MONDAY, 20 JUNE 2008

After still warm out of the oven fresh croissants, we head in a westerly direction motor-sailing to Simi. It doesn’t take the children long to get used to wearing their life jackets. Later when the wind comes round we are able to sail. Then the wind drops right out closer to Simi. All the children are asleep so we take turns to dive overboard into the magnificent blue water for a swim.

Simi has a beautiful harbour, Giales, once famous for its sponge diving and ship building. It is surrounded by attractively painted neo-classic houses which are built tiered rising up from the harbour. They used to belong to sea captains.

It is very hot here as there is no sea breeze. The children cannot believe their luck to step off the yacht at the ice cream and iced drinks shop. Late afternoon as we walk along the waterfront towards the headland, as much to explore as to find shade, we soon find a small pebbled beach, Nos, adjoining a low-key island style café in the shade. This is the perfect place for swimming and cooling off until we find the waterfront taverna, Tholos, for dinner. We all agree this is a wonderful lifestyle.

Simi is a very pretty place when the lights come on in the evening. Anna loves a window shopping walk with Heather and me, and then walking up the hill to look back at the view below over the harbour.


It’s soon apparent the children enjoy the excitement of leaving a place and then arriving at a new destination, but we decide that shorter sails are better for us than longer ones, eg. to Samos. After an early morning walk up beside the harbour to the church we set off to Panormitis Bay down the east coast of Simi and around its south-west tip. The feature here is the large Italianate-style monastery of Archangel Michael of Panormitis.

The monastery bakery here is excellent and we buy some apple pies for dinner. Lachie has his first dinghy driving lesson here.Lachie´s 1st. dinghy driving lesson
He is also learning how to tie knots. The skipper is enjoying having a small boy at his side again. The two girls are asleep so we swim off the back of the yacht.

We are anchored here and, fortunately, we plan dinner on the boat tonight because the winds come up 35kts and it would have been difficult to use the dinghy. The sea is very choppy. Some boats have problems anchoring.

SUNDAY, 22 JUNE 2008

Our early morning walk up to the lighthouse before the heat of the day is good exercise before setting off to Tilos to the west. This is about a three hour trip, mostly motor sailing. Tilos is a quieter island, with a very small port, which we all enjoy very much. It has practiced “green tourism” for many years. The main square of Kavadia is very small with little action. After an afternoon on the beach we have dinner at the water-side taverna, Irena. Again, they are so welcoming to Australians.

MONDAY, 23 JUNE 2008

Lucinda’s birthday! What an unusual way for a little girl to celebrate her 3rd birthday. She seems to enjoy every minute of it.

After spending the morning on the beach, Ross and I move the boat to anchor just off this beach and take in the birthday lunch and treats. Paul ties balloons in the tree shading us.

Later we up-anchor and head for Halki, referred to as the small Simi, which is several hours south-west of Tilos and 5 n.miles west of Rhodes. We all enjoy this island so much we stay for two nights.

Most of the sea captains old mansions have been well renovated, but there are still some facades standing waiting for this. Paul and I see this as a challenge.

We arrive at Emborios in time to have dinner at Georges waterfront taverna. This is a great find as George has lived in Sydney for 10 years. Like all these small ports there are many small beautifully painted fishing boats, lots for the children to watch and an excellent playing area where no cars are allowed. The children tend to sleep when we are underway in the afternoon, which makes it easy to all have dinner onshore and partake in the local culture and cuisine.