August 15, temperature 35c: we returned to Bella Luna at Zea Marina in Piraeus near Athens. When we arrived to the marina in July, there was only one bow line available for our slip. We did not feel comfortable with this and upon arriving back to Göteborg, Roland sent them a email asking them to install another bow line. Within 3 days of the email they sent a photo showing that they had installed the missing one AND replaced the existing one with a new line. Great Service. The staff was always very friendly so overall we were pleased and can recommend them. I am suspicious that some kind soul washed Bella Luna because I just could not believe after sitting in a big city for 3 weeks she could be so clean, especially the waterline. If that kind soul reads this, A SINCERE THANK YOU!!
Across from the marina is a very large supermarket, several marine chandleries and multiple restaurants. We can highly recommend the Italian Restaurant, Parmagiana. Very good food and good prices! The bus stop for the airport bus is VERY close to the marina so easy access. Our first anchorage was very welcome! We immediately jumped in the water. Being in a marina is nice for a short time, but oh so hot. It was nice to be back at anchor with the breeze and the ability to swim at will. The next morning we had a brisk sail crossing to the Cyclades Islands. As our destination is Turkey, where we will spend the remaining time of this season, we took a very fast trip through the central portion of these Islands. Passing a anchorage on Mikonos, was a very large and tall Mega Motor Yacht with a water slide from the top of the fly bridge down to the sea. That looked to be a real thrill for the kids.
Patmos Island is the northern most of the Dodecanese. The island is 3 barren volcanic lumps joined to one another by narrow isthmuses. Patmos is the spiritual centre of the Greek Orthodox Church after Mt Athos. Atop a hill sits a monastery surrounded with fortified walls in honor of St. John.Also the Church of the Apocalypse and the Cave of St. Anne where St. John spoke the fiery words of God to his disciple, so says legend,but no proof he actually wrote the Apocalypse while on Patmos. There are serene anchorages in contrast to the very active port village of Skala. We liked this island.
The small island of Arkhangelos was a charming anchorage and good protection from the prevailing winds despite its size. We fell asleep and woke up to the ringing of the sheep bells as they wandered around the island. A quite impressive private fireworks display in the evening by a visiting yacht and local music (vocal and guitar) from the one Taverna in the bay. They had a nice sound system so all the boats could enjoy across the bay. In the morning I watched the bright red sunrise over Turkey. Again, a lovely spot with a bit of a wild west feeling
Our last Greek island for this season was Leros. We investigated the Leros marina and yard which was very well organized, clean and gave a very good impression. It seems to be very well protected from weather. Many boats winter here on land and in the water. We then walked to the Coast Guard Office. It was a large building with a rod iron fence around it. Inside the fence in the large courtyard was at least 100 refugees. We could only assume they crossed from Turkey. Most of them were under 40, some small children. It is one thing to see these images on the television or internet and quite another to see in person. They had water hoses for cooling themselves off and although the courtyard gate was closed, the office building door was wide open. We did some last minute shopping and pulled up anchor and next stop will be Turkey.