Meltemi Blues (and Images of Leros) 11th July 2017
It was forecast for the Meltemi to start blowing: we just didn't know how long for. We made our escape from Turkey, foregoing the delights of the islands of Symi, Tilos, or Nisyros, and worked our way west and north, past Kos to Pserimos in one hop. And the next day we headed straight for Leros, to the main port of Lakki, which we knew would be well sheltered and where there are the delights of the local shops and the company of fellow sailors. We had hoped to spend a couple of days then be able to go further north for a bit more exploring.
Once safely ensconced in Lakki, the wind blew and blew - a hot, dry wind that swirled up dust, grit and dried eucalyptus leaves and deposited them in every crevice of the boat, outside and in. And it blew for days - we spent a total of 6 days there with our time rapidly running out. That said, it is a lot cooler than Turkey and more bearable - low 30's deg C. And it is a good place to be stuck; we had the spectator sport of others' mooring antics, crossed anchors and general mayhem. We relished the good shops for fresh produce and bought treats - shellfish, sticky sweet pastries, cherries by the bucket. There is a beach for when it all got too much, and here the water is much cooler. And we have convivial company amongst the various nationalities also holed up here. There does seem to be a lot of Italians this year. It's a huge contrast to Turkey where we were often the only foreigners. I went out on the last day to take some pictures - because the place is well known to us (the island has been "home port" for Myrica for 3 years now) one tends to take it for granted and not have any pictures of it. So a small record.
We made an escape on Sunday for a bit of light relief and went south (not really a good idea?) to Xerocampos Bay where we could cool off and swim. Yesterday we had a good sail back north right to the top of the island, to Archangelos for more swimming and lunch and a bit of boat sorting out before coming across to Partheni where the boatyard is. We are now on a buoy near the lifting bay. They start lifting at 8am, we are ready and today we are hoping to be one of the first to come out. We have a long-ish list of tasks to complete today as we fly home tomorrow.
It's been a good, very hot, couple of months. We were glad to have the opportunity of re-visiting Turkey (it may not be so easy or comfortable for a while in the future). The boat now gets a rest, as do we…. We'll return at the end of August and see where we get to next. Until then, we shall leave the delights of the Meltemi to others. Myrica Out.