds of the Grecotel “Kap Sounion” nestle up to the water. To the right of this is a well-developed road to a small settlement with also very well-tended houses Further to the east, the bay continues with a beach and tavernas, next to it another, but somewhat less beautiful hotel complex and then, as the right boundary of this bay and as the eye-catcher of the southernmost tip of Attica, the 60 m high Rock with the temple complex built in honor of the god Poseidon around 445 BC Uwe scuttled around in the kitchen and presented shortly afterwards To the right of this runs a well-developed road to a small settlement with also very well-kept houses with well-kept gardens. Further to the east, the bay continues with a beach and tavernas next to it, next to it another, but somewhat less beautiful hotel complex and then, as the right boundary of this bay and as the eye-catcher of the southernmost tip of Attica, the 60 m high rock with the approximately 445 BC Temple complex built in honor of the god Poseidon. Uwe bustles around in the kitchen and presents shortly afterwards To the right of this runs a well-developed road to a small settlement with also very well-kept houses with well-kept gardens. Further to the east, the bay continues with a beach and tavernas next to it, next to it another, but somewhat less beautiful hotel complex and then, as the right boundary of this bay and as the eye-catcher of the southernmost tip of Attica, the 60 m high rock with the approximately 445 BC Temple complex built in honor of the god Poseidon. Uwe bustles around in the kitchen and presents shortly afterwards the 60 m high rock with the approx. 445 BC. Temple complex built in honor of the god Poseidon. Uwe bustles around in the kitchen and presents shortly afterwards the 60 m high rock with the approx. 445 BC. Temple complex built in honor of the god Poseidon. Uwe bustles around in the kitchen and presents shortly afterwardsMeses , a starter platter consisting of little things from the kitchen that are also very attractive to the eye, here: tzatziki, taramasalad, tomato slices, sandwiches with cheese or sausage, all refined with the good black Kalamata olives, dusted with herbs and supplemented with narrow strips made from red and green peppers.

The whole thing is served on the upper deck and, depending on your taste, there is a water, a retsina or a glass of rosé wine that was tapped from the big barrel in the supermarket this morning. Then we laze around, people read, the cabin is tidied up, fooled around on the upper deck and dinner is already being prepared in the galley. 8:00 p.m. Contrary to our expectations, the wind has picked up a little, so we still drop our second anchor over the bow.

Then our head chef is done with his preparations and serves us pork chops with extremely tasty vegetables. After this first day of sailing everyone has a particularly good appetite, so that everything is eaten up except for a tiny bit, which a bank employee from the Lower Saxony state capital takes care of. Afterwards, we sit together full and satisfied and theoretically review our cruise options. My rough planning looks like this: tomorrow first to Kythnos, the next day Serifos or Siphnos, then further towards Milos with a possible one day stay, and then straight north towards the Peloponnese, there the islands of Hydra and / or Spetses, then further direction Aegina and from there back to Athens,

There are no clear wish trends, and so we can leave all options open and place ourselves in the tender hands of the goddesses of fate, who will show us the right path. Filled and tired, we sink into our bunks before midnight and let the waves rock us to sleep.

Friday April 27, 2007

By half past eight we are all on our feet, besieging the washrooms and first slouching for a coffee or tea on the upper deck and then having breakfast in the mess. Then the washing up is done, a little “clear ship” is done below deck and after everything has been lashed and stowed, hatches, gas valves and sea valves are locked and we get the ship ready to sail. Destination for today: the port of Loutra on the east coast the island of Kythnos.

10:10 a.m. Baro: 1022 hpas, temperature: 20.2 ° C, weather: cloudless

Yesterday’s strong winds seem to have flattened out a bit, but whitecaps “outside” at sea show us that we still have at least 5 to 6 winds. Both anchors are brought on board and stowed, and with diesel assistance we leave our anchorage.

Already a few hundred meters away we push the nose of our “Efi” into the wind, pull out first the mainsail and then the foresail (and immediately reef into the third step) and immediately set course towards the northern tip of the island of Kythnos, the we can already see it as a silhouette on the horizon. The wind is still blowing from the north-east, which means we can make good speed with the “half-wind course”. The wave measures an estimated 2 to 3 meters, but our almost 8 ton displacement can handle it very calmly. 12:00 noon wind: 7 bft. NE, in gusts up to 9 bft.

Around noon the wind continues to freshen up and with an average of just under 40 knots of wind, in gusts sometimes up to 45, we ride the very continuous waves.

Our boyfriend is free

The ridges of the island of Kea are clearly visible on the left, and the hilly ridge of Kythnos becomes more and more evident to the right of the ship. At the level of Cape Tamélos, the southernmost tip of Kea, one of the high-speed ferries comes towards us, which also has to fight against this swell.

Eddy dozes in the sun. In the background the southern cape of Kea.

We are initially sailing on a close-hauled course, but the closer we get to Kythnos we have to bring the sheets closer and closer to a high-haul course.

3:45 p.m. Wind: 8 bft. NE

Position: Cape Kefalos (North Cape of Kythnos) stb. Abeam

After we have long left the south of Kea behind us in the fairway, we are approaching the north cape of the island of Kythnos with a speed of about 6 knots. The current from the NE wind drives us close to the coast, and we make two cross strokes to push ourselves around the “nose” of Cape Kefalos. On the east side of the island we fall on a space-wind course and immediately notice stern wind, where we shift the mainsail and ride off the waves under butterfly sails and keep surfing. The stern, about 2.5 to 3 m high waves, rustling and gurgling, slide under the ship and let the propeller whir and whir shake the whole ship comfortably.

Wonderful backday breeze on the way to Loutron

At the apex of the Ormos Loutron we can already see the white ones from a great distance. Houses of this beautiful port town and can hold our surf course right up to the port entrance.

About 200 m before the harbor wall we start the engine, turn our nose into the wind and recover the sails. The fenders are cleared and the stern lines and a fore line are kept ready, because the last time we visited this port there were only very few sailors here and we had enough space in the port basin to walk alongside the jetty.

Today, however, things look completely different: although there are also some ships alongside, there is no space for us to go to the pier with the stern in the first row, let alone alongside. We take a leisurely two laps through the harbor basin and decide to go into the second row alongside a Bavaria 39 flying the US flag, which is alongside the pier. So: clear the fenders, clear the bow line and prepare the starboard stern line, we walk gently alongside and attach ourselves to the port side of this yacht. Their two-person team helps us immediately and so we are dead a little later …

16:40 … firmly in the second row with bow and stern lines in Loutron, Kythnos island

Baro: 1021 hpas, temperature: 19.4 ° C

After it was still quite stormy “outside”, we are lying here very quietly and comfortably in this sheltered harbor. Our ship neighbors come from Serbia and transfer a ship from the Adriatic to Turkey, but they are already here, like some other ships for two days because they do not want to run out in a storm with 8 winds against this Meltemi.

After we have made our ship ready for port, there is first of all an inlet drink, as it is still quite early today, however, in the form of Fanta, Cola and water. Uwe puts on the kettle with water and soon the kettle whistle signals that there will be coffee and tea soon. We sit comfortably on the upper deck in the sun, let our gaze wander around and see ships from many countries: to the side behind us, directly on the pier, is a 22-foot wooden yacht with the German National at the stern. Two huge “Ocean Stars” over 50 feet tall with the Russian host country flag are lying next to each other in the package and behind us at the longitudinal pier lies a Russian woman, in front of it in the direction

Entering the port we see two charter ships with Greek national flags and a German and a Dutch host country flag on the Saling. Two motor yachts are lying on the outer wall of the port and are probably waiting for a better wind, since such stink boxes are no longer seaworthy with more than 6 wind strengths.

One of the two motor stink boat skippers stops at the pier and looks at our ship. I say hello and he asks if the ship is from “Sailing in blue”. Joker: it says on the flag on the spreader. He says his name is Pétros and that he worked for Vagélis in Lefkada comes out that we met on my Ionia trip in Lefkas in 2003. He reports that he is now working as a skipper for another company and is currently traveling with a boat crew here in the Cyclades, but stuck here because of the wind sitting and in the truest sense of the word waiting for better weather. We chat a little longer and I ask him for his tip for a good, traditional dinner. He holds out his arm and points to a tavern right by the harbor. There, he says, They have the best Greek food for a decent price, and the host and cook are very nice too. Well, the chat was worth it again! Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is on the upper deck, lounging in the sun. Uwe has made himself up to the city and I immediately join in a stroll around the town, hoping to find water for our ship somewhere and / or a guesthouse or hotel where we can rent a room for an hour to take a proper shower .

Asked some Greeks where the “Kythnos Bay Taverna” is with its owner Andreas Panou, they all just shrug their shoulders and ask when the information that there is a water connection there for yacht refueling (is in the book “Ports and anchorages “from the year 1998, but I don’t have to tie them on the nose), because is. So we pull off things that have not been done in this regard and take a lap through the really beautiful place, come to a water inflow to the harbor basin, which carries really hot water that comes from the thermal baths, around which a large thermal bath is built, although this is not yet seasonal is in operation.

The initial building of this thermal bath was built by the Greek King Otto I so that his wife could come here and heal her childlessness by taking fertile baths in this warm water. But it didn’t help either! Today a large building from the seventies of the last century stands at this point and every year attracts many Greeks to this island for cures. Around this thermal bath there are some guest houses and also a hotel, none of which have opened yet, but are still being thoroughly renovated, cleaned and prepared. On the way back to the ship, we board the hotel directly at the harbor and agree with the owner that we can use a room to shower for our crew. Back at the ship we immediately spread this news,

Back on board, hunger is slowly growing, and Uwe conjures up a small snack for us with specialties from our own galley.

Uwe’s “Meses”

We let the delicious salad and the little things taste good and enjoy

followed by a sundowner consisting of ouzo and fanta. On our neighboring ship, the two “occupiers” are also sitting on the upper deck and shortly afterwards they receive a visit from the two young people who are lying directly behind them with the German 22-foot yacht. We start a conversation and learn that they have been underway since August 2006 , come from Kiel and have come across the Danube and through the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, now want to slowly shimmy up to Athens and want to have their ship trailer back to Germany from there. Here in Loutra they wait for the storm to pass Sail Kea and Aegina to Piraeus.

