My Adventures Archives

Life Is An Emotional Roller Coaster

Emotional Roller Coaster

Emotional Roller Coaster

I am coming to another major change in my life, I am moving back to England this month, after living in Turkey for many years.

I know it is the right time to do, even though I am leaving many wonderful people behind. I want to be nearer my sons, my mother, brothers and friends and I need to do the move while I still have some energy to start again.

I have sent all my favourite things by cargo. I am not worried about furniture as it never fits a new place as it did in the old. But I must have my memories of the last few years around me; my Buddhas, my music, my films…it seems I have a lot of memories as it all weighed a total of 200 kilos!

I am excited as the day draws closer for my flight back. I have found a wonderful couple to take over my flat, and more importantly, to love Laurel and Hardy. I know they will all be very happy together.

I have been really touched by the many people in my village here, who have made a point of taking me to lunch, dinner or just coffee, to give me a leaving present and tell me how much they will miss me…it has been so lovely and they have all been so kind.

So, bye for now, I will update you all on my plans once I am back in England.

Jo Tempest.

One Step Closer!

Hi Everyone,

Laurel And Hardy

Laurel And Hardy

As I mentioned earlier, I said I felt it was time to move back to England, and it is.Lots of my memories are packed up, waiting to be taken back to England for me and it is a strange feeling.

I am excited about going back, but sad about leaving friends behind, but they can come and visit as soon as I am settled.

One of my main priorities was Laurel and Hardy, my two cats. I cannot take them with me and needed to find them a new home. But a miracle happened!

Last summer I met a wonderful young couple from Istanbul, wanting to move to this village. They contacted me a couple of weeks ago, came for a visit and all is settled.

Not only do they want my flat with all its furniture, but they want Laurel and Hardy too. It is an amazing outcome as my cats love it here, they know their surroundings, and it will just be new people loving and feeding them. It was meant to be.

So I can carry on making my plans for my new adventure and hope the next few years will be as wonderful as the last decade.

Jo Tempest.

Memories Of My School Days

Memories Of My School Days

School Days Memories

I was using my sewing machine yesterday and it made me think of my school days. When I was around thirteen years old I did ‘Domestic Science’ at school; half the year was spent cooking and the other half sewing.

My teacher was called Miss Stuart and she was so strict that you were terrified of doing anything wrong. You had to cut your pattern so perfectly, then tack and finishing the article of clothing on a sewing machine. The stitching had to also be in a perfect straight line and your button holes made to look like shop ones.

If you did anything wrong, she would just rip your sewing apart and make you start all over again. But, for all her strictness, I developed a love of sewing and it has stayed with me my whole life.

My Geography teacher was called Miss Banwell and she was a large lady with a large personality. She gave us all a thirst for travel with her stories and films of when she lived in Africa. The lessons were interesting even though we also had to do a lot of boring work such as map building and drawing plateaus!

English was my favourite lesson, especially Literature, thanks to Miss Goddard. She was a little lady who inspired us all in the pursuit of reading. I still remember reading Jane Eyre for the first time and being absolutely enthralled.

Then came History, which I adore now but my teacher was the most boring teacher you could ever wish for. We would walk into her classroom and she would already be writing on the first part of a three part blackboard. We were told to copy down all her writing from the three boards.

Sometimes, in the lesson, she never discussed anything she had written. The bell would go for the end of the lesson, she would say ‘see you next time’, and leave the classroom. Over the years I have developed my own passion for historical fact but not through her, and the proof is that I cannot remember her name.

I loved Algebra taught by a Scots Lady who was a brilliant teacher, but sadly I cannot recall her name. I remember one time that she called me and a friend to her at the start of class to discuss our homework. (I used to give mine to a girlfriend for her to copy if she had not done hers). She told us that she knew one of us was copying from the other, she did not need to say who, but suggested that the girl copying tried it on her own, as she would never pass her exams!

I love these memories of so many years ago and I did so love my time at school. It has made me the person I am today.

Jo Tempest.

Bikers Visit Selimiye

Bikers Visit Selimiye

Bikers Visit Selimiye

I wandered into the village yesterday and as I walked, I heard that wonderful deep roar of many large motor bikes. Following the sound to the waterfront, I came across many leather clad bikers parking their ‘beasts’ by my friend Nese’s cafe.

They settled and ordered coffee and beers.

Never to miss a great article for my blog, I ventured over to their tables and being me, asked if they would pose with their bikes, as it was such an unusual sight for Selimiye.

Bikers And Me

Bikers And Me

 

I told them I would post an article about them on my blog.

They were so sweet, belying their look. Up they got and stood smiling by their bikes.

