<GEMS OF THE AEGEAN SEPTEMBER 2009
Part 5 AQUAMARINE
Sunday 13th September 2009
We arrived at 6.30 a.m. at Patmos and anchored in the bay, well before dawn, having sailed 111 nautical miles from Rhodes. Soon after sun-up the excursion folk took the first tenders, and then it was our turn at 7.45 a.m.
On the quayside there was a Welcome sign from the Patmos boatmen, and I also noticed a "Complain.." box (which had lost a ‘t’). Presumably this was for comments from the public as it had a slit opening in the top, but I also noticed that there was no bottom to the box so presumably anything put in the top simply fell through and was borne away on the breeze…
The air was clear and calm, which made for beautiful reflections in the water, and I noticed a local multi-coloured cat asleep on a blue-painted chair enjoying the peace (paws for thought?).
There was just time for a pleasant walk around admiring the surrounding mountains and the arrival and departure of BLUE STAR 2 and a Flying Dolphin, before getting back on board for the departure at 10 a.m. and a leisurely breakfast on deck in the warm sunshine.
Our next treat was to be a Bridge Visit! The ship’s Host, Ion, took us up there at noon and gave us a short talk, and the chance to take photographs from the Bridge wings.
The ship’s Hostess then took us to visit several empty cabins, at different grades, but I noticed she didn’t include any on Bahia Deck. They were all set out neatly with life jackets on each bed, ship plans and writing paper in folders on dressing tables, full toiletries and towels in the bathrooms, and swimming towels nearby, and those of us on Bahia Deck felt we should take the opportunity to say how welcoming they all looked, and how different it had been in our cabins when we came on board. She was somewhat surprised at this, asked some questions, and apologised on behalf of the ship.
There was time for lunch before our next port of call, at 2 p.m. in Kusadasi in Turkey. This was 49 nautical miles sailing. Tourists are very welcome here, judging by the size of the duty free shops and malls at and near the quayside. We berthed and soon disembarked and felt dwarfed by the huge size of CELEBRITY SOLSTICE at an adjoining berth. I saw her in Papenburg, Germany, last year as she prepared to be tugged away from the shipyard, and she looked enormous then.
Some of us strolled around the bay in the hot sunshine, but returned for tea before departure by 6 p.m. Our elegant little ship looked so much more attractive than the huge SOLSTICE, we thought, as we drank Earl Grey tea on deck and watched our engines start up and emit clouds of black smoke.
It drifted up and straight across to some of the private balconies of the SOLSTICE, whose occupants promptly got up, went inside and slammed their doors, one man shaking his fist at us. We raised our tea cups to AQUAMARINE.
Drinks, dinner (with singing waiters) and packing followed, ready for an early arrival back in Piraeus in the morning. On my way through the shop I noticed a table selling Inch of Gold – and this reminded me of Cunard!
Ships seen: Blue Star 2, a Flying Dolphin, tender 12 and 14 at Patmos, Celebrity Solstice, Orient Queen, Patmos Star, Samos Star, Gemini
Part 6, on board The AEGEAN PEARL, to follow...