This guy is pretty up himself. Make sure you listen all the way.
I would be lying if I said that I was looking forward the 4.30am departure from our friends house on Wednesday morning. Tuesday ended up being quite stressful with a unexpected emergency at work. This wasn’t helped by a full weekend and David’s birthday on Monday, but we managed it and all plans of having an early night were thwarted with the excitement and mental check-listing going on. But after a couple of drinks we went to bed, ready for 4 hours sleep.
Getting up was a little tricky, but once we were up we were up. So, to Gatwick we were driven and met with James and JP then to Rhodes we flew. A medium flight, warm breakfast, chick flick, attempted sleep, followed by an hour and a half wait for our bags. We eventually got into our waiting taxis (with horrid hot sticky plastic seats) to the marina.
We chartered a 42 foot Bavaria, two heads (toilets) and two showers (showers). A very large saloon and galley with two cabins at the back and one at the front. All very comfortable, it was a little dirty but then I have been spoiled by high standards. They did have an interesting rule for the toilets. Greece has the custom of providing little bins by the toilets to put anything in that hasn’t been digested first, including (in case I am being discreet) used toilet paper. This is due (apparently) to the smaller plumbing for the sewers. However, on a boat you basically crap in the dry(ish) loo, do your business and then pump a large fixed pump to suck sea water into the bowl and then pump it out again. During the pumping out your solids are macerated up and then straight out to sea. So we decided that the rule was made to be broken and laughed at the idea. However the previous occupants followed the rules a little more closely and decided that we would need educating and left a crappy bag for John to discover.
Perhaps a little too much on poo, but I did have some explaining to do.
We had a meal in Rhodes (the usual touts on the street encouraging you into their restaurant) and a rather long walk in the dark around the outside of the walls of the old town. There are a lot of stray cats on the Greek islands, and right at the back of our boat there was a kitty sanctuary where a man kept up a little shelter for them and provided food. The poor things are all a bit manky looking and there was a kitten section with the tiniest kittens, one hadn’t even opened his eyes yet. Quite sad.
Back to the boat for a super sleep then off to our first destination, Symi.
I tried to keep out of the way during the setting off, having five keen sailors and some worried charter staff assessing and debating what to do was a bit chaotic. The standard mooring on the islands is to find your space, drop your anchor a few boat lengths in front, then back up to the space where the crew would jump off when close enough and secure the back with two lines. Then you tighten up the anchor and balance things out. It seems to work but can cause problems. Our first was when we tried pulling up our anchor on the first trip and then being caught on our neighbors anchor chain. The shouting and frantic pointing didn’t last long and were soon on our merry way. I don’t remember much of the journey, it wasn’t very long. There was a point when our depth dropped to 0.2 meters from the average 140 meters. We did a little swerve and had a little panic. Not that going aground is ever fun, but it’s very rocky in the area and hitting a rock is less desirable than coming to a stop in muddy English marina. The boat in front of did a similar maneuver, but I think it was eventually decided it was fish or something as the charts didn’t list anything in this otherwise deep clear bit of water.
Symi was very pretty, an idyllic representation of the Greek island harbor. Little houses painted the hills surrounding the sheltered square of water. A grumpy man with a pipe whistled your boat to a certain spot. It took two attempts to come in, but nothing too embarrassing, and we had help from people on the harbor to catch the ropes.
After having a little chill assisted with a gin and tonic and some welcome shade from our bimini (pram-like umbrella) we went off and had a walk with some ice cream (I had banana and nutella, very tasty). It was the beginning of the season but there where only a few closed bars and restaurants, still plenty to choose from. We we walking past some vending machine and I notice that there was one that dispensed chips. I desperately wanted to try, I knew they would be shit and and taste of micro-waved cardboard but still… it’s chips from a vending machine. After some persuading I walked on. There was also a popcorn machine that popped in a big tube to order. The plan wasn’t to go and eat but the walk was longer than expected and we decided to go back to a wood stove restaurant previously inspected.
I ordered some wood baked cheese, thinking it would be little pieces of smoky cheese just beginning to melt, but alas I was presented with a six inch cazuela of melted cheese. Yum, but way more melted cheese for any one man.
Graham had spotted a male couple the recognised from London, and there was a bear character with his combat shorts earlier. These facts had to mean only one thing, that Symi is the new Mykonos and we were among the pioneers to colonise this new land. From that we found the gay bar… well the bar where the two gents from London were sitting, and admittedly after we walked 50 meters or so to change into long-sleeves they sound of The Weather Girls poured onto the streets. Alas that didn’t last long and it became a typically youngish Mediterranean bar.
I can’t really remember much, I started writing this in May, and never got round to finishing it. But I have put a video together of the trip, so you see all the fantastic things we did. The exciting smelly volcano, riding the scooters and a crab!!
Oh, and pics can be found on my Flickr (link to the left)
But I will summarise, it was a very nice trip and made a welcome change to the pastime of “sailing” in the UK (cold, wet and hard). The bikes were great fun and would love to come out of my house on a summer morning, no helmet and jump on my scooter and drive through dusty empty roads to work.
Here is my first major play with Live, mainly seeing what it can do and how to mix up different types of music. Tempted to finish and polish (the end is a bit of a mess (aka lame)) but will pref to take what i have learned from it and do something else. There are some nice touches and some things that work, and others that don’t
I have been a bit quiet, minus the odd link here and there.
I must get cracking and write a couple of reviews, saw Cabaret, though I am a little under enthused to write about that. Oh sod it, here goes.
I hadn’t seen the film, yet my other half has and is a big fan. So we went to see the new London production of Cabaret, the posters caught my eye and I also saw some production shots the characters in black leather. Also a work friend highly recommended the show, so off we went.
The theatre was tiny, and you go in on ground level through the doors and your in the circle, the people in the stalls go further down. We were lucky to have front row seats, so had a nice view. The staging of the show was very good, i really liked the costumes and sets, the way things were happening in the background when the main focus is on the two main characters was very nice. Lots of ladders were used and they slid around, so someon might slide by hanging off a ladder during a dialogue scene.
The story was quite basic, set in Berlin an American…. sod it, every time i try to write this i get distracted. This is my third attempt. It must be a sign.
Lets summarise then, nice sets. Performances were all fine, I really liked the Sally character, others thought she was no Liza. But the songs were pretty poor and the story a little too uneventful. Not really my bag I’m afraid.
Oh well. It was a pretty long time ago as well, so i can’t remember much.. I must try to get these things down faster.