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Author Topic: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine  (Read 9603 times)

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Offline SL0413

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Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« on: August 23, 2018, 10:58:20 PM »
Hello all.

In 5 hours I am heading to the airport for my second trip to see my Ukrainian girlfriend, T (...technically I guess this is my second date, even though the first one was for 17 days...)

I am so excited!!!  ;D :plane:

I am so tired - in the last two days I've had about 6 hours sleep total to get some last minute things done (including finishing a project at work). :Zzzzsleep:

I wrote a brief description in the New Member forum of the first trip in May/June.  I might write a trip report of that when I return from this trip.

Anyway, to the point.  I am not going to Ukraine.  The "Is Ukraine a failed state" topic has convinced me never to return due to all the corruption, oligarchs, private armies, masses of Russian soldiers building up in Crimea, bad water, scammers, pro-daters, muggers, old american men with questionable characters on romance tours, a few odd British fellas, yada yada yada.   :P


Actually, the real reason is because we are meeting in Greece to go cruising on a Sun Oddessey 449 sailboat with some friends.  We will sail to nearby islands for one week and then head off by ourselves to spend 5 days in Peloponnese.  We are going to rent a car and use Naplio as our home base to explore the area.


A quick story from last night:

Last week I asked T when she is heading to Kyiv (she lives 12+hours away by train).  She said Thursday.  Last night (around midnight my time, 7 AM her time) I asked her which train she is going to take (there are 2) - she didn't know.  She didn't buy the ticket and the trains were sold out. 

I went into panic mode and started looking at what trains were available on Ukrzaliznytsia.  I found an IC+ train that leaves Dnipro at 7:30 AM on Friday, arriving at Kiev just after noon.  I knew her flight wasn't until Friday night, so that would be plenty of time.  Then I used google maps to see the travel time from her town to Dnipro - about 5 hours (she has a car). 

Then I thought she would be tired driving all night, so maybe if she leaves soon she could get to Dnipro by around 2 or 3 PM.  Then I looked on Airbnb to get her an apt to stay - I found a nice 1 bedroom that was available right across the street from the train station.

I orgainized all this information and sent it to her via whatsapp, with screenshots and links and such.  After a little while she texted me a question mark. She wanted to know what the all that information was about.  So I explained it to her.

After a quite moment, she texted back that it was all ridiculous.  If she had to drive she would just drive all the way to Kyiv.  Anyway, she said she was waiting to hear back from the "train mafia" - female staff at Ukrzaliznytsia who sell tickets off-the-books.

Apparently Friday is a holiday in Ukraine - Independence Day (great boyfriend I am - I had no idea).  On holidays some Ukrzaliznytsia staff will buy out several seats and sell them at a higher price.   

In the end she thanked me for being a thoughtful idiot (my words, not hers).  She got on the 6PM train by paying 300 UAH more than the regular price - a little over 1000 UAH in total - for a 1st class sleeper berth.

Well, take care everyone.  If you have friends over there, warn them we are coming. Lock up all the sunglasses (T is a sunglass-aholic). tiphat


Online msmoby

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 11:42:51 PM »



Actually, the real reason is because we are meeting in Greece to go cruising on a Sun Oddessey 449 sailboat with some friends.  We will sail to nearby islands for one week and then head off by ourselves to spend 5 days in Peloponnese.  We are going to rent a car and use Naplio as our home base to explore the area.



My advice - ditch the crew ... ;)

I'm looking forward to your TR ....   

I can't think of a better way for a sailing fan  to find out if one is compatible... alone on a 'small' boat together ..

We've done two bareboat  charters in Turkey and whilst I wouldn't recommend a holiday in a third country for the first ( or even second )  meeting - a cruise for two -  will certainly reveal comparability

Good luck 


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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 05:47:25 PM »
Yes August 24 is the Independence day holiday.  It is prominently mentioned in PPL and PPC sites to induce you to purchase a gift to your honey to celebrate the holiday.  Of course, the PPL and PPC site takes a BIG CUT of the purchase.   :chuckle:
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Offline Texan77

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 06:30:53 PM »
Hello all.

Then I thought she would be tired driving all night, so maybe if she leaves soon she could get to Dnipro by around 2 or 3 PM.


Dnipro has an airport and they have maybe four or five flights a day to Kiev. They were not expensive. I used to fly into there often when my girl was in that area.

Several girls I met when I was dating in Ukraine just loved sailboat and water. I bet you guys have a lot of fun.

Barry




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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 06:46:09 PM »
A while back, I was roundly condemned for testing a relationship by going cruising in Croatia.

It is still in my mind a good way to see the character of a potential partner.

You are in a small area, with limited privacy and entirely foreign systems, (head, galley and propulsion). You are semi self sufficient and things change very quickly. OK the Greek Islands are not the Scandinavian or the Scottish coast line. Still you will understand how your potential partner handles adversity and if you two can work together.

I hope all the ups and downs are in the berth.

As a heads up the channel marking system (colours) is reversed to what you are familiar with in North America.
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 12:48:39 AM »


the Greek Islands are not the Scandinavian or the Scottish coast line. Still you will understand how your potential partner handles adversity and if you two can work together.


The MAJOR plus... no tides to worry about .... 

Offline Manny

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 08:47:32 AM »
masses of Russian soldiers building up in Crimea,

Being as Crimea is in Russia and has a military base there, Russian soldiers at a Russian military base in Russia is not entirely unexpected.

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 09:16:01 AM »
masses of Russian soldiers building up in Crimea,

Being as Crimea is in Russia and has a military base there, Russian soldiers at a Russian military base in Russia is not entirely unexpected.

I also think you're confusing Crimea with sevastopol. I have been around crimea and not seen one soldier. Have seen lots of pretty things, nature, buildings etc. I have also seen tons of pro Russia items in most unexpected places. All in all i'm having a good vacation although not as quiet as other years. The nr. Of tourists here feels higher than 2013.

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Offline SL0413

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 01:18:27 PM »
BACK!!!

On to the trip report:

Aug 24 - Day 0:

Stayed up all night to pack.  I should have packed the day before but I am a packing procrastinator.  Also, this time it was more complicated because I didn't want to pay for checked-in luggage (my discount airfare category showed no free check-in bag) and I needed to pack a soft-sided case for storage on the boat.  There is a cool website called onebag.com that shows tips on packing, including the bundling approach to keep clothes from wrinkling.

So, I packed 1 waterproof windbreaker, 2 pants, 3 long sleeved shirts, 3 shorts, 8 t-shirts, 2 swimsuits, 3 pairs of shoes, an Equatorial Guinea flag (will explain later) and undergarments into a LL Bean duffel bag (my work hands them out during Christmas - the owner is a huge LL Bean fan).

Into a light-weight backpack I packed a foldable backpack (folds into a pocket-sized pouch), tablet, go-pro, go-pro accessories, chargers and cords, headphone, cell phone battery pack, bluetooth speaker, toiletries, wet-wipes, a neck pillow and the most important thing - towel.

