Leros is a small island, but in terms of sailing offers so much. The large bay of Lakki provides shelter from any wind and it is large enough to accommodate an entire naval fleet.
In fact, during the Italian occupation Leros was a major naval base of the Italian Navy. In Leros we have been joined by Gabriella and Fabrizio together with 4of their friends which we did not know: Giuseppe, Stella, Marilena Ed Antonella.
To put at ease our new friends we decided to prepare them a nice Sicilian dinner with some Greek transgression.
So the dinner table was colored by eggplant salad (roasted eggplant seasoned with garlic, olive oil, mint, lemon and yogurt), roasted peppers, tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber, topped with a mixture of garlic, green pepper, marjoram , dill), green peppers with balsamic vinegar and Greek salad, all washed down with a good greek "white".
The next day after a good night's sleep we set sails to Patmos, where we spent the day in a nice bay before moving to the harbor for the night.

The next morning the crew took advantage of the stop to visit the monastery and the cave of the Apocalypse.
We decided to stay in Patmos also the following day, moving in the beautiful bay of Yeoryos, almost desolate, turquoise water and a beautiful beach. In the evening we decided to dine at a nice restaurant on the beach.
The experience under the culinary point of view will not remain in the memory of us all but the cook, nicknamed Polyphemus, and laughter due to a mild intestinal discomfort of one of the crew member, will certainly be the subject of a thousand tales.
Back in the boat, stimulated by a starry sky that only isolated places like Yeoryos can offer, we gathered up in the bow where my newfound guitar accompanied us with songs mostly forgotten long into the night.
The next day we sailed to Arkoy, a tiny island virtually uninhabited. The wind had already mounted considerably, but we found shelter in a well protected bay. Also there we experienced turquoise water and practically only another boat to keep us company.
The next destination was Lipsi, also a small island, but with a steep slope that accelerates the already 'impetuous Melthem.
Already during the day we troubled with the holding of the anchor,  so in the afternoon so we decided to move to the small port of Lipsi.
Unfortunately, the port was already quite crowded and the wind continued to blow with gusts exceeded 30 knots. In an attempt to find mooring between the two boats our anchor remained entangled in the chain of another vessel, with the result of being unable to maneuver.
At this point I decided to dive in an attempt to hope the anchor (8 meters). I managed the task, but once freed the anchor the boat wind-driven retreated towards vessels at berth. I had left at the helm the poor Fabrizio who could not do much as a Turkish Gulet in the meantime, despite the obvious difficulties of our operation, moved in front of Fabrizio preventing maneuver to move away from the boats moored.
I do not really know how I did but re-emerged immediately realized that the situation turned for the worse and with a force that is found only in these situations I was able to reach in a few seconds the stern of my boat, climb, take the throttle levers, turn the Boat on itself and avoid the collision with the Turkish schooner and the other vessels at berth.

Escaped from the port we anchored outside the port where the rest of the crew landed to go out to dinner. Cristina and myself decided to stay in the boat. The wind was still blowing over 30 knots and by no mean we felt to leave alone our Angelique II.
Upon returning from dinner of the crew wind reinforced still making very precarious anchorage, so I decided to "give away" a night navigation to crew and return to Leros in a safe harbor. Started around midnight, we arrived in Leros around 3. All crew, except for the good Fabrizio that because of the fright he had retired into the cabin, keep company with the captain remaining on "watch" until the arrival in Leros.
After a good sleep we sailed to Archangelos, a bay north of Leros.
Arrived early morning we found a fisherman with a small fishing boat motoring around the bay. We immediately took our dinghy to join him founding out he was fishing. In perfect Oxfordian English the old man negotiated the sale of his catch and he suggested what should we do before the cooking. Go to the ground slam octopuses for 40 times out of a rock and then wipe again on a rock for at least 20 minutes. At night the octopuses have banned our table. The old fisherman gave us a dinner and an unforgettable experience.
Back to Leros for the last cruise night we discovered that Antonella had a tip for a restaurant that proved a real jewel of the Dodecanese.
At "Milos" we had a great meal, we spent a very modest figure, and we had a wonderful evening.
The next morning the crew landed landed quite early, a flight was waiting to take them back to Italy.
This second week of cruising gave me my ideal crew, the stereotype of the friends that I would always have with me on board.
The "General", silent, but able to pull out stories to bend into fits of laughter. I will miss his night watches (he slept all week in the cockpit). Gabriella, my yoga teacher (I have not yet recovered from the hangover pain). The laughter of Antonella, the willingness to always give a hand of Marilena, the sympathy and frankness of Stella.

I hope that they too have taken home and cherish a fool of my new life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 By Giamba