Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 134

I have now used my radio twice to fail to contact Greek SAR.  I tried to test it with a local fishing boat, it didn't turn on.  Changing the batteries didn't help.

Day 134
I began the 12 mile crossing to Arki.  A little bit closer than my destination,  I could easily make out the island of Patmos.  Along my own bearing their was only a subtle shadow in the haze.  The wind came from the southwest, and my crossing was starting off a little rough.  The failure of my Ikarea crossing was still fresh, along with the associated fear.  Gradually conditions improved and by the end of the day the wind was helping me from the northwest. 
I set a ferry angle that was a little too strong, and was too lazy to correct it with back bearings.  After all, it was only 12 miles.  That's a piece of cake, right?
A number of islands appeared on my general heading, more than my chart showed. After ruling out the islands that were way off, Agathonisi and Farmakonisi, I set out for the eastern most of the set. 
As the horizon moved farther away, islands coalesced into mountains separated by valleys and I wished my chart provided more topographical information.
I sang loudly, comparing a girl that I knew to pickle brine, when a flock of a hundred shearwaters flew directly at me from Patmos five miles of my starboard.  They flew five tight circles around me and then headed north.  Sometime during the excitement I stopped singing.
I followed a motor boat into a deep narrow bay and around a corner to the village of Arki.  The village has two restaurants over a stone paved yard on the harbor and a handful of houses.  The summer time population of the island is 34.
A taverna owner was kindly able to arrange a shower for me.  I sat and ate my dinner in the half friendly half Israel-antagonistic company of Welsh folk who insisted they were not English.
It felt appropriate to be responding to their anti semitic views with a personal reality check.  It was Israeli independence day.  They also had a bone to pick with Jewish ritual animal slaughter.  I talked about tradition and respect for my ancestors
It's a good thing I'm going to Turkey and not Britain.

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Nautical miles paddled: 15.5
Current location: 37.381957,26.736377

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