Summer in Kos


Strange living on land but unfortunately it is a necessity whilst continuing Caryn’s treatment.  We have, however, been on Per and Elly’s boat “Sybaris“ when they took us to Pserimos and we were able to enjoy the clear water and a quiet anchorage. It was then back to Kos  to a treatment.
We joined them again for a trip to Nisyros but unfortunately this ended rather badly with Caryn falling into the engine room and breaking and dislocating her shoulder.  A trip to the Nisyros doctor then the ferry to Kos and a visit to the hospital and finally a plane trip to Athens and a stay in the Mediterraneo hospital for an operation was the final outcome.  Our friends. Mike and Marilyn again organised everything and the operation even took place on a Saturday. 
After a few days in the hospital and some more in a hotel whilst filling in the time for a final check  up before catching the boat back to Kos with an impressive metal insert and 7 screws and an immobilised arm for several weeks. It  is a real handicap with little possibility of doing much and worst of all no possibility of swimming.  At least there was Rolland Garros, Wimbledon and the Olympics to watch.
Before all these events Caryn went for the mid term scan and everything seems to be on track. We have been very lucky the very expensive treatment through the Greek/French health system but each time it is a marathon as the procedure is changed every time so can be quite nail-biting at times. We now certainly know the hospital building and the IKA offices very well.
A check-up with the shoulder surgeon involved a trip to Athens in July when the stitches were taken out and resulted in sessions of physiotherapy being prescribed. We managed to find a physiotherapist in Kos who has a very equipped practice. A total of 15 session were prescribed and were completed towards the end of August.
Svein also had a health problem with his back but fortunately he found a wonder miracle worker who set him right using his hands.
Svein has been working like a Trojan on our boat as well as helping others. He has attacked the toe rail that was in drastic need of attention and as well as repairing it he has also put in more access points to the cleats to help with the mooring. He has also undertaken a major project to fit “wings” to the keel to give us better stability and hopefully to ease the tacking procedure which our girl does not like. There is a video of the whole procedure from start to finish but also some photos in the pictures linked to this narration.
We have taken at a trip to Kardamena to see Keith and Angie (Castor en Pollux) and at the end of the physiotherapy treatment for Caryn’s shoulder we treated ourselves to a short trip to Nisyros where we stayed in Mike and Marilyn’s beach house. It was a lovely change seeing everyone again and being able to relax on the beach and swim to our heart’s content.  We were also able to participate in a religious celebration that takes place 8 days after Assumption in the big monastery on the island. We have also seen Jim and Jane (Orchid) who called into Kos on their way back to Turkey.
Our Wonderbags finally arrived so was able to give Angie hers when we saw her and we have tried our out. The result was fantastic so it should be a great asset when we are back on the boat.
We have also ordered a new battery for Svein’s notebook, a kindle and a new mobile for Svein. Unfortunately the package was returned to the UK (because of the battery) and we are lucky that Keith  will bring them out to us when he drives back in the middle of September together with other items from the States that have been collected from Caryn’s mother and some goodies ordered over the internet.
Summer has flown by and we must now prepare for the winter. A trip to Athens in September to see all the doctors will determine our next moves. However we have decided to launch the boat at the end of September and to move back on board. There is also a trip to France in the pipeline to sort out paperwork and a little later a trip to Norway and the UK to see family.

