Day 035: Mytilene, Greece | West By Sea
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Day 035: Mytilene, Greece

Posted by on 2013/06/23

Day 035: Mytilene, Greece

Position: N 41º 01′ 53″ E 028º 59′ 22″
Weather: 32ºC northeast wind 10kts
Last Port: Athens, Greece
Next Port: Istanbul, Turkey
Status: at anchor, taking tender boats to shore

From the Navigator

We will maintain north easterly course throughout the early hours as we cross the Aegean Sea and approach the Island of Lesvos. At 0700 we will ring standby on our engines and make our approach to our anchorage position. We anticipate being at anchor by 0800.

Once we have all our tenders back onboard we will weigh anchor and set various north westerly courses around the top ef Lesvos and the northerly course passing between the Islands of Limnos on our port side and Gokcedada on our starboard side as we make our way towards the Dardanelles. Later tonight we will start our transit of the Dardanelles with the aid of a pilot as we make our way into the Sea of Marmara.

The local Mytilenean Statue of Liberty. (sadly there was graffiti on her pedestal.)

The Hellenic Lighthouse Association maintains a light on this eastern point of the island. Kids – what does this look like to you?

A fortress protecting the harbor. It was built in stages and now, it’s being repaired. In stages. The recent economic problems in Greece have slowed down many things, including this project.

There was no activity on the site, probably because we visited on a Sunday. There were no barriers, signs, security or OSHA to keep us out. We wandered all around the restoration area. This kiln looked to be for firing clay pots and items. It would not surprise us if they put it back into use once the rebuild is complete.

At the base of the fort, wildflowers covered the hillsides, in all hues, shapes and sizes.

Now this is a sailboat to write home about. Notice the short centerboard but wide outriggers built into the hull. Perfect for sailing, rowing, and dragging ashore on shallow secluded island beaches.

An impressively restored Greek Orthodox church. The stones appeared newly cut and fresh, the marble steps aligned tightly with each other, the colors complementing the site’s tasteful landscaping. On second thought, maybe this in no a restoration, but new construction. Beautiful to behold and especially the mosaic on the northeast side. Being Sunday, the chapel was closed.

Our first shots through the windows gave us nothing but a white flash flare. So we tried again, this time with iPhone and flash turned off. This composite picture is the result. Lesson learned here – keep trying. You may be surprised what your technology can capture for you.

In the cool down period before lunch. We wandered into a cafe and sat by the water. They ignored us for about five minutes, which gave us time to catch our breath, watch the small fish battling the shoreside swells and enjoy the breeze off the water, cooler by more than 5ºC. Then we ordered coke and ouzo, the local specialty alcohol. This brand is named after the island, and while the label is obscured in this picture, quite potent at 92 proof. Yes, 92.

Michelle ordered the hava bean dip. It arrived topped with chopped purple onion, which added just the right savory flavor to an already well seasoned mash. The bread was fresh baked and exactly the way we like – thin crusty on the outside with a nice sprinkle of dry flour and meal, and warmly soft and moist on the inside with a hint of residual yeast in pockets of un-uniform texture to offset the earthiness of the dark grain flour. And of course the Greek Coffee, sweetened “medium”. We’d hate to taste what “sweet” might be, the cuppa was a veritable dessert all by itself.

At Michelle’s suggestion, Ed ordered a kilo of grilled sardines. We had very likely been watching their cousins just below our table the whole time. The flavor of freshly caught and grilled sardines will linger with us a long time, just slightly longer than the aroma they left on our fingers.

Ed after a wonderful lunch of fava bean dip, grilled sardines and ouzo. MMMmm. Does this guy look at home or what? Yes we know this does not say “Popeye’s” in Greek. But hey, Popeye was a Coastie.

Imagine this tree shadowing your local neighborhood sidewalk. I doubt the fruit would last more than a day. Now imaging an entire city block shaded by trees bearing similar clumps of oranges, four to six in a bunch. And then think juice, fresh squeezed by hand into small glasses. Every morning for breakfast. You’d live forever.

Do you want to find a small slice of heaven? Visit Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesvos on a Sunday. You will not want to leave.

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