I requested scowls as much more fitting, and then they said they wanted a photo with me. I felt absolutely dwarfed by one of them!

 

 

 

 

 

Row Of Motorcycles

Row Of Motorcycles

Anyway, I got my photos and they took my blog details as they were bemused that I wanted to put them on my blog. After a couple of hours, they donned their leathers and helmets to drive off into the sunset, leaving us a great memory of the Izmir Bikers.

Jo Tempest.

My New Smart Phone – Smarter Than Me!

When I was back in England a few weeks ago to visit my sons and family, my

My New Smartphone

My New Smartphone

darling brother, Mark, felt I needed a new smart phone instead of my little flip phone.

He said it would give me access to the Internet, etc. when I was over in England, which is true. Much better than having to access any available computer when I visit my sons or friends.

But one thing you have to know about me is that I am definitely not tech savvy! I have learned what I need to learn to be able to write my Bad Girls series, but my wonderful girlfriend, Carolyn, does all the magic to get them published.

I can load my photos onto my laptop, post them on Facebook, send files, and play Word Scrabble, but much more than that baffles me. So there I am with this wonderful present and little instruction.

It took me days to work out how to just add my contacts, delete my old text messages, and set up the Internet!

I realise I am not a technical person; I much prefer doing something creative, which is why I love researching and writing my books. I know I have to be in the 21st Century but I have been dragged kicking and screaming to arrive there.

I will persevere as it is a great present and I am sure I will enjoy using it, once I have mastered the little devil!
Jo Tempest

Ellen To The Rescue

Ellen To The Rescue

Joy Of London Yacht

Joy Of London

I have just returned from hostessing for two weeks on a beautiful yacht called ‘Joy of London’, around the Greek Islands. I had Belgian, French and Italian guests and it was a busy two weeks.

I could write about the charter but I am not going to. I am going to tell you about something that happened to me in that two weeks that left me with such a great feeling when it comes to human kindness.

We had taken the yacht to Lakki on the island of Leros as we had to fill the water tanks, and I had to stock up on fresh provisions for the many meals I would be preparing for my guests over the next few days. They had left the yacht to go ashore for dinner and I set off with my extensive shopping list to find a supermarket and a green-grocer.

I knew the shops shut around 9.30-10.00pm and it was already after 9pm so I had to be quick. It was dark and a lot further than I thought so I was already panicking about how I would carry everything back to the yacht.

Eventually I found the supermarket and rushed around to fill my trolley, being helped by a lovely Greek lady who introduced herself as Ellen, the owner. She helped me to pack the bags as I asked where the green-grocer was. She told me I would find it at the top of the hill.

Captain Foxy and Jo Tempest

Captain Foxy and Jo

My plan was to stagger up the hill with my shopping and then after buying all the fruit and vegetables, I would have to call a taxi to take me back to the harbour.

Ellen then amazed me by saying that she would go and get her car and drive me up to the green-grocer’s. This she promptly did and then came into the next shop with me, introduced me and got the owner to help me select the best of all I needed.

Meanwhile, Ellen has also told me that she would wait for me and then drive me back to ‘Joy of London’, which she did. During the drive back to the harbour, we managed to exchange our life stories and both decided that we wished we lived in the same town as would love to become friends.

I also told her that I would write about her on my blog, so Ellen, if you are reading this, I truly hope I make it back to Leros one day and that we can share the bottle of wine that we promised we would do.

In the meantime, you are a wonderful kind lady who I am honoured to have met. You went far beyond the call of duty that evening and I appreciated it so much.
When an act of true kindness comes along, it gives you such a warm feeling and Ellen was my angel that evening on Leros when I really needed help. Thank you.

Jo Tempest.

The Ossuary in Kutna Hora

 Kutna Hora Ossuary

Prague Square

Prague Square

Last month, my wonderful sons, James and Richard, took me to Prague for my birthday. For all of us, it was a special trip to spend some time together and the added bonus was that none of us had visited Prague before.

It is a truly stunning city with many impressive beautiful buildings that survived the second World War. This is mainly because Prague was occupied by the Germans and so was never bombed.

One of the highlights of the visit was being able to go to Kutna Hora, about an hour outside of Prague, to visit the famous Ossuary. All three of us have always been fascinated with the story of the Ossuary and were excited to have the chance to see it for real.

Prague Center

Prague Center

Prague Town

Prague Town

Prague Clock

Prague Clock

It is in the Roman Catholic Chapel near the Church of All Saints in Sedlec, near Kutna Hora.The Ossuary came about because way back in 1278, Henry, an Abbot from the Cisteria Monastery in Sedlec, was sent to the Holy Land by King Otakar II of Bohemia.