Spring in Kos


Another busy couple of months with a move to a flat (the first time we have lived on land since 2001!), putting the boat on land, starting Caryn’s treatment not to mention the social life with BBQs and a big Easter celebration as well as exploring and trying the restaurants that have started to open for the new season. One of our new favourites is a Thai restaurant that is run by two brothers whose Thai wives do the cooking.
Svein has still be busy on the boat and has installed spinlocks to the main mast to tidy it up. It also entailed replacing the genoa hoisting line. This obviously involved lowering the genoa and then hoisting it when the work was done and as luck would have it the wind blew up and led to problems which we managed to solve in the end but was quite scary for a time. He has also reinforced the cockpit table and changed the bathroom plumping to make it simpler. With the boat on land, has started work on the toe rail to give us more cut-outs for mooring ropes.
Cheryl (Caryn’s sister) has also visited the UK to sort out things for the mother. In the few days available she has done a hell of a lot and we are now ready for when the final move to the home takes place.
The weather is steadily improving with plenty of sunshine and lesser winds. 6th April 2012
Easter was celebrated in style with a Swedish style buffet organised by Jespan with contributions of the other boats. It took the form of an outside meal and was complete with music and dancing.
Mid April the call from the health authorities finally came and the treatment  could start. Caryn is now halfway through the treatment and holding up fairly well although some days are better than others.  Fortunately she has not too many side effects although she did have to spend Greek Easter Sunday in the hospital being monitored as there was a slight heart problem.
Boats (Roama, Pacific Pearl, Laerke, Castor en Pollux) are leaving for the sailing season and the charter boats are being prepared so the harbour is busy although there does not seem to be too many client or the moment.
We moved into the flat at the end of April and quite soon afterwards we had a visit from Elly (Sybaris) from Rhodes who stayed at the flat with us and she and Caryn wandered through Kos exploring.  We have bought some garden furniture to make full use of the terrace as well as some other bits to make it more cosy.
Caryn has treated herself to pedicures and fish spas as a relaxation from the treatment.
We have been very busy socially as several boats have called in to Kos so there have been many drinking sessions and meals out in restaurants. It is good to see everyone again and to catch up on all the news.
It will be a strange summer spending it on land but hopefully we will be able to get some sailing done at the end of the treatment but where we will go still remains to be seen.

March in Kos


March was a busy month as far as festivities were concerned with celebrations for both the union of the Dodecanese to Greece and Independence Day. Both events had street parades with participants from the public and the different military forces.

As far as Caryn is concerned she is back in Kos and recovering slowly from the second operation. The next stage is to organise the preventive treatment. It has been confirmed that the treatment can be done in Kos and that proved a marathon getting through Greek red tape and entailed visiting several administrative offices but we got there in the end. Medicines ordered so now just have to wait for them to arrive.

Svein has installed the night light system in the boat and, at long last, the gas alarm. He has also begun work on touching up the Coelan on deck. He also renewed the shore power installation on the boat and installed an additional 220V socket outside. He has also varnished the navigation area and repaired the bathing ladder and its deck sockets. He has had a busy month as he also managed to work on the cupboards in the galley after they had been thoroughly cleaned and sorted and treated against ants.

The weather has been cold and windy with winds from all directions but sometimes strong enough to cancel the ferries from Athens. It has improved towards the end of the month which has meant we can have lunch outside. No excuse now not to start cleaning the salon cushions. Slow process but what an improvement!

Svein managed to dive to recuperate the utensils fallen in the water at Xmas. Managed to retrieve the serving dishes of which one had to be thrown away and a spoon as well as a pair of glasses.

We also attended the concert by the community orchestra to celebrate Independence Day but came home early as someone managed to damage the sound mixing console.

Laerke was leaving for the sailing season so they came to dinner on board and Caryn prepared a dinner of prawn braid and then fresh strawberries.

Still no word about the treatment but hopefully it can start next month.

More about life in Kos


It has been a strange winter. The liveaboard community has been active with music evenings, weekly drink on a Friday and BBQs when possible. The town has been explored in all its dimensions from food shops, beauty parlours, activities and historical monuments so something for everyone’s taste. Unfortunately we have been very unlucky with weather as it has rained a great deal and there have been almost constant cold Northerly winds. On the rare occasions when it has dropped there has been sunshine and warmth so it has been possible to have a BBQ including one that was laid on by the harbour staff where they cooked sardines.