My friend picked me up at 05:30 AM and took me to Boston Logan airport, arriving in plenty of time before my flight at 10:14 to Philly (American/Iberian Airlines). 

I check-in to my flight and....I am allowed one free check-in luggage.  AA website clearly stated my airfare category does not include complimentary luggage check-in.  WTF, but in a good way.

Incident-free flight to Philly, 4.5 hr layover for the flight to Athens.  Incident free flight to Athens, arrive at 09:15 on Aug 25, Day 1.


Day 1:

Pretty fast processing through passport and customs in Athens, and I get to the Athens airport lobby at 09:45 or so.  I texted T when I arrived, using the airport wifi.  She arrived at 05:30 from Kyiv.  I look around for her, and finally notice her on the left.  She spotted me earlier and was wondering when I would notice her.   She had a mischievous grin - I guess I took too long.  She's blond and 175 cm tall - hard to miss.  In my defense she didn't tell me what she was wearing.

She's beautiful, as always, and I look a mess with a day old stubble and about 4 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. But she greeted me as if I'm the best looking guy in the airport.

I got a SIM card for my phone and for her (she resisted - her Ukraine SIM card works in Greece - but I countered with the roaming charges she would incur).  I looked in vain for a currency change kiosk with reasonable rates, but she told me to wait until we get to Lavrio - she will pay for the cab fare.

We got a cab and 45 Euros and 45 minutes later get out at the Olympic Marina in Lavrio.  I had a hard time getting in touch with "M", our friend who rented the boat.  I naively wondered up-and-down the docks trying to spot the Sun Oddessey 449 sailboat, calling out "M"'s name every once in a while.  "T" took shelter against a building to stay in the shade - she burns easily.

I can't find the boat so we headed to the cafe at the marina to get a couple of ice coffees.  "M" finally texted back - he's at the Lavrio marina, where our taxi originally wanted to drop us off.  The mistake was that the boat belongs to Olympic Charters, not Olympic marina.  We took a cab back to Lavrio center and to the marina.

Anyway, we all met at around noon.  Me and "T",  "M" and his girlfriend "A", "A2" with is two sons ("M"'s brother), "M"'s friends "R" (male) and "A3" (female).  "R" and "A3" are friends and share the port berth, which has 2 single bunks.  "M" and "A" have the bow berth, "A2" and his sons have the starboard stern berth (double bed), and "T" and I have the port stern berth (double bed).

Here's a cheat list of the crew:
  • T:  my fiance
  • M+:  trip organizer and boat captain (+ = male)
  • A-:  M's girlfriend (- = female)
  • A2+:  M's brother
  • A2T+:  A2's older son
  • A2B+:  A2's younger son
  • R+:  M's friend
  • A3-:  M's friend

We all got acquainted and then headed off to the nearby bank for the ATM and then to lunch.  By this time I was totally exhausted.  But it was way too hot for me to try to take a nap on the boat.  We decided to split up - "T" and I would get a hotel room to shower and nap, the rest will go get groceries and supplies, and we would meet at the boat at 6PM to head off. 

T and I got a room at the Nikolakakis hotel - a very basic place and they only had a room with 2 single beds.  But it had AC.  When I explained I only needed it for 3 hours, the manager charged 40 Euros.  I briefly wondered if the manager thought this was a negotiated affection thingy, but he didn't bat an eye.

We got to the room and I immediately set the AC to 20 C, the lowest temp setting.  We took turns showering in a very inconvenient bathroom - the shower head is right above the toilet - basically the whole bathroom is a shower stall.  I took pains not to get the toilet paper wet and shower.

I immediately noded off when I hit the bed - I was beat.  Also, T was not in the mood - she suspected she was starting her cycle.  After her shower, T snuggled up next to me in the single bed and fell asleep as well.

After about 2 hours I woke up, feeling much better. We had about an hour left before we needed to be on the boat.  T woke up soon after, we got affectionate, she checked to see her cycle didn't start yet, and we made good use of that hour.  :loving:

We got back to the boat right at 18:00.  M+, as captain, assigned us into groups.  I was paired with R+, and T was paired with A-.  A2+ was paired with A3-.  The boys were off the duty roster.  ;D.  He then assigned us into duty shifts and a separate schedule for galley duty (each group had 1 full day of meal preparation). 

T and I excused ourselves again and went to our berth to take a nap. We woke up just as M+ dropped anchor nearby at the southern tip of the mainland, near the temple of Poseidon, in Sounio, at around 21:00.

We had some snacks on deck and talked about our plans for the next day - to visit Sounio and hike up to the temple of Poseidon before setting out to Poros in the afternoon.  Then we noticed that a restaurant/night club in Sounio was blasting dance music.  M+ set up the dingy (complete with a small honda outboard) and headed to shore with A-, R+ and A3-.   A2+ wanted to go but he stayed to watch his kids, who went to bed.  T, A2+ and I chatted and got to know each other. 

About 30 minutes later everyone came back.  Apparently the music was from a wedding reception.  I suggested they should have crashed the wedding, but they weren't dressed properly to pull it off.  :laugh:

They stayed up to drink a bit but T and I went back to our room to finally catch up on sleep.


Next:  Rolling and rocking and early departure. 

P.S.  The flag thing:  M+ apparently told everyone to bring their country's flag.  Any by everyone this meant only T (everyone else was from Poland, and he forgot to tell me).  T wanted me to bring a US flag, but mentioned it the night before I left.  I didn't have a chance to buy one, and not knowing why, I brought the only flag I had - an Equatorial Guinea flag from a Windjammer Cruise 4 masted ship (that was licensed in Equatorial Guinea) from a cruise I took years ago.  It was signed by the entire crew.

I found out it was what people did when the rented sailboats - add their nationality flags to the Greek flag - to show everyone else where they are from.   :travel:


Online msmoby

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 09:08:35 PM »
THIS might help folks understand the sleeping arrangements :



T and you aren't going to get much 'privacy' ..  you are a brave ( or crazy )  man !







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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 12:13:03 PM »
P.S.  The flag thing:  M+ apparently told everyone to bring their country's flag.  Any by everyone this meant only T (everyone else was from Poland, and he forgot to tell me).  T wanted me to bring a US flag, but mentioned it the night before I left.  I didn't have a chance to buy one, and not knowing why, I brought the only flag I had - an Equatorial Guinea flag from a Windjammer Cruise 4 masted ship (that was licensed in Equatorial Guinea) from a cruise I took years ago.  It was signed by the entire crew.

I found out it was what people did when the rented sailboats - add their nationality flags to the Greek flag - to show everyone else where they are from.   :travel:

The Flag Thing, is an international requirement for private vessels. Fly the flags from the starboard spreader.
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Offline SL0413

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 04:38:50 PM »
THIS might help folks understand the sleeping arrangements :



T and you aren't going to get much 'privacy' ..  you are a brave ( or crazy )  man !