When he returned, he brought back a small amount of earth that he had taken from Golgotha. Henry sprinkled this earth over the Abbey cemetery and this caused a rush of people from Central Europe who wanted to be buried there.

By the mid 14th Century to the early 15th Century, due to the Black Death and the Hussite Wars, there were many thousands buried in the cemetery, and it had to be enlarged. But also, a Gothic church had been built in the centre of the cemetery with a vaulted upper level. The decision was made to use the lower chapel as an Ossuary for all the mass graves that had been unearthed during the building of the new church. A half blind monk was given the task of exhuming all these skeletons.

Later, around 1703-1710, work was done on the chapel due to a leaning wall, and this work was done by Jan Santini Aichel. He chose to use the Czech Baroque style to complete his work.

Then in 1870, a woodcarver known as Frantisek Rint, was given the difficult task of creating some sort of order with all the bones from the thousands of bodies in the chapel. It took him almost three years to complete his work, and as you will see from my photos, it is quite incredible.

The centerpiece to the chapel is a chandelier that has used every bone from the human body, and the Schwarzenberg coat of arms, and the signature by Rint, again, uses just human bones. It is thought that the chapel contains the bones from anywhere between 40-70,000 bodies so there was a huge amount of work to be done.

I found the chapel truly fascinating, as so did James and Richard. Some of you may find it macabre, but I am sure you will agree that it is an amazing creation. This little chapel has more than 200,000 visitors a year and I am sure everyone goes away, as we did, with a memory of something they will never forget. Be sure to scroll down to see more amazing photos.

Jo Tempest.

Ossuary Chandelier

Ossuary Chandelier

Ossuary Window

Ossuary Window

Ossuary Bone Chalice

Ossuary Bone Chalice

Ossuary Art

Ossuary Art

Ossuary Plaque

Ossuary Plaque

Ossuary Coat Of Arms

Ossuary Coat Of Arms

Beautiful Greece

Recently I hostessed on a yacht for a wonderful group of Canadians around the Greek Islands. I thought you would like to see a few of my photographs. It was a wonderfully beautiful trip, visiting lots of secluded bay and picturesque little islands.

Lots of fun had by all.

Jo Tempest

Greek Alley

Greek Alley

Greek Cafe

Greek Cafe

Greek Fishing Boat

Greek Fishing Boat

Greek Window

Greek Window

Greek Monastery

Greek Monastery

Symi Hillside

Symi Hillside

Symi Town

Symi Town

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Out on the Seas!

My adventures out on the seas!

 

A Beautiful Day | Jo Tempest

A Beautiful Day

It is the ‘over dinner’ story and Mick’s trouble in the sea that prompted me to write this article but the rest of the day was just as interesting so you will get it all! 

I have some very special old friends, Joan and Mick, staying with me at the moment and they love every opportunity to get out on a boat on to the wonderful blue sea around this area.

I am also very lucky to have many new friends who keep their boats in this area. The perfect combination! Ken, being one of these friends, offered to take us out for the day a few days ago. He would be in Bozburun, a nearby village, and we could join him by driving to the village and heading for the harbor.

We arrived around lunch time to be met by Ken in his dingy and soon we were aboard his beautiful 50 foot yacht, ‘Sergiano’. We motored away from Bozburun and soon found ourselves in clear blue water with just the odd yacht passing us by.

The decision was made to drop anchor after an hour of motoring and have a swim followed by lunch. Mick and Ken jumped in to the sea but Joan and I are both nervous out of our depth so donned floating rings. A sight to behold, I promise you, but it was great to be in the cool water.

We all climbed aboard and were ready for a light lunch as we were taking Ken ashore for dinner as a ‘thank you’ for our day out. Fresh village stone-baked bread, salad, cheeses, olives and beer filled the table and quickly disappeared. 

 

Ken and Mick | Jo Tempest

Ken and Mick

After a little lazing around on deck, Ken and Mick decided to go for a snorkel. Donning their flippers and masks, they quickly disappeared over to the rocks in the distance. Joan and I were chatting on deck when we heard this little voice calling ‘I think I need some help’. Turning to the sound of the voice, we could see Mick throwing a flipper in front of him and swimming towards it to get him nearer to the boat.

At this point I have to tell you that poor Mick has recently had a knee operation, a shoulder operation and gets cramps in his bad leg. Not a good combination when your flipper comes off the foot of the side with the bad leg and shoulder! Joan and I are running around the deck, quite uselessly, I have to admit, wondering how we can help Mick. Do we put on our foam rings and try to get to him? Do we throw him a line or do we call out to Ken who was over snorkeling around some different rocks to come and rescue Mick.

