Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Laid Back In Limnos

Laid back in the town of Myrina on the island of Limnos for nine days to be exact. And it has been very nice. Things  started out very well with a great sail from Molivos on Lesvos. Sixty miles of 12-18 knot breeze just forward of the beam. Sunny cloudless skies. One meter seas. 7-8 knots most of the way with Otto the autopilot steering while I trimmed and Janet offered refreshments. The 150%  genoa was reefed down to about 135 just for comfort. Otto even caught one partially following sea just right and we saw over 11 knots. It is great fun when we actually get good sailing conditions in the Aegean.
Myrina Harbor from the castle
We really didn't know exactly what to expect from Myrina, the main town on Limnos. We stern tied to the quay and checked in the with the harbor police, who were nice as always, and liked the place from the gitgo. While Myrina may not have quite the beauty of Molivos or the the bustle of Mytilene it does have the usual rugged castle seven hundred feet above the harbor and it does have tavernas and shops lining the waterfront. 
Airstream, 3rd from the left
What it does not have is traffic noise from the main drag and disco music into the early hours. There is no main drag and there are no clubs. It is a picturesque Greek fishing village with a modest tourist industry, mostly Greek tourism, and enough foreign influence to make things easy for us farangs. And that pretty much goes for the entire island of Limnos. Myrina is as cosmopolitan as it gets and there are deserted beaches, nice deserted beaches, and an occasional small resort. 
Janet on the castle wall
Most of the place is either completely undeveloped  or small scale agriculture. Why the olive culture that exists on Lesvos just sixty miles to the SE is not in place here I do not understand. But there is some wheat in the interior and some viniculture. The local whites are good and very inexpensive.
The water front, Myrina
We planned on meeting here with Bernie and Di from First Light III and they arrived about three hours before us having come in from Babakale in Turkey. We've been circling in more or less the same circles since Vanuatu in 2009 and it's always very nice to have their company again. We celebrated Di's birthday at a classic waterfront taverna. 
Birthday dinner with Bernie and Di
 We rented a cheap car and toured the island for a day. It's mostly grassy almost treeless rolling hills with a few small villages and the agriculture I mentioned. There are a couple well excavated archeological sites which take the island history back at least to three thousand BC. And a mere 98 years ago the big central bay of the island, Mouldros Bay, was used for the staging point for the  disastrous  Gallipoli campaign. There's a very nicely kept war cemetery for 887 of the more than 36,000 allied dead from that  debacle. 
From 3000 BC, at least
But mostly we've just relaxed and enjoyed. I've got a few boat projects done. We hike to the top of the castle every morning to get our hearts started and enjoy the view. We wander the streets and nose into the shops. It's in the 80s  during the day and the 70s at night, clear and sunny. The volta, which is the classic evening Greek walk about,  is very strong. From about 9  to 11 PM everyone is out for a stroll along the waterfront checking out everybody else. It's a lovely custom. There's good food, good wine and ice cream at every corner, almost.
Street scene in Myrina
It has been blowing hard out of the north, a classic Aegean meltime, but by tomorrow its suppose to calm down to 16-20 knots and clock around to the NE. It'll be dinner tonight with Bernie and Di and another couple from NZL. We're planning on being outta here early heading for the Halkidiki and the trident of peninsulas which form the coast of Greece in the NW Aegean. Wish us a great sail!

Love to all,
Bill & Janet

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