Sicily to Cyprus
A few pictures of our last few stops in Crete before departing for Cyprus.
Ruins from the Palace of Knossos
|An artists reconstruction of the palace of Knossos|
|Raki... fire water|
|notice the plastic lids?... they are to deduce rats |
from climbing on the boats via the mooring lines
they drive the tanker onto the quay and fuel boats at their slip
With hopes of a short passage and what appeared to be a good weather window Inishnee and crew, Jim and Kathy, left for Cyprus. The sea changed from flat to bumpy pretty quickly but we were sailing. Another check below decks to secure things and we settled in for 3+/- days. We followed the course closely. Nine miles ahead there is a shallow spot. 6 feet (2 meters) deep! It is marked on the charts but there is no buoy on the sea to indicate it. The closer we got the more the sea roiled, tossing us and our belongings about. After passing the skinny spot the seas flatten to a tolerable jostling. The winds continued till after dark when the engine was forced into duty. Shifts rotated throughout the night with 4 hour shifts. Lightening illuminating the moonless sky in the distance.
|We're bound to get wet|
|trying to stay dry|
Thursday began pleasant enough. Motor-sailing. By late afternoon the skies filled with clouds and rumbles, ever so faint, threatened to bring a change in circumstances. As a precaution we we doused all the sails and put essential electronics in the oven, which insulates the components if we take a hit by lightning. We continue through the night, motoring-sailing. The winds had picked up to 20 -25 knots. We put a 3rd reef in the main and gib rolled half way. The night would bring many more sail changes, the motor on and off.
Friday. The wind continued to change through out the day. Rain always on the horizon with lightening. With so much storm activity it was inevitable that we would get wet. When the skied open up it poured, lightening all around, 1000 one, 1000 two , 1000 three…. crrRRACCKk. Way too close. All hatches closed, Jim in the companionway trying to stay our of the wind and rain. By afternoon the skies brightened and a small wren type bird came to call… Very alert, it rested for a couple hours then flew off not to return… good luck!
We took advantage of the calm seas and refueled. A long slow process only attempted under extreme calm conditions. The engine off. The jerry jugs untied and lugged to the deck fitting where they are carefully and slowly drained of their life giving fuel. 45 minutes. Jugs secured back to the outer deck we fired up the engine and got underway again. Dinner alfresco with the setting sun.
|calm seas to refuel|
Inishnee, what are your intentions?
We are under sail and heading toward Cyprus…
Are you aware of what we are doing out here?
No sir. We are not.
We are towing a 6 mile long sonar cable…. Please change your course.
We noticed you stopped for quite a while several hours ago…
Yes sir. We were refueling… (note : they saw us on AIS and monitored our position.)
whew… so. This company was NOT broadcasting with AIS so we had no way to know what they were doing. They were able to monitor our position and track us however (AIS?). They did inform us they had broadcast their situation on VHF (which we heard in Greek but had know way of interpreting). That could have ended … poorly.
|Cyprus has a LOT of graffiti, everywhere|
Most of it really bad
This was at least interesting
Saturday. Cyprus on the horizon. 3 days nearly to the minute. We were greeted by the Chris from the marina as we approached the harbor entrance. He led us to the receiving wall where we tied off and were then welcomed by other staff members… The facility is run by ‘Camper & Nickolsons’ Marinas and caters to the rich and richer… What the H are we doing here you might ask… well. The cruisers marinas were already full so it was here or…. another country.
The facility is very posh. The mega yachts know how to live. Although for the most part it’s there crews that are here and the owners come and go in their Bently’s or helicopters…. (yes, there is a hilo pad here.
The marina complex is built on ‘new’ land. There are islands with Venice type bridges connecting them to the mainland. Golf carts transport people and goods to and from. One of the yachts required 3 tankers of fuel while they berth here before moving on to the next fuel stop… We might be slow but our fuel bill will never come close to theirs…
A weekend arrival can mean extra fees but we were allowed to wait till Monday for the customs official. We were escorted to our winter berth. Tied off and spent the weekend cleaning, resting and unwinding.
