Day 116

3/29/2014

It was time to leave Kalamos. But the epoxy patch from the day before was not dry. The instructions said it should take three hours. I had left my kayak in the shade and epoxy dries faster in the sun. I slapped some duct tape on it as well as on another spot that looked suspiciously like a leak.

The sun was out and shining on me, so I put on my t-shirt and packed my neoprene jacket in the hull.

I launched and it began to rain. With sharpness, soft rain became ferocious, then stopped. The wind blew from the south as I headed southeast. In the middle of the 8.5 mile crossing from Kalamos towards Astakos the sea calmed. I aimed my boat towards the narrow space between an island and a peninsula. The view was momentarily obscured by fog.

I heard the sea crashing ahead. Then I felt the south wind. It was stronger than ever. I fought into it. I fought into the surf that crashed around the point and turned east. The wind was stronger than ever. The waves were larger. They bounced off the cliffs and clapped me in their thunder.

Slap. Woosh. Whoa! I started to capsize. I accepted the idea and prepared to roll up on the other side. “No!” my inner voice screamed. “Fight it!” I heard from somewhere inside of me.

With my left shoulder submerged, I sculled my paddle back and halted the downward momentum. I sculled it forward and took control. I sculled it back once more and came up.

My water bottle was tied on behind me, but no longer secured by bungees and dragged. I managed to twist around and fix it without capsizing. I had three more close calls and both my shoulders were in the water before I reached the shelter of the islands.

My goal was to reach Oxia, a beautiful desert island, by 17:00 in order to have time to set up camp for the Sabbath.

I passed an industrial port. A series of huge cranes towered above the water. Stadium size warehouses and fields of concrete stretched out behind the wharf.

The storm hit. Torrential rain drenched everything in the sudden darkness. Lightning cracked the sky overhead and thunder pounded between the cliffs and the islands. Gusts thrust me towards the port, and I fled with them.

I found a boat ramp wide enough for five kayaks to line up against and got out. My cockpit had been warm and my shorts dry(ish). Now I was soaked to the bone and cold. Beyond the parking lot I saw an office. Tired as I was from my difficult crossing and with lightning flashing overhead, I intended to ask to stay the night.

I chose not to put on warm land clothing. If I was not allowed to stay, then I would need to put my rain-wet land clothing into a dry bag and be stuck with it in the evening.

I ran across the parking lot. I saw a fence between me and the office. I smelled “high security zone.” I decided not to jump it. I ran to one of the warehouses as buckets of water continued to be unleashed by the tempest.

The warehouse was closed. I found shelter in a doorway. I stood, shivered, and waited.

A company of men in bright orange jumpsuits approached me. They smiled and welcomed me into their small, warm, smoke filled office. Was there anything they could get me? Was I okay?

The port’s security showed up.

“Stay here,” I was commanded.

I stayed. I sat near the door to breathe less cigarette smoke. It was cold there.

Another guard came. This was a private port. I was not allowed to be there. They interviewed me. My answers were not entirely believable, though I did get points for creativity.

I was instructed to get into the security vehicle. We drove to my kayak and I got my passport out. Now that they’d seen my boat I was making progress. I also changed from my t-shirt to my neoprene jacket which cut back on the shivering.

My passport was examined by the head guard. “You are in this country illegally,” he declared.

My US passport was recently issued in Italy. It had no stamps in it.

“I paddled from Italy to Othoni. They don’t even have police there, let alone someone to stamp passports.”

“You should have gotten it stamped in Korfu,” he told me.

I suspect that would have been a considerable detour. I realized that I didn’t need my passport stamped in Greece at all, since I paddled from Italy which is an EU country!

“Only Europeans can travel freely in the EURozone. Americans still need to get their passports stamped,” he insisted.

I could not stay in the port. I had to leave as soon as the weather was good enough. He would take my passport to the authorities before returning it to me while I waited in the office.

In the office they offered me milk and cookies. It was nice and warm. They fellow who was watching me was impressed by my blog.

“Do you have a fever?” he asked me. “We have a doctor. Would you like to see a doctor?”

I explained how in my kayak I was working hard and warm and my patheticness was temporary.

The head guard came back and confirmed my passport was real. The storm had passed so it was time for me to leave.

A marsh stretched out between the mountains and reached for the islands, leaving a narrow channel. A flock of egrets took flight.

