Goats in Boats and Harvest Moons, Wednesday 30th September
It was very nice to catch up with Silent Wings for a meal and next day for tea and cake. We have been crossing paths regularly since first meeting in Gibraltar and seem to be able to pick up where we left off. The sun is back. We were sort of heading in similar directions, but plans change - as they do. We wanted to go to the tiny island of Levitha (S. Cyclades borders) and then on to Amorgos, both of them new to us.
Levitha we managed: a little gem of a place with one farm, a taverna run by the farmer/fisherman's wife, and goats. We stayed first on a buoy put down by the farmer (one of 11), then the next night off to anchor in a perfectly private little cove. Whilst on the buoy, we witnessed a small herd of goats in a trailer being hauled down the little jetty by tractor. It backed up to the edge. A little boat parked its nose in to the trailer and, one by one, the goats either leapt or were hauled by their horns into the boat. They were ferried across the small bay to another feeding ground. The son in the boat explained it was easier than sending them over the rough terrain and gullies and then herding them into new enclosures (easier for them, that it - for the goats it would have been a piece of cake), and besides, more fun! Well, goats in boats were a new one for us.
In our "private cove" we were treated to the sights of buzzards and falcons and, we thought, maybe one eagle.
An eye on the forecasts changed our minds about Amorgos and we headed up to Patmos, an island we had first visited 2 years ago. Here there is one of the most striking Choras (white-washed mountain-top chief village) topped by a magnificent Monastery to St. John, and three perfectly restored windmills complete with proper canvas sails and beautiful wooden spars. Halfway down to the port through the woods is St. John's Cave of the Apocalypse (pic just for Alastair given his comments on blood moons), where John had his visions and wrote them down for all posterity - full details in the 2013 blog for Patmos. Although having been before, it was a treat to re-visit all this, as well as the lovely little shops, galleries and cobbled streets of the Skala or Port.
The forecasts have been advising F6/7 NW winds for midweek - still beautifully sunny, hot and sparkly - but windy and a bit rough. The port is not the most comfortable place in these conditions, so after a good stock-up, we ventured out and around the corner to Ormos Agriolivadhi on Patmos. Here we can sit out the wind in beautiful surroundings and safely swim and explore. We are here in the company of 3 other like-minded boats - 1 German, 1 Canadian from Vancouver and 1 Greek - Thetis, who we have met before and who has invited us over later for an ouzo. Not a bad way to watch the wind.
The night skies are unpolluted and starry. We had a fabulous harvest moon - sadly no blood moon for us as we're too far east, but very fine nonetheless.