Monday morning. Jim headed off for his 9am appointment with the officials.
Could you give us a few more minutes?
Sure, I’ll wait outside…
|Yum.... the hanging sausage looking stuff is traditional greek candy|
Made from grape must, nuts and flour
Thanks, maybe 15 minutes…
Better yet, you come back in an hour…
one hour later:
Please, I need your paper work…
After looking it over…
Oh. I see we have been in the EU for over 30 days. Where is your VAT certificate? (proof of tax $$$ paid to the government on boats, etc)
We don't have to pay this unless we have been in the country for over 180 days…
Sir, you are an EU resident No ma’am. I am a US citizen / resident. (Jim has dual citizenship with Ireland which they noted)
Well, this questioning continued for quite some time trying Jim’s patients *and he shows tremendous restraint when dealing with the many officials of different countries. The final out come… Kathy had to sign papers as the “owner” of the vessel and agree to their many restrictions… Time allowed in the country being foremost, meaning she, Kathy would have to leave Cyprus within the next few months to comply with tourist permits, etc. ughhhh
it is not advised to eat them straight from the tree
Crew Inishnee started looking for places to travel out of the EU and cyprus over the next few days. With the holidays fast approaching and grandkids and the family members unseen for well over a year… tickets were purchased for a holiday to the states!
Forecast?… snow for the crew of Inishnee
Preparations are underway for life aboard while here, now and later.
Where is the grocery store? walk 3 blocks, catch the bus, walk another 3 blocks
The bus stops / terminal? Just outside of the marina complex, which is huge and filled with chain restaurants and high end shopping.
The laundry? There is NO self serve laundry. But, the marina with arrange for pick up and delivery of your clothes, etc… Kathy was handed a price sheet and instructions (thank goodness she did NOT have her reading glasses with or she would have embarrassed her self right there at the concierges desk… 1 tee shirt = 3 euros; a pair of undies = 2.50 euros, pants = 4 euros… you get the idea?!!! We decided it would be cheaper to toss our clothes rather than to send them off of cleaning! We did finally locate a reasonable drop off place… take the number 30 bus to The Oval, walk 3 blocks… wait 4 hours and your laundry is clean and dry… very doable.
Mail… Unbelievable. We ordered mail and a package from the states 2 days after arriving in Gibraltar… months ago! When we left 5 weeks later is still had not arrived. Another cruiser agreed to forward it to us when (if) it arrived. Its been over 3 months and we just received 1 of the two packages… the other ? . Had we been able to for see the future… we could have saved hundreds!!! of dollars in international shipping and picked it up while holidaying in the states.
Cooking gas… In Europe they use butane with european fittings… of course. Knowing we might have a problem, we have onboard an adaptor for converting the fittings… But finding someone to do this… !!!! Our propane tank went AWOL while in Sicily for neatly 2 weeks while locals tried to fill the tank… we managed to get it back after MUCH insisting just before departing…
As Kathy types this we are in Cyprus and Jim is once again checking with the chandlery that said they could have it filled and returned in a day or so. Island time seems the same all over… But after only 10 days, we did finally get the tank back and FILLED! WoooHooo!!! In the mean time the hose when bad and it too had US fittings. Several miles of goose chasing (on foot) did end with a new hose, correct fittings and a proper flow of gas to the stove.
We are soon to leave for the U.S. and will return to Inishnee after the holidays.
More images from Crete... museum pieces and street scenes
|Humans were sometimes buried in funerary clay jars|
then placed in a tomb
An ancient myth ...Your ticket to the underworld.
To ensure your passage to the afterlife, you must pay your way to the gods. People were buried with coins to pay their fare.
Many sailors place a (silver) coin under the mast of their boats, part for luck, part for the passage if the unthinkable should happen.
Inishnee has 3 such coins. One from the original owner; a Loonie (Canadian $1 coin with the image of a loon), a U.S. silver dollar, and a euro...
You can't be too careful