Nysiros to Symi Port to Pedi, Symi
|GIALOS, THE PORT OF SYMI|
21st August 2015
From Nysiros we sailed with Pip on board to Symi port where we holed up for a few days of gusty weather. Symi port is the most picturesque deep natural harbour surrounded by steep hills and rocky crags. Plastered across this, Italianate, neo classical dolls houses are jammed in at different angles. It's just stunning gazing at the quirky layout of houses over the centuries. With a historic preservation order on it, much of the houses are crumbling and derelict.
The downside is it was high summer. It was hot and Symi is the victim of it's own charming popularity. There were simply too many boats for the harbour. A stone's throw from Turkey, overrun with refugees, way overcrowded with very big ferries, gulets, megayachts, cargo ships, tripper boats, yachts and fishing boats all at once! It's also a wankers paradise and a mooring nightmare. Symi is the home of the crossed anchor. At days end enormous megayachts congregate in a display of mega vanity. Ok for the owners maybe but hard work for the crew. They aren't exempt from the crossed anchor dramas or bad holding either. From about 5.00pm everyday the megayachts swarm in, creating a ferocious wash that richochets through the yacht moorings sending masts lurching like a trade show for metronomes.
So why did we spend four nights in Symi Harbour? We were sheltering from the predicted Meltemi gusts although they didn't really crank up til the third night. Med mooring in Symi hasn't been our most relaxing time, in fact it was a bit of a nightmare. We've never been so tested. Heat stress, anchoring stress, we weren't alone. There were several re anchorings due to crossed chains on the south side of the harbour. Everyone on the other side pointing to their chains trying to ward off a crossed anchor. When the boat mooring next to us paid out all their chain and were down to a very small rope that was never meant to be tested, they blew on to us pushing our stern into the wall. It was about this point I said to Anne “we're getting the flock out of here!” We cast off, upped anchor again and headed on to the other side. Things improved slightly on the northern side of Symi harbour but we still had the Meltemi gusts to contend with. The gloss on the carefree sailing life was all but gone according to Anne.
When the big gust came, I was on the bow marvelling at how much windier it was on the south side and hoping our anchor had enough scope out when right on time at 9.00pm an enormous gust around the peak 40kts forecast hit us beam on. It was short but intense. All boats leaned, whistled and righted but not before Pip got a feeling for how much we depend on a good anchor. Pip asked the question, “is anchoring hit and miss?” I replied that was an encyclopaedic question, books have been written on it. The upshot was our anchor 'sort of' held. Our stern was closer to the wall and the anchor probably moved in the mud but I wasn't going to touch it unless I really had to. Things settled down ok but I slept in the cockpit overnight just in case.
|A LOVELY DOG, PERMANENTLY CHAINED, DESPERATE FOR A SMOOCH. NYSIROS|
|PIP CAN HARDLY CONTAIN HER ENTHUSIASM ON HER FIRST SAIL ON 4D!|
|MOORING MAYHEM IN SYMI. THE BLUE BOAT IS STUCK, THE OTHERS ARE MANOEUVERING|
|TWO CREWS TOOK TWO HOURS TO UNTANGLE THIS CROSSED ANCHOR CHAIN SPAGHETTI ON 'MU MU'|
|PRETTY SYMI HARBOUR|
|TENSE MOMENT CONFIRMING BEER LEVELS ADEQUATE|
|MU MU STILL IN THE DOO DOO AS FERRIES DOCK STERN TO NEXT TO IT.|
|GREAT VIEWS NO WHEELCHAIR ACCESS. SYMI PORT HARBOUR|
|DIVING TO RELEASE A CROSSED ANCHOR! WELL DONE, IT WORKED.|
|ANNE CLEANS UP SOME OF THE PLASTIC FLOATING BY IN SYMI HARBOUR|
|SYMI HARBOUR DINING IN WITH TOP TABLE STAFF|