I am afraid we did not do the courageous life saving jump in to the sea but yelled to Ken. Truth be known, he got there a lot quicker than we would have done anyway. Soon, Mick was being hauled back on to the boat and before long was settled with a beer and the newspaper to recuperate! Joan and I both decided we were totally useless in a ‘sea emergency’ but were brilliant in other ways! 

The afternoon passed with all of us laying out on deck with books, newspapers or just dozing. It was so relaxing. As evening approached, we upped anchor ( this I am good at) and motored back to Bozburun. We decided to drop anchor just outside the harbor and go in to the village in the dingy. Before long, we were tied up along the harbor wall and heading for one of the local restaurants. It was a wonderful warm evening and we were soon enjoying local food and exchanging ‘life’ stories.

Now I am going to tell you the TRUE story that Ken told us, prompting this blog post.

Ken and his lovely wife Lima (who was away in Canada during our trip, but I will see her soon) were sailing around the Balearic Islands. One evening, they met with some other fellow sailors, Peter and John, and heard their own scary story of a few days earlier. 

Peter and his wife were sailing in a Catamaran and John, along with his crew, in his sailing yacht. They decided to sail from one island to another with a set route, but for some reason, Peter and his wife left earlier. Peter had the sails up and after a couple of hours the wind had dropped so he decided to go for a swim but he forgot to tell his wife! At this time, she was sitting inside the boat knitting and was very absorbed in what she was doing.

At this point, I also have to mention Peter has a wooden leg but it does not stop him doing anything! Anyway, Peter goes in to the sea for his swim with a trailing line attached to his boat. A few minutes later the wind picks up, pulls the trailing line from his hand and his boat moves away. Peter frantically swims towards his boat but never quite catches it up. Before long, he is exhausted and is just floating in the water.

 

Joan and Me | Jo Tempest

Joan and Me

A full couple of hours later, John is motoring his yacht on the same decided route to meet up with Peter and his wife. He is looking around at the huge expanse of sea and thinks he can see a log in the distance. As he gets closer, he sees that it is a ‘Hairy’ log, feebly waving a hand!

Before long, poor Peter has been dragged on to John’s boat and they quickly try to catch up with the Catamaran. Coming along side, Peter’s wife appears to say ‘hi’ to John and then asks “Peter, what are doing on John’s boat?”

Scarily, she had been enjoying her knitting so much that she had not even been aware Peter was not around! Fortunately, Peter lived to tell the tale to Ken and Lima a couple of days later along with many others, I am sure. Thank goodness John had not changed his agreed set course and spotted Peter floating in the sea. I am sure that if they were not best buddies before, they must be now! 

We left Ken after hugs and thank you’s to go back to his yacht to sleep under the stars. I drove my lovely friends back to my apartment in Selimiye over the winding mountain roads on a clear starlit night. A truly wonderful day with our own ‘sea’ story but nothing as amazing as Peter’s story, don’t you agree? 

Joxxxxx

 

 

 

I have been away for over a week as a hostess on a yacht charter and I thought you would like to share my trip with me.

I did not have long to prepare for this charter as having finished another one in Turkish waters on the Wednesday, I was asked the same day if I would be available to do this one starting on Friday of the same week. Life is always all or nothing for me but I love it!

Anyway, here is a glimpse into my week cruising around the Greek Islands with the wonderful Major family.

Friday 13th July.

My Guests | Jo Tempest

My Guests

I caught the infamous village bus in to Marmaris early in the morning and Dave picked me up from the bus station. This was the first time I had met Dave who was going to be the Captain on this charter but straightaway I knew we would get on well. We went down to the marina and boarded our home for the next few days.

The yacht was called ‘Lady Sara’ and was around 50 feet long with 4 guest cabins. After stocking the yacht with a few provisions for the journey, we set off for Bodrum where we were going to take our guests on board.

I spent some of the time learning where everything was in the yacht, making beds and preparing for our guests.

We decided to stop off in Knidos for the night after an 8 hour sail arriving early evening. I practiced my anchor skills successfully and after a quick supper, Dave and I had our last full nights sleep for the coming week! By the end of the first day, it seemed we had known each other for ever. Nothing to do with the fact that I am a chatterer, poor guy!

Saturday 14th July

 

Happy Boys

Happy Boys

We (or rather I) pulled up the anchor very early in the morning and we sailed for the next 3 hours to Bodrum. Once we were in the marina, which meant grabbing lazy lines, throwing ropes and putting fenders in place, we could turn off the engine.

Armed with my shopping list for the next week, we made our way to the local supermarket and staggered back to the yacht with all our purchases. This included too many diet Cokes for Dave as this is what keeps him going!