Now that it is really dinner time, we dress up and go to the “siesta music” tavern recommended by Pétros. We enter the interior and are greeted by the chef, who stands across from us in a white chef’s jacket and checked chef’s trousers. It is where we come from here, as so often, the first question. We report “Hanover and Munich” and he immediately talks about his years in Munich, where he worked in various Greek taverns. He even knows the owner of the tavern where I often go to dinner in Freising. He tells us that we can have a bite to eat, but all tables are reserved for a group of 35 from around half an hour. Since it is a bit too cool to sit outside, we think about what to do, but then decide look elsewhere and ask him for his tip. He first puts 5 glasses on the table and pours us and himself a Greek grappa “as a small excuse that I don’t have any more space for you” and advises us to stop by his friend Vassilis and say hello from him to order and tomorrow before we sail on we definitely have to come to him for a coffee. We drink the high-proof apology schnapps and move to the “Taverna Vassilis” about 400 m away. We are the first guests there that evening and get a table right by the window. The host immediately supplies us with tablecloths, cutlery, bread basket, serviettes and menus and takes orders for the “starters” and drinks. After we have selected the rest of our menu from the menu, he also takes this order. We give him “Sigár, sigár” on the way, with which we want to express that the starters should be brought first and then everything else. While we wait, the door opens and “our” cook from earlier comes in , greet us and Vassilis and seem to need something from him. Both go into the kitchen and shortly afterwards he leaves the tavern with a bag in hand. Shortly afterwards Vassilis comes to our table with a tray with four large shot glasses on it, puts them in front of us and says: “From Dimitri”. Salad and tzatziki are extremely good again, but we have only just started with the starters.

We protest with a little annoyance, and in fact the following items are brought up with a considerable delay: very tasty deep-fried fresh calmar, fried octapus, a medium-sized fried fish for each, the good gigantes (broad white beans in a sauce made from tomatoes, herbs and olive oil ), homemade “patates”, stuffed tomatoes (which then turned out to be stuffed peppers, probably due to the lack of tomatoes, but were also very tasty). The whole thing washed down with a fresh white house wine, we are soon extremely satisfied. The schnapps We can’t manage “von Dimitri” any more, otherwise we would dance and sing sirtaki here at the table and on the way to the ship.

So Christian pays the pleasantly low bill and after we have waved a last “sigár, sigár” to the host, we go back to “Efi”. There is another tiny nightcap in the form of a 12-star Metaxas that was in the bag from Molly and Vagélis, and afterwards everyone soon disappears into their bunks.

Saturday April 28, 2007

09:30 a.m. Baro: 1020 hpas, temperature: 20.8 ° C

After a quiet night and a hearty breakfast, Eddy and Christian do the washing up. Uwe and I trot to the grocery store again to buy some things there. The old woman in the shop looks at me, pretends to twirl her mustache and calls out loud and excited “Moustak, moustak, kriti, kriti” (Moustak = beard, Kriti = Crete), then takes Uwe in her arms and presses He warmly (has he been here before?). On the way back we see two fishing boats lying on the pier and unloading their load. We just stroll there and are practically forced by one of the fishermen to do so, for the price of 10 € three each around 1200 g heavy bonitos (small tuna) to buy. On the way back to the boat we pass the “Siesta-Music-Tavern” and are greeted by Dimitri,

Dimitri in front of his taverna “siesta music”

We are allowed to store our fish in the large drinks refrigerator for as long. Dimitri is an entertaining host and the next half hour goes by in a flash. But when it really is time for us to run out, we exchange addresses and Dimitri has to promise me that he will contact me the next time he is in Munich.

The coffee is on the house and we promise to recommend his restaurant to others. With our “booty” we return to the boat and stow the outboard comrades in the puetz, which we hang – fully gimbaled – in one of the aft deep lockers. When we are “outside” afterwards, the boys get cold water for cooling so that they hold out until tonight.

Then everything is stowed away and made seaworthy. Outside there are still 7 to 8 winds blowing, but from the north-east and therefore good for us for our south-west course. The sky is almost cloudless. Our ship neighbors wish us a good trip, and so we say goodbye to Loutra for today.

10:30 a.m. Temperature: 21.5 ° C, engine: on, cast off

After a smooth casting maneuver, we calmly slide out of the harbor basin. The weather outside is the same as yesterday. Before the exit hook we get the wave initially from Schilt, but already 200 m from the harbor we pull our noses into the wind and pull out the sails.

10:45 am Sail guidance: G ↑ F ↑, 3rd reef each engine: from wind: 7-8 bft. NE

After sight we pull out of the big “Ormos Loutron”, the bay of Loutra, and after a few minutes we circle the southeastern cape. Up to here we have sailed with half wind and are now setting out on a spacing course along the coast Heading southeast on course 140. The wave with heights of up to about four meters pushes us right in front of it. The wind is blowing very steadily at around 38 to 40 knots, and Eddy discovers the pleasure of “driving an elevator” in the pulpit.

The wind is now blowing very steadily over 40 knots. We bring down the mainsail so that we can only be pulled with the foresail as a “bubble” at course 160. Wonderful!

7 – 8 winds astern in bright sunshine

We leave Kythnos behind and see the island of Serifos clearly in front of us on the starboard side. We stay on this course for the time being, but then in the passage between Serifos and the island of Voús we go exactly on south course, which soon leads us past the port entrance of Leivadion.

Here, too, the wind turns a little due to the jet effect, so that I can continue to go to KAK 200 with a starboard-side downwind course. Now we have the wave diagonally from behind and already get a foretaste of what is about to blow towards us when we go exactly north to get into the harbor.

After the engine is on and the foresail is hauled in, we take a direct course into the port entrance of Leivadion. Now we have a direct comparison between 8 wind strengths previously from behind and now directly from the front. The ship rolls violently in the wave and the upper deck is washed over by 3 to 4 m breakers. The diesel has to work hard, and even when we are getting closer to the port, the wind is hardly weaker against us.

In front of the outer quay wall, we make lines and fenders ready for mooring, slowly drive into the marina and only find free spaces on the windward side of the mooring. Since the ship would be pressed against the wall here and lying down can be very restless, we decide to go “outside” again, in front of the outer quay wall, which according to the book “Harbors and Anchorages” may also be used by yachts. The outer quay wall is about 40 meters long and protrudes about one and a half meters from the water, so that it could give us good protection against the wind. We turn a lap in front of this wall, clear the starboard stern and fore lines and some fenders and push ourselves into the wall area coming out of the wind. Uwe jumps ashore with the leash in hand and occupies the bollard, so that we are at least once fixed with the bug. But now the work begins. The wind is so strong that Uwe cannot pull us with the stern line thrown towards him. With the help of the motor, I try to get closer to the pier with the stern. He fixes his line end to the pier and we put the other end on the starboard winch. With the crank I pull us closer bit by bit. Very slowly we come closer to the “saving” wall by ship. When there are still about four meters separating us from the wall, a Greek comes to us and reports that this space will be kept free for the island ferry when there is a strong north wind must. BINGO! that Uwe cannot pull us with the stern line that has also been thrown to him. With the help of the motor, I try to get closer to the pier with the stern. He fixes his line end to the pier and we put the other end on the starboard winch. With the crank I pull us closer bit by bit. Very slowly we come closer to the “saving” wall by ship. When there are still about four meters separating us from the wall, a Greek comes to us and reports that this space will be kept free for the island ferry when there is a strong north wind must. BINGO! that Uwe cannot pull us with the stern line that has also been thrown to him. With the help of the motor, I try to get closer to the pier with the stern. He fixes his line end to the pier and we put the other end on the starboard winch. With the crank I pull us closer bit by bit. Very slowly we come closer to the “saving” wall by ship. When there are still about four meters separating us from the wall, a Greek comes to us and reports that this space will be kept free for the island ferry when there is a strong north wind must. BINGO! With the crank I pull us closer bit by bit. Very slowly we come closer to the “saving” wall by ship. When there are still about four meters separating us from the wall, a Greek comes to us and reports that this space will be kept free for the island ferry when there is a strong north wind must. BINGO! With the crank I pull us closer bit by bit. Very slowly we come closer to the “saving” wall by ship. When there are still about four meters separating us from the wall, a Greek comes to us and reports that this space will be kept free for the island ferry when there is a strong north wind must. BINGO!

The stern line loosened again, we motor to the pier, pull in Uwe and the bow line and finally make our way to the inner harbor.

Ten minutes later we are then along the windward side of the pier but now we have the advantage of being closer to the place and above all – we are literally pumped out – at the water tap.

4:00 p.m. Fixed on the starboard fore and stern lines and two starboard springs in Leivadion, Serifos Island, Baro: 1018 hpas, temperature: 22.2 ° C

After the ship is cleared and the inlet drinks – still non-alcoholic because of the time – have been distributed and consumed, we make our way to town and take a tour of the really idyllic little town.

We come through shady alleys and sunny streets, Uwe is looking for a shop where he can buy films, and after we have discovered a supermarket and a bakery, I say goodbye to the three of them to return to the ship so that someone can be there, when the “water service” arrives. I have no opportunity to be impatient, because 5 minutes later a dark blue pick-up truck drives onto the jetty and a 60-year-old man gets out. When I point to the water tap, he nods he to me, and soon after he unpacked his hoses and turned on his tap.

While our tanks are flooded again, the rest of the crew comes in again.

A short time later a motorcycle rolls onto the pier and a uniformed young man from the port authorities comes to us and asks us to move the ship from “lengthways to the jetty” to “across the jetty with bow anchor and stern lines”. To do this, we should switch to the other side of the pier and lie there in the second row. When asked about the reason for this, he reports about 25 yachts in a regatta that will moor here in the next one to two hours.

