Category Archives: Sail Blog 2014

ARTEMIS LEROS BOAT YARD

Bella Luna is now on the hard in Artemis Leros Boat yard.  Artemis is located on the west side of the runway in Partheni bay on the north tip of Leros.  It is a remote place with two boat yards and an airport.  It is about 5 km to civilization.

The Roodberg lifting device, lifted us out of the water without any drama.  Two hours later Bella was propped with metal supports.  The Artemis Boat Yard is a new family owned company.  The family are also in the shipping business with their own ship.  The yard opened its doors in late August.  This first year is a start up year with very competitive prices.  Electricity and water is already in place and there is room for 250 boats on the hard.

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Bella is tied up and the “Roodberg lift” slides underneath

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Bella comes out of the water

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Bella is towed to the storage area.

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Propping the boat correctly is important!

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New galvanized supports

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Room for 250 yachts

The preparation for the new yard started already 3 years ago.  Large amounts of filler have been used to to make the ground firm.   There is a 3 m high fence with barb wire around the area. Surveillance cameras, lights and a security guard 24/7 is making sure boats are left alone.  If that is not enough, there are 100 goats watching outside the fence.

Goats on guard

Goats on guard

There are WC, showers and washer dryer for the customers.  The management with General manager Kalliopi and Technical manager Nikkos have made us feel at home.  So far we feel very happy with our choice of this winter yard.

Poppi

“Poppi” Kalliopi

Technical manager Nikkos

Nikkos

 

 

LEROS ISLAND

We were not scheduled to come out of the water for another four days but due to the weather forecast the yard decided sooner was better. Indeed, 36 hours later the gale force winds began.
The technical manager, Nikos, drove us to our hotel and recommended a friend’s restaurant. While eating, in walks several guys and one of them is the policeman who drove Roland back and forth from their station to the boat. (story in previous blog). He gave a big smile and a thumbs up when he recognized Roland. As they sat next to our table there were laughs as he explained what happened to his buddies. He then bought Roland a beer.

LEROS ISLAND

Because of the high winds we took a break from working on the boat to drive around the Island. We drove to the top to see the castle and the traditional windmills of Leros. The Castle was build in the 11th century by the Byzantine empiror Alexios Komninos and it was given to the Bishop Christodulos. It was later occupied by the St.John’s Knight’s and later on by the Ottomans. When outside we had to hang on to handrails due to the strong gusting winds. Also visiting at the same time was the recent graduates of the Greek Coast Guard, all dressed in their white uniforms.

Windmills

Windmills on Leros and castle

View from the castle

View from the castle

Coast Guard visting the castle

Coast Guard visting the castle

As we were driving down we stopped in the lee of the wind to get a photo and notice the sailboat we saw earlier anchored in a very dangerous and uncomfortable place with the storm, being towed by a fishing boat. They were in that anchorage because their engine quit due to fuel problems.

Sailboat towed to safety

Sailboat towed to Pandeli

To the other side of the island we visited the War Museum which is on display in the tunnels built by the Italians during WWII. Leros had been under the fascist regime of Italy for 31 years, during which time they established a strategic naval base. During the war Leros was bombed by the British Royal Air Force and later in the fall months of l943 it was heavily bombed and invaded by the Germans, who defeated the British and Italians and conquered the island. The Nazi flag flew from the Castle of Leros.

War tunnel

War tunnel

The church of Agios Isidoros stands on a very small island and is connected to the land by a narrow walkway. This little chapel is built on the site of a ancient temple.

Agios Isidoros

Agios Isidoros Church

Leros hosts several nice beaches around the island. It was nice to see that large touristic developments have not occurred so it feels very authentic, calm and relaxed.

Sailboat Nr. 13 stored at the yard is owned by Anders and Birgitta from Sweden. They have been sailing “Cache-Cache for several years in the Greek Islands and know Leros very well. We had two lovely evenings with them and over dinners they gave us more insight about the island and all the people they have met over the years.