Around 3pm, the Major family arrived at the yacht. They all came aboard with their luggage and the fun began. Let me introduce you to my guests. Firstly, we have parents James and Sally Major, then sons Johnny (29), Edward, known as Ed (28), Ginny (23) and Harry (18)…along with Richard ( Ginny’s boyfriend) and Amy (Johnny’s girlfriend). A livelier bunch of people you could not meet and I knew instantly this was going to be a fun trip.

The cabins were decided, bags stowed and with everyone with a drink, Dave went through our itinerary and what a great week we had to look forward to. We planned to be at a different island every day, so a lot of sailing, which the family were really looking forward to experiencing.

Dave then took all the passports to go and start the ‘booking out of Turkey’ procedures. I spent some time getting to know everyone and to emphasize that I was there to look after them for the week and nothing was too much trouble. I am sure for Sally, this must have been a wonderful thought after looking after all her family over the years!

I soon learned how everyone like their tea, coffee and what they didn’t eat, as I would be providing breakfast and lunch every day. James liked his coffee quite strong with milk, Ginny liked her mint tea, sometimes Johnny wanted sugar, other days not, depending on his mood. (more dependent on his alcohol consumption the night before!) By the end of the trip, I had it down to perfection!

The plan was to stay in Bodrum for the night and set off early the next morning. So my guests showered, dressed and left us to go and find a restaurant for dinner. Dave and I had a quick supper and then also went for a wander. It seemed to be a wine tasting weekend near the marina but I resisted, knowing a hangover would not help the next morning!

When we got back to the yacht, everyone was already back from dinner and well into the wine and beers on board. Luckily we had three fridges and they stayed full the whole trip! We all sat around chatting, giving me the chance to get to know what everyone did for a living and where they lived. All the guys then decided they needed to go for another try of the ‘free wines’ so the rest of us called it a night.

I quickly realized that this trip was just going to be like when I had sleep overs for my sons with all their friends: so much fun! Dave did not have a cabin, so he slept on deck and I was sleeping in a ‘hole’ that I had to climb down into, by the anchor hold.

It was a very warm night and I got woken up early hours of the morning by a drunken Turkish argument on a nearby motor yacht. Eventually drifted off for another couple of hours of welcome sleep.

Sunday 15th July

I got up early while everyone was sleeping to start preparing breakfast. As there were only 4 cabins, all the couples had taken one and Ed and Harry decided not to share. So Ed had the cabin and Harry had a made up bed on the seating in the salon. It really reminded me how an 18 year old can sleep through anything! There I am banging pots and pans (not on purpose) and dear Harry doesn’t even turn over.

Eventually, as all the family drifted in for breakfast, we had to wake Harry up as they all needed to sit around the table. I laid the food out as a buffet and soon realized they all had good appetites. There were cereals, cheeses, cold meats, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, eggs, honey, jams and wonderful warm fresh bread. At the end, not even a few crumbs for the fish. Just how I like it!

Dave came back with all the paperwork and passports so we could leave Bodrum to head for Greece. The boys and James soon showed that they would be ‘hands on’, helping with fenders, lines and the anchor, it was a great help. We left the marina and headed for a secluded bay where everyone could have a swim.

The Girls On The Deck

The Girls On The Deck

The anchor was dropped again and everyone dived into the wonderful clear blue sea. After the swim we upped anchor and set off for Kos, our destination for the evening.

James and the boys were really keen to get the sails up, so after a few instructions from Dave, they were hoisted and it was great. Plenty of wind with James at the helm, bodies scattered everywhere with their books and suntan creams. They were all in heaven!

By mid afternoon, we were approaching Kos harbor so the sails were brought down and lines and fenders ready. By the time we were tied up on the harbor wall, lunch was ready.

My chicken and salads went down a treat followed by lots of fruit. There are going to be a lot of hungry fish on this trip if they are waiting for me to feed them the leftovers!

Later in the afternoon, everyone went off to explore Kos while David met up with the booking agent to get all our paperwork in order. We were now officially in Greece! I topped up on water and fresh supplies for the next few days.

My guests drifted back and we all sat around chatting before they all showered and changed to go off for dinner. Dave and I had quick showers and left the boat to go and find a cold beer. I then went for a wander around the old town and Dave went off to find a musician friend of his who entertained the tourists. I got back to the yacht before anyone else and was enjoying sitting on deck quietly with my book.

All of a sudden, the owner of the yacht next to me was running around his deck, armed with a hooked pole and screaming. Next minute, a guy on the shore has jumped aboard and is also running around. Then I see a huge rat and realizing how close our boat is, I am panicking in case it decides to escape to our yacht. I told the owner where it was and he attacked it and it disappeared on to the yacht the other side of him. This one was closed up so I hope it didn’t get inside, as they do so much damage.