“Yes, yes,” I think to myself, “there is probably some big puke coming with his

750 m mega motor yacht and bribed people so that he and his wife or lover could have a berth close to the city here “and for the time being stand up stubbornly. I don’t feel like moving and certainly not wanting to” second row “, but the young man insists that we, like all the other yachts on this side of the jetty, comply with his request.

6.45 p.m. Engine: on, cast off

Moving the ship about 400m north of the jetty into the harbor basin. After we had explored the possibilities of what can really happen now, two things remained: either I am right with my assumption or there are really many more ships coming in. In both cases it is always an advantage NOT to be at the feeder anymore.

We have everything on board for dinner (delicious bonito in the locker and enough retsina in the fridge) and enough bread for our breakfast tomorrow. So we decide to anchor freely in the inner harbor bay.

We start the engine, loosen all mooring lines and leave our berth. A few hands on the jetty help us push us against the wind. We steer towards the beach in front of the beautiful chapel and look for an anchorage in 4-5 m water depth.

We have just sunk the two anchors in the water when we discover some sails at the harbor entrance. In the hours that followed, until it was dark at 9:00 p.m., we counted around 28 sailing yachts that came into the harbor and moored at the pier, some of them in the third row. That means: 28 yachts with an average of 6 people on board; means restlessness, loud music, trampling and coming back late from dinner and drinking by around 160 sailors! No thanks!

We are very quiet and very safe about 400 m away, the smell of food comes from the kitchen, the sundowner is on the small table in the cockpit and Karis Alexeiou comes out of the loudspeakers.

Sailor heart, what more do you want?

At anchor in Leivadion

The bonito fillets are excellent, but no matter how hard we try and encourage our “pots-empty-guarantor” Christian, there are still enough pieces left (as expected) to make a great meal from them tomorrow.

Bonito – still whole here.

The wind has dropped significantly, and so we sit after the excellent one

Dinner on the upper deck and marvel at the hustle and bustle on the pier and the beautiful

View of the illuminated houses in the harbor bay. The retsina is perfectly chilled and combined with a liberating ouzo it helps us with our metabolism.

The slight swell lets our anchor light slowly draw small circles on the masthead. The tiredness soon comes beneath the lulling cradle of the ship and everyone has disappeared into their bunks before midnight.

Sunday April 29, 2007

10:30 a.m. Baro: 1015 hpas, temperature: 21.4 ° C Weather: cloudless

This Sunday morning welcomes us sunny, warm and almost windless. We had an extraordinarily quiet night and a good breakfast, to which Uwe served us scrambled eggs with bacon.

Before breakfast we watch the hustle and bustle at the outer pier, where we stopped our attempts to moor yesterday and where the island ferry has been unloading its load and picking up new ones for about 20 minutes.

The washing up is done and we make the ship ready to sail.

10:40 a.m. Engine: on, both anchors on board

The sprayhood is folded down and we enjoy one last view of the jetty, around which clusters of ships nestle.

The fully occupied pier in Leivadion on the “morning after”

Right in front of the outer jetty we pull out the sails and try to use the light breeze. What a difference from yesterday to today: yesterday afternoon Meltemi was still strong, today a whispering breeze that hardly cools down and only slightly arches the sails!

“Outside” the wind has almost completely fallen asleep, and soon we start the engine and bring in the sails. The north cape of Syphnos is already in sight, we go on course 120 to get to the east side of the island, so that we can possibly get another to “catch” a few offshoots of the past wind

Since we don’t have any lanyards on board, I’m investigating ways of making some from existing material. The foresail reefing line is a good choice, and I estimate that about 3 meters of line can be cut off here. Said and done! I am in the process of building two practical lanyards out of these 3 meters when my brain sends small alarm signals. I put the ends of the line aside for a moment, go through the logic of the reefing line again and discover that I was thinking the wrong way round! Unfortunately, too late, I notice that the reefing line is now too short to pull the foresail out completely. What now?

In the 30 minutes or so that followed, an observer on land, if he had observed our ship and our maneuvers, would have thought: they probably had a little too much ouzo yesterday!

I cannot tie the cut end back on because the rope runs through rollers there, which is not possible due to the necessary knots. So we have to find a way to put the end in front. First we bring the ship with our nose into the wind and pull the foresail all the way out. The end attached to the line drum is loosened and the previously cut end is attached to the now loose end with a square knot. Before doing this, we pull the line out of the front guide pulley, as the end with the knot that is tied in no longer fits through this guide pulley. Now the “original long” line can be reattached to the drum. The sail is rolled up again, but the changed guidance means that the last 2 to 3 meters can no longer be wound onto the drum. So: the whole thing out again (i.e. another maneuver) and the leadership changed. Afterwards, rolled up again, the whole sail cannot be rolled up, but about one and a half meters of sail area remains. New maneuver in the wind. On the third or fourth attempt, however, it works so far that it is possible to sail reasonably well if we carefully roll in and out. At the next available opportunity, however, a new reefing line must be drawn in! that we can sail halfway properly if we carefully roll in and out. At the next available opportunity, however, a new reefing line must be drawn in! that we can sail halfway properly if we carefully roll in and out. At the next available opportunity, however, a new reefing line must be drawn in!

I will not even repeat here what comments the blasphemers on board made about my brilliant performance.

Can you imagine that yourself? Not correct! You were worse!

So the time passes without us having covered a distance. We continue sailing along the northeast coast under engine. Extensions of the storm waves of the past few days can hardly be felt.

Eddy in his new favorite place. On the right the southeast corner of Syphnus.

1:10 p.m. Baro: 1014 hpas

Temperature: 22.8 ° C

Position: 37: 01.5N; 024: 43.2E

2:20 p.m. Cape Napos stbd. abeam

When we go from course 130 to 220 at Cape Napos, we soon feel a powerful offshore wind from the northwest. I keep myself free from the land in order to soften any downwinds that may occur here from the mountain ranges of the island. We can pull up the sails and make an estimated 6 knots of speed under full gear.

When we come to the passage between Syphnos and the offshore island of Kitriani in the southeast, the wind blows in gusts of up to 40 knots (8 wind strengths), so that I navigate around the outside of the island, here only up to peaks of around 30 knots of wind (6 wind speeds) and so can leave all sails unreefed. We quickly approach the southernmost tip of Syphnos, the Cape Kontos, leave it on the starboard side and bring the pods close to the high-wind course. Here the wind drops noticeably to around 3 wind strengths, so that we can still comfortably cross the last 2 nautical miles to the entrance to our current destination port of Vathy with Eddy at the wheel.

After starting the engine and hoisting the sails in front of the bay of Vathy, which can be seen from afar, we steer into this enchanting natural harbor.

There is a small pier, but we will find an anchorage somewhere on the gently sloping beach. The anchorage is sand and the anchor only stops on the third attempt, supported by our second anchor.

Vathy on the island of Syphnos with the small pier exactly in the middle

5:45 p.m. Festival at the main and secondary anchor in Ormos Vathy

Temperature: 23.4 ° C

After the engine has blown, there is a wonderful calm in this beautiful bay. Around this natural harbor there is a 5 meter wide sandy beach. Many clean holiday homes adorn the gently sloping hills. On the beach there are small taverns, on whose terraces people sit in the shade and enjoy the Sunday. Some people are still lying on the beach in the evening sun.

The people of Syphnos were considered the capitalists of antiquity, because the gods blessed the island with two mineral resources when they were born, one was talc shale, a special clay from which the Syphnians made refractory pots, and the other was gold. The tunnel entrances can still be seen in the east of the island, through which only some people who are weary of life venture through, but according to Apollo’s legend, a curse made sure that no gold was found on the island.

According to this, the Syphnians themselves are to blame, as every year they carried the tenth part of their income to Apollo’s sanctuary in Delphi, in the form of a golden egg. It is delivered punctually every year, until the Syphnians come up with a ruse with which they want to deceive Apollo. Of course the fraud is discovered immediately, the priests let it

Do not go through fraud with impunity but inform Apollo immediately. His answer is short and clear: “May the sea empty its island and coffers”. Since that time the island has been called “Syphnos”, which means nothing other than “empty”. In fact, the gold mining is drying up, the sea is probably in the Gold mines poured out because a large part of the old

Mines leads into the rock below the waterline on the north coast of Syphnos. What has remained is the talc slate that gives many families work. Pots, braziers, jugs, vases and cups are made from it, and mantels in the most unusual

Shapes flourish on the roofs of many wealthy Greeks today.

But we’re sitting on the upper deck, enjoying the wonderful view and the beer. Uwe has no rest and retires into the galley and appears a short time later with a “small bite in between” in the form of filled tomatoes and of course tzatziki and olives.

“Stuffed Tomatoes”. Small snack in Vathy.

Christian and Eddy agree to row ashore in the dinghy and get some retsina for tonight and try to find out where we can get bread tomorrow. In the meantime, Uwe and I are clearing the kitchen so that he can start preparing dinner. From the rest of the bonitos there should be a pasta dish today.

Eddy & Christian go shopping

Our expedition team comes back after three quarters of an hour and reports success all along the line: There won’t be any red here tomorrow and the Retsina was more than twice as expensive as elsewhere, which is why only one bottle was bought. 9:00 p.m. Dinner is served and we feast around us. As for the crowd, nobody would have thought we would make it, but thank Christian everything will be all. After that, after the washing up is done, we sit on the upper deck for a long time and enjoy the mild evening. A lot of stupid stuff is said and there is Pink Floyd from the speakers. The gentle rocking ensures that we disappear into our bunks before midnight.

Monday April 30, 2007

04:30 a.m. Baro: 1012 hpas, temperature: 16.7 ° C

Although there is absolutely no wind, the uncomfortable surrounding swell has not let me sleep for over half an hour. I roll from one side to the other first, then get up and check our anchor position.

The ship rocks back and forth so that it rattles and creaks everywhere. It is still dark outside, but the almost full moon is over the port exit and illuminates the sea surface behind.

I think about it: I can no longer think about sleep, Eddy is lying in the salon after moving out of Uwe’s snore room days ago and is apparently awake too.

What options do we have in this situation?

