Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 133

After two bad weather days and a good one that was on the Sabbath, I was ready to go.  I viewed three separate forecasts, all very different from each other.   At least two of them were wrong.
HNMS called for a force six south headwind.   While they're the official Greek forecasts, I don't think they're more accurate than any of the others.  They are however the ones that make the news.
The locals were shocked that I was going to paddle into a force eight headwind.   I told them what I often say under such circumstances, "I'll launch.   I'll see how I feel.   If it's no good, I'll turn around."
I launched.  The harbor is in an archipelago bay facing north.  To the south there are two gaps between three islands.  The most convenient for me was a shallow four meter wide space between low cliffs.  As I approached it, waves charged through and spilled out only to dissipate into ripples on the flat bay.
With trepidation, I entered the wild sea.
While paddling south along the main island I wondered if it was force six.  I didn’t think so, probably four with frequent mean gusts.  It was however, not good weather for a crossing.
I jolted and lurched past cliffs and bays until I reached the island's southwestern inlet.  I took out from flat water on a small beach at the bottom of a long set of stone stairs.
I worried that if I left Icarus on the beach, she might try to leave without me.  I lugged some of my gear to the top, then more of it, then the rest of it, and finally Icarus.
At the top of the stairs was a small deserted white concrete hut with a stone walled yard.  The yard was divided into sections and shelters for absent animals. With the hut locked and the possibility of rain I used a handful of stalky bushes to sweep out the cleanest of the stalls and made camp.
I set out back to town. I climbed a small road that snaked along the ridge and saw the sea misbehaving on either side of the island far below.  I passed big gardens, a tiny village, bee farms, and olive trees.
After forty minutes I got a ride.  I had more yummy salad with the coast guard, worked on my blog in the company of my new friends at the bar, and rested.
One of the locals, when I asked if his family had been on the island for many generations, told me "Don't ask about family history on this island. We all used to be pirates."
An old man, perhaps a retired pirate, gave me a ride back to my boat.
On my previous nights on Fourni sleeping on the beach in the center of town I seemed to wake up every hour from the guy who rode his loud motorcycle all night, or kids playing, or the enormous alien abduction lights of the ferry seemingly on top of me.
Out at the end of the island in my goat shack I slept like a lamb.

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Nautical miles paddled:  3.5
Current location: 37.53459,26.502741


  1. This part I have paddled from Patmos via Arki to Kalymnos really charming islands...enjoy. just watch out for speeding ferries!

  2. Thanks! It's cool to think you did some of the same route.