Week 190: Season 2024 is properly underway

We leave Mytilini for Sigri and set off to cross to Limno.

Week 190: Season 2024 is properly underway
Farewell dinner at Pita Makers

You have to seize the opportunities. It's too easy on a boat to find yet another reason NOT to leave the marina. There's always something else to fix. Something else to have delivered. Or "in two weeks, we have to be back here anyway."

We decided to go. We'll make the best of the time we do have in this interrupted season and head off to explore! It's time, even if we need to be back here again in two weeks. More and more boats have been leaving after winter, driven in part by the unseasonably warm weather in the early part of April. It's just too nice to be sitting on the dock waiting.

There were a few medical appointments to attend, some food to stock up on, and a few last-minute chores, and by Wednesday, we were ready to go. Our watermaker is still not functioning properly, so we had the mechanic lined up to visit on Thursday morning to try to diagnose the issue, and then we'd head off.

Throughout the week, we had regular farewells. Most days, one of our friends set off on their way, and we'd gather to wish them safe travels. We met over a cup of coffee with Séamus and Sandy to say our own goodbyes and then a walk with Sarah and Peter to the local ice cream shop to wish them farewell too.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, on Thursday morning, the mechanic failed to appear (there were reasons; there are always reasons 😄), so we left. Waiting for everything to be perfect on a boat is a mugs game we've played before. By the time that is fixed, something else will be broken. We have alternatives (manually filling water tanks, which is what many people have to do anyway), so it's time to make a move.

The last task to complete was navigating the local hospital to drop off a biopsy. When I had the basal cell carcinoma removed in December, there was a spot on my other ear we've been monitoring. Eventually I was referred to a dermatologist who is confident it's nothing worth worrying about, but decided to test it anyway. Of course, I'm not in the Greek medical system, so a process that might otherwise be automated has turned into a manual series of adventures.

I arrived at the hospital and headed for the Pathology lab. This was unsuccessful. There were large numbers of people lining the corridors and no reception. It wasn't clear what was happening. Eventually, I grabbed someone from the Pathology lab who told me to go to Dermatology. Dermatology eventually directed me back to the entrance with a piece of paper to enrol. This was completed, and they then sent me off to ENT. At which point I threw my arms in the air and texted Karina "I quit."

As I was heading out, the one man I knew who spoke English at reception was free, so I asked for help. He looked at everything I had achieved and said, "You don't need any of this." He then guided me through the process, took me to accounts to manually pay my bill, and sent me off to Microbiology (Biopsy in hand).

At Microbiology they waved me through into a dark corridor that smelt of cigarette smoke and said, "Not here, go there." Vaguely pointing to a room at the end of the corridor. There, I was lurking outside a lab full of people working when a lovely woman with a South African accent walked out and asked if I needed help. She took the sample and told me to return in two weeks... maybe. I guess we'll see what happens.

Back at the boat, sample delivered and mechanic confirmed not coming, we cast of lines and set out. It was quite windy, but again, if you wait for perfect, you'll never get anywhere. Besides, we knew we'd be on the lee side of the land, and it shouldn't be too bad. Ironically, the southeastern corner of Lesvos, which is notorious for having far more wind than forecasted (something we'd considered), had nothing. It was our smoothest passage around that corner yet. Then we got to the south side, and the wind picked up considerably, occasionally gusting to 30 knots. But Matilda is never bothered by wind (especially not with the bimini up top stowed safely).

Leaving the Marina for two weeks.

We cruised past Plomari, which we had visited the week before, to the second bay in Lesvos, Kalloni. There, we anchored in the shelter of a small bay near the village of Apotheka. It was a windy and noisy night at anchor, with lots of slapping on the hull and rattling of the solar panels, but we made it through the night just fine. With 25+ knot gusts, it was a good test of our anchoring abilities! The new Spade anchor set first time and held without issue.

Farewell to us! Leaving Mytilini.

On Friday, we were off to Sigri, and we're now sitting here anchored south of the small castle, waiting out another somewhat windy day. Tomorrow early in the morning (which will be Sunday), we're heading off, and we'll cross from here to Limnos, our first new island destination of the season.

This next week, we will explore the island of Limnos, and then our goal is to cross up to the island of Samothraki, the far north eastern corner of Greece. We've left Lesvos this morning and are mid crossing on our way to Limnos now.

Until next time

Tim & Karina