Aug 4th-14th--> Venice, Italy and cruising the Greek Isles-A-Thon!

Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
In the "spirit" of the Tropical Section, I will make this Trip Report very boat, maritime, fishing, seafood, waterfront, ships, beaches, etc related as I can. I hope that the Mods will understand and allow it to stay in this Section. This will be a very photo-heavy Report and we had gorgeous weather the entire time!

Jenn was in a dilemma over where to go for her recent (and important) birthday as she does not like to stay in the office around her birthday as she doesn't like to be fussed over. We had already done the lengthy, 18-day OBB trip that I reported on in May and August in The Abacos is pretty brutal temps-wise so after an hour search, she said, "How about a 7-day cruise through the Greek Isles and then three full days back in Venice, Italy"? We had always heard that if you ever wanted the best cruises to do, one was the Inside Passage of Alaska and the other was the Greek Isles. We were lucky enough to have enjoyed the Alaska cruise in July of 2005, so she quickly booked us on the Greek Isles trip.

When we were younger, we thought "cruises" were for old fuddy-duddies with velco sneakers, but we had such a blast on the Alaska trip and then later on a 14-day cruise with Jenn's family from Sydney, Australia, Tasmania and back over to Jenn's native country of New Zealand, that we knew that we could generate our own kind of fun on this one! And we DID!

She pulled some strings, used some creative booking, traded in some Amex Points and got us booked into a small suite at the stern of the Norwegian Cruise Lines, "Norwegian Jade" ship. We had used NCL on the Alaska trip and we enjoyed their "Freestyle Dining" where you pick any of the about 12 dining rooms to eat at, when you want. We enjoyed many styles of great food on the ship..... when we wanted to. Most cruise lines have assigned dinning times at the same table every night! Uggghhh...We hit most of the many watering holes on the ship as well! We looked over all the "excursion" trips that were available once on shore, but we joke that we like our own style of "Freestyle Cruising" and we just wing it on our own while in port! :dance

The cruise departed from Venice with stops in Corfu, Santorini Island, Mykonos and Katakalon, Greece before returning to Venice. Our flights were on Air France from Miami-Paris-Venice and return. We had never flown on Air France but the time-line of the itinerary was the best. Hopefully, we'll never have to fly them again!

Day One-- Getting to Venice and getting out of Port!

Blasted off a bit late out of MIA on Friday, Aug 4th. Terrible seats, so-so service, waaaaaay too many male F/As and almost no sleep on the overnight flight into the huge Charles de Gaulle Airport just outside of Paris. We knew that we had to hustle to our connecting flight and we easily walked well over half a mile to finally get aboard right before departure to Venice. That flight was nicer and I got a nice view of the Swiss Alps a few times. Amazingly, our two bags were at Venice so we grabbed them and hustled down the walkway to the Water Taxi Docks adjacent to the Marco Polo Airport on the mainland across from Venice. Jenn had done her research well and we always knew right where to go. I plan all the logistics for all Bahamas and boat trips and she plans all the overseas trips!

We quickly hopped onto our first of many, many boat rides! The "water taxis" are basically the same and are about 28 feet long with about a 7 foot beam. All are single I/Os with open helms and quick drop Bimini tops over the helm as you'll see why! Most are very nice and a few are gorgeous and show real pride of ownership! You'll see many photos of them in this report. The cabin is low and most have an open seating area in the stern where you can stand up. I grabbed the camera and got ready for the 20 miunute boat ride as I knew that it would be "interesting" to say the least!

Here we go, pulling away from the Water Taxi Dock enroute to the Cruise Ship Terminal on Venice. Venice is of course, completely on the water and made up of many small islands connected by small bridges. Venice has no roads, no cars, nada, all transportation is either walking, water taxi or gondola. Only the ship loading docks have trucks, etc. There is a low bridge that connects the Venice loading docks to the mainland.

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Yep, we went right around the arrival end of the Marco Polo Airport runway!

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Their channel markers are big and mostly only on one side of the channel.

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They do slow down a bit when passing each other and we got a very nice ride from our skipper that day! Notice how low the radar is mounted and the quick drop helm Bimini on this boat. I shot all of these standing up in the stern of the taxi.

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I quickly noticed that many Italian boaters are very safety conscious as you can see here with the twin life-rings that are quickly available. I was very impressed with what I saw here.