A fence protruded from the water and blocked my path. It looked like it connected the marsh to the island. I did not intend to turn back and go all the way around the island. I paddled along the fence. Branches and steaks were connected by a plastic fence.

I found a gap and paddled through it. A dog barked. I heard a motorboat. Behind me and to the right was a small shack built over the water next to the fence. The dog barked there and the motor came towards me.

I continued on my way. They would catch me eventually. The water was smooth and flat. I was able to maintain about four knots. The man at the motor gradually realized he would not catch me eventually and hollered and hooted to get me to stop.

I waited and when he caught up with me we learned that we didn’t have a mutual language. But he managed to communicate to me where the exit gap in the fence was up ahead so that I wouldn’t feel I needed to go back and around when I discovered I was trapped.

Goats grazed on the largely desert islands just a few feet above me. I passed two small skinny cows that looked at me and wondered.

It was 17:00. I saw Oxia in the distance, but I didn’t want to cut my arrival too close to the Sabbath. My excursion in the port had cost me too much time.

A small hut was built half on an island and half on a deck over the water. A boat was tied up the the tiny dock. The walls were plastic sheeting bound by a pipe frame. Wherever I stopped, I would need water.

I guessed that whoever built this place, if he ever came around, brought water with him.

I continued on. A small group of houses sat on the other side of a bay above the marsh. I paddled towards them, making my way through a maze of streams and grasses. Frogs croaked.

The houses, built on ground that was barely elevated above the mud, were mostly shacks with fences. A dirt road wound between them. I wandered through the permanent fishing camp looking for water. Most of the homes were empty. Little dogs wandered about and barked at me. I found a small house with a well tended garden. An elderly matron was happy to offer me water and welcome me to her camp. She handed me a bag of tasty oranges.

I found an abandoned sheltered porch and cooked for the sabbath. I couldn’t charge my gear since the camp had no electricity.

I had a view of island and the beach the camp. The little dogs decided they liked me. I had water and shelter. I was in a good place for the Sabbath, or so I thought.

Nautical miles paddled: 20
Current location: 38.368545,21.100248

I had two and half loaves of bread for the Sabbath and my Sunday paddle. The little dogs got into my duffel bag and ate the half loaf. I put the other loaf on top of a high beam. But when I returned to my spot from exploring the village, they had somehow gotten that too.

They also found an opportunity to eat all of my dry rice and peanuts. My lentils had clearly been tasted and not liked. My last loaf of bread was safe in my kayak hatch, and would hopefully be enough for a full day’s paddle. I ate my lentils for dinner Saturday night.

How I Struggle with Being Jewish

3/27/2014

Today was a bad weather day. The forecast showed force seven headwinds and thunderstorms on my route.

I found some bricks, and together with my mattress, set up a kayak stand. I filled the front compartment with water in my 34th attempt since Leuca to find the mischievous leak.

The idea was to see where the water dripped out of my Nelo Inuk and patch the spot.

3 … 2 … 1 …

It started to rain. Water covered the boat.

It had not rained earlier. It has not rained since.

Maybe I found the culprit and maybe I didn’t. But I sanded down an old patch and applied a new layer of epoxy, generously provided by a wonderful German couple from the only sailboat in the port.

My religious readers may note that this is not the first time rain has interrupted the fragile repair process. Which brings me to the subject of religion.

I am a practicing Jew, and as such I believe כִּי אֵל גָּדוֹל יְהוָה; וּמֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל, עַל-כָּל-אֱלֹהִים. [Because God is a big god. He is bigger than all the other gods.]*

I think there’s a little god out to get me.

* psalm 95 – It sounds more poetic in Hebrew, or perhaps when subjected to a better translation than my own.

Day 115

3/26/2014

Last night I slept under a restaurant’s awning. The tent provided a canvas roof and no walls just a few feet from the water. It was supposed to protect me from the rain. In the night it poured. The concrete slab my mattress was on turned into a puddle. My sleeping bag was wet, but luckily I was protected by my computer which soaked up most of the water like a sponge.

In the morning I was cold and wet. The sky was dropping buckets. A woman took pity on me and told me to come into her bar to warm up, but everyone was smoking and I couldn’t breathe.

The man who I sawed for yesterday gave me an orange and helped me set up a clothesline in the tent to hang my stuff up to dry.

At around 12:00 the sun came out and a strong west wind blew whitecaps across the water. It was 15 miles to the Astakos, and with the tail wind I could make it before dark.

