Saturday, May 16, 2009

A night in the underbelly of Rhodes

A morning mist covered the water as we raised our anchor and sneaked out of Kastellorizo in the first light of day. Our Greek pilot guide states: "In all my sailing around Greek waters in every month of the year, I have encountered fog only rarely". Well despite that reassurance the early morning mist quickly turned into an impenetrable wall of fog. For a couple of hours we slowly edged our way through the bank, blindly navigating with the radar and listening out for other ships.

Apart from the early morning excitement of the fog the 70 miles to Rhodes was uneventful with no wind and engine taking the strain. Mark decided that Kika's cockpit could do with a polish and we both set-to with the rubbing compound and polish - what a crew!

The pilot guide put me off visiting the main harbour - "Madraki is hopelessly crowded in the summer, with charter operators zealously guarding their berths... fouled anchors are a common occurrence in Madraki simply because there are so many yachts." Instead we headed for the yet to be completed (or started) Rhodes marina; an industrial dock fringed by numerous scrap heaps including the last resting place for old Russian built inter-island hydrofoils.
The contrast with picturesque Kastellorizo was stark. One positive was the proximity to a "Euro Spar". My shopping methods still need to adapt to life in Europe. I have to stop myself filling-up the boat, anticipating long periods away from the next well stocked outlet and am still surprised and excited each time I find well-stocked shelves. Sadly extended periods with no use for a wallet seem long gone.

While we were shopping the only other yacht in the harbour guarded Kika from the local youth. Rumour has it that other yachts have returned to discover they have to negotiate a price for the return of their fenders and other removable items.

The next morning as we we sailed past other yachts moored in the well-located old town marina that didn't look particular full, Mark stretched his ability to find a positive with "at least our port wasn't busy, was close to the shops and was free". As our Germanic friends might say "and that was really something".

16/5/09, Rhodes: N36deg 25.0' E28deg 14.0'

No comments: