3 ports in this post and that’s because they have come so thick and fast that I just haven’t had time to play catch-up. I write from Mykonos and, more than likely, I’ll have to finish this while we’re on our way to Valletta, Malta.
No map of our location of course, I can’t get 3 ports onto one map, unfortunately and my charts of arrivals and tracks? Well, the programme that I take them from has thrown a complete ‘wobbler’ and won’t let me download them; all-in-all a sad state of affairs….
I have called at Nafplion before, while commanding the “Nieuw Amsterdam”; a lovely town nestled in the head of a long bay. Many of our guests left in Piraeus and spent 2 nights here and, by all accounts, loved every minute of it. Tours take guests to Mycenae, Epidaurus and Palamadi castle, Corinth and the Canal; the area is rich in historical places.
On a grey morning, we took a wander into town, I had to get a watch battery and the ladies wanted to browse the shops and have some lunch, so the morning was just that. I took the GoPro, however the battery doesn’t long on ‘video’ mode, hence a relatively short video for you.
Anchor aweigh and off we set for Heraklion, a port on the north coast of Crete. Again, steeped in history, the Palace of Knossos, of the Minoan Empire and the fabled Minotaur. All this became superfluous to me, for we were visited by Greek Coast Guard and a Port State Control inspection. These are serious, they have the power to detain ships (and often do), if they have defects which they consider unsafe. Well, no going ashore and 7 hours of them checking everything but the kitchen sink, O hang on, they checked that…well almost everything including our qualifications our Management System, store-rooms, technical spaces and finally a drill of our Emergency Response teams AND an Abandon Ship drill. Phew, as you can imagine it was a long day and we sailed slightly late, (yeah, no detention). No photos either, however a time-lapse of arrival and departure. Jan, our Staff captain brought her in and I took her out. It was blowing on departure, just on the maximum wind we can push her up against, 25 knots.
So to Mykonos and unusually we docked; normally this is a tender port and more often than not, a difficult one because of the high-winds, Mykonos is renown for it. Wind-surfers love it, seamen hate it…. I was once one of the former, even while I was one of the latter 😀
It was calm when we arrived and for a change, I docked on ‘manual’, using the azipods individually and then finishing on joystick when I had completed a 125° turn. Later in the morning, sure enough, the wind picked up, reaching gusts of 25 knots; fortunately we had anticipated this when we tied up and had plenty of lines out.
It is the most beautiful town, old, white-washed houses nestling in narrow lanes, it’s positively gorgeous and a photographers dream. Guests took take a shuttle-bus towards town, I write ‘towards’ because no vehicle no wider than a very, (very) small car can access the narrow streets, so they had a long walk. The wise ones took the “Sea Bus”, a ferry from next to the berth which took one right into the heart of the town, €5 return.
Then a wander into the town itself.
Wow, I didn’t think I’d finish before we left, however I have. Now I have to go and have a Bridge Resource briefing. We will do the next leg of our voyage, to Malta and discuss in detail what manoeuvres we will do, what we can expect along the way and a whole host of other subjects. We arrive in Valletta on Sunday and I am super-excited; Samantha, Anthony, Olly and Emily are joining for few days! 😆 😆