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I have no clue what a gallon of gas costs but here's an Italian Fuel Dock on Venice. Most boats are small and single engine.

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Remember the comment about the quick drop helm Bimini and the low cabin ceiling? Well, the bridges all around Venice are LOW! Here we pass under the one road coming into Venice!

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There were 4-5 cruise ships in that day and luckily, the Water Taxi Dock there was right in front of the "Norwegian Jade" and we were happy about the small amount of bag dragging that we'd have to do. She's 965 feet long, 105 on the beam and displaces about 95,000 tons. She has a crew of about 1,000 (and only 5 were Americans!) and carries just over 2,000 passengers. Our cabin was to be the next to the top row of windows and all the way to the left/port.

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Yeah Mon....... she be BIG!

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It was controlled chaos at the drop off dock for the taxis..... that's the only way to describe it! We quickly were on our way with our bags and were about half way down the sidewalk to the ship, when I hear a New Zealand lady say "Gary, I left my purse on the water taxi"! I'll skip the dramatics of the next hour but we got well taken care of as an hour later, a different taxi to ours (luckily Jenn had remembered our taxi Number) pulled up and handed her purse over the dock guy and all was saved! They obviously had had a taxi-taxi transfer out on the water someplace! Jenn told me four days later that her "Plan B" was
> PANIC! :willynilly

Our cabin balconey was pretty cool and with an obviously great view!

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Shove off the dock was 6pm and I like to be topside for that. Here, we are getting an assist from a local tug.......

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After the chaotic and somewhat stressful previous 24 hours, we both ran through the shower and headed up to the large bar/dining area at the stern where we would become "regulars" there on most evenings! Buy 5 Heinies and get the 6th for free.... all in a bucket! Yep, that sounded great for both of us for Departure Day out of Venice!

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The departure route for the ships out to the Adriatic Sea winds past the southeast end of Venice and from the stern, up that high, we had a great view of what we would be exploring on foot and by gondola in a just a week's time! This was a very cool 30 minutes to begin the trip! Did I mention that we had gorgeous weather the entire time?

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Being an aviation buff (cough, cough), I shot this photo from long range as we departed and was not sure "what" is was on the flat bed truck until I got home and saw it on the big laptop, but it's the fuselage of a British Electric Canberra bomber of 1950s-60s vintage and most likely headed for a museum. The USAF flew them in Viet Nam as the B-57.

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Italy and Greece are both home to some really large Mega-Yachts as we saw on Departure Day out of Venice.

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More shots of Venice on the way out.........

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The large St Mark's Square....... Notice the gondolas docked up at the bottom of the photo!

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We were happy to see LOTS of waterfront restaurants that we could visit when we returned for our last three days ashore!

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And lots and lots of boats and vessels of all sorts........ more controlled chaos!

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As we got closer to rounding the long barrier island of Lido to enter the Adriatic Sea, we saw more small boats and some guys fishing.

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I'm saying "fish on!" for this guy!! Many/most of these boats are "basic" at best..... but I'll bet that these guys eat pretty well!

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As we rounded Lido Island, I suddendly blurted out, "Hey! That's an airport" as I recognized a long runway and then a control tower, but the weird thing was that the runway was still grass! It turned out to be the Aeroporto Nicelli and until 1960 when the Marco Polo Airport opened, it was Venice's only airport! Hell yeah, I'd love to take one of my old 737s in there! :grin

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Finally, the end of the channel, the last little lightouse.........

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And we were on our way. Next stop after a day at sea, was the island of Corfu at the northwest end of Greece, just across the border from Albania....... We were very happy to start the cruise with a day at sea.... we were exhausted that first night and wanted to explore the ship the next day. Our cabin AC worked great, the bed was big and soft and we both slept like babies that first night.........