Thanks for linking the photo!

Yes, that is the layout of the boat.  We are in the top left bedroom. 

We mostly had the pillows to the left, instead of the right as shown in the photo.   This is significant because the space above the left 2/3 of bed is only about 2 feet above the bed, due to the main crew deck being right above.  The right 1/3, where the pillows are in the photo is normal height -- 6 feet+

This detail is significant, as will be detailed in the trip report.

Offline SL0413

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 05:16:55 PM »
Day 2:

Wee hours:

We went to bed at around midnight on Day 1.  T and I were tired so we just went to sleep, or tried to.  At around 2 AM the boat rocked violently, as if a large ship passed by close to the boat.   This wasn't the case because we were at a good anchorage, near the port of Sounio, and we were not near any shipping or ferry lanes.

We tossed a bit, but settled down and went back to sleep.  About 10-20 minutes later we woke again due to another bout of violent rocking.  This time we heard someone walk up to the deck.   We listened for a bit and heard the anchor being pulled up.  T told me to go up and see if anything was the matter and if I could help with anything.   

I put on shorts and a t-shirt and headed up.  M+ was up there with A-.  He told me that the winds shifted and we were getting hit by the wind-driven waves.   I asked if I could help with anything, but M+ and A- handled what they needed to do (pull up the anchor) and M+ started the motor to head to the nearest anchorage at the Lee side of the wind, which was our next destination - Poros.

M+ said he was fine and suggested I head back to bed, which I did.  I told T what happened and we went back to sleep, this time to gentle rocking as the boat was heading relatively smoothly against the waves toward Poros. 

Morning:

I woke up as daylight hit the windows, to find T sleeping at my feet.  That is, she shifted 180 and had her head near my feet and her feet was near my head.  I thought about waking her to ask what was going on, but I knew she had a long day yesterday (she left Kyiv at 2:30 AM) and needed her rest. 

I, unfortunately, had to get up to get breakfast ready.  Today was R+ and me on galley duty.  I got up, used the head, and went up to the deck to find R+ piloting the boat.  Sometime in the middle of the night M+ went to bed and R+ took over.   We were about an hour away from Poros.

I went downstairs and figured out how the stove worked.  It is a 2 burner gas oven, set on pins to rock back and forth (to counter the side to side rolling of the boat).  It was pretty neat - almost perfect except the balance was off and it tilted back a bit (perhaps a 5 degree slope?). 

I put a kettle on for hot water for the coffee/tea and started taking inventory of what we had.  I wished I went with the group to the grocery store had I known that I would be on cooking duty the first day :shrug:

We had bread, eggs, butter, green tea (no black tea or english breakfast), ground coffee, coarse sugar, milk, cereal, yogurt, honey, and fresh fruit, among other things.   I made a pot of coffee using a french press and started getting things ready for french toast and fried bread (bread fried with butter on the pan - sort of pan fried toast). 

About an hour after I got up everyone started waking.  M+ took over the helm and R+ came down to help me with breakfast.  We decided I was the more experienced cook so he acted as assistant - cutting some fruit, preparing the table and washing dishes/cleaning up.

We didn't have any maple syrup, so I improvised by caramelizing the french toast by sprinkling sugar on each side as I fried it.  Along with spreadables like tapenade, jam and more butter, breakfast consisted of coffee/tea, orange juice, pineapple juice, fruit, fried bread and french toast.  It was a hit (especially with T  ;D).  A2+ and his sons ate yogurt with cereal, which they told me was the only thing they usually had for breakfast, but his sons had some french toast as well. 

T decided to do the dishes, even though it wasn't her turn at the galley.  R+ tried to take over, but T did them anyway.   Then the kids jumped into the water for a swim, and I quickly changed to my swim trunks and joined them.  After T finished with the dishes she joined as well, when the port police came over.

The police yelled at us - apparently M+ dropped anchor too near the channel and it was a no-no to swim anywhere near there.  Oops.

We got out of the water, pulled anchor and relocated.

The plan was to spend the rest of the morning and lunch at Poros, then sail out in the afternoon towards Hydra.


Day 2 afternoon to be posted later....



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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 11:22:07 PM »
I wonder will you stop over at Spetses... I haven't been there since '83... I wanted Australia win the America's cup on a Black and White TV ;)

Indeed, not a few of us will have worked out the need for manoeuvring room in your 'bed room below the cockpit ..  Even big yachts 'bedrooms' are too confining - hence my comment that there's too many crew ;)


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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 11:16:21 AM »
Day 2 Afternoon:

M+ decided to stay onboard and watch the boat, rather than setting anchor - the area was a bit crowded.  The rest of us took the dingy and headed ashore, in 2 batches due to the small size of the dingy.

Once onshore we split up:  A2+ and his boys went to get ice cream and then to someplace to get pizza.  R+, A- and A3- went off to sight-see and do some shopping for souvenirs.  T and I went off to look for hats (really strong sun in Greece) and then to a cafe.  We also kept an eye out for grocery stores and a fishmonger - the request from everyone was fresh seafood for dinner. 

Quote
(quoting myself):

The cost of the boat rental was 650 Euro per person.  Then we all pitched in 150 Euros per person for the groceries, dock fees, boat diesel, and other misc. expenses.   So when I went grocery shopping for dinner, including purchasing the seafood, it all came from the boat budget
 

We walked along the main street along the waterfront.  I picked up a straw cowboy hat and T selected a red wicker visor type hat - hard to describe, actually.  We then went to a cafe that seemed to have a good grill - I was in the mood for some gyros. :)

I ordered my gyro - I think it was 4.5€, and T ordered a grilled halloumi (type of cheese) salad - 6.5€ - and a beer to share (Fix - 3.5€  for 500 ml bottle).  Then I asked T why she rotated position in the bed this morning.  She said that she woke up and had a bit of a panic attack - the close ceiling made her feel claustrophobic.   When she turned 180 the extra room above her head made her calm again and was able to sleep.

After lunch we went to get the fish - a fresh sea bass for 18€ per kilo, and shrimp at 17€ per kilo.  I picked a medium sized sea bass, about 2 kg, and a kilo of shrimp.  T noticed that there were about 1/2 dozen shrimp left in the display when they weighed out the 1 kg.  She told to buy the rest - I shrugged and did as told.  The fishmonger cleaned the fish and pulled the heads off the shrimp (I declined the offer to have them peeled).  I think the total was 53€.

When we left with our purchase T explained that she wanted me to take the rest of the shrimp because she knew they couldn't sell the rest -- too little for anyone to buy -- and it would be a loss for the fishmonger.  Also, she said she loved shrimp and would eat the extra I purchased. 

