posted in: Greece, Offshores | 2

The Burnetts arrived in Patras, Greece, this morning.  We sailed first to Katakolon on a two-day passage from Lipari and were fortunate to be far away during the awful earthquake in Italy.

The kids are really into Greek mythology thanks to Rick Riordan, and Homer’s Odyssey has been most relevant as we have explored the Ionian sea.  In fact, we felt like the fickle wind god Aeolus had us confused with Odysseus, as the winds on our passage from Lipari could go from 6 kts to 35 kts in the time it took to roll out the jib.  Homer didn’t give you a lot of sailing details in the Odyssey, but I am sure Odysseus spent the whole time double-reefed.  When Mel was off-watch after dodging some thunderstorms she decided The Odyssey was a coded oracle regarding how to handle the Ionian Sea and quickly came up with a new rule: Don’t Eat Beef When You Cross The Ionian.  I mean, the wind really went nuts on taco night.

Luckily, we didn’t encounter any mythical beasts on the passage, although there might have been some onboard.  Mel would like to think that she more resembles a Siren, but those who have ever heard her sing or have seen her hair in real life know that she is more akin to Scylla, the six-headed monster.  Her powers became apparent in the middle of the Ionian when we suffered a breakage of the dinghy-davit-holder-on-latch-thingy and Mel’s hair once again ensnared the impeller in the owner’s head, rendering it temporarily impaired.  After this happened Mel became quite worried that Circe would show up and turn the kids into pigs, which isn’t so far-fetched given the giant mess they tend to make in the saloon bed when we go offshore.

The winds wanted us to land in Katakolon instead of Ithaca, so we obeyed. Greece has made a great first impression.  The Greek people we have met have been friendly and speak while smiling.  They realize Greek is hard for us to understand (“Yes” is pronounced “Nay.”  NAY!)  and they almost have a party when you manage to say “F-CAR-e-stow,” or “thanks,” in their language.

From Katakolon, we took a car to Olympia and had our own mini-Olympic games.  We also spent a day exploring the mountainous inland Peloponnese peninsula, visiting a temple to Apollo and a beautiful, frigid waterfall.  Our Schengen time was due to run out, so we got an 18-month extension immediately on check-in here in Patras via an agent (highly recommended), which we are thrilled about.  The Greeks have been so welcoming, we will likely spend the next two months in Greece!

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2 Responses

  1. Jeremy David Block
    | Reply

    Hi Mel

    Interesting in hearing your great story.
    Both the reasons why and what you eventually did.

    Obviously you have more guts than me.

    Always wanted to do what you and your family have done.

    The only question I have is how and where did you learn to sale

    Jerry and Dori Block

    • Mel
      | Reply

      We took ASA (American Sailing Association) courses 101, 103/104, and 114 from Northern Breezes Sailing School in Minnesota. We started our lessons about a year before we left. They were great. It’s good to know the right way things are done! The best thing we did was to hire a captain to teach us how to sail and dock our own boat for a week, and then we later hired him to take us out on our first 5-day offshore, windward around Cuba.

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