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Replies

  • TeanmTzHerTeanmTzHer Posts: 100 Officer
    So far so good. Your threads are always a good read. Keep it up.:)
    If you aint fishin you aint Livin!
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  • o-sea-do-sea-d Posts: 148 Officer
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to keep reading.... I feel like I'm on a mini vacation at work.... Nicely done.... Please MOOOOORRREEEE ;)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    www.o-sea-d.com
  • snookyjsnookyj Posts: 1,687 Officer
    Amazing Gary!!! Keep it coming!!!
  • dolfanjoeydolfanjoey Posts: 1,173 Officer
    Your reports are great and I can't wait to read more.
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    Living the dream Gary! Keep the reports coming.
  • rodzrodz Posts: 665 Officer
    Have a great trip Gary. In Venice you should find The Rialto Fish Market which I found interesting to say the least. Murano is a nice stop after a short boat ride. Food is better the further you get from the transit points - shop. I once paid $130US for four beers and a pizza. I know. Black is a must if you go out to dine, you brought a jacket, right? Shopping - many shops buy from the same vendors and you will see it all over. As you approach the dock at Piazza San Marco walk left along the waterfront to world famous Harry's Bar and have a Bellini, about $22 ea. If you appear American you might even get some snooty service to boot. Go out the door turn right and all the high end shops are there. Gucci, Prada, Bruno Magli . . . you get idea. Get yourself and the wifey something nice, it will always be special. Venice can be packed like Disney World which I find not so appealing. I have been in the dead of winter also and it's still packed. Lido is real nice(lunch) - you might like that. Venice is not cheap but how often do you get over there?? Have a great time! Oh, that yacht has been there the last few years I have been over there. Nice. Internet can get pricey but review Anthony Bourdain/Venice.

    http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain/episodes/venice

    Update us.
    :thumbsup
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    rodz wrote: »
    Have a great trip Gary. Have a great time!

    We already did enjoy it! Great photos of the Venice Fish Market coming up later in the report. But first, it's on to Corfu, Greece!
  • Flyers UpFlyers Up Posts: 655 Officer
    Great stuff, I am an aviation guy also keep the pictures comming.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    A Sea Day and into the island and village of Corfu, Greece!

    We woke up to a gorgeous morning out on the Adriatic Sea. On the west side of the narrow sea is Italy and to the east Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegrin, Albania and Greece. The seas were calm and we were getting a smooth ride under very bright and clear skies.

    Here's the official chart of our ship's route for the trip. Corfu will be the sharp turn to port at the top of route lines drawn here. They had this chart posted in a Helm Viewing Station which allows us to see the helm area behind glass windows. I don't think that telling them that I graduated with 100% on my USCG Auxilary Small Boater's Exam would have earned a personal tour but it would have been nice!

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    My main mission that day was to find the best spot on the ship for taking photos of our arrivals and departures into the various ports. That had been a fun thing for me during past trips and that sometimes meant getting out of a warm bed at 0430 in order to be topside for our mostly dawn arrivals and docking into the various ports. I did that many times on our Aussie/NZ cruise and I usually was up top shivvering alone, but getting some amazing shots and I wanted to do that again on this trip. Corfu was the only "dawn" arrival so I only had to set the alarm once! Corfu is located in the Ionian Sea.

    We found that the best, highest, least restricted spot was way up on this fairly private deck! :grin No sun worshipers out there at 6am though!

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    We enjoyed our first of many nice dinners that first night at sea and took in a fun show in the Theater. Still kind of whacked out, it was early to bed with my alarm set for 0530. They had a good station on the TV called the "Captain's Log" that gave updates on the ship's position, speed, weather, sunrise and sunset as well as arrival and departure times. We were set for dawn at about 0630 and arrival at 0730 and I wanted to be ready for both.

    I got up on the Adult Deck to find that we had already entered a winding channel between islands of high hills and was greeted with the first whisps of light. Perfect. Dead quiet, very calm, cool and we were making about 6-7 knots........ perfect trolling speed! We were far from being the only vessel out that early........

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    A beautiful, natural little Greek harbor......

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    And finally, the sun arrived from over the tops of the Albanian hills to the east......

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    The village of Corfu, the harbor and our anchorage, dead ahead........

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    And some locals hard at work already.......

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    I looked up to see this familiar (to me) sight! A yellow quarantine flag and a Bahamas flag! The Jade is currently registered out of Nassau! Hey! Where's my Kalik Gold??

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    This jetty surrounds part of the harbor and our anchorage was to be just outside of the jetty. We were the first of four cruise ships to pull in that morning! Ugh.... We are not really into big crowds which is why we sort of go it alone on shore..........

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    A very busy, local boat yard near the main port!

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    If you look closely, you can see several sets of bunks that the various boats are pulled up onto. Even this big boy. If you've been to Man-O-Way Cay in Abaco, you've seen this before.

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    Part of the Greek Navy I assume....... he later shoved off and departed.......

