020: Sailing the Cyclades to Crete – Knossos Palace, Earthquakes, Dinosaurs and Minotaurs

020: Sailing the Cyclades to Crete – Knossos Palace, Earthquakes, Dinosaurs and Minotaurs


The last blog was about us coming back
from England and Woody’s experiences in Aegina, about a day trip we had in the
Parthenon and we witnessed a live sea rescue. In this blog it’s all about leaving
Agena and heading down through Cyclades to Crete. So our first stop was really just an
easy motor down to Poros which is one of the last ports that you can kind of
leave from to get to Cyclades to make the route a bit shorter. We only got as far as Poros but we’re
not going to go into town quay because the kids will want to just jump off the
boat so are we going to go to Russian Bay
which is just over there. You have to watch out because there’s a little
island and a whole lot of reefs around it. It’s pretty sheltered in there so
that’s where we’re going to stay the night. We’ve got to get all the way to an
island on the Cyclades which is about 50 miles away so we’re leaving which is
about half six I think now. Anchor up. Well I wake up and I’m in this place. In this place? Yeh and it’s called… Poros. We knew there’s gonna be good wind it’s
in the right direction it’s a good probably 70 mile passage kids were kind
of beginning to feel a little bit seasick at times so we found the bow
seat was really handy for that and they loved it they spent a lot of time
just up on the bow seat. So we’ve arrived in one of the Cyclades islands called Serifos. The Cyclades otherwise known as sickly
ladies as my friend has told me which kind of makes a bit of sense because that was
quite a bumpy sail. But most of us are coping okay maybe little one’s feeling a
little bit ropey. It’s quite a barren island. You kind of look at the island and think where is everyone? But it’s quite
attractive because if it’s barreness I think. So I kind of think when you look
at an island like that, because you expect to see like loads of wildlife
because it’s so kind of separate but I don’t think theres much wildlife but
apparently there’s quite a lot of grumpy people living on this island. Woody – According to Rod Heikell’s book written in 2010, it’s got a freshly painted church. Irenka – Did you know it used to be a mining community? That’s kind of like your roots isn’t it? Irenka – Apparently the mines have closed down though Woody – Same as the North (of England) I always find when I just set off you
know and haven’t sailed for a while – I always feel a little bit ropey so then you know I sort
of tend to sleep a lot and just kind of keep going on the helm when I can until I get into that kind of sailing groove again. We’ve arrived in another
island in the Cyclades and this island is Folegandros that it, it’s Folegandros which doesn’t sound very Greek really – it sounds quite Italian
but you can check it up in the chart if you want to see where we are. But this is the
last island we’ll probably go across to Crete after this so we’re trying to get
a bit closer and try to get a good wind angle for our
big crossing to Crete. But yeah this is very barren Islands
like the other one. There’s some nice villas it looks like on land and a
church and we’re going to anchor in a bay round there which I think there’s a
beach. After Serifos we went a bit further down to Folegandros which is
actually quite beautiful I mean we didn’t know what it was going to look
like it was nice it’s like kind of riding on it kind of desert islands. But I think today we’ll probably do a bit of schooling because tomorrow Monday
we won’t be able to because tomorrow we’re doing a big crossing so we’ll do a bit of schooling today. This is Galifos they’re little kind of
cliff shacks really little villas and there’s no electricity it’s all gas
lamps but that is the view that you wake up to. It’s really nice and there’s a
little sign with a phone number which just in case you walk past which is very
unlikely so take note of the number it’s a secret find! That would be so cool to
stay here wouldn’t it? And look we’ve got a lovely little cove down there. This is
definitely a way to get away from it all. I love it. Aqua marina water. From the boat we swam to the beach
with snorkels and flippers and now we’re going to swim back from the beach to the
boat. These are my friends the sheep. Fluffy, Sleepy and the other ones I’ll make up along the way. We got back to the boat and back into
the whole solar shower thing again. Dinner aboard which is always really
nice when your anchor and knowing the next day we’re going to our big trip
down to Crete because again it was just the weather window that we needed so we
could have explored the Cyclades a bit more but we would have missed that good wind. Hello – it’s suddenly really light. OK, we’ve set off from the Cyclades and we’re heading across the Crete so we had to
set off in the middle of the night because it’s gonna take about 16 hours
if you go a minimum of 5 knots which is.. well we’re actually doing better than
that we’re probably doing over 6 knots so we get there a bit earlier which is good. So
it was really dark when we left it was darker than it is now even though you
can’t we see how dark it is but it’s very dark now but it was even darker
before. Yeah, we’ve got our radar on because it’s so dark obviously you can’t see any ships out
there apart from the very brightly lit ones like over there there’s a passenger
ferry and it’s like a Christmas tree so we can see that one but anything else we
can’t see we can get it on our plotter. We’ve got AIS here which shows us where all the ships are going. I suppose if they don’t see us will just shine this up at sail.
