Our first stop in Greece was everything we hoped it to be. Pebble beaches, bright blue waters mirrored off the white wash churches with their blue domes. We met the generous soul of Socrates, who fed us full of tzatziki, souflaki, mousaka and all the greek salad one could bear. You never left his sight empty handed without home made bread or a bundle of plump figs. We windsurfed, scootered and walked the ruins to our hearts content. A warm and friendly bunch, you will always feel like you are home here. And this was all on only one tiny island. Much more to come.

The kids enjoy the beach


After our rather swift exit of the Suez Canal and a dreary crossing due to our "intestinal thing" , we kept a bleary eye on the radar for a couple of days while beating into the wind and pulled ourselves into the southern end of Karpathos. A small island on the southern end of the Cyclades chain.

Though at last we were motoring along with no wind at all, we could see a wind line ahead of us that prompted us to scamper and "batten down the hatches". As we crossed the line, the seas white capping about, the wind instruments read 30 knots. Windsurfers whipping every where. This little corner of the world has a weather anomoly all it's own. The topography creates quite a wind zone making it perfect for the world speed windsurf championships held here. We had arrived!

Bart and Dagmar from s/v Luna once ran a wind surf center here and it was time for a reunion. We shared their gear and their passion for the sport while everyone took turns playing in the wind.

The kids again rallied around each other as they each took turns with Soleil's gear. Bart, the biggest kid of them all, made sure they had the a great time.


We rented scooters, along with the crew from s/v Pelikaan and Luna, and toured the island. Visiting the sea side town of Pigadia with fishing boats dotting the harbor, to the tiny mountain town of Menetes, where the pastel houses cuddle on the dry rocky hillside, was a treat in many ways.

Arriving in Menetes just as church was letting out, we went to tour the beautiful building and found the congregation sitting down for a family style lunch. Ushered in before we realized what was happening, we were nestled between families and sharing drinks and sandwiches, with the promise of tea in their homes if we could make it back next week.

We rounded out the day with a swim in crystal waters off a white beach, spying goats running about ancient windmills and eating dinner in a little hide away restaurant where the kitchen is their home. We ordered one of everything.

Not even scooter troubles could dampen the day. Anything with this fleet is fun.

Sadly, after Karpathos, our paths had to separate from Luna and Pelikaan as they were both wrapping up their circumnavigations and heading back to Holland, our travels would briefly take us back to Turkey before heading west again. Our trip and our lives would have never been the same without them.


The many treasures of Athens

A few day hops from island to island, Chios and Andros, we found ourselves crossing the Aegean Sea. Ruins continue to sit atop every prominence and point. So when we arrived at mainland Greece in the anchorage of Sounio, there was the perfect opportunity to stretch our legs and view the Temple of Poseidon. Being the frugal cruisers that we are, we sent the children with the cameras, for free, to enjoy the photo op. They even managed to figure out the timer on a brand new camera and brought back some great photos. Kids and technology.

We spent one more night anchored in the town of Vouliagmeni. Though we later learned one is not supposed to "anchor" there, we started quite a trend as 3 other boats followed suit for the night. A water sport mecca, they had club teams for slolom skiing, dinghy racing, kayaks, windsurfers and an olympic size pool right there. After little luck checking into the country we decided to continue on.

On to the port town of Pireaus, sitting just in the shadows of Athens itself. With much difficulty we finally found, or rather, forced oursleves upon a marina. We talked them into letting us stay one night and with the Kelly's made an assult on the Acropolis. Armed with our maps and cameras we accidently get on the wrong train and yet somehow end up in the right place.

One of the most amazing things about Athens and the Acropolis along with many other ancients sites, is that they are still to this day being excavated with new finds daily. You see digs going on around every corner whether right down town between buildings or on open country side.

Acropolis is busy getting a face lift right now so you had to appreciate the beauty between the scaffolding. Though the main museum was off limits as well that day, the smaller ones hold fascinating treasures still. Some of the more interesting finds were a lottery system for jury duty, the weights and measure scale for money, and of course the ceramic potty training chair. The amazing detail as well of the curves and lines within each sculpture always left us in awe.

From there we spent a quick night on the island of Salamina, where Themosticles and the Greeks defeated Xerxes and the Persian forces in one of the greatest Naval Battles of all time.

We had plenty of information about the canal itself just none pertaining to the procedure on how a sailboat was to transit it. No better way than to do it. We had tried many times to hail the captain of the canal but again to no avail. We approached the canal and tied ourselves off at the long and tall concrete dock just at the entrance. Upon stepping off the boat, the man in charge hung his head out the control tower window and with blow horn in hand, called Bruce and Kelly boy to the office with their paperwork in tow. The boys, Kelly girl and I had just time enough to hop off the boats ourselves, snap a few photos when the men came walking back. A second time the port captain hung his head out the window and hollered...

Hurry, Capitan, Hurry!

In those few moments the canal gates had been opened and a large container ship passed through ahead of us. We were to follow him as quickly as possible.

At 63 meters tall, 8 meters deep and 6 km long it is one of the most breath taking and expensive canals to go though. A mere 250 euros for a 20 minute passage. This still was easier than the old days of going ,150 miles, the long way around or unloading all the cargo, carrying the vessel up and across the stone paved Diolkos road to the other side. Nero had the right idea when he lifted a pick axe to start digging the canal.

Corinth Canal

Cut out of stone

Gulf of Corinth

Once through the canal, you enter the Gulf of Corinth. Often used to quickly transit between the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, there is quite a bit of significant history to be found here as well. The famous Oracle of Delphi located on the mainland side, settled just on the edge of Mt. Parnasos. The Oracle, a woman who would enter a trance and rant unitelligible words, were then translated by the priests foretold their future

We came upon the island of Trizonia and found a sweet, safe haven to stay a few days. Free moorage on a dock, the boys broke out the Kelly's bikes and rode until their legs fell off. We found inexpensive internet, and if you have skype downloaded, we likely spoke to you. (hint hint) The Kelly's painted their water line and we completed projects, and hiked around the island before parting ways with them for a short while.

Vasiliki Bay, Lefkada Island


Beautiful and unspoiled, the cruising grounds around the Gulf of Corinth and the islands in the Ionian Sea are wonderful, and everyone knows it. A large charter base for sailors, high season though crowded, is still very enjoyable. Multiple anchorages on every island, hikes, caves and diving to explore, there is no end to activity.

We buzzed by the various islands, including the one personally owned by Aristotle Onasis, but spent the remainder of our days in the main town of Lefkada or the Bay of Vassiliki on the southern end of the island. Vassiliki is another wonderful water playground. With great winds it caters to the windsurfers. Bruce, having previously broken the mast of his windsurf gear, found himself a new one and was back in action with the masses.