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    One of our little lifeboats (that are also used to shuttle us back and forth) was making his way into port to clear Customs and it was interesting to watch to see which vessel here, gave way to the other. Size matters. This is an inter-island car/passenger ferry.

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    Finally, we took our time and went ashore ourselves. One of the nice benefits into getting the little suite was having access to the Concierge and he arranged for us to be escorted down below decks and to have priortity for the shuttle boat boarding which was very nice! We got to see some of the innards of the ship too which was pretty cool! Here's the Jade anchored out.

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    We took off with a map of town and boats are not in any shortage along the shores of Greece!

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    Man it was HOT that day! Jenn realized that she needed a sun visor so we found her one at one of the many sidewalk shops as we walked up the hill and into the small village of Corfu. Once we got into the heart of the village, we quickly found a place to cool our heels and have a cold drink. Great people watching from this big window!

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    Motor scooters/cycles are very popular here as you can see once we got onto the main street!! Better keep your head on a swivel when walking around here!

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    Okay! Time for a fish "Action Shot"! Some cute Greek babe kept waving me across the street to her shop and tried her hardest to entice me to have a seat and to enjoy a good, healthy fish feet cleaning session! :hairraiser Although the patrons all seemed to be enjoying themselves, this was just a bit too weird for me. "Interesting"...... to say the least! We saw this same thing many other times......

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    We wandered on and finally made it to the outter street that ran along the shoreline of the port. We headed back to the ship and enjoyed looking at the gorgeous water along the way.

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    Part of one of two old forts there......

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    This is actually a public beach and our narrow walkway was on top of the wall to the left.

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    This looks to me to be an old boat ramp of some sort. I wondered aloud, just how many hundreds of years old this was..........

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    And yes, there was some fishing going on there as well!!

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    A few days later, Jenn and I went in the water on a beach in Mykonos and it was pretty chilly, even in August! I think that this young beach-goer is also a bit surprised at the cool temps!

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    A good view as we came around the corner and back into the harborside......

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    Here's the larger of the two old forts. How did they build this stuff so long ago? Amazing........ This one has a commanding view of the harbor.

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    We wandered past this cool little fishing/diving shop! They had some BIG spearguns in there for sale!

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    We finally wandered back to the ship after another cold drink stop and at Departure Time, I was back topside to take it all in as we slipped out of port!

    These two sailing vessels (a 4-master and a 5-master!) had docked up earlier in the afternoon. Many years ago, Jenn and I did a Barefoot Windjammer Cruise through the British Virgin Islands so we appreciated seeing these two fine looking ships and kind of envied their passengers........

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    Looks like these two boats have found a nice, quiet anchorage........

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    And this little guy found his own slice of Heaven..........

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    That Departure evening we had another bucket of Heinies with our bartender buddies, Garth (Jamaica) and Tiago (India). When I told Garth that our boat's name was "HEY MON!" he just laughed and every Happy Hour after that, we greeted each other with a big "Hey Mon"! We made sure to take good care of them at the end of the trip...... some great people!

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    Next stop would be the Greek island of Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea. With an arrival of around 0900, I could sleep in a bit! This was to be a very fun day for us!
  • VenturesomeVenturesome Posts: 1,743 Officer
    Gary, beautiful. Gotta laugh at alot of your stuff. Total entertainment. Keep em coming. thanks.
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  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    Gary, beautiful. Gotta laugh at alot of your stuff. Total entertainment. Keep em coming. thanks.

    Yeah, we were laughing about me writing this up even as we were banging out a bunch of these photos........ :grin

    I'll get some more out on Monday........ including some food **** photos and possibly another beach babe as well!!

    Off to the Keys this weekend on a little "research" mission.........:cool:
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    The Island of Santorini & Some Fun Rides!

    Overnight, the Jade looped around the southern end of the Greek Isles to the next destination of the island of Santorini which lies in the Aegean Sea, just north of the island of Crete.

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    As the Jade slowly approached the island of Santorini, I commented that it looked like snow across the tops but that in August, it just could not be that!

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    Nope, it's civilization!

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    We eased into the harbor just below the village of "Fira" and took up a position among the several other ships there. In deeper waters, the boat will just "hold position" under her own power. With three thrusters near the bow and the stern as well as engine power, no doubt she can stay put on a waypoint!

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    Here we are, about to set up position below Fira.