On the way back to the boat we stopped by a grocery store to get some more honey and yogurt.  I found out that in Greece they sell the yogurt in clay dishes! They also sell them in the plastic tubs, but the ones in the clay pots were about the same price.  Very cool.  Also, the greek yogurt in Greece is a lot creamier and not as thick as the ones here in the States.  I wonder if it's because they are from small farms, or if it's because they are made with sheep's milk?  We also stopped at a produce store to get some garlic and eggplant, along with some tomato sauce and basil.

Around 2 PM or so we all got back on the boat.  Even though I bought the sea bass, I didn't know how to cook it - I don't normally cook or eat fish.  R+ took over and cut it into steak portions, like swordfish, and seasoned and wrapped each with aluminum foil to bake in the oven.  I prepared the eggplant for my version of eggplant parmesan - I don't bread the eggplant but instead do a simple egg wash before frying it in olive oil until soft.  Then I layer it in a casserole dish like a lasagna, with tomato sauce and shredded cheese on top.  T helped me clean and peel the shrimp to get it ready for shrimp scampi.

While R+, T and I was busy in the galley the rest of the guys raised sail and we headed for Hydra.  M+ was at the helm, tacking against the headwind.  The three of us went up to the deck and watch just as we entered a narrow channel between the mainland and a small island - it was a lot of fun watching the guys loosen and then winch the guideline for the genoa sail as M+ tacked.   Also, M+ called out distance to land, and he tacked as we approached 30 meters or so. 

After about an hour, we finally cleared the channel - it would have only taken about 15 minute if we motored past, but then it would not have been nearly as fun.  Ironically, as soon as we cleared the wind died.  We waited for a few minutes, then had to winch in the sails and turn on the diesel to get to a small cove to go swimming.

We dropped anchor at the cove, and as the others went swimming, T and I headed back to the galley to finish the meal preparation for dinner.  I fried up the eggplant, prepared it in the casserole dish and placed it in the oven to bake.  Once it was done R+ came down to bake the fish (the oven was small and only had room for 1 dish at a time).

While the fish was baking I saute'd the shrimp in butter, garlic and olive oil (we were getting low on butter), in several batches due to the small size of the frying pan and burner.  On the other burner I boiled some linguine to go with the eggplant parm or shrimp.  Soon everything was done and I placed the dishes on the dinning table, buffet style.  Everyone took a plate, loaded up and went on deck to eat.  We placed a couple bottles of wine and coca-cola, and had a great meal.   T really enjoyed the eggplant and shrimp, and I definitely earned some brownie points.

One funny incident.  A2B, A2+'s youngest son, was a picky eater.   He loaded his plate with pasta only - his father admonished him to at least try the eggplant (A2B didn't like seafood).  I took the initiative and placed one eggplant slice on A2B's plate.  He looked at me as if I committed the worst crime in the world.  Then he asked me to take the eggplant away - he wouldn't touch the plate as long as the eggplant was on it.  I countered back and said that he should try it, even just a little bit of the sauce (he loved pizza).  He wouldn't and again asked me to take the eggplant away.  I looked at him, asked him again to try it, and then headed with my own plate to the deck to eat. 

I am not sure if he ever touched that plate....

Dinner was a success, everyone loved the shrimp and eggplant and fish (except A2B and me - I didn't try the fish), and we pulled anchor to head to our mooring for the evening - at Hydra.

After R+ and I cleaned the dished and tidied up the galley, I went up to the deck to see that we went to Mandraki instead of Idra (the main port town).  Apparently the mooring spots on Idra was full, and it was too late to try to squeeze in.  We maneuvered around a bit because M+ thought the area was too deep for our anchor (bottom was 30 meters or so, our chain was 80 meters).  I don't know what the issue is - I am sure some sailors in this forum can elaborate.

In the end we anchored near a large double masted schooner, where the bottom was about 25 meters.  We communicated with them, and we agreed to leave by 8 AM (because our anchor was too close to their anchor).  When he saw our polish flag, the other boat's owner conversed a bit more, and mentioned he had a factory in Poland.  What a life...

We sat up a bit late that night and drank, and I got to know the rest of the guys a bit more.  M+ and A2+ are brothers, and they are half brother to Natalia, T's childhood friend.  They grew up together in the same town as T in Ukraine, although T never met A2+ before.  A2+, however, knew T's sister and spent a couple summers with her as friends when they were young.  Eventually M+'s dad moved to Poland with their mom, M+ and A2+.  Now M+ and A2+ live in Wales, working for an international accounting firm.  A2+'s boys go to school in Wales as well. R+ and A3+ are M+ and A-'s friends.  R+ is an IT guy, and A3+ is a doctor - endocrinologist.

Soon it was time for bed, and T and I excused ourselves early.  We headed to our cabin, where T got a bit frisky.  We were vewee, vewee quiet and enjoyed each other...

Odd thing happened afterwards - T went to the bathroom and came back excited - our activity started her time of the month.  I thought this was a curious thing to be excited about, but she was late by a few days and was worrying about it. 

To forgo any speculation - no, T did not have an affair and was not afraid she was pregnant (we didn't see each other for 2.5 months prior to this trip).  However, she had a hormone test done as precursor to an IVF procedure we are planning in November.  That test was not great - she had an anomaly on one of the hormones.  It was too high, indicating that she might be heading towards menopause.   So, she was very worried that the late cycle meant something was wrong, and was relieved once it started.

Anyway, I went to sleep with a very happy T and was only woken up 3 times in the middle of the night - by T's sudden panic attack with the low overhead compartment.   Each time she was half asleep, saying a couple of phrases in Russian that I didn't understand except the last word - "please" (Pashzalusta).  Each time I comforted her and she went back to sleep.  In the morning - you guessed it - she once again rotated 180 and was sleeping with her head by my feet.

One may ask why we did not sleep that way to being with.  Couple of reasons - it is a little tough to climb into bed and orient that way, and we used the bed to sit and store our towels and clothes (which meant we placed the pillows to the back).   But we did start sleeping with our heads to the right after that night, dealing with the issues.


Next:  Idra and 2 days of blackout....



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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2018, 01:03:47 PM »
Sea Bass is  Lavaraki  ( in Greek ) translit and the easiest way to cook it is to simply gril it with salt and pepper and to peel back the skin and eat it ))

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2018, 03:05:36 PM »
Day 2 Afternoon:

Anyway, I went to sleep with a very happy T and was only woken up 3 times in the middle of the night - by T's sudden panic attack with the low overhead compartment.   Each time she was half asleep, saying a couple of phrases in Russian that I didn't understand except the last word - "please" (Pashzalusta).  Each time I comforted her and she went back to sleep.  In the morning - you guessed it - she once again rotated 180 and was sleeping with her head by my feet.

One may ask why we did not sleep that way to being with.  Couple of reasons - it is a little tough to climb into bed and orient that way, and we used the bed to sit and store our towels and clothes (which meant we placed the pillows to the back).   But we did start sleeping with our heads to the right after that night, dealing with the issues.