Only it wasn’t really a tail wind. It was a north wind, but protected as the village is by the island Kalamos, it was behaving like a tail wind in my immediate vicinity.

As soon as I was around the corner of the island I learned the wind’s true nature. I struggled into the headwind for about half an hour. My body still ached from the day before. I began to worry that I would not make it before dark.

I turned east and headed for the small village on Kalamos. The man in the internet bar told me there was no way I’d find a free shower this time of year. I think it has to do with me being here right before the tourist season. If it was winter then people would think of me as a man on an expedition and I’d be welcomed into homes as I have been many times. If it was summer they would think of me as a tourist. Right now, I’m an early tourist. No accommodations are available yet.

Nautical miles paddled: 5
Current location: 38.623187,20.931194

Day 114

3/25/2014

This morning I did not want to get out of my sleeping bag. So I didn’t.

I was on the water by 9:30. While I packed I chatted with some sailors who were about to embark with their 40 foot boat to England. They do about a hundred miles a day.

I headed due south. A field of crashing waves spread out ahead, maybe half a square mile. I could go wide around them, or cross through. I went through. I got hit twice and supported myself on the bursting foam until the wave underneath me lost its fury, then pushed on.

Past the surf zone two meter swells floated me up and down. Their low frequency made them intimidating but not challenging.

I could just make out the fort at the northern end of the Levkas canal. As I drew close I saw a green light. The rule is “red right return.” The red light is on the right side when you return to port. At least, that’s the rule in America, in Europe the rule is “the opposite of red right return.”

The light was green, which meant I had passed the entrance to the canal. Huh.

I looked back the way I had come and didn’t see any canals. A sailboat and a fishing boat were headed in my direction. I watched and waited. They passed me and disappeared around a subtle curve in the beach. I followed them into the canal.

A small harbor is built up against the fort. I paddled around the fort, a sunken 50 foot steam ship and under a drawbridge. On my right was a road and on my left, a low grassy sea wall that separated the canal from other water that may have been a swamp.

I paddled past a large port and the city of Levkas, which was celebrating Greek Independance Day loudly.

I continued down the canal. The island of Levkas and its towering mountains were to my right. The swamp and mainland Greece to my left. I saw a couple of herons fly off. I passed a broken old stone tower that jutted from the water and a small fort on a low rise adjacent to the water. I had an excellent current. At the end of the canal is a small bay and village. The bay is overlooked by a larger fort and populated by a couple of rusty sunken ships.

The inner sea beyond reminded me of British Columbia’s fjords. The water was flat and mountain-islands surrounded me.

I paddled off my chart. I looked at a map in the morning and had a good idea of where I wanted to go, but I asked a man working a fish farm just to be sure. He thought it was cool that I was going to Miticas and confirmed for me that it was at the end of big range. The set of mountains after that was an island.

“How far is it?” I asked.

“About an hour by car.” He told me.

The sea route was definitely shorter. I wondered how fast Greek people drive or how direct the roads are.

I began to cross the mouth of a bay. The current from the canal translated into a tail wind. I turned around. Ominous dark clouds with patches of doom were coming over the mountains. If I turned into the bay I could call it a day at Palairos, but that was in the wrong direction. I also didn’t want to waste the wonderful tail wind I was enjoying, so what if I got rained on.

Behind me Levkas was being enveloped by the storm. The wind jostled me along. The clouds got closer and began to pull ahead of me. Small whitecaps appeared everywhere and by sprinting from the troughs between waves I was able to catch and cruise them.

The clouds enveloped the peaks ahead and by the time I finished the crossing, the sun shone. The mountains got rained on, but not me.

A swarm of birds made shapes in the sky and chirped madly over the island across from Miticas. I pulled up to the village.

A few small docks extended from buildings on the water. I asked an old man if this was the port, or if there was a real port around the corner. I used hand gestures as much as possible, because I didn’t know if he understood me.

He made it clear this was the port. I pulled up on a small beach next to a bar and unpacked my things.

The old man indicated he wanted my help by handing me a saw and pointing to a clump of wood under the tail end of his beached boat. I got on my hands and knees in the water and did his sawing for him. He had no idea where I might find a free shower.

I asked in the bar, “Do you have wifi?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Wi-fi.”

“Are you speaking English?” The man asked me.

“Yes, WI-FI.” I tried again.

