Med Moored at Ano Symi
The Dodecanese (12 islands)
We finally made it to the Greek Islands, a place Amy has been dreaming of coming to since conception. We had a 10 mile motor from our last anchorage crossing over from Turkey to Greece. Symi Island is very tall rising straight up from the shorelines with little vegetation and many large rocks. After Sandpiper made it to the north end of Symi Island we hooked a left and entered the small quay at Ano Symi's harbor and around noon dropping our stern anchor and bowing up to the quay's walls.
If anything, Europeans are experts at operating their boats in reverse, as everywhere in the Med the only way to moor your boat is to drop one's anchor and back down till close enough to shore to tie off, aka...Med-Moor. For Sandpiper this is really not an option as we have so much stuff hanging off Sandpiper's stern that if we back in we have no way to get off the boat. So we just drop a stern anchor and motor in until the bow is right off the wall where we can jump off.
Simi is just how a Greek Island should look. The town surrounds the waterfront and then raises straight up the surrounding mountains. There are many restaurants and shops all along the waterfront, and pulling in is a bit intimidating as Sandpipers bow is just feet from all this activity. Later in the afternoon the harbor really fills up with boats. If there is even a small gap between two boats then someone will back in, shoving all the boats next to them aside.
Sandpiper had a 150ft wooden charter sail boat that was way to big for the harbor and towered over Sandpiper on one side. And on the other side was a very nice old traditional 35ft Greek sailboat that had been built on Symi Island 35 years ago. We got to talking to the owner who lives in Athens and he told us that he was in Symi that night to show a documentary that he produced/directed about traditional Greek boats and his love of the sea. He invited us to come by the town square later to watch it.
After making sure that Sandpiper was secure amongst her neighbors and not causing any drama, we went ashore to clear in to Greece. First stop was the police station where we got our passports stamped. Then over to customs to clear in. Then to the harbor police to get our transit log. And we were done.
Usually when in a new town we are scooping everything out to see where the best prices are for grocery shopping, eating, and drinking. Usually the farther from the water the cheaper the prices get. We found our new bar a few blocks from the water with the cheapest prices in town.
After a few cold ones we headed to the town square and found our new boat neighbors had set it up to show his documentary. We brought a couple beers with us and I was not sure how cool it was that I was going to pop a beer open during his show. But when we looked back everyone was popping beers open. The documentary was a pleasure to see and featured his boat in several scenes.
After the movie we headed back to the 'Piper to watch all the action along the shoreline while sitting on Sandpiper's bow. Lots of good people watching when they are forced to walk just feet from us.
The next morning we headed out to the beach just outside of town and spent the afternoon swimming around and laying out in the sun on large rocks. Later that night it was back to our favorite cheap bar where we met a cast of interesting characters. One man, Kieran Ball from Ireland, was currently living in Symi and has just finished writing a novel 'Aphrodite's Curse'. Another interesting lady we met from England had published a book on textile design and had a PHD in tie-dye. Never knew you could be a Doctor of Tie-Dye.
The man that owns the bar has owned it for the last 10 years. After sitting in his alley having some more cold beers, we saw lots of small kids running up and down the alley. I guess this was a sore subject with him because when we mentioned the kids he told us that their parents worked in the shops up the alley and just let their kids run around all day back and forth in front of his bar. He had done some research on the internet and found a device that repels kids with a sonic sound that only kids can hear. The only downside was that it cost $1000 dollars. So for now he is researching other options.
More from another Greek Island,
Tom and Amy
29 August 2008
Med Moored at Ano Symi