As way of background information the aft berths are built under the cockpit. This is where you sit forward of the helm under way. Most control lines are led here. The aft end of the berths are shallow! Maybe 20 to 24 inches I would find it claustrophobic. Usually one sits up, head forward and swings your feet to the sole. The problem is if you are inboard you have to get over your berth mate on this size vessel. Think twister with limited garments.
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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2018, 03:41:37 PM »
Day 3:  Idra and Changing Winds

The next morning was T and A2-'s turn to cook, so I slept until 8:30 AM.  Then T woke me up, saying breakfast was ready.  They had bread, jam, greek salad, boiled eggs ready, and a pot of coffee ready.  T made me a cup of tea and a separate breakfast of yogurt with walnuts and honey.

After breakfast we pulled anchor and went around the island to Idra.  I noticed as we pulled into a berth that it was 09:16 according to a large town clock at the harbor.  The plan was to stay most of the day in Idra, meeting back at the boat at 16:00.

Like we did on Poros, T and I split off from the group and headed our own way.  It was really hot and we wanted to go to a nice breezy or air-conditioned cafe and have some ice coffee/tea.  We went to the right from the dock, away from the main area up a hill.  At the hill there was a nice restaurant called Sunset.  It was early and no one was around, so we walked past the outdoor tables to the next place, Hydronetta Bar.  It was at the edge of a rocky cliff looking down at Hydronetta Beach.  This is when I realized that beaches in the area can be a rocky area next to swimming zones and not necessarily sandy beaches like in Florida or the Caribbean. 

The bar was crowded - that is to say, all the seats in the shade were taken.  We went back to Sunset and talked to a waiter/bartender.  He told me the restaurant was closed because they lost power.  That's when I noticed that neither restaurants had lights or fans on.

We went back to the port area and saw that the entire town had no power.  Now the 09:16 on the town clock made sense - we pulled into port around 10:30 and not at 09:16.  There was a grocery store, called K-Mart (with the a blue "K" and red "Mart", heh heh) that had a lot of business - it had a small gas generator running to power the cash registers.  We went in and got two relatively cold bottles of water from the back of a refrigerator case at the back of the store.

Now, at this point I thought the island had lost power for only a few hours, or at most 1/2 a day.   We spoke to a store owner who said the power had been out for 2 days.  It was then that I noticed that there were several small wooden merchant boats doing brisk trade at the port - delivering ice.  And pack mules taking the ice throughout the rest of the town.  T mentioned that no cars were allowed on Hydra - just mules/donkeys and bikes.

We walked around a bit, looking at some shops to see if any sold US flags - no dice.  Just Greek and Hydra flags.  We found a relatively cool spot at a cafe that was open, and had a couple of ice cappuccinos.  As we were enjoying our cool drinks we thought about all the tourists that were staying at the hotels and pensions on the island the last couple of days - must have been tough.  We noticed several with their luggage boarding the commercial ferry - a fast hydrofoil - as others with luggage were getting off. 

Then T wanted to see if anyplace was offering food.  We did see some cafe's serving.  We eventually went to one that offered salads and omelettes, which seemed to the be the limit of the menu for most places that managed to stay open.  We ordered a ham and cheese omelette and a greek salad.  The omelette was good, and so was the salad, but T mentioned that it wasn't entirely right (the greek salad).  She said it was missing a few ingredients, like capers and oregano.   She said she learned how to make an authentic one on her last trip, consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, sea salt, oregano, capers, olives and olive oil.  Oh, and the thick slice of feta cheese.

After lunch we walked around a bit, window shopping.  Then, around 14:00, the power came back on.  We decided to check the Sunset Restaurant, to see if they were open and had seafood.  We went back up the hill, and Sunset was open.  When we sat down and the waiter came over, T asked him if their greek salads were authentic, with the ingredients she wanted.  While they were talking I looked at the menu, and it actually described their greek salad as T liked.  So we ordered it along with some mussels in spicy broth.

The mussels were delicious - the best I've had anywhere.  Highly recommend it if you are in Idra.

The salad was disappointing.  First, no capers.  Second, regular onions instead of red onions.  And a couple more ingredients were missing (I think the oregano and bell peppers).  When I called the waiter over, saying there was a problem with the greek salad, he asked why.  I started mentioning the missing ingredients, but after I said the first one, capers, he took the plate and went back to the kitchen.  He came back with the salad, this time with 3 capers on the feta cheese.

I called him over again, this time listing all the discrepancies.  Then he asked why I thought the salad needed those ingredients, getting confrontational and a bit flustered.  I looked at him for a moment, then quietly opened the menu and pointed to the description.  He took the salad back, looking a little embarrassed.  Then I noticed he talked with someone, possibly a manager?  He came back and apologized, saying because of the power situation at the island they couldn't make it as described.  He offered another salad instead, our choice, so we picked the grilled vegetables.

When the check came we were pleasantly surprised that they didn't charge for the vegetables (and they didn't charge for the greek salad).  So we left a tip that covered the cost of the dish.

It was getting late so we heading back to the boat.  T met up with A2- -- they went to the grocery store together to get things from dinner.   Then we all boarded again and took off to the western edge of Hydra, to a secluded inlet that had a beach - I think Bristi Beach.   We anchored off shore and swam while T and A2- prepared dinner - vegetable curry with rice, and, you guessed it, greek salad (with capers and oregano along with the rest).

After dinner I was on deck with T enjoying the sunset and looking out for goats on the hillside, when M came up and announced that we needed to pull anchor and head across to Ermioni.  He was paying attention to the weather reports and was informed the winds will shift that night.  Ermioni would put us on the lee side of the wind, and we wouldn't suffer the waves like the first night.

So, I helped T wash the dishes quickly to get them stowed as we pulled anchor and headed out, first under sail.  We were tilted pretty heavily to port with the winds at 20-25 knots.  I think we were doing 7 knots.  Then the sea became too choppy and the winds gusted unpredictably - a storm front was moving in.  We rolled in the sails and went the rest of the way to Ermioni on diesel power.

We made it to port just as the storm hit (mild storm - moderate rain).  We dropped anchor in the harbor and had our first cool night of the trip.  As M predicted, the winds shifted to the North.  Since the harbor faced south, we were sheltered from the rough waves and slept soundly to gentle ones.


Next:  Ermioni and the Butcher

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2018, 04:54:55 PM »
It seems you have a good captain.

Curious to know were he is gathering his weather information.


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Offline SL0413

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2018, 08:36:12 AM »
It seems you have a good captain.

Curious to know were he is gathering his weather information.


AV,

I'm not sure.  There is radio equipment in the center of the cabin, but he may have been browsing online on a weather service.