He didn’t understand. I looked around helplessly and saw a sign that said in English “Free wi-fi!” I pointed to the sign.

“Oh, wi fi, why didn’t you say so?”

After working on my blog for an hour I was asked to leave.

I found the port. They didn’t have a shower.

Nautical miles paddled: 23.5
Current location: 38.667845,20.943545

Day 113

3/24/2014

Yesterday I found internet access in the center of town. I sat in front of a large house with a sign “We have rooms” and chatted with the owner, her mother, and her mother in law about my adventure.

“So where will you sleep tonight?” they eventually got around to asking.

“I don’t know, probably down by the beach. Sometimes people invite me over. I get all sorts of invitations. I’ve stayed on boats, in people’s houses, you know, all sorts of places.”

My potential hostess understood what I was hinting at, and shut up like a safe.

A five minute walk from my kayak I found a small drink shack near the beach that had been closed since last summer. The fisherman at the dock told me my boat would not be safe in the port overnight, so as the sun set I paddled my boat to the shelter and lugged everything up the hill to the safe spot.

It’s a hassle to load my boat up and get dressed again after I’ve finished my paddling for the day. When possible, I try to avoid it.

I was expecting force four headwinds this morning, and force five in the afternoon. The next port was five miles away. I could make it before the afternoon, and maybe I would find a hot shower there.

The waves, widely spaced, rolled in at a height of two meters. They’d pop me up and drop me down, and I continued on my way.

Preveza lies at the edge of the short channel that connects the outer Ionian sea to the inner Ambracian Gulf. Old derelict forts sleep on either side of the channel. Preza is on the north side, and an enormous marina and shipyard stretches in a veritable forest of masts on the south.

With the rest of the day maybe I could shower and fix the persistent leak to my front compartment. But would I be able to resupply from a supermarket on the south side of the channel?

I asked a fisherman in the middle of the channel. If not, I would first stop and go shopping in the city leaving my boat ready for launch, and then look for my shower in the port.

The fisherman smiled and nodded enthusiastically to my question as if to say “Yes, there is a supermarket by the port.” Or it was possible he told me “I don’t speak a word of English, but I hope one day to learn.”

I pulled over and unpacked my gear.

Ahhh, a warm shower. That felt good. I even washed my clothes.

But there was no supermarket. So I packed everything up and crossed the channel. The wind had grown considerably and even the short protected crossing was choppy, just enough to salt and negate the shower.

Back in the port I filled my boat up with water to see where it was leaking. Pouring rain. I guessed where the leak might be, and then hauled my boat to a sheltered spot.

The zipper on my rain shell doesn’t work anymore. I thought it was okay since it’s almost summer and there’s a lot less rain in the summer.

I brought some toilet paper from the bathroom to dry off the part of my boat I guessed needed the patch, but by the time I got it there it was wet.

I did the best I could to dry it and applied the epoxy. I think the epoxy has gone bad.

I was very cold and wet.

There’s a closed bathroom here in the port. I found a clean stall and set up camp. In the small space, I’m beginning to warm up.

Day 112

Friday I found Gemini,  a restaurant run by a couple of friendly brothers.  They invited me to have whatever I like, fresh bread, cheese, and salad, and sleep under the awning next to the restaurant.  There was a shed where I showered with a cold hose and a bucket of hot water.  They gave me a tablecloth to use as a towel.

I paddled past two islands with churches on them, and many more without.  Strange rock formations abounded and I could almost see faces in the stone.  Mountains dropped staggeringly into the water.  Caves bored into their sides.  I found a dark chamber.  The water had the slightest glow that let me guess at the dimensions.  Near the entrance it was still bright enough to see the bottom far beneath me.

Outside the water was just as clear.  Enormous boulders rose from turquoise depths not quite becoming islands.  Schools of fish swam near fields of wavy grass.

Western Greece is a kayaking paradise, if you don’t mind the overweight sunburnt naked Greek guy on the beach.

I had a loaf of whole wheat bread with me.  I ate a slice every 15 minutes.  I got heartburn and felt gross.  I took a break for half an hour and almost ran out of energy so I tried every 20 minutes that worked better.

In the afternoon a force three wind picked up from the side and the flat waters I’ve enjoyed for the last few days were replaced by something a little more aggressive.

