Cruise Day One

27 May 2012

Because we knew that the boat would have space, we inquired with Greek Sails (www.greeksails.com) if they would let Hermine and Coan, two of our Dutch friends from Odyssey Apartments, join us for a daysail to Hydra where they could take a ferry back. Not only did Greek Sails graciously agree, but they did not charge them, which we thought was generous. (They are the couple showing off our cooking class dessert in an earlier post.)

We had breakfast at a taverna dockside, and we set off around 11:30 for Hydra. Hermine and Coen had never been sailing before, and they enjoyed every minute. The sea was accommodating, providing just enough wind to sail, but not to cause a great deal of heeling or knocking about.

We arrived in Hydra around 2:30, said goodbye to our friends and dropped them off at the ferry dock. (Hydra is very busy on weekends, and we had decided to dock there on Thursday, weather permitting of course.)

Then we set off for Ermioni, arriving there around 5:pm. It was nice, comfortable cruise with enough wind to sail most of the way. Ermioni is a peninsula, with the sea to the south and a commercial harbor to the north. We docked in the harbor on the sea side, where it more residential and, therefore, quieter.

This was our first experience with Mediterranean docking, which is going in stern first rather than bow first as we do, into solid wall rather than a wooden dock with “fingers” to which we’re accustomed. Which means the boat goes in backyards and dock lines are attached to rings on the dock. Definitely a much more difficult maneuver than simply stepping onto the dock and attaching the line to a cleat. Not to mention stepping directly onto the dock to offboard.

With Mediteranean docking, the boat needs to be far enough from the dock not to damage it, so that means the the only way to offboard is either to jump or literally walk the plank! Everyone does it with ease–except me. Bob is always there, of course, to lend a hand. Maybe I’ll get my sea legs by the time this week is over.

So after successfully “walking the plank” we had ouzo at the waterfront cafe nearest us. Because Roger skippers cruises such as ours regularly, everyone seems to know and welcome him, and his paying guests, warmly. I must say, though, that greetings here in Greece are almost always warm and friendly.

Snacks very often come with ouzo, as it is an apperitif that Greeks often have before dinner. We’ve gotten little plates of olives and/or cheese and/or crackers. This time it was plates of peanuts and olives that were replaced the whole time we were there. After the apperitif, we went off to dinner with our crew and Ian, the skipper of another Greek Sails boat that was there.

Dinner reservations had been made at Kostaz, Roger’s favorite taverna, that we’d been to and enjoyed last year. The group shared starters, then had individual entrees. I had lamb chops, Bob a rabbit stew…with rose wine, of course.

Dessert was another birthday cake for Bob (surprised again!) that I had ordered prior to trip –through Sue of Greek Sails from a bakery near their docks. It was an out-of-this-world yummy cake…mousse-type layers with cream frosting, and sailboat deco and greeting in Greek. I must remember to thank Sue for her efforts on my behalf.

Then we all went back to Millenium Bar for nightcaps (vodka for me, beer for Bob, rum for Russell, not sure what the rest had. We turned in some time after midnight, feeling wonderful. Not so great the next morning, though…

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