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2018, 10:06:11 AM »
Day 4:  Ermioni (mostly)

We have been running low on water - M had us watch water usage, reiterating how not to keep the water running when showering, washing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.  He even had a weird view on cleaning up after dinner - he didn't want us to stack dishes because he thought by getting the bottom of dishes dirty we would need to use more water to clean them.   Those of us with more dish cleaning knowledge, and more importantly, dish cleaning duty, put him straight on this:  there is no room on the boat to keep the plates spread out.  Also, by fulling the sink once and soaking all the dishes in hot water and soap, it didn't matter if the dishes were stacked beforehand - they were all going in the same sink. 

Anyway, this day was significant because we were able to refill the water tanks at the port.  So, after we got up and had breakfast, we navigated to an open berth and docked the boat.  The plan, like the day before, was to explore the town and meet in the afternoon to head off again.

T and I went off the left from the docks, toward a park area.  That side of Ermioni is a peninsula, and the park was the located at the tip.  We walked through the town to the other side and noticed several beaches.  At the center of the park there were several ruin sites - the stone foundations of walls and rooms of what looked like a temple and a few homes. 

There were a lot of ants there.  I wasn't sure what type - they were black, medium sized, and had trails from one base to another, sometimes 3 or 4.  T was cute - she kept an eye out to make sure not to step on any of the ant trails and accidentally kill any.  We took some picturesque photos from the area and finished our little hike and went back to town.

One cool thing that I noticed in town was that many homes had lemon, lime, olive and/or pomegranate trees.  Even if they had really small yards, they still had some sort of fruit tree.

It was my turn to cook the next day, so T and I went to see what the grocery stores had.  I wanted to make bacon and pancakes - the store had flour but no pancake mix - I only made pancakes before using Bisquick mix.  I looked online and found some recipes,  so I thought I could still make them with flour.   Then I looked for some lettuce and other produce, but the grocery store didn't have any.  That is when I found out that grocery stores typically carried basic items like oil, butter, milk, eggs, yogurt, sausages, bacon, ham, flour, coffee, tea, soap, and things like that, but vegetables are sold in produce stores/markets.  Also, grocery stores didn't have any raw meat - the butcher store had beef, pork, chicken, etc.

The store owner told us the butcher store was down the main street, at the other end of the port.  On the way there, we passed a produce store with some fresh lettuce and other vegetables, and the sweetest smelling peaches I've seen.  I should have bought what I wanted then, but we decided to come back later, after lunch, when we were about to go back to the boat.  It was about 13:00 at the time (the time will be important later).

I had one of the strangest interactions buying beef at the butcher store.  I looked around and saw a 1 kg portion of eye of round that I thought would be good for what I planned - Korean bbq beef, bul-go-gui.  I also saw a chuck roast that I thought would also work well.  While talking to T about it, the store owner chimed in, saying that I wanted the eye of round.  He stated the chuck roast would not be good for bul-go-gui.  I asked him if he knew what that was (bul-go-gui).  He said no.  Then he asked me to describe it - I stated it was beef marinated in soy sauce, sugar and garlic.  He then said, again, that I wanted the eye of round.

Well, it was what I was leaning towards so I said yes.  Then he asked if he should slice it for me.  I made a huge mistake and said yes, please slice it very thin.  I need to point out that bul-go-gui needs really thin beef or steak, like for steak sandwiches (philly cheesesteak).  The owner cut it into about 0.5 to 1 cm thick slices.  After the second slice, I noticed and I told him I needed thin slices.  He said yes, of course.  He took out a mallet and started hammering the beef, to get it thinner. 

I asked him to stop, and to just wrap all of it and I would take it as-is.  I purchased it and asked him to hold it for us, that we would be back later when we were about to board our boat.  He said ok, and placed the bundle in the display case.  Again, this is at 13:00.

T and I went off to the other side of town, away from the port to the beach area.  We found a nice restaurant and had some tzatziki, fried zuchini, salad (I don't remember what kind other than it was not greek salad), and grilled seabass.  Everything was good and pretty affordable, at 4 Euro to 12 Euro (for the seabass).   The only issue was the seabass looked like it was baked instead of grilled, but it was still good.

After our lunch we headed back to the port side, to pick up the beef and get some produce and groceries.  It was 14:55.  We planned to meet at the boat at 15:00, so I asked T to get the groceries while I hurried to the butcher's.  When I got there....it was closed.

I knocked at the door, and fortunately, a lady came over.  Unfortunately, she didn't speak any english and displayed "5" with her fingers.  So I waited the 5 minutes.

Wrong.  When I knocked on the door again, at 15:00, she indicated she meant 5PM, not 5 minutes.  I tried to explain to her that we didn't need to shop, that we already purchased the beef and just needed to pick it up.  I used google translate and showed her the translation, but she stared at me and displayed "5" with her fingers again.  Then I asked if I could call someone, indicating my phone and miming the calling action. 

She walked to the back and came back with a business card.  It had two numbers - I think the owner had another store in a different town.  I dialed the Ermioni number. 

I heard the phone ring.  In the back of the store.  The lady went back and picked it up.  I said "Hello"?  She turned, looked at me, and hung up the phone.

T and I just laughed.  It was the only thing we could do at the absurdity.  Then I went next door, a pharmacy.  I asked the guy if he could help translate for us.  He said sure.  I explained our situation, and he talked to the lady.  They argued for a bit.  It seems the lady is just a cleaner and had no idea where anything was in the store. 

The pharmacy guy said that the store will open at 17:00 and to come back then.  I explained to him that our boat was about to leave.  Then he talked to the lady again, and then told us to wait.  He got on his scooter and went down the street a couple of blocks.  A few minutes later he came back, and told us the owner will come over.  Sure enough, about a minute later the owner came over on his scooter.  He looked at me, looking disgruntled and said "Too Late".  But he went into his store, went inside the walk-in cooler and got us the beef.  He mumbled something, took a drag on his cigarette, and scootered back to the cafe he was at. 

We got almost everything I needed except for the vegetables.  We stopped by the produce store.  It was closed. 

Lesson learned - buy everything before 2 PM.

We got back on the boat and headed out, for some open water sailing.  Before we left, as 4 of us were waiting on the boat for the rest to return, I noticed something awesome - an octopus was crawling along the walls of the cement pier, at the water line.  It was about 1/2 a meter across, when stretched, tentacle to tentacle.  It's body was in the water, but several tentacles reached out of the water and gripped the wall.  M managed to get a bucket and capture it.  He hauled it up and the boys got to see it up close.  When it crawled out of the bucket we managed to pick it up and toss it back to the water, unharmed.

Well, after that little excitement we left port and opened the sails.  M turned the helm over to me.  I was a bit nervous - the winds were about 20 knots and the boat tilted pretty heavily.  In my mind I was picturing me mishandling the boat and capsizing it.  So when we leaned too far I steered into the wind, slowing us down and leveling the boat.  M kept stating to not worry, that there was no way I could flip the boat.  I was still nervous, but kept the boat tilted and moving along pretty well, at 6 - 7 knots. 