Anyway, everything went quiet and the guy next door closed all his hatches and went to bed. I sat on the deck trying to read my book, but I was on ‘Rat Alert’. Sally came back on her own and we sat and chatted. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her about the rat, I didn’t think it was a good start to the cruise. I decided I would tell her a few days later when I knew it hadn’t become an ‘extra unwelcome guest’.

Eventually Sally and I went to bed, as goodness knows when the others will stagger back. I did not sleep well that night, thinking that maybe a rat would drop down in to my sleeping place. Got woken up early hours of the morning by drunken youngsters who had ‘borrowed’ a small boat from the other side of the harbor and motored over to ours. Lots of shouting by the angry boat owner and police. Joys of tourists!!

Monday 16th July

 

Breakfast is prepared and slowly my guests emerge. Sally and James are up followed eventually by Johnny, Amy, Ed, Harry, Rich and Ginny but not particularly in that order. They are all feeling very fragile so they obviously enjoyed their night out in Kos. This did not stop them enjoying their breakfast which I was happy to see. I would rather feed them than the fish!

Today we were heading for Nisiros, which is a volcanic island with two huge craters, but on the way, we stopped in another secluded bay for a swim and lunch. Lunch cleared, we were on our way with the sails up.

Ginny and Amy had got in to the routine of laying on the front of the boat with their books and sails flapping around was not going to deter them. You would see them hanging on for dear life as the yacht swayed over from one side to the other. This was going to be a well earned suntan for each of them!

Approaching Nisiros, it was time to bring in the sails and all the boys along with dad are becoming quite the experts, as well as taking their turn on the helm. We arrived around 5ish to a tiny harbor with just a couple of restaurants, market and bakery on the waterfront and only a thousand local inhabitants. It was ‘beer hour’, as it came to be known on this trip, but I have to say, that could have been any hour of the day by the end of our week. Sitting on deck with a drink, nibbles and my fun

company just did not seem like work for a brief while. We all showered, changed and headed for one of the few restaurants for dinner. Sally and James have asked Dave and myself to join them for dinner which is great. It’s a long time since I have eaten in Greece and I had a craving for Moussaka.

There we were enjoying a drink ,waiting for our food when two yachts full of Russians docked opposite the restaurant. Within minutes, about twenty Russians appeared, all in navy and white striped T shirts. Out came their cameras but then they needed someone else to take their photos so nobody was left out.

In I stepped! But then there were two cameras, one digital, one SLR and they wanted photos taken from an angle with me almost laying on the ground, as the flags must be included! David Bailey, eat your heart out! Half an hour later, a very happy group of Russians said thank you and wandered off to find their vodka.

After a lovely dinner, we split up and I wandered around the bay with the girls. We found some delicious ice cream to finish off our evening before returning to our yacht. I left all the youngsters on deck as no chance of them finding a nightclub here. I went to sleep listening to an amazing local musician playing Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons on his violin. Quite magical.

Tuesday 17th July.

 

Nisiros Volcanic Crater

Nisiros Volcanic Crater

I made an early breakfast as we had decided to hire a couple of cars for the morning and head up to find the volcanic crater. It was crazy to leave here without seeing it. As we drove up the mountain, you could smell it first, a strong sulphur smell just like bad eggs. Not a good smell in the heat of the day!

We arrived and walked over to the crater’s edge. Fortunately, it has not been active for thousands of years. Amazing how blaze we have become, there we are looking inside a volcanic crater and it’s “Okay, seen it, what’s next?”

Well, it was another drive to the really picturesque village at the top of the mountain. Beautiful views, winding streets with white washed homes and a little museum passed another pleasant hour.

Back into the cars, we wound our way back down the mountains to the harbor. Once on board, I prepared lunch while Sally and James went off in the car to take photos and a few minutes peace, I am sure! Lunch eaten by all and it was time to set sail for Tilos, our evening destination.

 

Richard At the Helm

Richard At the Helm

We had a few hours of sailing ahead of us and what a sail. With Richie on the helm, we hit the top speed of the week so far of 10.1 knots helped along by a force 7 gale! Ginny and Amy really had to hang on tight today. Harry took his turn on the helm and was an absolute natural. This was the best sail so far this week.

Then we had Ed with his theatrics! Telling stories about how he was traumatized as a child when out on a boat with a friend of his father’s, it capsized, trapping him underneath. Next minute, Ed is wearing his life jacket, clinging desperately on to the rails, laying flat on the floor, head in his hands if he was brave enough to take his fingers of the rails!