The Christmas festivities went off well with a Scandinavian theme for the main dinner (cooked by the participants) and the results can been seen in the pictures. The harbour did us proud with a lavish spread on Christmas day and another event on New Year’s Day. There was also a visit to a ballet performance by visiting Russian soloists. Svein managed to distinguish himself over the holidays by falling in the water on returning to the boat after some of the festivities. He cut his leg quite badly and had it treated at the hospital. The climax however was when he succeeded in falling in again the next day whilst explaining to some people what he had done the previous night. The outcome was that Caryn lost all her servings trays, spoons and some knives that are now sitting at the bottom of the harbour.

Unfortunately the month of January was not as calm as Caryn spent most of the month travelling to Athens for tests and 2 major operations. Fortunately our friends from Eagle’s Nest on Nisyros (Mike and Marilyn) came up trumps and organised the hospital visits as well as the transport and accommodation. They were truly brilliant. They know a private hospital that dealt with everything on the spot and very rapidly. Now it only remains to get back on form and deal with the preventive treatment that should start soon.

There have been a few visits to beauty parlours and a fish spa that has now opened in town so from the pampering point of view all has been well. We have unfortunately not been able to continue with the latin dancing lessons but the few classes we did in December we enjoyed very much and hopefully have learned something from them.

Svein has managed to shorten the main boom. A task that has been waiting for a long time but had been put off as he was afraid it would be a major job but his fears were unfounded and he did it in a very short time. We now have much more space between the two masts to move around.

Life in Kos Marina


We are settling into the marina and finding our feet with regard to local shops and other facilities available. We have found a good butcher (and even one who speaks Swedish), super greengroceries and some good supermarkets.

One of the first tasks was to take the bicycles into to be serviced as they will be a vital element required to get around town (on the cycle tracks) and to explore. We have also found some restaurants where the food is good and the prices right.

The activities in the harbour have also started with a music night, boules, a walking group, BBQ when the weather is right and on Fridays a get together in the club room for a drink.

Svein woke Caryn  up today with a bouquet of flowers and finally saw the present that she had  treated herself to when we were in Rhodes but the best present was the confirmation that at last Svein’s pension had come through. We went out for a meal with some of the others to celebrate in good style. There was also a BBQ which enabled up to meet some of the other liveaboards who we did not know.

Caryn was making a quick trip to the UK so we hired a car to take her to the airport and  also used it to do a trip to the big supermarkets on the outskirts of town to stock up. The outward journey went well with no delays and even an early arrival at Heathrow.

Caryn was lucky with the weather during her stay and enjoyed some good meals out in particular an Indian meal that was another birthday celebration.  She also took advantage of the visit to get her eyes tested and will be replacing her glasses in Kos.

The journey back was more tedious with a 12 hour wait in Athens for the corresponding flight to Kos. However came back to sunshine and a good night’s sleep back on board.

After a 3 week wait we have now moved to our winter berth on pontoon D. The weather is still being clement although we have had some strong winds and some rain.

We have also started our Latin dancing classes although there is some catching up to do as the courses started in October but we are taking it slowly. We go to 2 lessons a week with one dedicated to the technical side of the dances and the other where we pout what we have learnt into practice.

We visited Psalidi (wetlands) that was organised by the harbour. We cycled down and then walked through the grounds. Refreshments were laid on at the end of the tour. We cycled back to the harbour tired but having spent an enjoyable morning.

Svein has been taking advantage of the good weather and has been touching up the deck where the coelan treatment has been damaged through the sailing season.

Caryn has ordered and collected her new glasses. The prices are really unbeatable here.

There has been some more BBQs and coming up to the middle of December the weather is still sunny and warm enough to be in tee shirts.

The dancing school is having a Christmas party in a local nightclub that we have been invited to. We went along with Angie and Keith and had a good evening and even managed to try out some of the steps we have learnt.

We have also celebrated St Lucy day with a musical evening and some snacks.

Caryn and Angie cycled out to find the beauty parlour on the outskirts of town. A long ride on the bike along quite a busy road but the facilities we found were excellent.  We shall go into town tomorrow to try find another one to have a comparison.

We are also busy preparing for the meal on 24th December which will be based on Scandinavian dishes and we will be following that up with a meal laid on by the harbour on 25th.