There was one point that when I lost control - there was a wind gust and the boat turned into the wind.  I tried to keep the boat straight but there was a sudden pressure on the wheel and it was difficult to turn the rudder, as if I was fighting the autopilot or something.  I mentioned this to M, and he said it was normal - the genoa sail can sometimes create too much lift and turn the boat, and that it can be hard to steer enough to counteract it.

Well, I had a lot of fun steering, T was up on deck looking gorgeous with her hair in the wind, and it was perfect day.


Next:  Day 4 Part 2:  T is a deceptively strong swimmer.

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2018, 10:45:00 AM »
Turned into the wind ... autohelm couldn't cope ?

I wouldn't call it 'normal' .... the simple thing to do was ease the Genoa .... and watch for a gust - before it hits  ;)))

Seriously, you should have had someone more experienced than you - with you on watch .








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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2018, 06:30:21 PM »
Day 4 part 2:

We sailed along the coast from Ermioni to Akti Idras, where we dropped anchor to swim and prepare dinner.

Both T and I were off galley duty this day, so we swam with the others.  The water was great but slightly choppy.  She tied her hair in a high ponytail and used the stern ladder to gently go in, to keep her head and hair dry.  I found out that this was her style - she liked to keep her head dry when swimming.  I dove in and swam with the kids a bit before I noticed T heading away toward the shore.

She was about 20 meters away, swimming steadily with breast strokes.  I thought I could easily catch up to her, swimming freestyle.  After swimming with my head down for a few minutes, I looked up.  She was still the same distance away - about 20 meters.  Then I put my head down and swam as fast as I could.   After a few more minutes I looked up, and she was still 20 meters away, maybe even more.  I swam after her a bit more, but soon got winded and had to stop.  I was no closer - it was like one of those dreams where no matter how fast you run, the object you are trying to reach is the same distance away.

I need to point out that I am out of shape as far as swimming is concerned.  I haven't swam in a long time and was only about 100 meters from the boat when I got winded.  I gave up chasing her and started swimming back to the boat, at a more leisurely pace.  T turned around at about 1/2 way to the shore and swam back as well - she easily caught up to me as we neared the boat.   I was tired from swimming, having over exerted while trying to chase her.  I climbed out but T wanted to get more exercise - she swam 4 or 5 laps around the boat (15 meter boat - about 40 - 50 meters per lap). 

She was a deceptively strong swimmer.   She does these easy breast strokes and doesn't seem speedy, but she has great stamina and powerful frog kicks - she's definitely a better swimmer than me.

When I got out I decided to use the opportunity to bathe - I used some body soap and shampoo, and jumped back in to rinse off the soap.  Back on the boat I used the fresh water shower thingy to rinse off the sea water.  I think some sea water got in my right ear when I was soaping and rinsing - that night I had a plugged ear that is still plugged today (Sept 18 - three weeks now). 

A2+ and A3- were on galley duty and made dinner - pizza.  They cooked personal pizzas to order for everyone, 2 at a time in the small oven.  I was on a sort of non-carb diet (I avoided bread and pasta), so I had yogurt with walnuts and honey.  T enjoyed her pizza, with tuna and anchovies...she loves seafood and especially fish.

After dinner we pulled anchor and tried to sail to the small port at Akti Idras, but it seemed shallow and M didn't want to risk it.  We decided to drop anchor just offshore and spend the night there.  We saw from the map that the beach resort town had a small canal system, so 5 of us (M, A-, R+, T and me) got on the dingy and motored in. 

There is a small canal system there, with really nice resort homes and condos.  There is one rental property there (Airbnb, Booking) that is called "Cozy house on the Venice of Greece". ;D

About 3/4 of the way through the canal we ran out of gas.  M forgot to check the tank on the little outboard.  We coasted into a private dock/landing and went to the nearby houses to ask if anyone had fuel (benzene?).  No one had any, even the couple of motorboat owners we met.  One offered to call the fueling service he used, but they were busy and couldn't come over anytime soon. 

M and R+ decided to paddle back to the sailboat and refuel there.  They headed off, R+ paddling and M supervising.

T, A- and I decided to walk around the area, looking at the nice homes.  T really liked the property.  She mentioned that it would be a great area to get married - rent out one of the larger homes and invite her family from Ukraine.  I was curious and checked online, finding that some homes were available for rent, at around 200-400 Euro a night depending on the season.

We talked about it a bit, walking along the canal with the homes lit up for the evening - it was very romantic.  After about an hour A- got a call from M, who had refueled and was heading back to pick us up.  At the same time we heard the little engine of the outboard at the far end of the canal.

We climbed in and got back to the boat.  We noticed night club music coming from shore - there is an all-inclusive resort there called Barcelo Hydra Beach Resort.  M, A-, A2+ and A3- decided to go and enjoy the club - R+, T and I stayed on the boat with the kids.  The boys went to bed soon after.   T and I did as well.

Around midnight or 1 AM or so I heard the dingy come back and the gang handing out on the deck.  After about 1/2 an hour they all went to bed.


Next:  Dredging for lost oars and Poros again.

Offline SL0413

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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2018, 06:30:58 PM »
Day 4 part 2:

We sailed along the coast from Ermioni to Akti Idras, where we dropped anchor to swim and prepare dinner.

Both T and I were off galley duty this day, so we swam with the others.  The water was great but slightly choppy.  T tied her hair in a high ponytail and used the stern ladder to gently go in, to keep her head and hair dry.  I found out that this was her style - she liked to keep her head dry when swimming.  I dove in and swam with the kids a bit before I noticed T heading away toward the shore.

She was about 20 meters away, swimming steadily with breast strokes.  I thought I could easily catch up to her, swimming freestyle.  After swimming with my head down for a few minutes, I looked up.  She was still the same distance away - about 20 meters.  Then I put my head down and swam as fast as I could.   After a few more minutes I looked up, and she was still 20 meters away, maybe even more.  I swam after her a bit more, but soon got winded and had to stop.  I was no closer - it was like one of those dreams where no matter how fast you run, the object you are trying to reach is the same distance away.

I need to point out that I am out of shape as far as swimming is concerned.  I haven't swam in a long time and was only about 100 meters from the boat when I got winded.  I gave up chasing her and started swimming back to the boat, at a more leisurely pace.  T turned around at about 1/2 way to the shore and swam back as well - she easily caught up to me as we neared the boat.   I was tired from swimming, having over exerted while trying to chase her.  I climbed out but T wanted to get more exercise - she swam 4 or 5 laps around the boat (15 meter boat - about 40 - 50 meters per lap). 

She was a deceptively strong swimmer.   She does these easy breast strokes and doesn't seem speedy, but she has great stamina and powerful frog kicks - she's definitely a better swimmer than me.