I wake up the other two and ask whether we want to do the “long blow” to Hydra today (in any case we have an 80-mile passage ahead of us that should bring us back towards Athens). Uwe and Christian agree, Eddy doesn’t care and so it’s “ready to run out”.

After a few minutes everyone is on the upper deck, after the ship has been cleared, Uwe and Christian occupy the anchor position and I start the engine.

04:35 a.m. Engine: on, 04:45 a.m. Both anchors on board

04:55 a.m. Navigation: initially looking out of the port,

then KAK 290 The moon initially provides the necessary illumination when leaving the port of Vathy. We’ll soon have the beacon on the entrance hook behind us. Outside there is a very light swell and the anemometer shows less than 5 knots of wind. So we let the diesel purr and hope that maybe something else during the day

To get sailing wind.

Instead of coffee and tea, there is initially mineral water, and instead of scrambled eggs, bread, sausage, cheese and jam, today we are satisfied with crackers and biscuits. For later, when it is light, we have planned to have a coffee or tea and have booked

To make bread. However, supported by the autopilot, we consistently drive on course on the compass of 290 °.

Uwe and Eddy retire to their bunks again, and Christian and I “guard” the ship on the upper deck. Far ahead of us we see many lights from tankers and passenger ferries that are already on their way so early in the morning. The surface of the water is almost smooth like a carpet, only a few waves, mostly from the watercraft on our way, let our ship rock gently back and forth.

Looking back to the island of Syphnos we can already see the light background in the sky behind the island, which already heralds the sunrise. With a bright glow in the sky and a reddish glow directly over the horizon, we will soon see the fiery red ball rising out of the sea. At first only as a narrow strip, then as a hemisphere and finally as a full format. Every minute, changing in color from dark purple to orange-red to shining gold, the ball rises higher and higher and warms up noticeably, the higher it rises, the stronger the air.

Sunrise at Syphnus

6:40 am A noise behind me in the water catches my attention and few

Seconds later I see dolphins about 20 m behind our ship. About 6 animals keep appearing and overtake our vehicle on the port side and soon disappear in front of us.

The next few hours bring no change in the weather. The wind is still a long time coming, the water surface remains as smooth as a towel.

Uwe and Eddy appear again on the upper deck at some point. Uwe puts on a kettle with water and soon coffee and tea cups are served on the upper deck. There are also sandwiches with different toppings. The position lights have long been extinguished, the jackets for the morning coolness have been exchanged for T-shirts and soon it smells like sunscreen again.

I’m relieved at the wheel and can now disappear into my bunk. Christian continues the logbook entries and the autopilot knows where we want to go anyway.

After two hours of deep sleep, I climb back to the upper deck, rested. No special occurrences in the meantime apart from other dolphins that have been sighted near the ship. Meanwhile, the ball is burning violently up there in the sky, so that the shorts have meanwhile been dug out. In terms of wind still nothing has changed, so that the diesel will probably continue to chug.

11:45 a.m. Baro: 1012 hpas, temperature: 27.6 ° C

12:00 noon dolphins! Hundreds!

First I see some dorsal fins on the surface of the water behind us, about 200 m away. Continuing to let our eyes wander over the sea, we also see some animals further to the left and further to the right of it. I slow down, turn on the opposite course and head for the spot where we can still see the animals. After a few minutes we are in the middle of a region where dorsal fins and dolphins’ bodies roll elegantly through the surface of the water all around the ship.

There are dolphins everywhere!

All sailors are on the upper deck, the cameras are at the ready and for the next 20 minutes or so we have curious gray and white companions who, racing with our boat, show us to the right and left of the bow where to go. It seems to be mostly younger animals with a body length of about one to one and a half meters, but also some adult animals, which are estimated to measure two and a half meters. First we follow the dolphins on their supposed path.

They are racing

After a while, after we have already taken a lot of photos, I turn very gently

back on our target course, whereby the animals also follow our course. I turn the speed controller a little higher and the dolphins continue turning their speed

high. So they will surely follow us for another 10 minutes on our way, keep climbing out of the water to the right and left of our ship, soon dropping back and shortly afterwards shooting past us again at all the greater speed.

Right, left, everywhere it snorts and whistles

Around our ship, groups of 3, 4 and 5 pop up out of the water again and again, and our estimate of how many animals there were afterwards is somewhere between 70 and 100.

12:30 p.m. Position: 37: 15.7N; 023: 45.5E, course: KAK 305

At some point the animals turn away and let us continue on our course towards Hydra. We are still very impressed by this unusual and touching experience, which will be a topic of conversation for a long time.

In front of us we can already see the mountain ranges of Hydra emerging from the heat haze, and the calm wind keeps the engine bubbling.

1:55 p.m. Position: Eastern Cape of Hydra (Cape Zuova) bbd. abeam

In a generous arc, we round the rocks jutting out of the water east of Hydra, which represent the back of the sea monster that found its wet grave here thousands of years ago. The Lernean hydra, a four-legged serpent with a hundred heads, once lived in the swamps of Argos, just a few nautical miles north of here on the Peloppones. She was up to mischief there and terrorized the Mycenaeans until Heracles pounced on her and cut off her heads. But new heads always grew. It was only after a long and bitter struggle that Heracles broke the serpent to pieces. Part of the hull fell into the sea: this is today’s Hydra.

The calm leaves an oily surface of the water. We are now navigating at a comfortable distance along the north coast of this island and approaching the island’s capital Hydra, past some cuttings that are idyllic in the sun, but also at a less idyllic incision where heavy smoke rises and apparently the island’s own garbage incineration is housed.

We “scan” the coastal strip and look for the mill stump which, according to the port description, marks the entrance to the main port. All we have to do is follow the many boats that constantly come in and out of the popular port.

Soon we will also see the houses that also show us the way. We clear the stern and bow lines and fenders and swing into the harbor entrance.

3:15 p.m. Position: Fixed at bow anchor and stern and port lines

in the second row in the port of Hydra, Hydra Island

Baro: 1011 hpas, temperature: 27.2 ° C

In the port description we read that this port is often used by Athenians on weekends, and since tomorrow, May 1st, is also a public holiday in Greece, it is good that we arrive so early today. The quay wall is already fully occupied in the early afternoon. A quiet lap through the harbor shows us that we will definitely go into the second row, and we decide on a place where a large yacht, the “Evi”, is already in the second row and by hers On the ship lying directly behind on the pier, someone is already waving to us, so I stop, put in reverse and turn very gently to the designated place.

The lines are flying overboard, there are helping hands behind and next to us and a few minutes later we are safely moored in Hydra.

Hydra in rows of three.

Tightened a bit here and tightened a little, the fine-tuning is soon finished and so we “choke” the engine and enjoy – thanks to the fridge – a cold inlet water or a well-cooled inlet Fanta. Then we get down to earth and leave our ship. To get ashore, we climb aboard the “Evi”, from there over its stern over the “robber ladder” to the slightly higher bow of the ship, which lies behind it with the stern to the pier, and then arrive over level that ship on land.

Here you are lashed like a fly in a spider web

What is immediately noticeable here are the missing cars. The houses are so dense here in Hydra

built together so that all “heavy goods traffic”, that is, the delivery of goods to the shops, houses and restaurants, is done exclusively by donkey. who want to be rocked by them through the alleys.

However, we wander through the alleys on foot, look for supply options and above all for the tavern “TO STEKI”, which was highly recommended to us by the skipper of the yacht lying behind us on the pier. We can find it and reserve a table for 21 At a garden, kitchen, ship, fittings and accessories dealer, I discover large roles with ropes and I also believe that there is something there that is suitable for our jib meeting. To be on the safe side , but I’ll come back later with a sample.

We continue through the village, here looking for vegetables and fruit, there for souvenirs for those who stayed at home, here looking for a large pot of tzatziki (our stock has really been used up) and elsewhere for other things. In the supermarket right by the harbor we bunker retsina and ouzo, tamarasalad and noodles, onions and tomatoes and there I can also connect my battery charger for the digital camera to the mains. After I brought the stolen goods to the ship, I return to the waiting Christian and Uwe (Eddy buried half an hour ago when he was looking for a toilet), we buy a puff pastry pie filled with Féta from a baker , and enjoying these we dawdle along the harbor to the western entrance hook, climb up the hill, from where we have a fantastic view towards Spetsai and South Peloppones. Here we have a clear view of the sparkling clean cafes on the “Waterside” next to the harbor entrance. In an estiatório at the end of this beautiful square we admire the displays with oysters, lobsters, octapus and many kinds of fish and then turn back towards the harbor. where we soon meet Eddy, who in turn has made a round of this nice place. Together we stroll back to the ship, where we get a mixed starter platter from our star chef and watch the live program with the title “How many yachts fit because still in this port? “. It’s crazy what’s going on here and we really can’t complain about boredom.

After this delicious and entertaining break, I grab a short piece of our jib reefing line and trot to the little shop where I discovered the thick linen rolls. A short comparison gives a positive result: “25m away please”. The specified length is measured quickly, but then the surprise: the goods are placed on a scale and calculated according to weight! 5 € and 50 cents per kilo together make 7 € and 20 cents for a 25m line. Well, if that’s the way it is! Back on the ship, we exchange the two lines directly so that everything is in order again.

8:00 p.m. Temperature: 24.7 ° C, Baro: 1010 hpas

After we let the afternoon end in peace, the ship traffic has also decreased significantly. The yachts are now lying in three rows around the harbor basin. The bars on the promenade fill up, and soft music and laughter ring our ears from everywhere. There is a sundowner on the table in our cockpit and we enjoy sitting in the warm air at almost 25 ° C.

At a quarter to nine we make our way to our tavern today, climb the steps to the terrace and get a table right on the passage.

The starters are quickly ordered, the house wine is served in the typical kilo jar made of reddish aluminum, and soon we are enjoying the good things from the kitchen: first, of course, as usual, tzatziki and salad, and then “stuffed tomatoes” (stuffed tomatoes ), filled dough rolls similar to canneloni (after unfortunately there is no more pastitsio that smelled so good from the next table), of course homemade patties, with a vegetable made from beans and carrots, and instead of fish today, as an exception, meat, namely lamb chops, chicken – and pork souflaki and very tasty bifteki (minced meat balls).

