Saturday, 2 July 2016

Goodbyes Still Suck

As Darryl already wrote about before we left home, goodbyes suck.  Being so far away from friends and family is the hardest part of this journey we are on.  And we have been so fortunate to have both our moms come for extended visits as well as friends, who amazingly enough are coming a second time this August.  As our first year of sailing is drawing to a close, we have had company for four months of our 12 months of traveling.  Pretty remarkable!!!  Clearly I have nothing to complain about. 

It is certainly an adjustment for the four of us to go from spending much of the day apart from each other between work and school, to now spending nearly every waking minute together.  Needless to say I for one welcome the opportunity to have other people to chat with on a regular basis.  Our winter in Finike afforded us the opportunity to connect with a community again.    Christer and Janna, along with their children who are 5 and 2, are sailing for a year on a boat lent to them by friends. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to have the unique opportunity to sail alongside with another family who we met over the winter.

When we first re-connected in Arki in the Dodecanese on May 15, I never imagined we would sail together for as long as we did.  Our six weeks together saw us sail from the Dodecanese to the Cyclades and even over to the Peloponnisos.  We shared countless meals together, beach time, hikes, sleepovers for the kids and most importantly endless conversation. 

While in Arki, Janna and Christer had connected with the one school teacher on the island and had arranged for us to come visit his school where he teaches a total of two students, who are brothers.  It was an amazing opportunity for our kids to meet some local children and for us teach them a little bit about Norway and Canada. 

We had a crazy long and intense sail together from Patmos in the Dodecanese over to Naxos in the Cyclades.  How reassuring it was to always see them on the horizon and to be able to chat on the VHF about how things were going and compare seasick children.  

We then spent over two weeks in a single anchorage at the island of Paros.  We all fell in love with the crystal blue waters and sandy beaches, felt like the Caribbean.  

Janna introduced Darryl to spearfishing!!

While in Paros, Janna and Christer offered to boat sit Maple while the Maple crew cheated and took the ferry to visit Santorini.  I will admit I quite enjoyed staying in a hotel with unlimited hot water for showers!

We were in an isolated anchorage at Dhespotico but clearly the sea brings in a lot of garbage to the shores of the beaches here.  In only 30 minutes we picked up at least 10kg of garbage for us to dispose of when we have a chance.  Janna even started a Facebook page to encourage our friends wherever they may be to help clean up beaches and other waterways near where they live.

Cliff jumping on Sifnos!!

Checking out the caves of Milos together!

We did our first night sail of the season from Milos to Elafonisos on the Peloponnisos together.  I loved being able to look out and see the only other set of navigation lights on the horizon.  Unfortunately the winds didn’t cooperate for the sail, but we had a gorgeous full moon accompanying us and Darryl caught our first fish just as the sun was rising.  We then got to share loads of sushi and grilled tuna that evening.

We shared an amazing night by a beach bonfire on one of our last nights together.  You know it was a great evening when Iris fell asleep on the beach under the stars.

It was the influence of constantly swimming with Edvard that Iris learned to swim!!! 

The intensity in which these friendships form while cruising unfortunately also means they end just as abruptly as they started.  It was a very hard goodbye for all of us when we needed to head in different directions from Elafonisos.  Edvard generously gave a very special teddy bear of his to Iris, which was overwhelming for all of us. 

We do hope our paths cross again with these beautiful friends of ours.  The coffee will always be ready!!


  1. Janet, what a great post!! Love it! So know how you feel. We currently really miss connecting with other families. We're in Pisa now and would love to meet other cruising families, but so far no luck...seems most are sailing in Greece, like you. You're also going to Sardinia, right?

    1. Unfortunately we will miss Sardinia. We are currently in Malta and our next stop is Tunisia then up to the Balearic Islands for August. Italy is one of my favourite countries and would have loved to sail there! Just yesterday Iris was saying she wants to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

      No doubt you will eventually meet up with some other families, especially with that amazing FB group you created. I will continue to sign families up for that as I come across any who will be in the Med.

  2. We love you guys and talk about you every day! Meeting you and sailing with you made our year. We are on our last days now. Its sad. But it helps thinking of your adventure. And who knows, maybe we'll be out sailing again some time soon! Keep cool but the coffee hot!

    1. We are still in disbelief that we had the opportunity to sail with you for six weeks, thank you for sharing such a big part of your year with us!! You are always welcome aboard and would love to have you visit us wherever we are! xoxo