A European Guide To….

Battening Down The Hatches…

So, in a similar vein to the “European driving styles” which I covered a few months back, as everybody on these pontoons ( with even less cleats ) begins to ready themselves for another blustery night, let’s take a look at what the different nationalities are doing.

The Russians, they are cladding themselves in even more Lycra than normal. Their sweat bands around their heads have not been removed, ready therefore for action, if necessary. They are wearing sailing gloves and have at least three boat hooks per yacht, everything will be fine!

The Spanish, are tuning into ” flamenco fm” and are tossing back their glossy black locks with an attitude which almost threatens the wind to dare to disturb them. The fiesta is about to begin, lines are tied, the anchors down……..What more? Manyana!

The Finnish, they are in a concrete boat anyway, so what can happen to them really? They have cast a jealous glance in the direction of the Russians Lycra layers once or twice but now they’re playing ludo wearing sensible bathing suits and holding copies of ” yachting for beginners”.

The French have just brought up from the galley a steaming beef bourgenion and with candelabra and red wine on the table are in the throes of heavy conversation regarding Marxism and other ” non sailory” type of stuff. Some lines are dangling over the sides into the water and the anchor is making alarming squeaking noises, but it should be fine!

The English and the Greek here are surprisingly VERY similar. They are having a secret competition about who can put on the most mooring lines. Eyeing each other surreptitiously from behind dark sunglasses, each admires the others new adornment. There is a bourgeois zig zag of crocheting all over ” costas” yacht and more of an unraveled scarf effect happening on the English yacht. I think in the end the Brits are the successors as they have even tied lines to hold the cushions on the chairs in their place.

The Turkish, well, it’s perhaps unfair to criticise their boat preparation when they are clearly involved in recovering from their thirty days of fasting for Ramazan. With tulip shaped glasses full of chai and twenty eight different mazes on the table, this is the only preparation they are currently involved in.

The Italians have tied lines, closed hatches dressed in Armani and hit the town, leaving the boat to fend for itself. Between them they have rented a boutique villa for the weekend and after that, if there still is a boat they may sail to Simi and repeat the process.

The Germans, true to form, are shouting loudly at the wind and daring it to blow. There are steins of beer on the cockpit table and the beer is getting warm!

The Americans are in competition with the Russians to see how much Lycra one person can wear. They also think everything in the USA are bigger and better, including the storms which is why They regard this force eight blowing through the marina as being “European Weather Envy” and think the EU are just trying to play catch up. Anyway, that’s if you can find an American sailor, because most of the boats which fly the Stars and Stripes flag are not Americans, they are, weirdly, Turkish!

It’s a shame our New Zealand friends aren’t here! They would really show the rest of the world sailors how to cope with ” a bit of a blow “. With their anchor dragging across the marina, a line wrapped round the prop and two or three anchor chains collected on theirs, they are bobbing about in the head of the bay with the little fishing boats ” cheersing” their raised glasses at the bewildered Greek fishermen with large gin and tonics ( containing not much tonic!) to.

The evening before, mum and I walked into the town to finally look round the museum, on the road to Podamos beach. We hoped that this time the museum of Halki was open because we had been trying to look round it for two days! When we reached our friend who owned a gifts shop, she pulled out her small and phone to her ear and started talking to someone. She said that It was closed, but said it would be open in half an hour!

Thankfully, when we went up there the second time, we managed to get into the museum, and to look inside. The ground floor had lots of furniture. A mirror hung on the wall, which made the room seem big and airy. Also downstairs, old pots and pans lay on the floor and on the shelves, there was some pottery painted in many bright and pretty colours/patterns.

As we ventured upstairs, mum commented that it brought to life the novel, Captain Correllis Mandolin. The large bed with robes hanging down from the banisters, and old antique vases. On the bed, an old fashioned cot lay there with a baby doll in it. The room opposite contained many antiques too, ranging from olive oil jars, to sewing machines, oil lamps and kettles.

A few posts back, I wrote about the abandoned island of Alimia, and there was a little confusion about who had a U-boat base there. I thought it was the Germans, but only today did I read something about it in my book, it said-“the inhabitants were initially deported during World War Two after they had admitted to assisting British commandos sent in April 1944 to sabotage the ITALIAN SUBMARINES who used the deep harbour as a base.”-, it also notes that the British commandos were later captured by the Nazis and executed as spies, instead of POW’s-(Prisoners of war).


Author: adventurerintrainingblog

I am a 14 year old boy and live and am home schooled by my parents aboard our 45 foot sailing yacht which we sail from Turkey. I have travelled through/ across Europe by road, several times now, and have also driven into the heart of Turkey, visiting Konya, Cappadocia and many other places. You can read about both of these experiences on the blog... However, at the moment you can read about our life aboard our yacht in Turkey during the winter... I hope you can come along for the ride, then sail along with me as I blog my sailing adventures for next year!

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