In the meantime, we have a good view of the slowly revitalizing city center, and after all the food has been cleaned up, there is a nightcap for everyone from the house.

The bill turns out to be relatively low, and after a souvenir photo has been taken of the friendly host, we slowly walk back to the ship, where there is a sleeping drink on the upper deck – with a wonderful view of this beautiful place.

Christian starts shortly after midnight, and little by little everyone else disappears into their bunks.

At around 3:00 am I am woken up by a loud rumble on the upper deck. A drunk neighbor has used “our” chicken ladder to get on his ship, and he rumbles around like a whole soccer team. I rush upstairs, he stands in front of me and I sh … him powerfully, whereupon he, well quietly, disappears onto his ship. I lie down again and soon fell asleep again.

Tuesday May 1, 2007

The morning greets us with gray clouds and light drizzle. After the morning toilet, I fool around to the nearby bakery, where I buy wonderful fresh bread and return to the ship.

Uwe has already made coffee, my tea is already whistling in the kettle and the breakfast table is quickly set and we sit around it.

It’s still drizzling very lightly outside, but a few boats have already cast off to the left and right of us. The skipper of the yacht behind us asks when we want to leave and we agree at 11 a.m.

10:50 a.m. Baro: 1014 hpas, temperature: 20.8 ° C, weather: very light drizzle

11:00 a.m. Engine: on, cast off, anchor on board

Despite the full harbor with many confused and stacked anchor chains, we get free without a chain salad and are soon sailing through the port exit. We leave our light rain jackets on, but soon see the sky getting a lot lighter and feel a gentle breeze moving.

A very slight south-west sets in, so that we can pull out the sails about halfway between Hydra and Peloppones and let ourselves be propelled by wind power. Wave is almost non-existent, so that disturbances only arise from waves caused by stupid motor-stink-crate-rambos that bang past us at 500 kilometers an hour to show everyone how long their genitals are and how many turns their brains are so had. I love her!

At the southeast corner of the Peloppones peninsula we shift the mainsail to the port side and pull under butterfly sails through the Stenos Tselevinia, the narrow passage between the large peninsula and the tiny island of Tselevinia.

On the other side of the passage we change our course further to starboard to 010 in order to round the island of Póros in front of us to the east.

The sky is still tearing and we can really bring our raincoats back below deck. In the fairway far ahead of us, we can already sense the island of Aegina, which will probably serve as a stopover the day after tomorrow.

1:20 p.m. Position: Cape Kalavria / Eastern Cape of the island of Poros

Weather: dry, loosened clouds After we have crossed Cape Kalavria, we already notice clearly how the already very weak south wind is covered even more. He’s completely asleep now, so we start the engine and pull down the sails.

We can navigate wonderfully by sight for the next few hours. We move along the entire east coast of the Methanon peninsula, then go to 190 at the top of Cape Georgios, leave the small island of Agkistri on the starboard side and on this course we can always walk straight ahead to our destination port Palea Epidauros (the Greek says Epidavrou).

We can see the houses of this town with a population of around 3,000 from far away. The approach is very easy and when we reach the bay we can clearly see the two stone beacons that mark the fairway and show us the safe way into the harbor.

Two beacons point the way to the port of Palea Epidauros

Since there are only a few yachts in the port, we can almost freely choose the berth. We prepare the anchor, the stern lines and the fenders, stop, put in reverse gear and walk across the stern to the long harbor wall directly at the small park that separates the harbor from “downtown”.

5:00 p.m. Position: Fixed at bow anchor and stern lines in the port of Palea Epidauros, Peloponnese

Baro: 1012 hpas, temperature: 21.8 ° C

While we enjoy our drink, we sit on the upper deck and marvel at the real masses of people that fill the park, the street cafes behind it and the streets and squares on this holiday. Couples with and without children and entire families with several generations have taken their holiday wardrobe out of the closet and are in public.

On one of the few neighboring ships, we ask about the water supply and are told that someone comes here once or twice a day and offers refueling. On the opposite side of the path, which leads directly behind our ship along the harbor, we see drinking water points, which, however, have a connection that is not compatible with our hose. We decide to wait for the evening and then, if no one has appeared by then, connect our hose to the tap with our gaffa tape.

In the meantime we also dress up, play quietly along the harbor, keep behind the square on the water and circle the pretty seaside resort counter-clockwise. At the end of the path, past fragrant orange plantations, we reach a nice little campsite, turn around here and turn right onto a small street that takes us past some apartment buildings into the city center. There are many small shops here, from butchers and bakers to flower shops, ice cream parlors, dry cleaning, in short: everything that you would expect and find in a completely normal place with us. We stroll through winding streets and come to a slightly higher part of the village, where pretty houses demonstrate a certain wealth. Beautiful gardens, We see and smell sunny orange and lemon gardens and fragrant flowers and soon come out along a narrow path right back to the place where the many cafes and street bars today offer the Epidaurs the opportunity to see and be seen. One more lap across this large square, we soon return to our ship, where at the same time Christian trundles in again with us, who has looked at the small amphitheater at the ancient excavation sites directly at the harbor.

7.30 p.m. Uwe retires to the galley to prepare dinner, and Eddy and I roll our water hose towards the tap, connect the end of the hose to the tap with the help of Gaffa tape and soon it bubbles

fresh water in our empty tanks. After about twenty minutes, both tanks are full and Eddy is pretty wet (we didn’t get the connection 100% tight), we roll everything up again and stow the material.

As a reward, Christian has already put a sundowner on the upper deck for everyone, and while our dinner is being prepared, Christian tells us about his visit to the small theater. We sip our “cocktail” and enjoy the view of the busy pier. For tomorrow we are planning a trip to the excavation sites in ancient Epidaurus, about 15 km away.

Our dinner is delicious once again, and afterwards we sit in the warm, dry evening air (it’s still 20 ° C at 9:30 p.m.) on the upper deck for a long time and enjoy ourselves until we get tired shortly before midnight caught and we’ll retire soon.

Wednesday May 2, 2007

Shortly after breakfast, I set out to find a bus stop from which we can get to the ancient excavations. In the middle of the village there is a large sign on which the departure times are noted. But since the next bus leaves in about 3 minutes and the next one only leaves at half past twelve, I trot back to the ship, after having asked about the approximate price for a taxi ride. 10:30 am We shoulder our bags and, packed with water bottles and cameras, make our way to the taxi station, where we treat ourselves to an E-Class Mercedes. A very well developed road stretches through a sea of green and through fragrant citrus and orange plantations, which takes us on a sightseeing tour to the ancient archaeological sites.

We pay our obolus at the ticket booth and we are allowed to enter the holy district. At this impressive place, which is already enchanting by its surroundings, there was a sanctuary in honor of the god Maleatas, the spring, long before the construction of the facilities to be admired today, namely in the so-called Helladic period about 2000 years before our era – and God’s growth. One saw in him a manifestation of the god Apollon, the god of music and art, of light and the art of healing, and festivals and competitions were dedicated to him. When an epidemic broke out around 430 BC, there should have been miraculous healings at this point, which is why many pilgrims from all over Greece came here and underwent healing treatments based on psychological influences such as rest, sleep, Dream knowledge and intensive experience of music and theater performances. After these “pagan” cults were banned in the fourth century AD, the healing practice in the Christian sense continued.

The center of this site is on the one hand the impressive excavation site, where the remains of the former cult buildings can be viewed, but above all the theater of Epidaurus, one of the best preserved ancient theaters in the world.

The impressive theater in Epudaurus

A total of 14,000 people had space here and took part in theatrical performances, which differed from today’s performances in that the visitors could help shape the program, today one would say interactively. Even today, festivals take place here from early July to mid-August, to which thousands of visitors come to experience the ancient Greek culture.

We climb the top rows of seats in this impressive building and listen to the songs and poems that are recited by groups of visitors in the roundabout of the circular orchestra and that are very easy to understand even up to our seating position. A tour guide stands in the small middle circle in the “Manege” and crackles with a sheet of paper, for example, and then drops some coins on the floor: everything can really be heard up here. And all of this against the impressive backdrop of this Landscape that is characterized by the lush green of pine forests and olive groves, of rolling hills and blue skies.

Magnificent view from the last row of visitors of the wonderful landscape

We leave this impressive place and return to the entrance, where “our” taxi driver invites us back to the port. After getting off there is still a bit of tussling about the fare: the driver says the way there and the waiting time and the way back to be paid in full with a total of 50 euros (20 for the outward journey, 20 for the return journey and another 10 for an hour of waiting time). After a short discussion, he is also convinced that he is well served with 30 euros for the outward journey plus waiting time .

We say goodbye to him with a friendly kali spéra and board our ship to prepare for the casting off maneuver.

12:05 p.m. Engine: on, cast off, anchor on board

When there is almost no wind, we chug out of the harbor, take a few more photos of this beautiful area, and set course towards Aegina, our last stop, before heading back to Athens.

12:20 p.m. Sail guidance: G ↑ F ↑ Engine: off

A very light wind moves us at a “speed” of an estimated one to one point five knots. We have all the time in the world, the weather is fantastic, Aegina is within sight of us, and whether we get there an hour earlier or later is irrelevant. If it should be too late afterwards, we can still start the engine and be in port within a maximum of three hours.

So we laze around in the sun, browse through our novels, Christian donates a round of bananas, we throw the Pütz in the water and scrub the upper deck, people are fooling around anyway.

In the meantime, however, the wind falls asleep completely, so that we really only bob on the spot. In addition, we move very slowly towards a point where a marker also entered on the map indicates that there is a wreck below. So we start the engine, pull in the foresail, leave the mainsail as a support sail and bubble around the wreck field at a speed of 1200 rpm and then on course 100 towards Aegina.

The wind picks up a little, the surface of the water ripples a bit, and we let the foresail out again. When the engine is off, the ship creaks very gently and we gain propulsion. Under full gear, the ship leans slightly at an angle and with an estimated speed of 4 knots we rustle very gently. You can clearly feel that the wind becomes stronger the further we move away from the cover of the land mass of the Peloponnese.