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    For going ashore here, we used local water taxi/ferries run by Greek crews. These were larger and far more comfortable than using the ship's own lifeboats. Below, you can see the "road" that zig-zags up the steep hill to Fira.

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    You have three ways to get up that hill. Walk up the road, ride a donkey up the road or take a cable car! Jenn had read that if you ride a donkey up, you will smell like the donkey for the rest of the day! :nono

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    But, she had found out in her research that we could also hop on another ferry boat and catch a ride a small village at the tip of the island called "Oia" ("we"). We soon found ourselves on our third ship/boat in under an hour! But first, I had to go chat with our Greek ferry boat Captain after we tied up at the wharf and as soon as I said "I have Furuno also", I was invited to the helm to see his set up! I asked him about the depth of the cobalt blue water there in the harbor and he dialed it up on his Furuno Chartplotter in order to show me! Depths are in meters, so the Jade was "holding" in over 200 meters of water, just a third of a mile offshore!

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    He was very happy when I asked him to get into the picture! Nice guy!

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    The ride over to Oia was about 20 minutes and a bit choppy, but beautiful! Once on the wharf there, we were to ride a small van up the steeeeep hill there to get up to Oia where we had about 3 hours before catching the but back to Fira.

    On the way to Oia......

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    I told Jenn that if we had a boat like this, we'd head for the Bahamas and probably just keep going! Notice the anchor bouy that he's tied tightly up to.

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    Approaching the small harbor just below Oia.

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    For you car guys, we saw a lot of these Suzuki Altos running around. Nice lines.......

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    With boat rentals available, I was tempted to blow off Oia and go boating!

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    Any Carolina Classic fans out there?

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    Finally at the top of the fairly high hill, we soon found a good spot to cool off in the village with some cold beverages and we enjoyed about an hour sitting here with a nice breeze and a fantastic view!

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    They do like "white"! Off in the distance is our ship and the village of Fira above.

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    Mega-yachts abound......... Did I mention that this place is steep?

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    The Greeks have a very ancient history with the sea and it shows up in their art work. I'd almost say that these look like dolphin/mahi!

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    We finally hopped the full size bus back into Fira and that was an adventure of its own! As we walked along the street in Fira that looked down onto the harbor there, we enjoyed this very talented young man and we added a Euro to his take for the day!

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    It was hot, dry and dusty there and that always adds up to a healthy thirst so we found a great little place in the shade for a beverage or two as well as, what else? A Greel Salad of course!

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    With our choices being: Donkey, walking or cable car in order to get down to the wharf, we gladly got in the long line for the cable car! I have ridden them in New Zealand and Switzerland in the past but the steepness of this one took the cake! Jenn kept her eyes closed the whole time! It was a very fun ride down!

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    Back on the Jade, we showered and headed up to join Tiago and Garth for a bucket of Heinies and to watch the sunset and see us pull away from Santorini! Next stop? Mykonos for yet another crazy, fun day!! Dinner that night was in the Brazilian Steak House and it was excellent! :dance
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    On to Mykonos!

    The Jade steamed north all night and by the time that I looked outside the next morning, we were docked up at Mykonos!

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    Finally, we could walk off the ship and not have to take a boat! We had this nice looking beach area right behind the ship, which turned out to be very convenient later on!

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    Now that's a Heavy-Duty dock cleat!

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    We finally hopped off the Jade and walked about 1/3 mile into the little village of Mykonos. Yeah, this is how I work on my anchor....... :hairraiser

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    Look how colorful these small fishing boats are! Did I ever mention the great weather that we had?

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    The little village of Mykonos and the small harbor there. I damned near pulled into the Taverna there for a cold one!

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    We also saw an "old friend" and that was the Norwegian Spirit which is the ship that we enjoyed an awesome 7-day cruise in 2005 from Seattle to Alaska in the "Inside Passage". We ate some great seafood on that trip!

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    Our main mission in Mykonos was to get in the water someplace. Almost all of the really nice beaches would need a ride of some sort from the village. Jenn walked over and talked with a Greek guy who had possibly the smallest pickup truck in the world. He asked us if we wanted a "family beach" and you could hear the frustration expell out of my lungs when she said "Oh yes, a family beach"! :banghead

    We finally agreed on a price to take us back to the small beach that was just behind the ship and we set up a pick-up time for him to come back and pick us up and to return us back to the ship. Now, the photos may make it seem like a short walk, but it was about 90 degrees that day and there were a few steep rises and a very narrow, curvy road to walk along in order to get back to the ship, so we opted for the fun and safer ride in the back of his pick up!!

