Lily in Rhodes

Anna and Augusta


MONDAY, 16 JUNE 2008

Kostos, the marine engineer, kindly comes early this morning to plan repairing the engine on the yacht tomorrow morning. We are anxious to have her ready to sail by Thursday as planned with Heather and Paul and their children for 6 days, and to take Scott out before that.

Ross and I are thrilled that all the children enjoy the boat so much. They come and visit us on her during these few days and have great fun exploring all her nooks and crannies. We have several pleasant lunches on board.
Augusta and Lily on Impulsive

Anna and Lucinda on Impulsive

We all enjoy the old town built by the Knights. Walking down their cobblestone avenue where they used to live, passed the façade of large stone blocks, lovely old doorways and arched windows makes us wonder what their life must have been like in 200BC when it was built.
In the Old Town

Another day Ross hires a nine-seater vehicle for us. Sadly, he can’t come with us as he needs to be on Impulsive while she is tended to. I got very lost driving to pick-up the rest of the family but did see more of Rhodes. We all set off to Lindos for the day. The trip there in one large car together was fun in itself in the safe hands of Paul’s expert driving. Lachie, Anna and Augusta surprise us with their enthusiasm to climb up to the Acropolis, especially as it is very hot. They are thrilled to have a donkey ride back down the hill. The views are stunning over the bays and the white-washed houses built for the admirals with their courtyard gardens filled with bougainvillea and hibiscus. The alleyways are very narrow and no cars are allowed in the main part of the village, but there is a lot of donkey traffic.

At the Acropolis (Lindos)

Donkey trek for the children
In the meantime, Scott and Jeanette have been entertaining Lily and Lucinda with swims and an early lunch. We all have lunch in a taverna by the beach, followed by a swim in the clearest water I have seen.

At the end of the day, driving back to pick Ross up I got seriously lost, getting caught up in one-way streets and alleyways. At one stage I had to fold in the rear vision mirrors to fit through with this large car. It was nerve racking but, again, I saw more of Rhodes.


Impulsive is ready. It has been well worth all Ross’ patience and being prepared to wait for people.

This morning Heather helps me with Augusta and Lily so Scott and Jeanette can have a decent sail. (The girls are only allowed on the yacht while she is moored.) They come in to anchor at the resort where we have a swap of crew.
Scott diving off Impulsive
Scott and Jeanette, Augusta and Lily in the dinghy
Heather, Paul and the children sail back to old Rhodes harbour. The skipper thinks this is a sensible length of time to see if the children can handle it. And they do with flying colours! Lachie learning to tie knots
We have lots of fun at our final dinner together in the old town. We all enjoyed our time in Rhodes so much. It is a bustling town with so much atmosphere, much history and many tavernas to choose from. Everyone is very welcoming here, especially to Australian children.



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.




George lends us his 4WD and we all pile in together to tour this very small island. We drive high up to the now desolate old town and the monastery. This road is quite precarious and passes by barren country still with its ancient walls and terracing to mark off the now unused land plots that were for animals and crops. This island used to have a large population for copper processing.

Podanos beach is perfect for children, shallow and sandy (which is rare here - they are usually pebble beaches). The well shaded beach side taverna is most attractive and, like all these islands, has rows of colourful oleanders.

We return to Georges taverna for dinner. His hospitality is almost overwhelming.

The herbs for herb tea are picked on the island high up in the mountains. We buy some honey which has been produced on the island. It is made from thyme leaves and so has an unusual but delicious flavour.

Ross and I up anchor at 5am to get the young family back to Rhodes in time for their flight home via Athens. Anna and Lucinda sleep through until 7.45am.

We pass by the fish farms on the s.east tip of Tilos and then n.east by Rhodes Island coast to old Rhodes harbour. We are very fortunate to be given another berth here, as there are 15 extra boats here for a rally. When we see how narrow the space is we are expected to fit into, stern - to, we don't believe it is possible. We have to make it work as it is the only available space. We appreciate Paul's extra help as it is very difficult. Heather is busy inside with the children.

Well, our very special time with Heather and Scott and their families is over. We are so lucky to have had such wonderful weather and conditions while they were with us. We will always remember this time as a highlight of our trip.


1. Ross' porridge with the local Halki honey.
2. Fresh warm croissants from the Marina Mini Market with Robbies (boat) made jam
3. Fresh fruit (the local stone fruit is at its best now), muesli and yogurt.




Our destination today is in a n.west direction to Niseros Island. It is very calm so we motor for several hours . Mandraki is the quiet port here, and we both decide it would be somewhere we could easily return to, just to relax, read, maybe paint and draw, and be meditative. The houses here are well maintained, usually two stories, and painted mostly with white (or white-washed), with Aegean blue trims, eg. shutters, doors and balconies. Their use of colourful flowers in pots is effective.

Tony's taverna by the water is a good choice for dinner, while watching the most exquisite sunset. Tony has returned to Greece after living in Footscray for ten years working as a butcher.

