It’s almost impossible for me to believe I left Australia over a month ago. It’s been a wild ride before and since then.
Rick and I parted ways in Hobart after I tested positive to covid despite my care before we left as I really didn’t want anything like this happening. So he headed off to Greece and I stayed behind in Hobart. Best laid plans and all that. To add to the disappointment of not starting the trek back to Intention together I had to move out of our home because it was rented out on Airbnb from a few days after our supposed departure. It’s so good to have generous friends, you know. I made one call and all I needed to say was I’ve got covid and I’ve a favour to ask you and our friend Peta said “This is where to find the keys.” So I moved into their (mercifully) empty accommodation and spent my quarantine there.
But, of course after I finally got going and went directly to Spain to see our son for the first time in a few covid filled years. Rick met me there and after two blissful weeks getting a glimpse of their life in Barcelona we hopped back to the small island of Leros, via Athens (which included a ridiculous trip to Ikea, but that’s another story).
Leros is an amazing island. It’s a part of the Dodecanese which are a group of 12 islands strung like jewels along the coast of the Turkish mainland. Leros has it all. Charming harbours with beachside tavernas, a Crusader Castle, ancient ruins to Artemis goddess of the hunt, a charming string of windmills, and even an Art Deco town build by Mussolini. But it’s the people that sets this island apart. They are charming and friendly and tolerant. Utopia? It just might be.
We had left our boat in late 2019 in a fabulous, family run boatyard and we spent the first week coming and going from an apartment overlooking the sea while my leg was healing. Yeah, not only did I get covid but at a routine skin check we found a Squamous Cell Carcinoma on my leg. No time to have it removed in Australia so I had it seen to in Spain and it still had stitches in it. The boatyard was dusty and not an ideal spot to keep it clean and elevated so we worked on the boat together. Some days I stayed home in the afternoon and rested but generally I found, as usual, it was hard for me to stop.
Rick did a huge amount of general maintenance on the whole boat from the engine up. And we let a lot of stuff go. I cleaned and organised and refined every cupboard from bow to stern. Every little thing was considered and now the boat is so well organised and is finally full of gear we actually need. There was a huge sense of accomplishment for me when this was done. Living in a van had really helped to clarify what is essential and I was able to apply this to the boat. Less really is more in a small space. It also helped in re-establishing our connection to the boat and making it more like our home as we really only had 6 months on board prior to covid so it’s still pretty new to us.
As the days went by we brought our launch date forward a few times until 2 weeks after arriving we were back in the water. A little bit exhausted and stressed but ultimately happy with how things had gone.
We settled back into the clear unmistakable blue of Greek Island water.
Our first night was spent in Archangelos. After 2.5 years of planning, yearning and disappointment and ultimately fulfillment we were able to drift off to sleep in the safe harbour of the archangels with a full moon over our heads. Our hearts were full.