The kids are all asleep. They’ll probably be having some crazy dreams tonight. But
yeah it feels good actually. Our washing is still out from our fantastic swim
yesterday so hopefully we haven’t lost any of that. That’s life on the boats at
the moment it’s quite exciting to be doing a night sail. We’ve got nice wind so
we’re doing nice angle to the wind and it’s quicker than motoring on this
this boat – this boat likes to sail so do we! And a little trip like that it’s kind of
a 12-hour trip it was a good time to get a watch system in place really and see
how we could do it between the two of us. Later today we should be in Crete. Everybody’s still asleep. It’s a beautiful sight. An incredible night’s sail – been perfect apart from a few cargo vessels crossing our path – not many showing lights – but we’ve still got a few more to go. It’s been a good passage 7.5 – 8 knots
most of the way. The prop gen has kept up with the autopilot and the radar and charged the batteries as well. Yeah it’s been a good night. ready for my bed now. I’ve had a good 2 hours sleep so I’m feeling refreshed. 35 miles to go. We’re arriving in Crete. This is called Heraklion otherwise known as Heraklion and this is wherer the palace is at Knossos near here so the port we were going to was
Heraklion which is nearest to the palace of Knossos. It’s quite a big industrial
port there’s a marina but it’s not really set up for visiting yachts so
we’re on the big town quay. Here we are at the palace at Knossos – it’s
just south of Heraklion where we’ve been. So we’re gonna do the palace today.
Are we excited kids? yeah. It feels like we’re doing this
Whistlestop tour of all the amazing place in Greece – it would be
Whistlestop if he didn’t take so long to get to these places because it took us
like a good how many hours 12 hours or something. But anyway we’re here. Knossos palace is famous for its Minotaur. Basically they gave to children to the Minotaur so the Minotaur could eat. But then one of the Gods called Aphrodite (is that right?) Poseidon? Yeah but who killed the Minotaur? Theseus killed the Minotaur so no more children could get eaten and he lived in there. Basically then all the children was happy. So Theseus’s Dad was Poseidon – he’s the God of the sea – and that’s my favourite God. There wasn’t actually a Minotaur, it turned
out that the people when they did the bull running – so the bull charged
towards them – they had to do a flip over it and in quite a few occasions they would die.
They made up a story about a Minotaur eating children because the children would be the ones doing the flips like boys and girls so it was like
a Minotaur eating children. Okay so we’re trying to work out how long it will take us tomorrow to get from Heraklion in Crete along the coast to Chania
to pick up someone who’s gonna crew with us. So I’m using the peg and the Lonely
Planet book so I’m measuring 12 miles – it’s not even nautical miles – but say
12 miles is about from there to there and then that’s about 24 60 I reckon
that peg is about 60 miles in the Lonely Planet book so if I stick that on there..
but the problem is.. right, can you just hold that
together. Don’t do this at home don’t do this. So I reckon it’ll be about 55 60
miles to Chania tomorrow. We also took a shot of our Lego
#Ericka as well – Hi Ericka! I’m going to put my (Lego) Emmet up there. We’ve been to the Palace of Knossos to search for the Minotaur and now we’re going to the Archeological Museum – this is our schooling day. After the Palace of Knossos we went to the
museum. It wasn’t brilliant for children but asI say there was kind of
original frescoes there that were from that palace. Thius stuff is about 4,000 years old Goddesses with their arms up. Well the minute we walked into the
museum this lady walked up to us and told us to be quiet and then there was
this like glass thing with jewellery in it and then this other lady came up to
us and she told us that we weren’t allowed to touch the glass. No I wouldn’t
recommend this for kids because there’s nothing really to do and it’s all behind
glass cabinets and if you touch the glass you get told off. It is interesting though isn’t it – some of it? What were the bits that were interesting? Nothing! Nothing. After that we went to another museum that had been recommended which is the
Natural History Museum and it really was a really good museum for the children and
they really liked that one. We’re doing school. That was scary. The guidebook said it was closing at 8 and
we kind of got thrown out after an hour so we could have easily spent another hour there. I would highly recommend it. I loved that place. It had a plasma ball and it’s got all these electric things coming off. And it’s in a glass ball and you touch it and all the electric things go into your hand and it feel really weird and there’s loads of optical illusions and there’s a mirror that make you have into somebody and half into you and it’s awesome. And they had dead bugs! Oh the earthquake was was really insane. You just go like.. act normal and then you go.. So we got some street food – we got
possibly the last he gyros that the children would get before we left Greece
and I finally worked out how to say it really well now. This is the last he
gyros in Greece because we’re heading up the coast of Crete and
then we’re gonna make our epic four-day voyage across to Malta and most us
probably won’t even eat so let’s fill our stomachs! Let’s have a cermoney for the last gyros. This is a serious moment guys. The last gyros in my.. for the rest of my life! So we’re leaving Heraklion. Another five o’clock start. The children are asleep and we’re up and we’re heading to Chania on the west side of Crete. So it’s quite flat calm – I expect we’ll do plenty of home schooling on the way. Yeah we’re gonna pick up some crew in Chania to help with the passage to Malta. We need to get across to head West to get