After 3 days of winds, they finally stopped so we could then get the cover installed on Bella Luna before they started again the next day. She is now ready for her winter rest.

Bella ready for winter

Bella ready for winter next to Cache-Cache

BACK TO GREECE

KNIDOS

This lovely anchorage was right next to a fantastic setting of the well defined ruins of the city: 2 theatres, temples, the agora, city walls and main street steps plus a lot of artifacts dating back to 2nd century AD. Because of the size it was very impressive. Our next and last stop in Turkey will be where we started, D-Marin in Turgutreis where we will officially check out of Turkey.
Turkey was such a special place to visit and a wonderful cruising area. We are leaving with very fond memories of the wonderful people we met, the impressive ruins and the beautiful scenery.

Knidos anchorage

Knidos anchorage

Main street

Main street

Temple

Temple

The store front

The store front

View of Knidos lighthouse

View of Knidos lighthouse

Hellenic symbol

Hellenic symbol

We cleared out of Turkey in Turgotreis. As it is mandatory with an agent we called the same woman who helped us clearing in. Roland thought 70 € for 20 minutes work was a little bit to much. But she showed no mercy, and said all agents charges the same.  After clearing out we got a nice sail to Lakki on Leros.

We arrived to Lakki once again and the first order of business was clearing back into Greece. What should of taken 30 minutes took approximately 2+ hours. First to the Port Authority which went fast but then gave directions to go to the Civil Police department in another village for their stamp.

Roland showed up with a NEW Greek Entry Form he printed from the internet and when he presented it to the Civil Police, there was immediate chaos and phone calling. They had not seen this form. Finally they filled out their part and stamped the paper but then realized they stamped the incorrect date. Roland thought the police officer who did this would cry. As this was a new form, they did not have any. So the police drove Roland back to Bella Luna in the police car so he could print out another form. A young police officer who was the driver had just arrived to the island 3 days prior so Roland had to give him instructions to drive to the village where we were moored. New papers in hand and back to the police station for the right date stamp. The police Captain decided he wanted to ride along on the way back. The whole experience was quite funny and entertaining. We did get a recommendation for good restaurants on the island from the Police Captain as we will be here for several days. The clearing in procedure did not cost anything in Greece as we already had a DEPKA.

The next day while at a gas station buying gearbox oil, a Greek man approaches us and asks if we are from Sweden????? He use to live in Sweden and his late wife was Danish. His name is Alex and he is known on Leros because he holds the record for catching the biggest Tuna, 250kg.

His boat was behind the fuel station where he keeps it for the winter. It is a small motor boat and he has it equipped like a true professional that he is. He use to fish crabs in Alaska and lived in Seattle so we had much to talk about. Alex also lived in Japan for some years. He set us up with some fishing gear that is guaranteed to catch us fish in the MED. We have promised not to spread his secret! He was a very interesting character that you could listen to for hours. At 80 years old he is still going strong and has a great outlook on life. He loves to go out fishing on the days he is inspired and play his classical music on his wonderful stereo system. The Dolphins always come and visit him as they love the music too.

This morning walking to the bakery, I saw a new crowd of refugees sitting on the dock next to the Coast Guard boat. They were attempting to enter Greece via a inflatable boat and when they saw the Coast Guard boat they sliced holes in the boat so they would have to be rescued by the CG. They will be processed and then released to their own accord but will be informed they can only stay within the EU for 6 months.

Further down the street what I thought was students playing as they prepared to start school was actually a protest that I got in the middle of and knew immediately this was something serious. I later learned that they were protesting to have a teacher removed from the school. Seems the teacher loves animals and frequently when she sees a stray dog or cat in the street, she leaves the students and goes out into the street to rescue the animal. The kids were successful in their protest and the teacher will have to leave her position within one week. Unfortunately in the process of the riot the kids did do some damage to the school property.

We have now arrived to the north end of the Leros Island where the Artemis Leros Boat yard  is located and where Bella Luna will spent the winter until we return in April 2015.