We are back in Australia for 6 months to enjoy the summer down under. So where did we leave ITIKI? Well we have left our beloved in the very capable hands of the Karpathakis family at Artemis Leros Boatyard on the northern end of the island of Leros. This small island is part of the Dodecanese group in the eastern Aegean. There is no marina here so all of the boat storage is on the hardstand which is what we wanted this year. It is easier on the boat especially as we are not on board to keep an eye on mooring lines etc. We are also in need of an anti-fouling after a season of heavy growth and hard bottom scrubbing.
Due west of the small island of Symi lies the even smaller island of Nisyros. This gem of an island is not to be missed and as it is on the way to Leros, why not. We have some more northerlies on the way but there is a small weather window and that is enough for a flying visit to this amazing island. Despite its size, it is jam packed with stuff to see! After an early start motoring from Symi we arrive in the middle of the day and have our pick of spots in the near empty Pali harbour. After a spot of lunch we pick up a hire car from Eagles nest, and we are given a laminated card with step by step instructions on what to see and how to get there. We follow this religiously...
After leaving Gocek bay we had one more overnight stop just outside the headland, and a little further west from Ragged bay where we stayed on the way in. This was really just to shorten the trip to Ekincek and make it a little easier on our VIP guests, my mum and brother Michael. This bay has the unlikely name of Kukukaga Koyu and is shallow enough to swing anchor which is a real bonus, as I am so over swimming lines ashore. As boats left we repositioned ourselves but sadly the music got louder and louder on one of the gulets (they were there before us). Keith went over to see if they were staying the night and as they were, and expected to be kicking on until the wee hours, we moved around the corner to Buyukaga Koyu. That meant swimming lines ashore at dusk but it is just as nice a bay and very quiet. Such a shame that one boat can completely ruin a beautiful place with noise pollution.
When we set about planning season 2019, we still had a few question marks about our route and timing. Our winterising location was also yet to be chosen, however we had decided we wanted ITIKI to spend her winter on dry land, which is much easier on the boat. With friends and family wanting to join us in September we had to take a guess where we would be wintering and on balance thought it would probably be in Turkey at Marmaris. So a trip to Turkey was pencilled in towards the end of the season. As it turned the island of Leros in Greece was finally chosen as the place to go for winter, fortunately not too far from our cruising grounds in Turkey.
Lynda is slowly getting used to the transition from working to not working and racing to cruising.