2:30 p.m. Position: 37: 41.7N; 023: 15.8E, wind: 4 bft. from S, temperature: 26.7 ° C

It is really a pleasure to sail. Hardly any waves, warm wind from the south, the destination ahead in sight, the certainty of a beautiful harbor in your head, the atmosphere on board great: what more do you want?

Under the land cover of the island of Agkistri, which passes exactly south of us, the wind screeches at about 1 bft. So we start the engine and pull in the foresail, because it just falls in and hinders.

3:15 p.m. wind: 5-6 S, sail guidance: F ↑, engine: off, temperature: 27.5 ° C

When the island of Agkistri disappears astern, the wind picks up again, as it now has a free path and is even more bundled by the jet effect between the Agkistri behind us and the Aegina ahead of us and thus increases to a whopping 5 to 6 strengths. We drive an estimated six and a half to seven knots and somehow it’s a shame that we will soon arrive at today’s destination. So everyone can enjoy the last few minutes of sloping and are there with all their senses.

Aegina right ahead

Before entering the port of Aegina, we unfortunately have to end today’s sailing day and make it clear to enter. Started the engine, lowered the sails, cleared the fenders and stern lines, we sail between the spars into this beautiful harbor. There are relatively many places free, so we choose a box far north in which we have good cover from the south wind and are soon connected to the pier, but then move one more place further north because the anchor is not rushed into the water at the intended place, but because the chain was jammed a few meters further away. Now we lie safe and straight, put another jump from the forecastle and write in the logbook:

4:20 p.m. Fixed at bow anchor and stern lines in the port of Aegina, Aegina island

Engine: off, baro: 1015 hpas, temperature: 25.8 ° C

Aegina (pronounced: Äjina) was the capital of Greece from January to October 1828. On this 83 square km island, a total of over 40,000 pistachio trees supply 3% of the world’s demand for these coveted, particularly delicious nuts. The island has about 12,000 inhabitants, most of whom live from agriculture, fishing, sponge diving and, of course, tourism.

Since it is still relatively early, everyone falls back on non-alcoholic maneuver drinks. We sit on the upper deck, toast to each other and shortly afterwards help a charter ship with a 10-man Polish crew on board next to us to the pier. Hopefully they don’t make too much noise tonight. (But that was already anticipated: everything was very well mannered and calm, no noticeable disturbances.)

After the ship is clear, I trot ashore and first of all to the port authorities, where I particularly like to go on Aegina because a .: the mooring fee is always below 2 euros and b .: because the officials of the authority there are about 80% share of women prevails. Even today I am not disappointed: an attractive brunette takes my papers, checks something here, enters something there and finally issues the receipt for the mooring fee. It turned out to be an impressive 1.73 euros. Well, I can generously invite the crew to spend the night again. Afterwards it goes to the tavern “Maridaki”, where we had an excellent meal on the autumn trip 2005 and where we want to eat tonight as well. Once there, however, I see a small construction site in front of me: it is sawed and hammered and made and done,

When I asked one of the Greeks, I got the information: unfortunately still closed. On the

When I ask for an alternative tip where there is similarly good food as here, I get two pointers and then return to the ship a little sad. Meanwhile everyone else has dressed up in town, and so we get ready for a sightseeing tour through Aegina.

“EFI” right up front in the pretty port of Aegina

Before we leave the ship we get a visitor: first a motor scooter rolls up with a man about 45 years old who comes to our ship, asks for the skipper and asks me to pay our mooring fee to the port authority. I go to the logbook for a moment, grab the receipt and proudly show it off. He is happily surprised and trots on to the next ship. Then the next motor scooter rolls up, this time with a young woman on board, who also comes to us and shows a large-format photo of our ship entering the port. Eddy pulls out his purse, exchanges 15 euros for a photo, and the deal is perfect. I already have one of these souvenirs at home from our trip in autumn 2005 with the yacht “Sonja”, so I’m not buying another one.

Shower facilities here in the harbor. I give him the tip to rent a room somewhere at a hotel / guesthouse for an hour or two so that all crew members can shower there. He thanks politely and disappears below deck.

Then nobody wants anything from us anymore, and so we dawdle completely along the harbor, making a detour through the alley with the fish market, thinking that we can buy fish here tomorrow morning before we leave, which we will prepare tomorrow evening in Athens together with the other ingredients that are still in the pantries. We stroll on to the large church in the very north of the harbor, where we turn left into the alleys. At a pistachio kernel stand we buy two bags with these delicious local wonders and for the next 60 minutes we cruise through the pretty old town, leaving pistachio kernel shells behind us. In between, Christian donated a portion of Pitta gyros for everyone from the board cash,

This historic port is part of the excavations, but unfortunately it can no longer be visited today (opening times from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). We turn back, and after Eddy has bought a round of ice cream, we marvel at the catch of a cutter at the fishing quay: the most varied of fish, neatly sorted by size and type, many boxes with shrimp and even about half a dozen boxes, each estimated at 60 to 80 cm diameter measuring rays.

8:00 p.m. Back at the ship, the Polish crew has just arrived, hung with towels and wash bags. Draped with a cloud of scent and sometimes still with wet hair, the hotel shower tip apparently worked. We lounge on the upper deck with a good view of the promenade, where there is a lot going on, so we have a lot to look at. Passenger ferries all come in and out and spit their two-legged cargo ashore. There are a lot of Asians among them, and we are amazed at the different types of people who come by here. We enjoy a delicious nightcap made from ouzo and fanta and press our bellies to see if they are already hungry.

Finally, the hands are moving well beyond the 9:00 p.m. mark, so we clear the glasses, comb our hair, apply a little more scented water, lock the ship and make our way to dinner. We haven’t had a table reserved anywhere and are therefore free to make a decision. We can literally give in to our gut instincts in the truest sense of the word and do so by boarding a table in a tavern right next to the fish hall.

Frischer als hier werden wir auf dieser Insel Fisch nicht essen können. Die junge Dame, die die Bestellung entgegennimmt, scheint etwas überfordert zu sein, als wir zunächst nur die Starters bestellen. Aber sie zockelt los und bringt schon bald unsere Standards: griechischen Salat, Tsatsiki, Brot, Besteck, Wasser und Retsina. Wir langen reichlich zu, denn auch hier schmecken diese Sachen wieder genial, besonders der Schafskäse ist außerordentlich gut. Als alle Schalen und Teller leer sind ( Christian musste sich heute einmal nicht so sehr zurückhalten ), steht sie auch schon bald wieder am Tisch mit dem Block in der Hand. Wir bestellen gegrillten Octopus, frittierten Calmar, Patates, Auberginengemüse, gebratenen Catfish mit einer heftigen Knoblauchsoße, und dazu stuffed Tomatoes und Moussaka. Dazu noch ein weiteres halbes Kilo Retsina ( heute will Christian gar keinen Wein trinken, probiert immer nur ein Gläschen und dann noch ein Gläschen ) und später noch eins. Derweil schauen wir zu, wie die Octopusse verarbeitet, gewürzt und gegrillt werden.

At the next table sits a crew from Denmark (parents and 2 almost grown-up children) and we start talking. I ask which part of Denmark they come from and they ask how we know where they are from. I report on the Danish national flag, which I saw in its spreader, and that I have been to Denmark many times to sail.

When I list the islands and places where we’ve been everywhere, they twitch slightly at “Nysted”, a beautiful little, picture-perfect harbor with small, colorful wooden houses that are picturesquely around it. That’s where they come from, they report, we are still chatting something that is then interrupted as our food comes on the table.

The grill master, whom we saw at the fishing port this afternoon when he bought the fishing cutter empty, and whom we also discovered at a fish stall in Fischmarkt-Gasse, seems to be fresh and very deeply in love: the grilled octopus is quite salty ! Everything else, however, is just as tasty as it is fresh, and all of them are long.

After dinner we stroll back to the ship and end the beautiful day with a nightcap on the upper deck, for which everyone present serves enough stupid stuff and the menu sequence is enriched by the central location of our location. When the midnight chimes of the surrounding churches begin, it is time for us to disappear into our bunks and so from half past twelve there is silence on the ship (except for the snoring of our Smutjes).

Thursday May 3, 2007

9.15 a.m. Baro: 1018 hpas, temperature: 21.1 ° C

It is wonderfully warm early in the morning, and after we have had an extensive breakfast, Uwe and I stroll into town to buy enough psarí at the fish market for tonight . We opt for medium-sized specimens, of which we weigh three pieces per nose, i.e. a dozen together. Then we stroll to the Kaikis in the harbor, from which fresh fruit and vegetables are sold and where we let a saleswoman turn on tomatoes, peppers and arugula and unfortunately only afterwards notice that she has ripped us off . But: you can only learn from experience and so we content ourselves with a retrospective shrug.

Then it’s back to the ship, everything is lashed down, the valves and hatches closed and everything is made ready for discarding.

10:50 am Engine: on, cast off, anchor on board Weather: cloudless

Bright sunshine, a very light breeze from the south and very light seas promise that there will be a wonderful day. We chug out of the harbor basin and take a look back at this charming town with its beautiful harbor.

Before leaving the port, we have stowed all the lines and the fenders and we pull out the sails in order to walk along the west coast with a slight tail wind without the humming of the engine, to Cape Plakakia, from which we can see the lighthouse from afar.

We enjoy the view of the rolling hills of Aegina with the pretty houses and let a long, gentle wave push us forward. At Cape Plakakia we set course 080, which should take us south past the small island of Lagoussa, on a direct route to Athens to the port of Kalamaki.

However, on this course we soon reach the land cover, the slight south wind decreases to calm level, so that we soon have no more propulsion. 11.35 a.m. Engine: on sail guidance: F ↓ With the main sail as a support sail we chug comfortably along our course. Uwe digs out his fish market booty, goes to the bathing platform armed with the puetz and a sieve and prepares the outboard comrades for the kitchen by removing them and shaving them.

