Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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.

Festival of Sails 2017 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearAbell Point Marina 660x82 Moor

Related Articles

Fifth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Jon Sanders is closing in on Reunion and Mauritius The west coast of Australia is now a long way behind. Then it was 3 reefs in the mainsail. Windy. A wind one gets in the region - history shows it has been the same over the past 400 years - Southerlies. Soon the wind bends. And we get the South East trades proper. For the first 1,000 Nautical Miles the Trades were what I expected. Very strong southerlies leaving the Australian shore (Shark Bay).
Posted on 2 Dec
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov
Only room for one at the top
The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. The results of RMIT's (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) independent testing are in. Zhik® is the market leader in waterproof durability with a new standard that replicates the real world sailing environment and conditions. It is an astounding four times more so than the previous leader.
Posted on 28 Nov
Beneteau Cup – A statement in family and time
Every other deity with a nautical interest seemed to sense the importance of the occasion and delivered in spades Flagstaff Marine delivered a terrific regatta to mark the 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour. It seemed fitting that Beneteau had two factory representatives there as well, headed up by Director, Beneteau Group Asia Pacific, Thibaut de Montvalon and also Asia Sales Manager, Beneteau Group Asia, Vianney Guezenec.
Posted on 28 Nov
Parlier reigns supreme in Hydrofoil Worlds
The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind. Whatever the shortcomings of the Fremantle Doctor on the first day of competition, were made up for in spades on day two, when the wind kicked in early at 15 knots and quickly built to 18 with gusts as high as 26. The Rockingham course is perfectly suited to such conditions. The south westerly breeze kicks over the land mass over the north facing beach, making for flat water despite strong wind.
Posted on 27 Nov
25th Beneteau Cup - Great weather. Great times. Great brand.
The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. The 25th Beneteau Cup on Sydney Harbour was filled with a genuine sense of joy. Flagstaff Marine, together with regatta partners Sydney City Marine, Mark Anderson’s Boat Transport and d’Albora Marinas, can be very proud of the achievement, but it is the owners and crews who make it all possible. Here then are some of the pics of their day! Full report to follow…
Posted on 26 Nov
Ensign want to sell your boat!
Ensign have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. Ensign, one of Australia’s largest yacht brokers, have had such a successful sales year that they are now looking for more pre-used stock to sell. At their head office location at Main Beach, Queensland, they can offer amazing rates on berthing while the boat is on sale at their Marinas Cove Marina and that means great exposure.
Posted on 24 Nov
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov
Third Blog from onboard Perie Banou II
Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. It is 0830am here. 1030 in Western Australia. Windy. Rather Windy. Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. Barometer 1018 to 1020 whatever they are. Last night I tapped the barometer and it sorta went oops. 1015hPa. Blimey.
Posted on 18 Nov
Beneteau Cup - the 25th is the 25th
Beneteau Cup - the 25th is the 25th Flagstaff Marine will present the 25th Beneteau Cup on Friday, November 25. It is always a great day, both on and off the water, with loads of door prizes, great music and fantastic times assured. Of course, to be a part of it you do have to book in! You can enter this historic event right https://www.topyacht.com.au/db/aus/series_select.php?EventID=681!HERE!new and now - so hop to it...
Posted on 15 Nov