14 to 18 May 2018
Lakki, Leros to Ormos Kouloura, Lipsi, N37° 016.46’ E26° 46.41’, 18nm, 3 hours 30
to Port Stretto, Arki, N37° 21.91’ E26° 44.79’, 9nm, 1 hour 30
to Kampos Bay, Patmos, N37° 20.93’ E26° 34.01’, 9nm, 2 hours
to Meloyi Bay, N37° 19.76’ E26° 33.60’4nm, 1 hour 30
to Skala, N37° 19.37’ E26° 32.95’ 2nm, 30 minutes
Truth is no one won that race from Makronisi. We had only had 2 knots of wind to start with and that soon disappeared so we ended up motoring into our anchorage on the south coast of Lipsi.
Stefan and I woke early the following morning and decided to go for a walk across the island. Babs was on deck about to go for a walk with Rizzo so they jumped into our dinghy and we went together. About a half hour walk from the anchorage we found the island’s only real habitation. There must have been a church for every 5 houses and all in the very Cycladian blue and white style.
Relying on a very small amount of tourism and farming, Lispi was pretty rural. Rizzo made new friends on our walk down to the small harbour where we had a coffee and watched not a lot go by. There was, however, a bakery for stocking up.
Babs tried to persuade us to stock up with mulberries on the way home. They looked nice and juicy but we all agreed they were somewhat tasteless.
It was only another short hop to our next island, Arki, but on the way we had heard of another great swim stop. We anchored off two tiny islands joined by a bright white isthmus. It was the perfect place to start playing with our new waterproof camera.
We all got to the beach in different ways!
The water was so crystal clear.
On a walk to Arki’s Port Augusta we found a quirky harbour full of brightly painted model boat. One referenced the migrant boats which sought refuge in these islands. Other than a small migrant community living on Leros, this was the only evidence we had seen of this other side to life in this area. Turkey’s agreement with the EU seems, for now, to have stopped the flow of migrants making the dangerous crossings.
Our anchorage on Arki really was one of the most beautiful we have been to so far. The shallow, crystal clear waters and complete absence of any human habitation made it feel really remote.
Getting high up we had a goat’s eye view down to Pintail.
We headed across to the island of Patmos a day earlier than the others and were glad we did when we bumped into a village festival in Kampos Bay.
The children’s traditional dancing was fun to watch.
Late into the night the music and family fun continued but we retreated to Pintail to enjoy the atmosphere from afar. In the morning it had been all cleared up as though nothing had happened.
Patmos seemed like an island with a completely different hue. Dried grasses and dusky blues and pinks made it stand out from the other islands.
When the others joined us we enjoyed a beach picnic in Meloyi Bay. Rizzo had great fun digging a hole to bury her bone.
With one day before we had to go our separate we ways we had time to visit the monastery of St John. Visible from almost everywhere on the island the monastery looks more like a castle and very imposing.
And who should we find enjoying the view back down to the port but our Agios Nikolaos pontoon neighbours Margot and Tony from MV Maranka. We had also bumped into them briefly on Leros.
We visited the monastery’s 11th century chapel
and climbed up to its roof.
Passing back down through all the religious souvenir shops we took the ancient path down to the cave where St John is supposed to have lived, having been kicked out of Rome, and where he had his apocalyptic visions and wrote the book of Revelations.
With time pressing we needed to start heading west towards Athens to meet Stefan’s dad so, after two fantastic weeks in their company, once again we had to say goodbye to the crews of Momentum and With Dignity. It had been an unexpected fortnight full of exploring the northern Dodecanese islands.
Along the way there had also been (highly competitive) games of Uno,
furry fun with Rizzo,
and always classily served wine!
Thank you so much Babs, Rene and Rizzo and Babs and Steve for a brilliant fortnight. We will miss you all over again. Until the next time, wherever that may be…