Uwe is preparing our dinner for today

The garbage goes straight out into the water, so that one or the other seagull will soon feel that it is addressed to take part in our meal today. While everyone is eagerly watching the fish and seagulls, we suddenly discover some dorsal fins in the water behind us and soon afterwards spot a group of dolphins that criss-cross the sea and apparently delight in a school of fish. Soon, however, we leave both seagulls and dolphins behind us, Uwe has “taken care of” all the fish, and punctually, when the raw food for dinner is stowed in the cool box, the south wind sets in again very gently and can hit us with a strength of about 2 bft. Drive.

1:00 p.m. Sail guidance: F ↑ Engine: off 1:05 p.m. Engine: on

Sail guidance: F ↓ Position: 37: 49.7N; 023: 31.9E

Shortly afterwards, however, the wind falls asleep again. So: everything back again, engine on, headsail back in and off we go with diesel thrust.

1:20 p.m. Guided tour: F ↑ engine: off When we have left the land cover of the island of Aegina behind us, the wind increases significantly. The anemometer initially shows 12 to 15 knots of wind, then climbs slowly further and stabilizes in the open fairway at a whopping 25 to 28 knots, which is a wind force of a good 5 bft. corresponds. Combined with the almost cloudless sky, the Saronic Gulf shows itself once again from its most beautiful side for us sailors on our farewell course. With the mountain with the Acropolis already in front of our eyes, we continue to steer our course and are a little sad that we get to our destination port far too quickly with this great wind. But everything has its good side:

3:05 p.m. Engine: on, sail guidance: F ↓ G ↓

So our trip ends soberly with a last maneuver to haul in the sail, and shortly afterwards we chug calmly between the two entrance huks into the home port of our “Efi”.

3:20 p.m. Fixed on bow mooring and stern lines in the port of Kalamaki, Athens

Baro: 1012 hpas, temperature: 27.3 ° C

Engine hours: 2520.5 h of which: 27.2 h under engine Daily log: 21 nm

Total log: 235 nm At the pier, helping hands greet us as they take our lines.

The mooring has to be re-lashed and the fenders have to be repositioned a bit, but finally we are safely and securely in the port of Kalamaki shortly before three thirty.

The usual activities are pushed: Laying electricity on shore, organizing a water hose and filling all the tanks, the diesel truck is already parked at a neighboring ship and is instructed to come to us afterwards, so that the topic of “bunkering diesel” is soon done, the sprayhood remains downstairs, however, the “coffee shop”, the bimini, is opened up (because the sun is “popping” really nicely!). In short: everything is made ready for the handover of the ship. While the first crew members go to the shower, I grab the empty gas bottle from the Locker and march to the gas station at the port gate, where I exchange it for a nice, full one, and after the first shower delegation reappears on board clean and smelling good, the second half of the crew makes their way to the cleaning booth.

5:00 p.m. Jorgos soon appears at the ship, welcomes us “back home” and us

begin to check the ship. Some things need to be addressed:

– The log shows very incorrectly The aft toilet sometimes does not pump water from the outside – On the starboard side we have replaced a screw bolt that holds the folding bracket of the bimini with a split pin. – The fixation of the steering wheel is defective (just annoying when anchoring) – On the starboard side of the sprayhood a retaining rubber has torn off – A water glass is broken – The locking bolt of the folding hatch in the port aft cabin has been torn off – The wind direction arrow of the clicker has fallen Jorge notes everything. Charter companies are usually very grateful

In the meantime, a diver has also checked the lower ship for defects and then, still kicking in the water, signaled OK with his right thumb and forefinger, while the delicious harbor water runs down his face. Shit job!

Thus, after the rest of the equipment, the sails, the engine and the outer skin of the ship have also been positively assessed, the handover is over and we can make a coffee in peace and quiet under the awning in the shade. 6:30 p.m. After Uwe has made preparations for dinner since we were in port (such as cooking pasta so that it can cool down and later be made into pasta salad), he really gets going and also tensions other crew members, e.g. to crumble it Tarragon and other things. Every now and then there is a little sundowner “upstairs”, and in the kitchen it looks as if people are really working here.

In the meantime I call Vagélis, who welcomes us warmly “back home”. Of course, I have to tell you very briefly how it went and where we were. But I’ll soon get back to Molly’s offer, which gives us some tips wanted to write down for a one-day Athens compact visit.

He promises to bring everything to us this evening, as he has everything in the car, but cannot be at the ship before 10:00 p.m. because he still has a lot to do.

8:00 p.m. In the meantime, the smell of good kitchen smells is already penetrating the upper deck, and the cooking utensils are already on the stove. The table is set, Christian is now only around Uwe (is he hungry?), And the redeeming sentence “Food is ready” is soon heard. A large bowl of pasta salad, which is served with rocket, tuna, onions, tomatoes, with a touch of garlic and the herbs on the boat, plus a bowl of tuna salad for each, and, above all, two large pans, in which delicious fried fish are waiting for their customers, are on the table, along with well-chilled retsina and enough water . Of course bread must not be missing, so that the pans and pots can also be “unplugged”. We’ll hit it, and the fish will soon be done.

Satisfied and satisfied, we sit back and enjoy an urgently needed nightcap: the last bit of the 12-star Metaxa bottle. As soon as the glasses are emptied – pots, pans … everything is still on the table – it is already rumbling up on the ship and a visitor named Vagélis descends the companionway. He grins at all of us, is happy like a snow king and greets each of us with a handshake. He pushes himself next to Eddy on the bench, puts his bag next to him, reaches for the glass that I have placed in front of him, filled with retsina, and toasts us to “stin i’jamas”. A nice chat begins. We have to report where we have been, what we have seen, what the weather was like, whether everything was clear with the ship and and and. When we finished our report with the arrival in Kalamaki he tells us what Molly has chosen for our city tour tomorrow. He digs a thick envelope out of his pocket and presents us with 5 handwritten pages

Directions: what we have to see, small round, big round, where we should stop when we are hungry and where we should avoid it, where the best Greek coffee and where the best cappuccino is, where we have the most beautiful Have a view and in which area of the city are the cafes with the most attractive girls. We also receive copies of city maps with colored paths and – always with the note: “If there is still time” – information on museums and galleries. Perfect!

In the next 45 minutes there will be more tips directly from Vagélis, and when he says goodbye after we could talk him into another drink (kali níchta, mächri áwro “- good night, see you tomorrow), we know that tomorrow will be a great day.

Since it is now almost midnight, we drink our glasses empty and then move horizontally.

Friday May 4, 2007

We were on our feet relatively early. I got fresh bread from the supermarket, coffee and tea had long been ready when I came back, and washing up was very quick today. Everyone was looking forward to today’s city stroll with a visit to the Acropolis.

So we make our way to the tram stop at the Hafentor (the tram is called “Tram” here, as in Munich) and try to decipher the timetable. Somewhere I read something about day tickets, but can’t find out how to buy something A slightly older gentleman comes up to us and asks us in English where we want to go. After a few words he interrupts me in German, smiles all over my face and reports that he lived in Germany for many years and that the Germans are the nicest people on earth, just after the Greeks, and he lets us give you 2 € and 40 cents, with which he feeds the ticket machine and then hands us 4 tickets of 60 cents each, with which we can use the Line 8 can go to the terminus, which is right in the center.

5 minutes later our tram arrives and we can be taken to Syntagma station within 40 minutes, the tram station in the heart of the city, right on Syntagma Square, the Constitution Square. This is where the parliament building stands, which was originally designed and built as a royal residence by a German architect between 1835 and 1838. In 1935 it was converted into a parliament building and soldiers in their distinctive Greek costumes still keep watch in front of the grave of the Unknown Soldier.

First we trundle after the stream of dropouts, which is oriented to the left. After about 100 m I open my city map and take Molly’s description at hand. Turning the plan back and forth a few times, it is much easier to read (despite the Greek legend). If we follow this path, so the plan, we will come straight to Plaka, the old town of Athens. After a little more research, we also discover the symbol for the most famous building in Athens, if not Greece: the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens. So we follow the path we have chosen and enjoy the shady streets with wide sidewalks, where nice little shops present their goods in colorful shop windows. As a solution, I issue a request: Optician’s shop (because the mechanics of my sunglasses have changed a bit). To anticipate this topic: in the afternoon I find a specialty shop where the temples of my glasses are neatly repositioned to my great relief.

On the way to Plaka we come to a square where the cathedral, the “Great Mitropolis”, is right next to the “Small Mitropolis”. The big one is the Episcopal Church of Athens, where Greek kings were once crowned and today the Greek presidents and prime ministers take their oath of office.

She has opened her gates invitingly to us and there is a constant coming and going. Standing on the entrance stairs and looking at the large forecourt, I notice here, as everywhere in Greece, that a great many of the passers-by who pass the cathedral take at least one look at the portal and cross themselves. I experience something like this again and again, for example with bus or taxi drivers with whom I drive past churches, monasteries, chapels or the like or standing or sitting in appropriate places. So here too. We enter the church and experience activity here too. Even many young people come in, kneel down in front of their icon or sculpture, cross themselves and kiss the icon or sculpture. This cathedral is alive!

If you punish behavior, things are very respectful here, but completely relaxed and almost cheerful. We leave this church, return to the forecourt and now orientate ourselves in the direction of Plaka, the old town of Athens. Since it is still relatively early in the morning and the tourist season is still ahead, we have a clear view of the many small shops everywhere. The offer is very tourist-oriented: sunglasses, Greek art (mostly made in Korea), olive oil soap, spirits, doner kebab stalls (no, Christian, the “Giros Pitta” stands are called here), souvenir shops, taverns , and and and … The alleys lead slightly uphill, and soon for the first time we have a direct view of the towering mountain, the Acropolis of Athens.

A first look at the Acropolis

The name Akropolis means “upper town” and generally refers to the entirety of the “city on the mountain top”. There is an acropolis in many Greek cities, for example, apart from the one in Athens, the Acropolis of Lindos on Rhodes is very famous.