It was an ‘Oscar’ performance and had us all in fits of laughter. I soon realized that Ed was our resident comic for the week. Couldn’t wait for his next performance!

With the sails pulled in ( no easy task today), we had Tilos in sight. The island is famous for its extinct elephants. Apparently the story is that when Tilos separated from mainland Asia Minor, a group of elephants were trapped on the island. The remains of dwarf elephants were found in a cave, the adults only being 4ft high. No one is sure if they were hunted to extinction or ran out of food.

On getting close to the small harbor, we were told there was no room as they were expecting the huge ferry and it was staying overnight. It meant we had to drop anchor outside along with quite a few other boats. By the evening, the wind hadn’t dropped. We decided that James would take the dingy over with all his family for dinner in the town. He had to do two journeys there and back as he could only take 4 at a time. I think it was a bit like a roller coaster ride in a theme park.

Dave and I had to stay on the yacht in case the anchor dragged and we found ourselves too near another boat. Apparently Sally got so wet going over, she had to go straight in to a clothes shop and buy a dress. I am glad she did, as she looked lovely in what she chose.

Anyway, they had a nice dinner and all arrived safely back to clamber on board ‘Lady Sara.’ I made Sally and James coffee and they retired for the evening. Dave and I sat with the kids and played some great ‘mind’ games, i.e., movie stars, films, etc. Eventually I said goodnight and went off to bed. Absolutely no chance of sleep as the anchor was snapping every few minutes in the wind until I could almost time it!

Wednesday 18th July.

We all woke up early, Johnny and Amy offered to take the dingy over to buy fresh bread for breakfast and lunch. By the time they returned, everyone enjoyed breakfast with extras of poached or scrambled eggs. I am excelling myself on this charter! Only Sally declines as she has never enjoyed eating or cooking eggs.

 

View Of Simi

View Of Simi

We are heading for a long sail to Simi today. It was still really windy so I decided to make lots of sandwiches for lunch. There was no way I could be in the galley safely to do a complex lunch. The sailing was great with everyone taking turns on the helm.

Dave was wonderful, he let everyone have a go but was always watching for the slightest problem. We did come close a couple of times but he soon got thing back under control. The sandwiches went down well, I couldn’t have made them fast enough!

Later, Johnny decided to lay on the step at the back of the boat which was giving his girlfriend Amy heart failure. In the end, poor James had to play dad and order him back in. Shame, as Johnny was enjoying it but we were heading for World War 111, with Dave and I watching from the sidelines! It so reminded me of my two sons, James and Richard. Glad to see all families are the same.

Eventually it was time to pull in the sails, no easy task today, and we had Simi harbor in sight. We had docked on the monastery side of the island in Panormitis and it was beautiful. Built around 1740 in sandy colored stone with earlier structures incorporated, it had a huge Venetian winged lion over the main entrance.

 

Simi Monastery

Simi Monastery

The monastery is said to have been founded when a local farmer’s wife found an icon of Archangel St Michael under a mastic tree. She took the icon home, but in the morning it had disappeared. She found it again under the tree in Panormos. This happened three more times, after which she realized that it wanted to be in Panormos, so the church was built. It is a shrine to sailors even though St Nicholas is actually the patron saint of sailors in Greece.

We all left our yacht to go and explore and take lots of photos, then back to get ready for dinner tonight. James and Sally left with their family to visit the one restaurant in the bay. Back on the yacht, it was not a late night for any of us.

Thursday 19th July.

Woke up to another brilliant blue sky and hot day. Breakfast over, we motored around to the other side of Simi as the family needed urgent access to the internet. Cruising in to Simi is truly wonderful. It is such a pretty harbor, with little colored houses climbing up the mountainsides. As soon as we were tied up safely to the jetty, James and his family left to go and find cold beers and internet. Dave and I got connected to electricity, filled the water tanks and bought some more fresh supplies.

I prepared lunch for when my wanderers returned and then later they all went for a swim around the other side of the bay. After I had cleared lunch, tidied up the boat and got rid of the rubbish, I ventured off the boat to explore this pretty Greek town. By the time I returned, many more yachts had arrived, including a couple of huge motor yachts. It’s a very popular destination. We were also told a 97 meter private yacht was due in that evening so we were all trying to guess who it could belong to.

My guests , showered and dressed, left the boat to go and eat in one of the many wonderful restaurants that Simi can boast. After I had fed Dave and myself, I also wanted to explore the town again. I found an amazing gallery selling artwork in every medium by Greek artists. The Sophia Gallery was heaven to me; I love to see what artists can create from nothing.

Later, I met up with Amy and Ginny in a bar to notice some Greeks playing backgammon. Now, you may not know this, but I love this game. I also have a reputation of winning a lot of games. They saw I was interested and asked if I played. I told them I did and was invited to join them.

