Oceans of Hope Challenge in Athens.
The challenge was for two weeks, and I was on the second but on the Friday evening before we sailed MS Athens organised an event. The mayor attended along with Monika Christodoulou a well-known Greek singer who performed. we caught up with everyone from week 1 and was extra special for me as I saw Marion and my Skipper Greg who I meet in Croatia in 2017 on my first Challenge, which is where it all began.
On Saturday everybody gathered together and found their crew, boat and organised a shopping list that a couple of our crew set off to the supermarket for – who thankfully delivered to the boat which was very much appreciated.
We had a great crew on our boat which was named Jesters. Captain Owen, Jenny, Ed, Matthew, Yvette from the UK, Thea from Netherlands, Cisco from the States and of course me!
We set off sailing on Saturday morning for the day and came back for a night – I think that may have been in case some wanted to get off for whatever reason. We then set off on our adventure on Monday where we spent the next six days sailing. We stayed anchored or moored at a few different islands – Southwest of Angistri, Epidavros, just off Agina east of Poros and Poros.
It was lovely going for a wander round Epidavros and Poros and a couple of us found an old amphitheatre which was having work done. Thea and I decided to treat ourselves to Giovani’s ice-cream, which was delicious. A group of young school students (about 11yrs-14yrs) were chatting and had lovey red long stem flowers which they gave their girlfriends which was so sweet. When they bought a flower over for Thea and me – I tried to remember the last time I was given flowers! The only aquatic animals we saw was a sun fish which apparently is rare in Mediterranean so that makes up for not seeing dolphins that others were seeing. We have a man overboard practice which was good as this time learnt how to control the boat to circle and stop which helped to rescue the bucket! Of course I had to have a swim in the Mediterranean, which was a bit chilly but lovely and clear,
When we got off at Poros, they put on a bus which took us around the island. I think they might be known for their lemons as they were proud to talk about their lemon farm which supplies a lot of the area and other islands. We had a big dinner with everyone as some were leaving early when we got back to Alimos marina the next afternoon instead of staying the last night.
Everyone gets something out of the challenges and Cisco who works for Sailing MS in the States is going for his Skippers licence. Owen handed the boat over to him on our return from Poros to Athens. So he was our boss for the day, he did an amazing job of leading us even making sure we didn’t get hit by the cargo ships crossing in front of our little boat! He reversed into our berth, and you could see the feeling of pride when Owen said if he were sitting his licence in the UK, he had a couple of things to work on be he would pass. MS just can’t stop some people😊