Sunday, August 30, 2009

Istanbul to Samos


After visiting the impressive sites of Istanbul and dining in fabulous restaurants, my wife Ilse and I started our trip cruising from Atakoy Marina through Bosporus Straits to Poyraz, looking into the Black Sea, and then further to Princess Islands, where we anchored in Cam Limani in the South of Heybeliada. We expected a quiet beautiful bay, but reality was different: crowded, loud disco-music, dirty water, lot of wind.

So we started early next morning and sailed with 6Bft from starboard to beautiful Port Maramara, where we replenished our provisions and had dinner at Calif restaurant.

Next day we continued sailing to Gelibolu, where we anchored west of the harbor. We had very good fish at the famous Ilhane restaurant and enjoyed a quiet night.

In the morning we hoisted our Genua only
and dashed thru the beautiful Dardanelles, using the current to a max speed of 10kn. Afternoon we arrived in Bozcaada harbor and had a real gourmet dinner at Lodos restaurant.

Next morning we sailed to the south of Bozcaada, anchored for a swim and then had troubles getting our anchor up, which was stuck between rocks. Only after two courageous runs with full power forward over the anchor we were able to get it back from beautiful Bozcaada island. We continued to Behramkale and anchored east of the harbor, which seemed far to small for us. Because of a strong northwest we decided to stay on board and cooked a creative risotto with cucumber.

Early in the morning the wind calmed down,
so we were able to visit ancient Assos and had a beautiful view over Lesbos Strait. After a refreshing swim we continued to Ayvalik archipelago, spent afternoon at Guemues Koyu and finally anchored in Alibey harbor. After a delicious dinner at Bay Nihat restaurant we had some problems finding our dinghi, because some harbor doors were closed and a motorboat wanted our mooring place. Finally back on board we spent a stormy night, but our good anchor held unperturbed in Alibey harbor.

Arriving at Dikili, the manager of the cooperative of the local fishermen gave us the last mooring place in the crowded harbor directly at the fishrestaurant. Next day he organized a taxi for our visit of ancient Bergamon,
which was most impressive in comparisson to our visit 30 years before. After the second night in Dikili we had to go thru the Turkish exit-procedures with the usual visits to police, customs and harbormaster. We had the impression being the first people to do this in a year because most officials seemed to see our Turkish travellog for the first time.

Likewise time-consuming were the Greek entry-formalities in Mitilini after our short passage to Lesbos, where we finally moored stern-to in the large and noisy harbor. We took two days visiting all archeological sites and museums. Most impressive was Teriade museum south of Mitilini with a collection of works from Picasso, Chagall, Matisse etc. A nice culinary surprise was dinner at the Lemoni kai Prasino Piperi restaurant in the southwestern corner of the harbor.

We continued north relaxing and swimming in Pamfilla bay and then west where we moored in Petras. For the passage to Limnos we started early and arrived in Freshwater Bay in the afternoon, where we anchored near a beautiful sandy beach and relaxed there for three quiet days, enhanced by a short roundtrip and an excellent fishsoup in Moidros Bay.

We explored the south coast of Limnos, swimming and spending one night in the east Bay of Ormos ThanosEast, and finally arrived in Mirina harbor, where we anchored and climbed up to the beautiful castle.

After spending a windy day in Ormos Platy we sailed with strong northerly winds through very high and confused seas back to the west of Lesbos, where we anchored in the clear and cold waters of the beautiful Bay at Sigri.

Next day on the way to Kolpos Kallonis I heard a strange beating sound while motoring. I found the starboard aft mounting of the Volvo diesel becoming loose and fixed it provisorlily while anchoring near Eressou beach. Then we entered Kallonis Bay and anchored at Apothiki in very strong winds.

Continuing east next day with a closed reefed genua I suddenly saw, that the mounting of the genua furler was loose on one side. Counting myself lucky I was able to fix the other side with a spare screw and motored into Plumari harbor. Thanks to a very able mechanic we were able to fix the bolt of the mounting of the genua furler after releasing the backstays a bit. In the evening the nice mechanic came again and adjusted the motor mounting which was not adjusted due to my rough-and ready fixation the last day. Plumary is a nice town, we spent two days there relaxing and replenishing our provisions.

Leaving Plumary with repairs done we reached the eastern Bay of Ormos Tarti, where we anchored and relaxed. But the wind grew stronger again and next morning we left south for Chios. When the wind slowed down we decided to go to Marmaro Bay, but coming nearer the wind grew very stronmg again. So we had to change course again for Mandraki harbor south of Oinoussa. Mandraki was full with motor yachts and we were sent away. But we found a quiet place next to the harbor, where we went for a swim and spent the night undisturbed.

When the wind increased again, we sailed down south to unfinished but secure Marina Chios,
where we lay alongside for three days, renting a car and doing first a roundtrip south to Nea Moni, Lithion, Mesta, Phyrgos and Karfas. The next roundtrip was north to Anavatos, Limnia, Kampia, Viki, Nagos, Kardamyla and Marmaro Bay.

Weather forecast announced much stronger winds for the future, so we started our last leg to Samos with northerly 7Bft winds and arrived there in the evening at Posidonias Bay, where it was quiet and nice. So we spent two days there before dailing the last 5 miles into Samos Marina.

It was an eventful cruise with lots of wind and some quiet and relaxing days.

You can view this cruise in Google Maps

You can play this kmz-File in Google Earth