When I got out I decided to use the opportunity to bathe - I used some body soap and shampoo, and jumped back in to rinse off the soap.  Back on the boat I used the fresh water shower thingy to rinse off the sea water.  I think some sea water got in my right ear when I was soaping and rinsing - that night I had a plugged ear that is still plugged today (Sept 18 - three weeks now). 

A2+ and A3- were on galley duty and made dinner - pizza.  They cooked personal pizzas to order for everyone, 2 at a time in the small oven.  I was on a sort of non-carb diet (I avoided bread and pasta), so I had yogurt with walnuts and honey.  T enjoyed her pizza, with tuna and anchovies...she loves seafood and especially fish.

After dinner we pulled anchor and tried to sail to the small port at Akti Idras, but it seemed shallow and M didn't want to risk it.  We decided to drop anchor just offshore and spend the night there.  We saw from the map that the beach resort town had a small canal system, so 5 of us (M, A-, R+, T and me) got on the dingy and motored in. 

There is a small canal system there, with really nice resort homes and condos.  There is one rental property there (Airbnb, Booking) that is called "Cozy house on the Venice of Greece". ;D

About 3/4 of the way through the canal we ran out of gas.  M forgot to check the tank on the little outboard.  We coasted into a private dock/landing and went to the nearby houses to ask if anyone had fuel (benzene?).  No one had any, even the couple of motorboat owners we met.  One offered to call the fueling service he used, but they were busy and couldn't come over anytime soon. 

M and R+ decided to paddle back to the sailboat and refuel there.  They headed off, R+ paddling and M supervising.

T, A- and I decided to walk around the area, looking at the nice homes.  T really liked the property.  She mentioned that it would be a great area to get married - rent out one of the larger homes and invite her family from Ukraine.  I was curious and checked online, finding that some homes were available for rent, at around 200-400 Euro a night depending on the season.

We talked about it a bit, walking along the canal with the homes lit up for the evening - it was very romantic.  After about an hour A- got a call from M, who had refueled and was heading back to pick us up.  At the same time we heard the little engine of the outboard at the far end of the canal.

We climbed in and got back to the boat.  We noticed night club music coming from shore - there is an all-inclusive resort there called Barcelo Hydra Beach Resort.  M, A-, A2+ and A3- decided to go and enjoy the club - R+, T and I stayed on the boat with the kids.  The boys went to bed soon after.   T and I did as well.

Around midnight or 1 AM or so I heard the dingy come back and the gang handing out on the deck.  After about 1/2 an hour they all went to bed.


Next:  Dredging for lost oars and Poros again.

Offline SL0413

  • Member
  • Posts: 133
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  • Spouses Country: Ukraine
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Re: Back to The Ukraine Girlfriend...but not Ukraine
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2018, 06:31:48 PM »
ACK!!! I pressed Quote twice instead of Modify, Sorry!!!

Day 4 part 2:

We sailed along the coast from Ermioni to Akti Idras, where we dropped anchor to swim and prepare dinner.

Both T and I were off galley duty this day, so we swam with the others.  The water was great but slightly choppy.  T tied her hair in a high ponytail and used the stern ladder to gently go in, to keep her head and hair dry.  I found out that this was her style - she liked to keep her head dry when swimming.  I dove in and swam with the kids a bit before I noticed T heading away toward the shore.

She was about 20 meters away, swimming steadily with breast strokes.  I thought I could easily catch up to her, swimming freestyle.  After swimming with my head down for a few minutes, I looked up.  She was still the same distance away - about 20 meters.  Then I put my head down again and swam as fast as I could.   After a few more minutes I looked up, and she was still 20 meters away, maybe even more.  I swam after her a bit more, but soon got winded and had to stop.  I was no closer - it was like one of those dreams where no matter how fast you run, the object you are trying to reach is the same distance away.

I need to point out that I am out of shape as far as swimming is concerned.  I haven't swam in a long time and was only about 100 meters from the boat when I got winded.  I gave up chasing her and started swimming back to the boat, at a more leisurely pace.  T turned around at about 1/2 way to the shore and swam back as well - she easily caught up to me as we neared the boat.   I was tired from swimming, having over exerted while trying to chase her.  I climbed out but T wanted to get more exercise - she swam 4 or 5 laps around the boat (15 meter boat - about 40 - 50 meters per lap). 

She was a deceptively strong swimmer.   She does these easy breast strokes and doesn't seem speedy, but she has great stamina and powerful frog kicks - she's definitely a better swimmer than me.

When I got out I decided to use the opportunity to bathe - I used some body soap and shampoo, and jumped back in to rinse off the soap.  Back on the boat I used the fresh water shower thingy to rinse off the sea water.  I think some sea water got in my right ear when I was soaping and rinsing - that night I had a plugged ear that is still plugged today (Sept 18 - three weeks now). 

A2+ and A3- were on galley duty and made dinner - pizza.  They cooked personal pizzas to order for everyone, 2 at a time in the small oven.  I was on a sort of non-carb diet (I avoided bread and pasta), so I had yogurt with walnuts and honey.  T enjoyed her pizza, with tuna and anchovies...she loves seafood and especially fish.

After dinner we pulled anchor and tried to sail to the small port at Akti Idras, but it seemed shallow and M didn't want to risk it.  We decided to drop anchor just offshore and spend the night there.  We saw from the map that the beach resort town had a small canal system, so 5 of us (M, A-, R+, T and me) got on the dingy and motored in. 

There is a small canal system there, with really nice resort homes and condos.  There is one rental property there (Airbnb, Booking) that is called "Cozy house on the Venice of Greece". ;D

About 3/4 of the way through the canal we ran out of gas.  M forgot to check the tank on the little outboard.  We coasted into a private dock/landing and went to the nearby houses to ask if anyone had fuel (benzene?).  No one had any, even the couple of motorboat owners we met.  One offered to call the fueling service he used, but they were busy and couldn't come over anytime soon. 

M and R+ decided to paddle back to the sailboat and refuel there.  They headed off, R+ paddling and M supervising.

T, A- and I decided to walk around the area, looking at the nice homes.  T really liked the property.  She mentioned that it would be a great area to get married - rent out one of the larger homes and invite her family from Ukraine.  I was curious and checked online, finding that some homes were available for rent, at around 200-400 Euro a night depending on the season.

We talked about it a bit, walking along the canal with the homes lit up for the evening - it was very romantic.  After about an hour A- got a call from M, who had refueled and was heading back to pick us up.  At the same time we heard the little engine of the outboard at the far end of the canal.

We climbed in and got back to the boat.  We noticed night club music coming from shore - there is an all-inclusive resort there called Barcelo Hydra Beach Resort.  M, A-, A2+ and A3- decided to go and enjoy the club - R+, T and I stayed on the boat with the kids.  The boys went to bed soon after.   T and I did as well.

Around midnight or 1 AM or so I heard the dingy come back and the gang handing out on the deck.  After about 1/2 an hour they all went to bed.


Next:  Dredging for lost oars and Poros again.