Please select your home edition
Edition
Safety at Sea - Baltic - 1

Vathi Kalymnos - 'Don't blink, you'll miss it' - Aegean Yacht Rally

by Trevor Joyce on 25 Jun 2013
Kalymnos Trevor Joyce http://marinerboating.com.au
Currently a group of mostly Australians are enjoying sailing the Aegean Sea with a yacht rally led by by Trevor and Maggie Joyce, those very experienced rally organisers from Mariner Boating. This year, again, they visited the tiny island of Kalymnia. Here Trevor reports on their progress:

In 2011, the Kalymnian population stood at 11,000, but that’s after 15,000 had migrated to Darwin. In 1968 there were less than 20 Kalymnians in Darwin so the exodus has been quite recent. The demise of the Greek economy over recent years has seen an even more dramatic acceleration in departures so clearly the migration is not yet over.

The spirit of those who remain is defiant, however, and the quality of their lives is still very much in-tact, even if somewhat depleted in a material sense. Families, villages and communities hang together, home gardens produce much of the food on the table and life goes on. The Greeks tell us they have been through worse before.

At the dinner prepared for the participants in the recent Aegean Yacht Rally, which called into Vathi on the south eastern corner of this craggy mecca for rock climbers, Sylvia prepared a sumptuous Greek feast; with stuffed vine leaves, tzatziki, beetroot and yoghurt salad, potato salad, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, pastitsia and of course mousaka .

Preparation had begun at four in the morning on the day of the race to Vathi from Lipso, during which a rare south easterly breeze tested the up-wind sailing skills of the mostly Ozzie crews. All but one of the all Jeanneau fleet finished within a few minutes of each other but all of the crews were ready for a feed by the time they had tied up to the quay at the head of the steep sided fjord.

But the best was still to come when Kalymnian musicians, Mikali and Sakis arrived and opened their repertoire with a stirring Armenian lament of which there are in fact Greek and Turkish versions, as we had previously discovered when our Turkish engineer sang his version of it to the accompaniment of the Greek bouzouki and guitar – stirring stuff.

Soon afterwards, Sylvia, human dynamo and chef, demonstrated her Greek dancing prowess and stirred the now replete yachties into their versions of the intricate traditional twirls, all be it without much intricacy. Of course this indulgence is not unique in the Greek tourism scheme of things but on this night there was sincerity and authenticity not usually seen. Even the owners of one of the neighbouring tavernas, usually a competitor, stopped by to join in this fleeting escape from the daunting economic realities of Greece’s economic plight. The boys played without a break until three the next morning by which time a troupe of locals had joined in. The boys played without a break until three the next morning by which time a troupe of locals had joined in.

Meanwhile the goats continued to forage the precipitous slopes of this most spectacular inlet of the sea, which the Aegean Yacht Rally has visited every year for the past 10 years or so; no-one is really sure of how many years it is, but each encounter is unique in one way or another.

Mariner Boating Holidays will return to Greece in 2014 for the Greek Island Odyssey Yacht Rally and all are welcome to join. For more information, contact Trevor Joyce on 02 9966 1244 if you are inside Australia, or, if not, check out the website and Greek Island Odyssey.

Zhik Dinghy 660x82Henri Lloyd 50 YearsHarken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Growing Fleet of Firsts for Queensland’s biggest GC Intl Marine Expo
A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape even more world-leading marine brands/businesses step aboard this week A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape as even more world-leading marine brands and businesses step aboard this week with first releases at Australia’s first major boat show of 2017 – the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo in March.
Posted on 2 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Lisa Blair departing on her Antarctic circumnavigation attempt
Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair will depart on her record breaking attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica on 22 January Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair will depart on her record breaking attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica on Sunday 22 January 2017.
Posted on 21 Jan