    The water at the little beach was crystal clear but cold! We had to "ease" into it for sure that day! But it was nice once you were in and we even saw some of the Jade's younger crewmembers enjoying a little beach time as well. I was fascinated at how well this little kid was whacking away at the paddle ball!

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    I also marveled at the old stone work along the beach.........

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    Finally, it was time to catch our ride and he was there waiting for us....... Jenn's paying him here and we rode in the back on both trips! I couldn't take any photos then since I was hanging on with both hands!! This ride was an "adventure" for sure!

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    Around 6pm, it was Happy Hour and Garth was ready for us once again! These crewmembers work 4 months on and then 2 months off....... seven days a week for four months! But they do get some free time ashore and they even have their own beer & wine bar below decks which is where Garth normally works! Our buddy Tiago is married but it was "arranged" by his parents back in India and with the help of an agency!

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    Pulling out of Mykonos......

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    The next and final stop would be the tiny village of Katakolon!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    Katakolon/Olympia and back to Venice!

    We were lucky enough to dock up once again, this time at Katakolon, Greece. This tiny village is close to Olympia and the site of the very first Olympic Games in 776 BC. Most of the shore excursions here were all about that area and the little village there adjacent to the harbor was not as crowded as previous ports. This was great news for us as we had plans to spend the afternoon in the village and around the harbor at Katakolon.

    The village there had shop after shop along the two streets and we were pretty bored with these as we are not big shoppers and we had seen this same scene many times in the previous few stops.

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    We finally moved on to the harbor in order to walk the docks there and see the various types of boats there. It was fun to see this older Chris-Craft!

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    A dart board in the cockpit? :huh

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    No matter where you boat, you've got to have a bucket!

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    Somebody's got a fresh engine......

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    Some working boats are small!

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    Many boats have a long gangplank hanging on the stern for boarding puposes. Very few finger piers here.

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    I talked this pretty lady into joining me for a drink later at a harborside restaurant.

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    Ready for a fresh seafood dinner? They look very familiar. These grouper were about 14-15 inches long.

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    At least he's fishing!

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    As we walked back to the Jade, we saw a new use for a 94 Qt Marine Igloo! The crew was handing out wet and COLD wash clothes which were very welcome on this hot afternoon. :dance

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    Topside, as we said goodbye to Katakolon and as the Jade eased back from her slip, this sight "may" have reminded me of a day on the HEY MON! down at Pete's Pub in Little Harbour in Abaco! :willynilly

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    The next day (our last) was a Sea Day as the Jade made her way back to Venice. I walked up to see the helm from the viewing area.

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    I got up the next morning in time to see our arrival at dawn back into Venice.

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    We weren't the only guys out that morning!

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    Looks like these guys have a livewell running!

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    A bow mounted rocket launcher!

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    Once docked up in Venice, we planned to depart the ship as late as possible since we knew that we could not check into our local hotel until later in the afternoon. That worked well. We had a fair amount of bag dragging to do to get onto a water taxi, but Jenn had it all organized, so things went well. In my next installment, we'll have a wild water taxi ride to our hotel and then the photos of our three days in Venice should be fun to see!

    Sorry, I do not know how to delete this repeat photo!
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    3 days in Venice!

    Jenn got us a water taxi pretty quickly after we hopped off the Jade. It was expensive, but the alternative was a multi-hour wait in a looooong line and then an arduous trip to get to our hotel....... or the water taxi could pick us up in 10 minutes and deliver us right to the front door of the hotel. That was a no-brainer.

    We again were in one of the nice, 28 foot water taxi and this was a unique vessel that I assume runs across the Adriatic Sea.

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    The boat traffic was "wild" to say the least out in the main channel. This boat cut right across our stern.

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    And the gondolas were out in force!

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    Here come low bridge # 1!

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    Some canals are much narrower than others......

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    Obviously, the gondola boat yard!

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    Here's our hotel on the left during our gondola ride...... Our room looked right down onto this canal. The gondolas are very narrow and very UN-stable! :willynilly

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    Jenn took me down to the local Fish Market on day one and that was very interesting! Jenn had downloaded a walking tour of Venice into her Kindle and we just followed that in order to make our way to the Fish Market and several other notable places to see....... that worked out very well that day.

