Cruising the Med

Cruising the Med

Postby Frode » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:46 am

View from the flybridge of Morrowind, currently berthed in Grand Harbour Marina, Vittorioso, Malta. For those who didn't catch the cruising story I posted from Norway two years ago, Morrowind is GB's Aleutian RPH 53, production number 1, belonging to Vincent (Vikendios). We have joined with Vincent for what promises to be a few weeks of fabulous cruising through the Greek Isles. These places don't just have "history" - this is where important world events have happened for thousands of years, and Vincent has willingly offered to share from his incredible knowledge of this region.

Don't know how the internet connections will be as we go, but I hope to post several updates, with photos when possible, during the trip.

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Postby Bob Lowe » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:04 pm

I like the view, especially the sky.

Keep the photos and reports coming and enjoy the time and cruise. :)
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Postby captain Joe » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:45 pm

my three favorite islands: Santorini, Aegina, and Lesvos! Love Greece!
Thanks,

Joe Berini
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Postby Vikendios » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:36 pm

Great selection, Joe. We are planning to stop in Santorini, but not at the two others you mention, they being away from our route, from Corfu around the Peloponese and then midway up the Cyclades to Skiathos.

On my list I woud add Patmos, for St John's monastery where he wrote Revelation, and Ithaca for its charm, greenery and Homeric association (Home of Ulysses).

Vincent
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Postby captain Joe » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:37 pm

Sounds fabulous. My wife is Greek and she has taken me to a number of islands. It's great because she speaks flawless Greek and it seems she has relatives everywhere. We keep talking about doing a captained charter. I envy you folks -- what a great trip!
Thanks,



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Whales in the Med

Postby Vikendios » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:46 am

We have now reached Greece, and after two days in Corfou, are moored in Paxi. I believe Frode will tell more and post pictures.
I was very excited about meeting whales in the Gulf of Taranto, this is the first time I have seen any in the Med.
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They were three small grey sperm whales, frolicking in company of five or six white larger dolphins, of the kind that never join boats to ride the bow wave.
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We could bring the boat quite close. I am learning from Frode how to inbed pics in the text using URL links, but it is not easy to do due to our very slow connections.
I do hope this will work. I am particularly pleased with the "wine-dark" blue of the sea on that day.
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Here is another close view of the three sperm whales.
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Postby captain Joe » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:14 pm

beautiful!
Thanks,



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Postby Frode » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:18 pm

Wanted to share a cool 180+ degrees panoramic picture (assembled from several individual shots) from Valletta, Malta. The view shown is from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, located on the demi-bastion on the wall surrounding the city.

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Postby Frode » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:33 pm

For those interested in more of the cruising detail here is what we have done so far. Following a few days stay in Malta we left for Syracuse (Siracusa), Italy, on the island of Sicily, about 80 nautical miles to the north. We weren't sure what the conditions would be like as a storm had passed through less than two days prior. However, the seas were almost flat, with a swell of perhaps a foot. We cruised at a leisurely 9 knots.

Next stop was Crotone, Italy, on the "pad" of Italy's "foot", just over 150 miles beyond Syracuse. Not particularly interesting, we just spent the night. The next day, following another 70 mile easy passage, we came to the charming town of Santa Maria di Leuca, situated on the "heel". Had several instances of dolphins riding our bow wave, sometimes for long periods. I know most cruisers have experienced this, but it still excites me when it happens. Link to a video is here.

On July 3rd we left Italy for Greece, specifically the island of Kerkyra, better known as Corfu. This is the crossing where we came across the sperm whales Vincent posted photos of, going in the company of five to seven Risso's dolphins. They stopped as we got nearer and just hung out for quite a while, being observed. We were all wondering if we were the ones being observed by these intelligent animals, as it certainly seemed that way. As soon as we turned to get back on our trip, they continued theirs. Link to a video I shot of the whales is here.
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Postby Bob Lowe » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:55 pm

Gee, guys, what with the fantastic photos and descriptions, it's almost as good as being there! Almost.... :)

Thanks for sharing and keep it coming.
Good luck,

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Postby Vikendios » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:43 pm

We are progressing south in easy stages, from one Ionian Island to the next. (The Med to the South of Italy and West of Greece is styled the "Ionian sea"). All these Islands, from Corfu to Zante, were until Napoleon the realm of Venice, and never occupied by the Turks, although they tried several times, the most famous being the siege of Corfu in the late seventeen century. But Frode may post more about Corfu. Corfu and Zante are the old Italian names, they are also known today as Kerkyra and Zakynthos.

Another island, now known as Lefkada was named by the Venetian Santa Maura. It is separated from the mainland by lagoons that can be crossed through a dredged canal, that Morrowind followed. On the Northern end was a sea fortress, on the South end a hill fortress. As I like history, I made a few pictures.
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Further along we stopped in Cephalonia, famous for its currants and fresh white wine called Robola. When the English took over from the French, they built an impressive neo-classical lighthouse with a circular colonnade in the Ionic order (1830's) that shows how much the governors of the time were familiar with ancient Greece. It commands the entrance to the harbour of Argostoli. This is to my mind the loveliest lighthouse that I have ever seen in the world.

Vincent

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Postby Tom Overs » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:37 pm

Vincent,

At my first visit to Cephalonia we had a day near that lighthouse, it is as you say probably the most beautiful lighthouse around. The warm waters and the sunshine just add to it.

I only wish that I had Little Ship there at the time, mind you she did spend several years "plodding" around the Greek islands.

Keep the photos coming.

Tom.
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Born to cruise...........once forced to work!
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Postby Frode » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:22 pm

I have lots I want to share, but here's a quick photo from today's visit to the village of Kapsali, on the island of Kythira (just north of Crete). Morrowind is moored on the left (one of only three boats visiting).

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Postby Vikendios » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:24 am

As I have started on a military/medieval theme, here are views of two more Venetian citadels on the South coast of the Peloponnese, Methoni and Koroni. These were mainly built to protect trade routes to the Levant and deny pirates useful places of refuge. They were called the "Eyes" of Venice, because scouting galleys based there provided early intelligence on Turkish fleet movements.

It is interesting to ponder how the incredible wealth of Venice came from these Eastern trade routes bringing into Europe the spices and silks and carpets... And how this monopoly was unchallenged until the Portuguese found the sea routes around Africa... Venice then became a nation of Bankers, Landowners and Entertainers...

Vincent

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Postby Bob Lowe » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:36 pm

Great photos and historical narrative! Keep it coming, guys! :)
Good luck,

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