Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...



Part 7 - on board The AEGEAN PEARL

Tuesday 15th September 2009
I enjoyed 8 hours of sleep, disturbed momentarily by the anchor going down well before dawn, and then breakfast, whilst we all enjoyed knowing we were back in Kusadasi, Turkey.

How lovely, another chance to go ashore under clear blue skies in the comfortable heat of this bustling port. Nearby was the huge bulk of SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS, and OCEAN VILLAGE 2, and walking past EASYCRUISE LIFE we could clearly see the wording on the dark hull: “Reunite the Parthenon Marbles”. Hmmm, that’s telling us!

On that ship it was also possible to see one of her previous names – JASMINE –still visible on the hull. We remembered she was built in Poland in 1981 as LEV TOLSTOY for Black Sea Shipping, with six sister ships. In fact we could also just see that original name on another part of the hull when we looked from a different angle.

Walking round the harbour gave us the chance to see local fishing boats, some with lines of washing on board drying in the breeze, as well as the cruise ships.

I noticed a small white van with “Ladies Beach” written on the sides, and discovered that years ago there had indeed been a Ladies Beach nearby; now it was open to all, and the white vans ran as a taxi service around the area. What an eye-catching title.

This was to be a short visit to Kusadasi so we were all back on board by 11.30 a.m. ready to sail the 47 nautical miles to Patmos, Greece. As usual I think we all felt very proud and proprietary about our little AEGEAN PEARL as she sat amongst the huge cruise ships, before sailing gracefully away from the Turkish port.

After lunch on board, we arrived back at the little port town of Skala on the island of Patmos at 4 p.m. in the most wonderful clear light. Many passengers went on excursions to visit the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, high above us in the village of Chora, with its 900 years old fortifications. With AQUAMARINE also anchored out in the bay, this was the ideal opportunity for photos of the two ships, looking fabulous in the blue sea.

After a walk along the coastal path under shady trees, an ice-cream in the little port was enjoyed. I noticed the usual dogs asleep in various wayside shops or shady areas.

Back on board AEGEAN PEARL, the light, air, clear water, scenery and environment were just wonderful and reminded us all of why we like to be at sea in congenial company: it’s that sense of exhilaration at being alive on such days. Tea and scones gave us a moment of humour. Jam was provided in very small packets, and my portion fell out of the packet as one rather congealed piece, onto my plate. Having recently seen several Viking Line ships, it was immediately recognised as being the shape and red colour of a Viking Line funnel.

We left Patmos just before 9 p.m. and enjoyed Greek Night dinner on board, as well as the evening’s entertainment, sailing the 105 nautical miles to our next port of call in Rhodes.

Ships seen: easyCruise Life, Splendour of the Seas, Ocean Village Two, Aquamarine, Gemini, Izmir (tug)

To be continued...