As predicted, the wind whipped up pretty well overnight and is quite fresh in the morning (gusting over 30 knots in the harbor). A very pleasant surprise, though: the clouds were all gone and we had glorious blue sky for the first time since we had started our voyage.
Because we are all Alaskans (and an Oregonian) who were seeking sun after a long winter, this has a huge psychological boost. All of a sudden, the beautiful town along the shore actually looks like the photos on the tourism sites: bright white buildings, blue waters of the Aegean, blue skies, etc.
Since we had planned to be weathered in here for the day, everyone arises at a leisurely pace. Soon some are ready for shore excursions and we do a couple of dingy loads to the small boat harbor. Our crew roams the town, eating, taking pictures, visiting the church (where there was some kind of mysterious ritual going on).
We take our laundry for the last week to a cute laundry place where they wash & dry our soaked and salty clothes and the nice lady double bags the clean/dry clothes for the wet ride back to the boat.
Susan and I hang out on the boat for a while, then we checked with the shore party via radio to make sure the forecast isn’t for worse weather before we head in. We realized that if the wind came up much more (became non-dingyable) and we were all on shore – nobody could get back to our boat if the anchor was dragging, etc. The forecast called for better weather and it was looking good, so we headed to shore too.
Parikia was pretty, and fairly touristy, but nice and we enjoyed it. There is a neat kind of labyrinth of narrow streets with townhouses and stores. It’s like a maze and we got a little lost occasionally. We joked about the Minotaur running through this labyrinth, looking for tourists to devour.
We find an awesome little cafe which seems to have moved its tables and chairs out into the middle of the street. We feast there on Greek Salads and Mediterranean seafood pasta.
It’s amazing how many big ferries come and go from this place. It doesn’t seem like there is a population here to support that much traffic, but there must be a lot more buildings/people on the island than we can see from our place in the harbor. Another cool thing is that even these big ferries do Med Moorings. They pull up to the ferry dock, spin around stern-to, drop their huge anchors and back into the dock. We joke that people also probably park their cars like that here too. The ferries are spectacular looking, especially the “fast” ferries. They look like streamlined space ships and they would certainly look like alien ships to the old Aegean Sea mariners of the past. You can imagine them on their old sailboats, looking up and squinting while this big orange bullet goes whizzing by at over 40 knots, kicking up a rooster tail of foam in its wake.
There is a nice couple from France who is moored on a 35 FT sloop near us with their dog. Some of our crew saw them in town and chatted. They’ve lived around here on their boat for the last 4 years and they said they’ve “never seen” continuously bad weather like this.
We extended the gangway out over the water and Susan did some yoga poses out over the water. Life is good.
We enjoyed our weather day in Parikia and the blue skies. That evening, we saw our first sunset with colors.