Much fatigued I pulled into Mitikas’s port.  There was no office and only a few boats.  Men fished.  One fellow swam.  He was flailing a lot for pitiful progress.  I spent the summer running a staff that taught people how to swim, maybe in exchange for pointers I could score a shower and a warm bed.

He took my pointers, but offered nothing in return.  There’s a cold shower on the beach.

Nautical miles paddled: 23

Current location:  39.000922,20.706685

Day 111

3/21/2014

I woke up this morning with a headache.  Maybe I didn’t drink enough last night.  I tried to make up for it.

I paddled the glassy smooth waters between the mainland and the archipelago.  I crossed a bay, then continued under rocky precipi and forests.  Small bays with sandy beaches broke up the rugged coastline, and as force four headwinds crushed my pace, I hugged the coast as tightly as possible.  Any temporary escape from the wind was a good one.

The wind died down.

Yesterday I ate my last cracker package.  I haven’t been able to find them in Greece, so I switched to whole grain toast-like bread.  I ate one slice an hour, until I crashed.

I had no energy.  Every stroke, even on the clear blue flat water, was a colossal struggle.  One struggle at a time, I pushed forward.  I increased my toast dosage by 50%.  Slowly, some of my strength came back.

I paddled through rock gardens and in tight spaces between islands and the mainland.  Tiny fish leapt out of the water ahead of me.

I was still really tired, so I paddled up to an anchored boat in a bay to ask how far.  A canopy on polls covered the small fishing boat.  Soothing Greek music floated over the water from a radio.  A hefty bald man with a big white mustache slept in a chair, slumped against the closed door of the tiny cabin.  I called “ahoy”, but not loudly enough to wake him.

I continued on my way.

With much relief I pulled into Parga’s pristine bay.  I had only paddled 13 miles, but I was more than ready to call it a day.

I’ll be here for the Sabbath.  I really hope I find a shower.

Miles paddled: 13

Current location: 39.281317,20.388068

 

Day 110

3/20/2014

Last night I slept under a restaraunt’s awning. I didn’t find a shower. At around midnight the bar next door decided it was a disco and there was loud music for an hour.

For the first part of the morning the water was as flat as I’ve ever seen the Mediterranean and it was a real pleasure to glide across it. The surface occasionally jumped up in a hundred small splashes when a school of fish applauded my good pace.

The bottom of the sea was grassy, and grew shallower until I paddled along the edge of a marsh. A flamingo stood in the water on long skinny legs. His head looked like an umbrella handle. As I drew close he stumbled through the water, then ran on it flapping giant wings, and took off.

He joined five of his friends farther up the shore. I didn’t want to get close enough to disturb them, but I did want to see them better. All six took off and headed into the marsh.

I paddled over enormous fishing nets stretched hundreds if not thousands of meters. One of them blocked the mouth of a river, which I hope is illegal.

A bull stood grazing on the last point before I cut across the outer bay of Igoumenista.  greek cowsWhich brings me to the subject of the Greek language: I’m clueless. It is substantially harder for me than Spanish, French, or Italian. There’s a whole new alphabet, which I thought I would have a head start on from math school, but It’s no good.

Wind and current slowed my crossing. At least the sea was relatively flat, protected as I was by Corfu. A ferry approached from behind on my right. When it got close I stopped to let it pass. There was certainly no indication that the captain would honor my right of way and let me go first.

Towards the end of my crossing I cut inland and paddled as close to the cliffs as possible to catch the eddie from an island. On the eddie line the water changed from steady waves coming at me to general chop. Past that the sea went flat again, and I could see rocks, plants, and small fish clearly far below. A school of short fat fish kept jumping up, breaking the surface.

I saw a goat on the low cliff just beside me. I looked closely. There was a whole herd of six or seven goats less than twenty feet from me. One of them was a small kid. I’ll bet he’d taste real good if he were cooked on spit with garlic and onions.

Sivota is a Greek town on the mainland. It’s harbor is protected by an uninhabited archipelago of hilly forest islands. I got out and checked my front hatch. There was only a little water in it. The previous afternoon I covered about a meter of the bow keel with a thin layer of epoxy. Maybe I finally caught the leak.

Twelve miles remained to the next port. I just finished 15. I decided to push on. As soon as I was past the archipelago’s protection the headwind came back. That would slow me down and I risked not finishing until after dark.

I pulled over to a protected beach and explored one of the islands. The underbrush was too thick to get into the woods, but a few derelict trails let me scrape by.

