Youth and the Uni-effect, Ep. 141

There should be no shame in a Plan B. Sure, there’s the difficulty in accepting one’s fallibility. But we’ve found that if we think ahead about possible Plan B’s, it’s easier to make the switch when Plan A develops an attitude. And, an attitude was what we were faced with as we rounded the northern tip of Zakynthos for Shipwreck Beach. As soon as we pointed Sea Rose towards the alternative of neighboring Cephalonia, the sea sickness subsided and the curiosity about a new island emerged.

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Staking Claim and Claiming Names, Ep. 140

As the island of Zakynthos came into view, we officially entered the Ionian island group of western Greece. Last year, we had toyed with the idea of visiting Zakynthos, as we made our way south from Croatia, but time was not on our side as we pushed to make a date with friends in the Aegean. This season, with neither Karen nor I willing to take the Covid risk of leaving Greece and tempting clearance into another country, we were staying local. We had six more weeks in Greek waters, which gave us carte blanche to see every nook and cranny in the Ionian.

There are a handful of iconic images that Greeks use to tempt tourists to their land. There is, of course, the Parthenon, and the windmills on Mykonos, as well as the cliffs at Santorini, and finally there’s Shipwreck Beach, which coincidentally resides on Zakynthos. If you’re an Instagram nut, Shipwreck Beach is likely on your short list, to pose with heart-shaped hands, a pouty face, or a simple thumbs up.

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A Final Peak at the Peloponnese, Ep. 139

A couple of years ago, when Samuel Adams started hawking their ‘West Coast Style’ Rebel IPA, I was intrigued. Here I was a California-born living in Samuel Adams country on the East Coast. What could be a better beer to drink? If only one could solve the riddle of what ‘west coast style’ really meant. Beer aficionados touted its hoppier hops, but to a mere commoner like me, it was just a simple IPA. As we pointed Sea Rose up along the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, I wasn’t going to let a catchy marketing cliche get in the way of appreciating this region’s unique west coast style. If it meant a little beer tasting along the way, all the better!

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The Eyes of Venice, Ep. 138

It might help if you scrounge around ahead of time for the ouzo in the back of your liquor cabinet, but when I look at the layout of the Peloponnese coastline and bays, it reminds me of the profile of an American Bison, grazing on the plains of Yellowstone National Park. And with that spirit of the Wild West, we set off westbound from Limeni to cross the last 20 miles of open water to the port of Koroni.

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A Transformative State of Mind, Ep. 137

The Peloponnese landmass branches out into three prominent peninsulas on its southern shore, forming two long, deep bays. These peninsulas are barren, dry landscapes, with steep ridge lines running their length, reminding me of the spiny, crusty back of a Tyrannosaurus rex. And perhaps it is the threat of a T-rex emerging from the dead that keeps the general populous away from this region of Greece. Or the lack of roads. What remains is a number of small villages and, in the summer, a preponderance of mini-campers driven by modern day hippies trying to find a momentary escape from contemporary living. Perhaps there were a couple people onboard Sea Rose looking for a bit of the same.

We launched our exploration of these deep bays and peninsulas after an early morning departure from Elafonisos. I was hoping that the concentration of large motor yachts around the corner were not going to hinder our escape from a contemporary state of mind. Thankfully, the four hour trip across calm flat seas to the Mani peninsula and the port of Kayio was blissful – dare I say transformative. After so many days of high winds and nasty seas, it was magical to rediscover sailing in benign weather. 

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Windward and Airborne, Ep. 136

Sitting at anchor in Gramvousa, on the island of Crete, with the prevailing northerly winds howling down on us, and a long upwind climb in our near future to get up to the Peloponnese, it felt a little like being stuck in a sink hole. Cruising down to Crete had only exacerbated our upwind challenges. But it was worth it. We had hiked the gorges of Crete’s interior, ambled through narrow stone-lined alleys of historic villages, sipped the nectar of its burgeoning wine industry, and swam through the rusting hulks of not-so-long-ago shipwrecks. Now we had to pay our dues.

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