The motor sail from Kalimnos to Leros was non-eventful, except scaring myself shitless when a ferry appeared from behind a rock doing 30 knots. One emergency collision avoidance maneuver later and Odin and Esper have arrived at Pandeli, Leros, from where I write these last few log entries.
Emborios is a tiny hamlet with just a couple of restaurants who provide mooring buoys for yotties. Yep, you guessed it, another task as yet not undertaken single-handed. I think I performed it admirably, even if I say so myself, especially after tying up and watching a another boat make a real pig’s ear of it all: lost boat hooks, screaming skipper, trembling wife, usual story.
Pserimos is a little island in between Kos and Kalimnos and is clearly a weekend hangout for the young Greeks from the neighbouring islands. The tiny bay in which I anchored was littered with RIBS, jet skis, speedboats and day-trippers. We enjoyed a sundowner at Sunset cafe, where the waiter graciously reduced our beers from €3 to €2.50, stating “I don’t want my restaurant to get a reputation as being expensive”. Even so, €2.50 for a large beer? Clearly I was going to have to do some adjusting, now that I am back in Europe.
“What are you doing in Kos?” my cousin asked over the phone. “It’s full of gay bars.” You’d know I suppose, Jay, I’m just here to use the internet. Easier said than done, mind. When we anchored off Kardemena, a sprawling town for chavs, the northerlies were hitting 30 knots. At least anchoring was easy but I was amazed at how much fetch could build in such a short space of sea. Rowing over to Odin for a beer was ludicrously difficult…
My troubles started when I attempted to turn the engine off. I pressed the ‘off’ button and nothing happened, the engine continued to trundle away. “Relay switch”, I thought. I picked up instructions manuals, reference books, and anything else that might offer a solution. In the end I bottled it and called John on the VHF.
Liz has left me. She has gone and now it is just me, the cat and Esper. To pull myself out of my misery I attempted some single handed sailing, proving to myself and the world that I can stand alone, man against the elements, a conqueror, a hero. Impressive was the fact that I have never sailed solo before; even more impressive was that I managed to log two continents. Well, this all sounds good on paper, but the reality was that my first week was a complete screaming disaster. Dragging anchors, smashed solar panels, dysfunctional engines and rolling harbours all contributed to me desperately wanting my Queenie back on board. All this is set against a background of consistent 25-30knot winds that have been plaguing the Greek Islands all month. The usual self-deprecation is illustrated with loads of pics (look out for ‘Moon Goat’) and a couple of video clips too.