I found an old well and a couple of mossy glades. I lay down and dreamed for an hour. I tried to get to the top of the hill, but the trail didn’t seem to want to go that way.

I paddled back to the town. The woman at the sailing club told me they didn’t have a shower and couldn’t host me. I hope I find one somewhere. The filthier I am the more trouble I’ll have finding hospitality, and besides, it’s gross.

 

Nautical miles paddle: 15
Current location: 39.408996,20.239056

Day 109

3/19/2014

My friend Nick not only found me a shower, he found me an apartment undergoing renovations that had a soft bed.  I slept soundly.

I was on the water this morning by 8:00.  Immediately I ran into a headwind and current.

Visibility was low.  A mist that wasn’t quite a fog thickened through the morning.

Hills dropped into the water with short cliffs on the north eastern end of Corfu.  I passed two sandy beaches.  The woods behind them were colored with yellow and pink flowered trees.

The crossing from Corfu to Albania is about a mile.  I pushed into the headwind as quickly as possible, not wanting to get squashed in the shipping lane on account of the low visibility.

The southern tip of Albania is almost empty of people.  I passed some cows and a couple of pristine beaches.

I paddled along the edge of a marsh, where the water was just deep enough to properly plant my paddle.  Seagulls sat on a low sandy beach and giant tree trunks littered the seascape, as though they came there to die.

A small Albanian island was surrounded by fish farms.  The island had a dock, a shack and three men drinking coffee and smoking.  The dock was high, but with their permission and encouragement I climbed an extremely rusty ladder to set foot on Albanian soil.

They spoke a little Italian and invited me stay for coffee.  They lived on the island, which didn’t have nearly enough room for a game of ultimate frisbee, and watched the fish farms.

After another 10 minutes of paddling I was back in Greece.  Big mountains climbed out of the water.  Some of them had flocks of sheep.

Schools of fish swam beneath my boat.  The rocks on the bottom seemed to support more plant life than their Italian counterparts.

The whole day I fought into the current.  The wind died down, and the sea was flat, but I was exhausted from battling the current.  I stopped to rest frequently.

I arrived in Sagiada, a small port lined with with cafes.  The supermarket is a 1.5 kilometer walk from here, but the people there are really friendly.  No shower yet, but hopefully something will turn up.

Meanwhile, the front compartment of my boat is still leaking so I tried applying a thin layer of a new kind of epoxy to a large section of the keel.  

Nautical miles paddled: 20

Current location:  39.624937,20.181294

 

Day 108

3/18/2014

Saturday morning I climbed one of Othonoi’s many mountains.  The small island is packed with them.  The steep valleys run with streams and a number of the few level places on the mountainsides are occupied by old stone huts.

The peak of the mountain I was climbing was covered with sharp stones.  I cut my feet.  One day, I’ll be tough – my feet will cut rock.

My boat was on the beach.  In the night the wind blew.  In the morning I found my boat full of sand and on a pile of sharp stones.

I found a hole and covered it with epoxy.  I also added epoxy to the screw that held in the bow tip handle.  The loose screw might have accounted for the water accumulating in my front compartment.

Tuesday morning I launched.  The warm morning sun created a mist and I could not see the island of Corfu.  I angled my boat so my compass read ~98 degrees and paddled.  I passed a small village island on my right and left as well as a few smaller desert islands.  Corfu gradually appeared in the mist and as I could see more and more of it I angled my boat to towards the north east corner.

Corfu’s heavily forested mountains aren’t quite as sharp as Othonoi’s, but are still a good deal more impressive than the east coast of Italy.  

The sea was flat and I enjoyed an intermittent tail wind.

Albania appeared in the mist.  Its brown snowcapped mountains dwarfed the island peaks.  A few trees sparsely decorated the desolate wilderness.

I was wearing my t shirt instead of my jacket, and I was still hot.  I rolled to cool off and felt wonderful.  I passed a small bay with a sandy beach.  A woman swam in the clear water.  The rocks down by the water were black and dark gray.  Above the surf line they were white.

I arrived in Kassiopi.  It’s a small Greek town with a little harbor surrounded by shops and cafes.  A large Albanian city sits across the strait.

I made friends with the fellow running the supermarket.

“Can I get you anything?”  He asked.  “You want a beer?”

“Maybe a shower?”  I tried.

“I’ll see what I can do,”  he told me.

Nautical miles paddle:  25

Current location:  39.790066,19.922794