We had been on Alonissos island for a while, waiting for Max’s hand to heal and then waiting for some packages to be delivered – with parts for boat repairs. Then on one glorious day, the packages arrived, and our friends Oliver, Sinem and their son Henry on sailing vessel High Flight dropped by to say hello! We had met each other in the Ionian and followed the same route for a while. We kept meeting until we parted ways at some point. So now, two crazy sailing families were reunited! It was great to see them again and we quickly decided we would sail together for a bit, towards Limnos or Lesbos or Chios, we would figure it out along the way.
Back on the Road
So after shopping for provisions and finishing some last-minute jobs we set off the next day. We spent a few nights anchored in a gorgeous little bay called Planitis. Then we trekked on to Evstratios – described by the pilot book as the loneliest outpost in the northern Aeagean. We had a lovely day actually sailing (so with the sails up and the wind from the right direction!). We also had fun taking photos of each others’ boats with the sails up. It’s not often that we get the chance to photograph our own boats underway. There just isn’t a selfie-stick that’s long enough… Indeed Evstratios proved a remote and barren place. So imagine our surprise when in the middle of the night a massive ferry moored up alongside us, with its bright lights, whistles, music, and an enormous anchor dropping right next to us. A bit frightening, but we pulled ourselves together and went back to sleep alright.
The weather forecast predicted strong winds. In this part of Greece, a strong wind often blows from the north-east in July and August. This wind is called the meltemi. So we hurried to the island Limnos the next day, and found a sheltered bay where we planned to ride out the meltemi for a couple of days. I thought the bay looked pretty inhospitable at first, but as we went closer to the beach, we discovered some parasols and tents, and a little fresh-water stream coming in. After we had a swim and a play on the beach, the idyllic scene was completed by the sound of bells from a herd of sheep that came cavorting down the hill. So this would be our safe haven for a couple days.
The wind picked up and blew for 3-4 days. We spent the time watching films, reading stories, eating too much, and playing board games. When the waves were not too high, we would take the dinghy over to our friends on High Flight, or the beach. I was a bit scared the first night, as the wind made such a whooshing and roaring sound, and it was pitch black at night because there was a new moon. Then I got used to it and it was not too bad. The anchor held us in place, and it was nice to have friends nearby to wave at and chat to on the radio. ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Yes we are fine. How many films have you seen today?’ ‘We are on our third…’ and so on and so forth.
Time for Fun in the Sun
When the winds died down, we briefly went back to shore to get more supplies and enjoyed a couple of hours back in ‘civilisation’. But it was soon time to head for another beautiful bay for a few more days of swimming and beach combing. Then our friends left us, needing to be on the move again on their way to Turkey. It was wonderful to sail together for a longer while. This life does get lonely sometimes as we come and go everywhere so quickly We meet many people but we don’t often get to really make friends. Meeting another family with a similar outlook on life and who are actually following their crazy dreams too, is really special.