Our motor bike ride up to the C14 cliff top village, Moni Paragias Spillanis, is exhilarating. The views are breathtaking over the Aegean Sea. There is also an excellent view down to the dormant volcano. We come across the Icelandic couple we met next to us at Simi, so spend some time over a drink with them. We have the wind rushing by our faces as we ride back down and can hear cicadas trilling in the heat of the evening.

Exploring Niseros
View of the Volcano
FRIDAY, 27 JUNE 2008

We have at least one hour's good sailing across to Kos, in a n.east direction. This is one place we are disappointed with. It is written up as a small Rhodes, but it doesn't have the same atmosphere with its crowds of tourists and fast food cafes and restaurants, so we have a quiet dinner on Impulsive.

Kos Marina

The history here is very interesting and it is exciting to visit the island where Hippocrates was born and lived. We hire push bikes and ride around the Knight's castle, the old harbour area and to Hippocrates plane tree, the site where the father of medicine used to teach his pupils.
Hippocrates Plane TreeExploring KosSunset at the Marina


After clearing out from Greece we have our first good sail for ages crossing over to Bodrum (Turkey). It is wonderful to catch up with Phil and Robbie and catch up with their latest travels. They have had a wonderful few weeks. We plan to travel with them to Samos (Greece).

Ross and I really enjoy Bodrum. The castle with its underwater archaeological museum is worth a visit.

Bodrum Castle
Bodrum is busy with lots of tourists and shops but, with all its waterfront areas and restaurants, you are always looking out over water and boats. The residential area up behind the tourist area is lovely to walk through with narrow streets shaded by vines and colourful bougainvillea spilling over the walls.
It lacks the charm of the smaller Greek ports but has its attractions. The marina is very large and so busy all the time, especially with the gullets coming and going. Both the waterfront lunch and dinner at a restaurant recommended by locals has lots of atmosphere and a delicious Greek cuisine.

We set off with Robbie and Phil to motor the short distance to Akyar Koku just west of Bodrum. We decide to take shelter here until tomorrow morning or we would have a strong wind on the nose.

This is a small local beach resort. During the afternoon I hear a dinghy motor struggling nearby. We realize they have problems and are being taken out to sea quite quickly. As Ross goes in our dinghy to help them, Phil happens to call by, so goes to their aid too. Between them they bring the dinghy and people back to shore. It makes us realize how quickly these things can happen.

It is like one big beach party here until dark when all the locals go home and now it is peaceful and quiet. We watch the world rugby final on the big screen ashore after a late dinner.

MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2008

We still have to motor n.west into the wind in quite a strong sea to anchor off the point at Ormos Pandeli at Leros Island.
Swimming off the back of the boat here is a treat in these crystal clear, blue waters. We have dinner with our feet in the pebbles on the beach.

Fishing boat at Leros

On our hire bikes we set north off along the coast to Alinda for a coffee stop. They also have local herb tea picked in the mountains here. Then we cross the island via the small fishing village of Gourna on the west coast, to Lakki the capital, with its grand italianette-fascist buildings and wide boulevards. The highlight is the mountain top Pandeli castle with its church run museum. There is only one relic here, but it has many artifacts from the church because the government can't claim them. The library houses many very old books. I would like to develop one with similar architecture for Ross.

Exploring Leros
View down to port of Ormos Pandeli (Leros)
We leave the Dodecanese Islands and head n.east to Agathonisi back into Greece (instead of to Palmos because of the wind direction). We have a wonderful sail across to this very small island and port. We are told refugees from Turkey just turn up here, floating on rubber dinghies. They are often people from the Middle East. The coast guard pick them up here and take them off for questioning. It all seems rather sad.

It is surprising we are able to go ashore here for dinner. The town is so small it is surprising there is a restaurant at all, but there are three. The cuisine is simple but delicious. Touring yachties obviously boost their economy.

Restaurant at Agathonisi

We have an early morning walk up to the hilltop village with only three houses and the tiniest church we have ever seen. This steep walk followed by a swim is a great start to the day. From the boat we often hear the goat's bells as they walk around the island. We often see goat on the menu in this part of the world. We are told it is delicious; similar to lamb with a slightly gamey taste.

Now we leave for Samos in the eastern Sporades group. We have a difficult motor sail up the west coast of Agathonisi island, with a bit more protection than the east coast would offer, heading and slapping into the wind. We just finish tying up at Pythagrio port when we see Phil and Wendy Kennon walking down the main cobbled street looking for us. This seems to be amazing to be tied up right in the centre of town and Phil and Wendy have been dropped off by their taxi at the stern of the yacht. We are thrilled to see them, and soon Phil and Robbie come in beside us so it is quite a get together of Australians.

Dinner tonight is at a family run restaurant, Maritsa, specializing in lamb, and situated just back from the waterfront. The lamb is booked for 8pm. The setting is outdoors under a very large old tree which has an impressive cooling effect.

Pythagorio is World Heritage listed with many historical sites, including the Temple of Hera near Ireon built in C6, and was six times bigger than the Parthenon. Pythagorio is named after Pythagoras who was born and lived here on Samos.