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    Uh, no thanks.........

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    I could have used these on my last Tortugas Trip for yellowtail!

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    Yummy........

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    Finally! My first "real" Italian meal! I had the mussles and clams in a delicious tomato broth..........

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    Regardless of how narrow the canals are and of all the low bridges, these boaters just make it "work"! As much as I watched the boats, gondolas, etc, I never saw two of them touch! Missing each other by inches is the norm and all the boat guys talk to each other as they pass by which was hilarious to watch!

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    This shot was leaning out the large glass doors of our room. I was fascinated to watch this wild activity going on right below us each day!

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    The "Gondoliers" use their one long oar to steer and propel their boats but they aren't afraid to use their legs and the walls for a little steerage assist!

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    In the early mornings of dawn is when most of the "commerce" and industrial work gets done........

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    When dropping off passengers, most water taxis only tie off a spring line, then point the outdrive towards the dock/wall and leave the single engine in idle/reverse to hold the boat against the dock as we see here.

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    For the Boston Whaler fans out there!

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    The Front Door to the Hotel Columbina. We had a gorgeous water taxi sitting here at 0430 on Departure Day.

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    We could not figure out what the word "Saldi" meant but we think that it means "Sale".

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    Venice has to be the most photgraphed city in the world! We'd see people posing all over, cameras everywhere and I must have taken a dozen photos of people with their own camera's! The bridges below our hotel were very popular.....

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    One thing that we could not avoid were the crowds....... compounded by the narrow alleys and streets.

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    Here's the famous St Mark's Square.......... very good for interesting "people watching"!

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    On the last afternoon, we wandered into some of the local "neighborhoods" and got away from the masses. I wonder if this local eatery has conch?

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    We finally made our way down to the waterfront on the main channel. These "serious" Heinies (22 oz) went down very well out by the water on that warm evening.....

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    We had a great view..........

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    Here's an "ambulance". Notice that the Furuno radar is on a "swing up/down" bracket that allows it to drop in order to get under the bridges. All over Greece and then Venice, all we saw was "Furuno" electronics! Yeah, they "know" what the best is! :wink

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    I talked Jenn into eating there and that turned out to be a delicious decision! Pasta Carbonara started us out.......

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    And that was followed by our last real Italian pizza!! :hail

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    Walking back to the Hotel Columbina we saw one of many, many, street/alleyside restaurants and cafes. We enjoyed meals at ones simililar to this one the first two nights in Venice.

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    The next morning, the hotel set us up with a wonderful "to go" bag for breakfast. A great staff there and it was blast staying there. The water taxi that they organized for us to depart at 0430 (we had a 0700 departure out of Marco Polo Airport) was gorgeous! I wish that I had been awake enough to get some pics but it was similiar to this one.

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    The ride out of Venice and then over to the airport took about 20 minutes and it was interesting in the dark. That was our last "boat ride" and it was one of the nicest!

    Overall, this was a very fun and "interesting" trip! We enjoyed seeing parts of Greece but the real fun was the three days back in Venice! That is a very fun, clean, polite, historical and fascinating city! If we get a chance to pop into Venice again, we'll jump on it!
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    .
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
  • dolfanjoeydolfanjoey Posts: 1,173 Officer
    very nice
  • privateer19privateer19 Posts: 382 Deckhand
    Awesome report. I do not get jealous of much but that is a trip i envy.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,130 AG
    I figured that we all had heard about "Venice" and the beauty of the "Greek Isles" and that most people probably would not get there. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.........

    So, I figured that I'd bring you guys along to see what it all was about....... as I would have enjoyed it had it been the other way around.......

    Glad that you enjoyed the Report.....
  • lowe-boylowe-boy Posts: 1,217 Officer
    Best Read ever!
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
  • MedcinMnMedcinMn Posts: 135 Officer
    I hate you :wink
  • joespin76joespin76 Posts: 46 Deckhand
    Great read. Thanks for sharing your story.
  • diverritediverrite Posts: 166 Deckhand
    Wow great report, now I don't have to take my wife.

    Thanks, looks like you had a great time.

    Also glad you din't have any trouble.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] Diverrite aboard "Step Into Liquid"
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,030 Captain
    Fan friggin tastic as always. Thank you very much for taking the time to post everything!
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