Greece

Submitted by jono on 16 Dec 2018.

Thank you is a puny word for what I would like to express. People of Greece - you are wonderful. As summer became winter and the sea and beaches became largely deserted, you were there practically everywhere I stopped with offers of friendship, food, shelter and history lessons. I arrived here in Alexandroupolis a few days ago and Nasos has been typically rock-like, helping out in dozens of ways. He even plumbed in some hot water at the Friends of the Sea Club, which has been my temporary home.

Submitted by jono on 11 Dec 2018.

An update and clarification of intentions:

Now counting down the remaining miles of Greece.

At Keramoti a no-wind day and the option to stay another night on the boat. So a good opportunity to tick off some overdue 'proper' work of the type that pays expenses. Later a pleasant ponder and wander round the sand spit that protects this pretty port. Then, next day, with clear conscience and skies, a 17nm against the wind victory. Fresh and invigorating.

Submitted by jono on 04 Dec 2018.

A futile task trying to stay up to date. This internetted world provides no excuse to leave stones unturned... but most stones hide others, or have neighbours that beckon attention. For today I give up. Surrender. A slightly tired update this. Pictures and a few words, and many thank yous.

Submitted by jono on 25 Nov 2018.

I am frequently asked what I do. A question that puzzles me. I do the same as everyone else: I do life. To clarify, I open my palms to indicate the here and now. This is what I do.

Submitted by jono on 15 Nov 2018.

By heading north I escape the swell and move onto a low and sandy coast. Still very little wind but nice for paddling. Chance meetings and spontaneous kindness on the way. Ilias insists I can't sleep on the beach and puts me in a hotel room, Dimitris gifts me a poem - Ithica, by Cavafy - that has such beauty, and - I guess - offers reassurance:

Submitted by jono on 07 Nov 2018.

30th October - end of day Agiokampos

Early start with a following wind to cruise down the sound between Euboea and the mainland. A group of three bottlenose dolphins come near then fall in behind. They are cautious rather than shy, and don't swim straight lines, so I throw in plenty of gybes to fit in better. A very peaceful encounter. After 45 minutes they break off to investigate a fish farm nearer to the rocky coastline. I follow, but am distracted instead by the many egrets in the treetops. In Greece, where there are fish farms there are egrets.

Submitted by jono on 30 Oct 2018.

Sunday 21st - Monday 22nd October - last days at Varkiza

I hang on for a couple more days at the event site. Amongst the nations represented are Russia (competitors and coaches) and Turkey (jury member) and there is an opportunity to make some connections. To Tatyana and Pinar, I stumble an explanation of the plan: a Russia to Russia solo windsurf, a route going south on the Black Sea coast, an objective to reach Sochi.

Submitted by jono on 20 Oct 2018.

12th October - end of day Hydra

A few hours upwind sail to the island of Hydra. Easy conditions, but have a silly fall whilst checking phone, and put some new holes in the sun damaged sail. Oh well, more clear than ever that a third sail will be needed, and have Insignia repair cloth to patch this mess up once on land. Stop at a beautiful spot on the car-less island of Hydra. Good conditions here - pebble beach, fresh water - to make a nice repair, and time enough left before dark to hike up the mountain behind the hamlet.

Submitted by jono on 11 Oct 2018.

Friday 5th October - End of day - Elaía

Have become quite fond of Kokkala, but there's an opportunity to get away from what is a slightly awkward corner. Safest launch - that bypasses a windless shorebreak - is to throw sail in off dock and follow with board.

Submitted by jono on 10 Oct 2018.

Decent sailing wind again so this a very brief update. Now into the Aegean and sailing up the east side of the Peloponnese into the Meltemi (NE) headwind. The coastline is stunning! Impressive scale, beautiful, and minimally populated. It really does remind me of Norway apart from being a) warm (no complaints) b) having more solid wind (yeah!) and c) having a river of debris running parallel to the coast. It's not just plastic, but plastic is everywhere in this flow-of-stuff down the coast.
Hope for a fuller catch-up soon.