The Greeks actually play a set of three games, each one different. I only knew the first one, but hey, I am an adventurous girl! Unfortunately, I did not have my reading glasses so I couldn’t see the numbers on the dice very clearly. But my Greek hero , whose place I had taken, confirmed the numbers for me. I won the first game!. The second game I lost, but it was totally new to me. The third game, which I was learning as I went along, I won! Time to say thank you to my lovely new Greek friends after mumbling ‘Beginners Luck.’

I went back to our yacht having had a great evening, to meet everyone else on deck feeling the same. The 97 meter yacht never came so we never did find out which celebrity was on board!

Friday 20th July.

 

Harry in Rhodes Town

Harry in Rhodes Town

This is our last full day together so we wanted it to be a good one. After another big breakfast, we pulled up anchor and headed for Rhodes via another beautiful bay on the way for a swim. As you enter the bay, you see soaring cliffs and the most beautiful clear blue sea going down very deep.

Everyone quickly jumped overboard to enjoy the cool water. Dave and I stay on board to do a few jobs around the boat and I prepare my last lunch for my guests. It is not going to be a leftovers lunch, so I pull out the stops. They all come back hungry and once again the fish starve!

Soon, it’s time to head for Rhodes and we know this is going to be a great sail as there is plenty of wind! As we leave the bay, we see our huge 97 meter yacht in the next bay, obviously liking the seclusion. It looked liked a mini cruise ship!

Amy and Ginny head to the decks to top up their tans, Sally likes to sit at the front of the boat in peace, and the guys get ready to take their turn at the helm along with hoisting sails. I think this was the best sail of the week, with a record breaking 10.4 knots!

A few hours later, we have Rhodes harbor in view. It’s a tough time getting all the sails in but we do it in record time. We head for our reserved place in the harbor and before long, we are tied up. Dave goes off to see his agent to get our paperwork in order and James and the gang go off to explore Rhodes. I tidy up the boat and take a well deserved cup of tea on deck with my book.

Everyone wanders back to join me and chat over a great week with all its memorable moments. This evening, Dave and I have been invited to dinner with James and his family, so early evening we all leave the yacht to go in to old Rhodes town. I love this place: amazing architecture and wonderful atmosphere. We all have a great last dinner together and then Dave and I leave the family to their last evening in Greece for a while.

We wander back to ‘Lady Sara’ having felt we have given the Major family a great week. Sally and James return first to join us on deck. Sitting there with our drinks, the rest of the gang arrive. But shortly, the four boys get fidgety again and disappear in to the night! They reappear with the sunrise in the morning and fall into bed long after we have all retired!

 Saturday 21st July.

 

The Whole Group on Our Last Day | Jo Tempest

Our Last Day

The one thing the boys forgot about last night, was that they were leaving the boat around 10:30am. Dave and I are sailing back to Marmaris and the Majors have to hang around Rhodes until early evening before heading for their flight back to England.

They did not want to get up! Poor James had to keep knocking on doors, telling them to pack and shower. And that was before they ate breakfast. Apparently I made the best scrambled eggs today out of the whole week! 

Before long, it was time to see our guests off the yacht. We had at least arranged for them to leave all their bags with the agent until the evening, so that made their lives a little easier over the day. I am sure the boys were just going to go and look for somewhere to sleep!

We exchanged emails and said our goodbyes to our wonderful guests. Soon, Dave and I were sailing back to Turkey, heading for Marmaris. Early evening found us tied up in the Marina and me being dropped back to the bus station, exhausted but happy. I said my fond farewells to Dave and hope that I will have another chance to work with this great Captain. 

A few days later. 

What a week that was, filled with fun, laughter, family dynamics and wonderful locations. I know James and his family will read this, so I would just like to add a few extra words just for them. Firstly, James and Sally, you have done a wonderful job bringing up your family. Each one is a credit to you both as parents.

Ed, I loved you for your whacky humor and I hope the offer is still there to help me with my ‘Twitter.’

Johnny and Amy, I enjoyed our chats and I hope the move to London goes well for both of you. Also, Johnny, I hope your meeting goes well with my James.

Ginny and Richard, you are a lovely couple and good fun. Thank you Richard, for being my constant ‘anchor man’ and also for giving us such memorable facial expressions when you were at the helm.

Then to darling Harry, last but not least. I send you a special hug, you had a lot to deal with on this trip but you coped so well. I was very proud of you. I am sorry I did not get to teach you backgammon, but maybe there will be another time. 

Bye for now but hope we will all meet again. 

Jo Tempest.xxxxxx

 

 

 


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