We sailed from Lipso on Friday 27th June heading for the island of Patmos. Once again we had a good sail, setting the course on the boat's auto pilot and not touching the wheel until we were due to enter the bay at Skala, the main port on Patmos.
Patmos is known as the Jerusalem of the Aegean for it was here that St John wrote the Apocalypse found in the book of Revelations. The island is dominated by the Monastery of St John the Divine which stands on the hill above Skala.
The Monastery viewed from our approach
We took a berth at the Town Quay and as you can see from the photograph we were in good company berthed next to an Italian motor boat They were a good crowd inviting us to join with them in their Champagne celebrations to mark the end of their cruise and leaving us an expensive bottle of good Italian wine on their departure (we were sorry to see them go). They were a little bigger than us.
Our nice Italian neighbours Super yacht in the anchorage
To get around we hired a scooter, we have found this the best way of sight seeing on the islands as public transport is usually limited.
View of Skala Harbour from the Monastery
The Monastery and the Cave of St Anne attract many thousands of visitors. On average there are three to four cruise ships visit the port each week in addition to the numerous yachts and motor boats and I'm sure the main attraction is the Monastery and the Cave.
Bell Tower at the Monastery
The Monastery was built on the order of emperor Alexious Komninos in the 11th century and is the most significant religious monument in the Aegean. The bones of 60 saints are buried here.
Looking into the Monastery Courtyard Three of the 16 Chapels inside the Monastery
The Monastery also houses a museum and library with priceless artefacts and manuscripts dating as far back as the sixth century. If you are ever visiting the island of Patmos this is definitely one not to be missed.
On the road up to the Monastery you pass the Church of the Apocalypse and the Cave of St Anne where St John is said to have written the Apocalypse.
The Plaque at the cave of the Apocalypse
We also made a significant find when in Skala. Ever wonder what happened to Miss Penelope and Parker? Well this could be a hint!
Miss Penelope's Car but no sign of Parker
On our tour of the island we stopped off at a bay in the north end for lunch, there was no road into the restaurant and you had to walk along the beach to get there.
However the food was excellent and the view marvellous. Who could want for more!
Beach Restaurant on Patmos
It was now time to move on to our next island and the zenith of this year's cruise, after the island of Samos we would head west and then south pointing back to our winter base at Marmaris.
We dropped anchor in the anchorage at Pithagorion which although not the capital of the island has the safest anchorage and harbour.
The anchorage at Pithagorion on Samos
After a couple of days we managed to get a space on the Town Quay and unlike many of the other town quays in Greece this one had an electricity and water supply.
And as a bonus non-stop music until 3 o'clock in the morning. Can't have everything.
Looking down at the Town Quay
We did our usual and hired a scooter to tour the island. In particular we wanted to visit the north side of the island and its capitol Samos Town.
Samos is a big island in comparison to many we had already visited and in our eyes a bit disappointing. It was quite modern and could have easily fitted in on the south coast of England, however it did make a change.
The water front Samos
The harbour had only one yacht and one motor boat in it although the quay was again provided with water and electricity.
The harbour Samos Town
We have since been told that a large swell sets in during a meltemi making the harbour very uncomfortable. We retired back to Pithagorion where there was plenty to keep us occupied.
Moored at the Town Quay
Moored next to us on the town quay was a real character named Captain Jiannis. Captain Jiannis skippered one of the local tripper boats which took you round to one of the local beaches where a picnic lunch was provided and you could swim. What made Captain Jiannis different was his showmanship, he always played loud Greek music on the boat, fired off a couple of rounds from a shotgun on entering the bay just to let you know he was coming, at night he substituted white flares for the shotgun. But his greatest pleasure was making loud foghorn noises from a Conchs Shell which reminded me of the film The Vikings starring Kirk Douglas. There was always something happening when Captain Jainis was around.
In the photograph you can see octopus drying in the sun on the Captain's boat, these were caught locally and served up as part of the lunch.
Sun dried Octopus
Next stop Mikinos