In the Spring of 2014 we returned to Turkey and Greece to once again join up with Jack & Yvonne on their 75′ gullet Teodora, this time with Jack’s daughters Kimi and Karen joining us, along with his granddaughter Malaika. The timing was similar to our trip last year, two weeks in length and starting from the same place in Bodrum, but a few new places were added to explore in both Greece and Turkey. Teodora’s hull had been recently painted, the wood varnished and new white cushion covers added so she looked really good sitting at the dock in Bodrum. We flew in from Nice to Istanbul but our flight was late landing and getting to the gate, and then the immigration line-ups were very long so we ended up missing our connecting flight. Fortunately they had another one latter that day and we finally arrived at the boat around 11PM.
Day one and two were spent gathering provisions and of course a little shopping, which Bodrum is known for. Our first port of call was Kos, to sign into Greece only (not much to see in Kos), and then we headed to the volcanic island of Nisiros, spending our first night there. We docked in a small marina in the town of Mandraki, (Pali’s port is too shallow), and spent the day exploring the town. The next day we rented a car and scooter and drove up to and down into a volcano that is in the center of the island. Actually, the whole island is just one big volcano. Some of us walked down into the crater and on the way you could really smell the sulphur. Once down, in the center were puddles of boiling water and you could hear more water boiling underneath the ground. Steam was continually rising in different places as it escaped to the surface. From there we drove to the small village of Nikia, built up on the hillside overlooking the ocean and the volcano. Nikia is perched high on a mountain ledge and is a very picturesque, typical, quaint Greek village with great views looking back towards Kos. And there are even better views from the monastery just above the town. This is a great island to explore by scooter and many do.
The next morning we headed for island of Symi, one of our favorites. We spent the night in a beautiful cove just west of the town of Symi, with steep cliffs and very clear waters that were turquoise near shore and then turned into a deep bluish-purple, something we had never seen before. We took out the paddle boards and paddled around and explored the beach. Next morning we got up for more boarding and swimming, and then headed to the town of Symi. We moored in front of the restaurant Pantelis, on the northeast corner of the inlet. This is a busy port with cruise ships, ferries and boats of all sizes continually coming in and out of the harbor. The two shores of the inlet have boats tied Med style but it is so narrow that anchor lines are frequently tangled up. When a good wind is blowing through, which is frequently, this makes it extra difficult to dock and even easier for anchor lines to cross. There are also ferries and cruises frequently coming in and out of the narrow port, which adds to the excitement. And as a day’s sailing comes to an end, boats scramble for the last available spaces available, creating more panic and confusion. Very exciting and fun to watch from the bow of Teodora. Symi is a lovely town, well protected both as a port and with regards to the architecture styles of the homes and commercial buildings. They obviously have stricter rules regarding colors and building regulations. That evening Pantelis had a dance show of traditional Greek dancing was put on followed by a jazz trio right behind our boat so we had front row seats! We ordered at the restaurant and had them deliver on board. Que servicio!