Moving slowly through the old town streets, we approach the mountain. However, we stand in front of an entrance where a young woman with a radio apparently keeps watch and asks us to use the entrance a little below: here is only

Construction site entrance. We follow the wall downhill and soon reach the main entrance, where we buy four tickets and then join the other visitors who have entered the Acropolis district before us.

The Acropolis consists of many buildings, squares, temples, theaters, places of worship, markets, etc., and the building, which is often referred to as the Acropolis, i.e. the large temple with the impressive columns, is only part of the overall complex and is the Parthenon. This Parthenon (ancient Greek: Παρθενών, the maiden’s chamber ) is probably one of the most famous buildings in the world and has been enthroned on the Acropolis of Athens for almost 2,500 years. It was built as a temple in honor of the city’s patroness Pallas Athene as a thank you for the rescue of the Athenians and Greeks during the Persian War and replaced a temple that had previously been on this site, which had previously been destroyed by the Persians.

But first we pass the remains of the Dionysus Theater, a real ruin compared to the Theater of Epidaurus, much smaller than this and not very impressive when viewed from below. We continue up the steep mountain, where, after we have left the ruins of the Asklipios (= Aeskulap) district completely behind us, we reach the much more impressive “Odeon of Herodes Atticus”, a really well preserved (or again well restored) theater, also much smaller than the one in Epidaurus, but still very impressive. We continue upstairs, where I am asked by a steward to deposit my backpack a little below this entrance before entering the next district. After I have complied with this request, we now enter via a wide staircase,

On this wide area, two impressive buildings dominate everything that happens :. First on the left the Erechtheion, a temple that consists of many different architectures and thus represents the connection between the different cultures and cults from the time before the Persian Wars. Particularly impressive and famous for this building are the so-called Koren, columns in the shape of girls or young women, who literally play a supporting role here, as the cross members of a temple floor rest on their heads.

The famous Koren at the Erechtheion Temple

Yes, and then there is HE. The Parthenon! The Temple of Athena, the representative building, the repository of the riches of the Attic-Delian League, the meeting place and center of prosperity in ancient Athens, ammunition depot in many wars, repeatedly partially destroyed and rebuilt and today the main attraction for many visitors to Greece.

Probably THE most famous building in Greece: the Parthenon on the Acropolis

A little reverently we follow the circular route, admire the imposing columns, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic view of Athens at our feet, stop at the viewing platform in the Pandion district in the far east of the plateau, and then let us be enchanted by the museum in the museum Figures, pictures, ornaments and parts of buildings that are exhibited here and that tell the history of Athens and thus the history of the development of European culture.

At the exit of the museum I have the impression that the marble owl, the favorite animal of Athena and the symbol of Athens, posted on a high column there, winks goodbye, and I secretly promise her to come back soon.

The symbol of Athens: the owl.

It is now shortly after noon and it has already become very warm. We imagine how hot and uncomfortable it will be here in July or August and we are happy to be here now, in May.

We leave the high plateau of the Acropolis, take a few more pictures at the exit, and after I have picked up my backpack again we continue our tour clockwise. I ask three young women whether this is the right way “jia tin Psiri” to Psiri, the bohemian district of Athens, which they affirm with a “ne”, and so we move down the valley, not without a detour to make the ancient caves in the north wall of the Acropolis mountain. At the end of the path we come across a gate that is wide open and leads directly into the old town. In front of this gate this morning we stood in vain from the outside to get in, but we are not allowed out here either, as the same young woman tells us,

Back in the upper Plaka, we now stick to the recommendations of our plan, which includes a visit to Psiri, the already mentioned artists’ quarter, next. Always facing north just below the Acropolis wall, we soon come to an area in which many galleries, exhibitions, handicraft shops and workshops shape the streetscape. We enter one or the other shop and look for nice things, and somewhere I come across a shop that signals “Hello Ecki, here’s what you are looking for”. And right: beautiful pictures, graphics, Statues, all of which are clearly not “Made in Korea”, but certified from Greek handcraft are presented. I was particularly fascinated by a ceramic sculpture,

Since the pressure to succeed is now clearly evident, we are now looking for a shady spot where we can have a drink. We occupy a table in one of the many, many street cafés, with a view of the Acropolis and with acoustic and sensory connections to the subway. The frappée glykó ke me gála (sweet and with milk) tastes excellent and we have a good view of everything that happens here.

Freshly strengthened, we continue our tour and come to a street where one antique shop adjoins the other, where Christian and Uwe can’t get enough of them in shops that still sell real vinyl records from the 70s and 80s, where there are mountains of books in front of shops , Magazines, booklets, comics, VHS video cassettes and and and are piled up and waiting for customers and gyros grills with their smells make our mouths water. Dark-skinned street vendors offer their guaranteed almost genuine brand sunglasses and handbags from Gucci and Louis Vuitton and don’t let themselves be deterred by police officers who show up from time to time, but simply fold their “sales stands” out of cardboard boxes.

From almost every point on Plaka you have a view of the Acropolis

Amazed and strolling, now a bit tired, we come out of Psiri and the Plaka, now in the “decent” part of the city center, the area with the “normal” shops: boutiques, department stores, cafes, shoe stores and so on, where I also find the optician I mentioned earlier.

The clock is now ticking past 6:00 p.m. and we both agree that it is time to return to the ship. We leave the pedestrian zone in a north-easterly direction and soon reach the large square in front of the parliament building, from which “our” tram will soon bring us back to the harbor.

The big square in front of the parliament building. Straight ahead it goes into the pedestrian zone

In my mailbox I have a message from Vagélis that unfortunately he will not be able to come to dinner tonight. I call him back and thank him and Molly again for the great sight-seeing plan and briefly report on our beautiful day in Athens. We say goodbye to the rest of the family with mutual greetings.

Freshly groomed, we make our way to Vassili’s tavern around 9:00 p.m., where we have reserved a table for 9:30 p.m. Today it is a lot busier than it was a week and a half ago, and some of the ship’s crews enjoy the good cuisine.

Since Uwe has expressed great appetite for braised lamb, we ask Vassilis to serve us a slightly modified version of his meat menu. He immediately rushes into the kitchen to find out which variations he can offer, and after telling us that he has roast lamb and pork from the rotisserie instead of souflaki, bifteki, gyros and sausages, we are immediately enthusiastic and happy on the food. Starters, meat dishes and side dishes, drinks and desserts are again excellent, and around midnight we return to “Efi”.

It is a really mild and mild night, and so we sit on the upper deck with a last drink, enjoy the cloudless view of the Greek night sky and review the past few days.

Despite the loud music from the nearby discotheque (there is apparently a concert taking place there today with exclusively folkloric pop music – loud, but very good music) we sleep relatively well and let the Mediterranean water rock us into dreams for the last time this spring.

Saturday 5th May 2007

Today we can approach the day very calmly: we have breakfast in peace. Some of the crew took a shower before breakfast and the rest of them take care of it afterwards. All bags are already packed, only the bags that we will have with us as hand luggage are still open.

After washing the dishes, stripping the beds and taking away the last garbage bags, we take our luggage to the jetty, where Jorgos and Yannis greet us, wish us a good flight and credibly assure us that we will be happy to see you again soon .

We shoulder our luggage and trot to the bus stop, where we don’t have time to get impatient, because our “X96” stops about 3 minutes later and is only occupied by a few passengers properly and are brought to the airport at top speed.

Smutje, well rested on the bus to the airport

The journey we calculated for about 50 minutes is over there after 40 minutes, so that our counter at which we want to check in to Zurich is not yet open and we wait there as passengers number 1 to 4.

But soon we handed in our luggage and entered the “Inner-Circle”, where we left some money in the free tax shops. Here a little ouzo, there the obligatory olives, a little bit of scented water for the ladies at home and afterwards just fool around a little. We are also the first at the security check. The ladies there ask in disbelief if we really want to go to the waiting room. But yes, we want to go in there. But first all the drinks bottles and – cans are emptied or disposed of in the waste bin provided (security level).

We are also alone in the waiting room at first, but the mood soon returns there too.

We eat the remaining biscuits and chocolate, watch the other passengers, doze a little, Christian looks at my harvest of vacation pictures on my digital camera, and at some point the call comes for all passengers on the flight to Zurich to come to the check-in. Switch to go. A little more crowding there and in front of the door of the plane, and shortly afterwards, without any particular delay, we leave Greek soil.

The flight goes smoothly, a small meal will be served, but soon it will be “Dear passengers, we have just left our cruising altitude and will land in Zurich in about 15 minutes. Please stop using the washrooms with immediate effect, please switch off all electronic devices, put your backrests back upright and fold the tables up again “

After breaking through the cloud cover from above, Zurich welcomes us with gray skies and rain. On the runway, puddles glisten in the afternoon twilight, and rivulets of rain form on the windows.

Since the three northern lights will fly on in about an hour and a half, they have to hurry to check in and the farewell is correspondingly short. The check-in counter for my return flight is not yet shown on the monitors, but a Swiss employee can assure me on request that it will probably be one of those I am in front of.

So I can plan and have the opportunity to walk a little more through the shopping arcade, have a bite to eat somewhere and then, after I have checked in, go to the waiting area in peace.

As punctual as a Swiss clock, I take an Airbus in the direction of Munich, where, standing at the baggage carousel through the glass facade, through which you can look out to the short-term parking lot, I see Simone and give her a wink. She waves back and after I put my two bags on the cart I go to the exit, where we greet each other.

In Upper Bavaria it is also a bit overcast, but at temperatures around 20 ° C it is quite bearable. The way back home went without a noticeable incident, and half an hour later we were sitting at the dinner table with a Greek salad, Kalamata olives (freshly imported) and a glass of retsina. Káli oréksi (enjoy your meal).

… for a stranger, however, a trip to Greece can be a ravishing intoxication of beauty …… a deep Mediterranean delight for the eye. There are of course such earth, such stones, such light in other countries too. But here in Greece not only fills the eye with joy, not only the heart, but also deeply the spirit, because here I not only meet – as elsewhere – stones and earth and sea, but also great souls who fill this material space with life. ( freely based on Nikos Kazantzakis: from “In the magic of the Greek landscape”) EK