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Rhodos, Greece

I was not sure if Nina and Nastasja, just 2 days after their arrival in Turkey, would welcome a sailing trip to Greece. But Nina did not mind and as the weather turned nice we lifted the anchor.
AMBERELLA was left behind and we got on board Georges yacht Isenisca, a 15 m sloop designed by the constructor Reinke. After we left Fethiye‘s protected bay little wind and high swell, probably from a storm far away made the boat unstable and we were shaken around. We had to use the motor, something which I really don't like on a sailing yacht.

Nina was not used to sailing for 2 years and felt sea sick. When she was pregnant with Nastasja 2 years ago and we sailed even in local storms in the Kimberleys, Australia she had no problems at all. But this time she felt very bad.
Nastasja on the other hand was very much alive and enjoyed the attention she received. She did not mind to wear her life jacket, when she sat in the cockpit. At least one worry less, I thought.

We decided to stop over the night in a little bay. It was not far to Rhodes, only some 30 miles, but we hoped for more wind the next day and the swell might calm over night.

  The night was not comfortable either. The bay was not very good protected from the sea and the swell bounced around, which made a good rest impossible.
I was unhappy with the situation, because I did not want to have a disaster for Nina and Nastasja on the very first trip.
But Nina felt alright again so we left the bay early in the morning.
Little wind and the same swell forced us to motor again. Even Georg and me did not feel comfortable. But than Razmus, the God of the winds, came back for us and we set sails. Even the sun appeared right in time.

Rhodes was visible some 20 miles away and we kept reading the TTG (Time To Go) from the GPS.

Georg and me were especially happy to leave Turkey for a little while and visit „Europe", drink a German „Weissbier" and enjoy the greek atmosphere.

With the wind Isenisca could gently dig into the waves and Nina liked the idea of sailing again. But now Nastasja made us a bit worry, because she ate all morning fruits and oranges and now her face colour faded. But after she got rid of a few oranges she was back in the cockpit with her toys and pens and pencils. She is now old enough ( 2 years) to play a quite long time buy herself and she was never bored during the 6 hour trip.

It was my first visit in Greece. Rhodes greets the sailor with an imposingly view to the cities walls. The gigantic fortress is very impressive. We moored directly in Mandraki harbour right in the centre of town. We walked with shaking legs, a little land sickness, into the city and were amazed by the very clean pedestrian ways, looked at the very modern clothed women and enjoyed gyros and beer. Welcome in Europe! In every corner a waste bin.! (something the Turks will never learn)

The architecture in Greece is very much different to the one in Turkey. Here in Rhodes the old and new buildings are blend nicely into the town.
Rhodes is the land of the motor roller. They are everywhere and very many of them.
  I used the very first day for shopping. All the things we can not find in Turkey were put into the trolley. And I went to a ship chandler and bought a brand new gas cocker and oven in stainless steel, which was about 30 % cheaper here.

On new years eve we rented a car and explored the countryside of Rhodes island. We drove to Lindos, some 40 km south. Not a single tourist at this time of the year. All shops that serve hundreds of thousands of tourist are closed and the little streets in Lindos are completely deserted.

We drove a little further away from the souvenir shops and had fun sitting in a tavern, watching the other side of the street were the old locals spend their afternoon in another tavern. We drank Retsina the Greek traditional wine.

The evening was spent in a bar with live music. The band was played an excellent sound. The Greeks themselves do not party the new years eve. The celebrate the 1st of January. This day is the name-day of Vassili. Because almost 30 % of the Greeks are called Vassili or Vassilica, this is the day to party for them and they do it in their families.
There is no family in Greece that has no Vassili in their family.

We spent the 1st January walking through the old town of Rhodes. This is an absolute must see place. When one walks through the narrow streets one can envision the live of the past.

The nice weather we had so far changed and we got some wind. As first idea we went to fly a little parachute dragon. It was really fun and my first time flying a dragon with 4 lines. The wind got so strong that I was almost lifted from the beach.
Nastasja wanted to hold the parachute too, she really had a ball helping me holding it.

The wind kept going stronger and we were unsure if we could sail back to Turkey the next day. And we were right.

The bad weather went on for 3 days. Nina was already a little nervous, because she had packed for only 3-4 days and we sat now for allmost 10 days tight.
But finally the wind and rain died and we made clear for the trip to Fethiye. When we left Rhodes, it was the perfect sailing weather, but half way the wind left us and we had to use the engine again.
All in all a very nice and comfortable trip back

Frank Schefter © 1999