to Tunisia because that’s where we’re heading to get some works done and
it’s quite a big trip. Yeah we’ve got to get to Malta and then across to Tunisia. Sometimes boredom makes the children do.. get involved more than and
do stuff they would normally do and you know they’re left to kind of
try and make entertainment for themselves so in a way that’s probably the time when
the boys kind of really got into the speed. we bought some really nice ooks about the
myth of the Minotaur and Crete and Greek history and there’s lots of kind of
little worksheets they could do inside it so that kept them quite occupied. In light of the the man overboard situation
that we had before and just trying to improve lots of safety things on
board we got these tags which send an alert if someone goes overboard. We
wanted to try them out so and we unpacked them and tried them in our
phones. So we’re going to do a whole blog actually on safety aboard because
we’re always dealing with all sort of dealing with different things like what
lifejackets you use, what buoyancy aids and you know whether to use these sort of tags
so there’s a whole kind of micro blog going to come out on that. This is Chania or Hania
as they say in Greek I think and this is the last stop in Greece isn’t it? Is that disappointment? We had quite a pleasant surprise when we got to Chania eventually because
you know Heraklion is quite industrial but when we arrived there it’s
a really nice little place again it’s one those places where you could easily
spend longer there. Our middle son tried out his busking
again because he’s been itching to get out on the dock and there was so many
people going past but we had too much competition because the restaurant over
the way was doing their own music. Hopefully we’ll find a good dock fort him to do that again. I’m the roving fender. Anyone must feel a little bit nervous on their first big trip with their children
so last minute we kind of just got in touch with some people that we knew and
see if anyone wanted to come. So we had an old friend – Craig, who came out he’s got
quite a bit of sailing experience so he came out and that was really good and
Lisa from Brighton Marina Yacht Club – she came out and she’s never really done a
passage like this before but she was a brilliant person to have on board. It
turned out she was also a teaching assistant so she really got on well with
our youngest. So yeah they’ve both turned up on the same flight and ready to
leave the next day. It’s really pretty and it’s definitely a party town
isn’t it? Yeah we could easily have spent
another week here but because the wind is right we’re going to head West. What have we got to watch out for? There’s a couple of rocks which are all marked on the chart, there’s fishing boats over there which
keep moving around and and theres always the possibility of pirates. They’re all hidden rocks under the
under the water there’s an anchorage down here and an anchorage down here so
we’re going to choose that one probably. Yeah it’s kind of in between the two
bays isn’t it or do you want to go getting more where that anchor symbol is?
You mean there? Yeah. No, that’s 1.3m Thats the two bays there isn’t it? One, two..
yeah yeah so I was thinking like just on the edge of that in here somewhere.
We went right to the very end of Crete – a beautiful place called Gramvousa and
we probably wouldn’t even gone there if we hadn’t got this amazing treasure map
from our friend Steve. This is our treasure map yeah we’ve got a treasure
map that’s the island and we’ve got two sets of clues this is probably the Islands. It’s got two little bays and we’ve got them latitude here as well and
it seems to fit in with the latitude on the charts and the longitude and I
remember vaguely that our pirate friend told us that it was Gramvousa. That one I
think – that one. Do you think we’re gonna find it? Yeah! We followed the instructions to get to
the right Bay using the chart and using the courses to steer and all the
instructor we’ve been given so it’s really good exercise for children. I saw in the map and thats the fort there.. and these are the two bays here. and that’s the two bays there. Is that a shipwreck? I think so. And that’s the ship wreck’s up there. We found a place to
anchor and then we swam ashore just to add to the excitement. So we’ve just anchored our boat out
there behind me and we’ve all swam ashore. We’re going to get the map out now and
start working our way through the clues. Bearing two hundred and eighty degrees
from the church. We didn’t bring a compass. Oh there’s a compass on my phone Bearing in mind the treasures been
buried maybe 20 years ago but some of the clues were still there which was great. A lighthouse will now bear.. Why is there no bear? 90 degrees. We couldn’t find the
treasure I mean everyone was obviously a little
bit disappointed but you know the treasure will be there – it’ll be there to
be found by someone else another day. Do you think it’s that wreck down there? Maybe. So the next day we set off – we
navigated our way through a very tricky sort of area of rocks. We’re going to go to Malta. Malta is about 420 miles I think. Thank-you to everyone for watching these videos and thank-you for sharing them. Thanks especially to the
patrons for helping us to get the equipment, to create these videos, to edit
and then produce them and also to get ice creams for the children to keep them
out the way so we’ve got time to create these video blogs. Thanks a lot.

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