17. Last pics for 2015 Adventure

Three quarters of the Curtis Clan are back home (Chris is staying on to do a few charters with three groups of friends). A delayed flight from Athens to Istanbul (and inability to transfer bags all the way through to Melbourne) resulted in a bit of a drama that left us with only five minutes to check our bags in and ten to board. It was unfortunate (for me) that the kids received a dodgy digital watch each in the Children’s Activity Pack on Turkish Airlines. This resulted in Sam giving me practically a minute-by-minute countdown on how much time we had before our flight departed. I can therefore tell you that we received our luggage in Istanbul at 12:38 (for our 1:30 flight) and still had to go through customs and get luggage at the domestic end then make our way out and into international departures to check our bags in. Anyway, we made it.

Easing the pain was a fabulous movie on the plane – Bollywood’s highest grossing movie – called “PK”. I highly recommend it. It may seem a little strange at first (given that it begins with the arrival of a naked alien somewhere in India) but you must persevere!

We are a bit jet-lagged. I was up at 3 a.m. changing batteries in beeping smoke detectors and the kids were still comatose at 10 a.m. But we have Kyla back now (much joy all round) and are ready for work and school tomorrow.

I leave you with these great pics of the kids having their last couple of swims before heading to Athens where everything idyllic was lost – including all the photos I took at the Acropolis (insert frustrated/mad emoticon).

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The Artemis Cake

Sometimes there’s not a lot to do at anchor apart from make a cake. Alex was in charge of putting together a Greek “packet mix” (loose term and a story in itself) and created what she called the “Artemis Cake”. Alex’s favourite goddess (apart from her mother) is Artemis. According to the acclaimed Wikipedia, Artemis was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls. I just read this out to Chris who said “lesbian!” which I think is a bit unfair… Anyway, Artemis was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrow (which is what Alex seems to be enamoured with for some reason). And here is the masterpiece – you will see that she is flanked by two Toblerone towers…

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For the ladies…

For the ladies travelling on Skylark in the future – BLUF (that’s “bottom line up front” for you non-military types), BRING YOUR OWN FACE WASHER!

So finally after two weeks or so of looking for and asking where the face washers were, Chris eventually admitted that OK, he may have got the face washers mixed up with hand towels and that we don’t in fact have any. But hey, it doesn’t matter, these are for your face and body anyway.

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I had to explain that:
1) Ladies don’t use these scourer thingys on their delicate faces, and
2) They certainly don’t use these on their faces if they’re known to have been anywhere near his arse!

“I’ve got new ones!” he says…

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Ladies, your choice!

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Naxos continued…

Still in Naxos due to high winds – hope to leave for Mykonos tomorrow. Please note in the black bar at the top that I have two posts for Naxos – one with photos and one without. Still not on top of this thing and the wifi cuts in and out. Having fun, but ready to move!

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9. Symi and Skala (Greece!)

We are back in my beloved Greece.  First stop was Symi – famous for its sponges but most famous for being the home of our friend Jim’s grandfather).  Bozburun to Symi was a short, pleasant journey.  We arrived early and secured a great berth which you will see in the photos.  This was our entry from Turkey into Greece and so we had to go through the customs protocols.  This meant a visit to the police, customs and port authority.  We were not actually allowed to leave our boat until these procedures had been cleared or we would be in big trouble.  You could hardly complain being confined to your boat in a such a beautiful place (with all the food and wine we needed).  We realised that our two hour plus confinement was a first world problem when told that the delay was due to 50 Syrian asylum seekers on their doorstep!

We went through the flag changing protocols (which I strangely love and always photograph) and the kids hoisted the yellow customs flag and then the Greek flag.  Our own Australian flag at the stern attracts much attention (and fellow Aussies, of course).  From the Aussies it’s generally wisecracks like “are ya lost mate?” and the Europeans are amazed that we’ve come such a long way.

Symi was picturesque – beautiful and I bought the obligatory sponge (despite it feeling a bit wrong).  It is certainly dealing with my skin that is sorely missing its regular long, hot showers.  More text below the photos…

Skala.

Skala.

Kids playing - overlooked by warship.

Kids playing – overlooked by warship.

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More sponges for Jim...

More sponges for Jim…

Hoisting the Greek flag in Symi.

Hoisting the Greek flag in Symi.

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We are in Greece!  This is the flag from the highest point in Symi.

We are in Greece! This is the flag from the highest point in Symi.

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Symi

Skala

Skala

Skala

Skala

Symi - we are port side of the boat with the green hull.  Ooooh!  Look at my new language!

Symi – we are port side of the boat with the green hull. Ooooh! Look at my new language!

Symi sponge shop pic for Jim.

Symi sponge shop pic for Jim.

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Symi

Skala.

Skala.

After securing some fresh, hot bread first thing in the morning, we left Symi for the island of Skala.  We didn’t exactly plan it, but decided to follow a ferry because it looked cool.  We weren’t disappointed and while we didn’t explore the town, we enjoyed their beach for a few hours.

Today we’ve had a looooong sail to an anchorage where we are now.  Chris is down below preparing a roast chicken.  We are at an anchorage in an alcove that has a beach and the kids and Chris swam from the boat across to it, earlier, while I peeled potatoes like Cinderella.  That was my choice!  But speaking of Cinderella, I watched the latest version on the plane over – soooooo lovely!  Anyway, I have been enjoying the simple things in life.  I achieve legend status for jumping off the bow, finding tomato sauce in a remote, random shop and having the patience to get the wifi sorted.  I’ve finished two novels, rediscovered my cooking skills and have enjoyed being here to cook eggs for the kids’ breakfast, being told how to cook eggs by Chris and trying to be much more disciplined about learning how the boat stuff works.  Chris’ stickers that label everything has been very helpful but alas for him it’s all about the journey while for me it’s about the destination.  We may never resolve that one!

Next stop Naxos where we plan to stay for a couple of day to avoid the high winds that are due.  I am very much looking forward to it.

Symi

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Arrived safe & sound.

Why did I have to leave the country for the Blues to win??!

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Hello world!

Hello Family and Friends.  I have set up this blog to share our adventures with you.  I am new to blogging, so please bear with me as I learn how to use this thing.

On Saturday we will be joining Skylark for the second time.  Skylark is the name of our 50 foot Bavaria sailing boat.  Chris chose the name because it represents having fun in a fool-hardy kind of way.  “Fool” is certainly an appropriate word to use for me when it comes to boats, but apart from that, the term reminds me of my Granny.  Most school holidays, my siblings and I used to stay with my grandparents and invariably we’d here Gran say “stop skylarking you lot” as we jumped up and down on the beds or other such palaver.

Anyway, please wish us smooth sailing…particularly as I get sick in the bath!

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