We can’t believe that it is already time to say goodbye to Greece. This was the country we had planned to stay the longest during our time in Europe and, again, for sure it wasn’t enough. We just scratched the surface of what has to be seen in this paradise.
This week we started in Chania with four new guests. To start with, two super cool friends who met each other while working in the UN in NYC: Lais Paixão from Santos, Brazil and Pavel Potekhin from Siberia, Russia. How cool is that?!?! Unfortunately they will not go all the way to Sicily with us. Lais is an old friend from work, she is the sweetest and nicest person on earth. Feijão loves her and I think that even Sarah has a “girl crush” on Lais given the number of times she praises her to me. Pavel is the most polite guy we have ever met, we are not sure if this comes from his many years in London and Cambridge or his upbringing in Siberia, but certainly another great asset to the Ipanema team!
For the long haul we have Andre “the crazy torch back flipper” Boaretto and Jose Roberto “Our ambassador” Cassab. Andre is also an old friend from work and he can throws some crazy back flips from pretty high up in the boat. He is also eager to learn about sailing and is the quickest learner I have ever seen. I bet that in one week he will be ready to go out and sail around the world by himself.
Glorious Mr. Cassab is a new friend and he is that type of guy that could well be a high-rank diplomat. He arrives in a new city and quickly makes friends with the locals and other sailors around us, so we now decided to call him our ambassador. He loves to throw around ideas (orders) around the boat to get everyone excited and working, and we still loving him for that. What a great guy and what an example of leadership! We all have much to learn from him.
Well, after all the introductions, let’s go back to the trip, this week started with us getting the boat ready in Chania – Crete, for the crossing. Mr. Manolo was my mechanic instructor for the day. He spoke no English and I had no knowledge of Greek but we managed to understand each other and service both engines. I have to tell you that spending many hours in that black box on the engine room, with all the dirty, no wind, 35 degrees, plus the heat of the engine was not a pleasant experience.
Well, at least one of the days in Chania I got some free time to go kiting at one of the beaches north of the Old Harbour. The wind was quite weak but t was enough to ride and I had some time to get my brains to stop thinking about the boat.
Once we left Chania we moved to Gramvousa, a stunning island just off of Crete on its northeast corner of the main island. It has a beautiful bay with a white sandy beach, just one house, a few goats and rabbits, a nice semisubmersible shipwreck and an incredible fortress on the top of the hill. The six of us had a great time here.
Unfortunately Lais and Pavel left us from there and we carried on towards the Peloponnese. During this passage, to cut our boredom of having missed two friends, Neptune or Yemanja sent us and amazing Blue Fin Tuna of almost 90cm! What a beautiful and tasty animal! We were so excited! Feijão was also all “jumpidy” around the new happening on the back of the boat.
Our first stop in the Peloponnese was in Kapsali, the South of Kythera island, then we moved to Kayio (south tip of a peninsula in the main land), Methoni (south tip of the next peninsula in the main land) and finally Pilos (really close to Methoni). Here we will wait one more day for the weather to get better for the crossing and then we will leave for a 300+ nautical miles crossing. The longest passage we have done so far.
It is finally time to say goodbye to this amazing country which hosted us so well during two months. Thank you VERY VERY VERY much Greece and Greeks!