Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Saturday, 24 September 2016

LUNGING TOWARDS LEROS





With so many Greek islands so close to us here in Turkey, we decided to do something about seeing more of them. We have been to Crete on holiday in the past. We have also visited Kos on day trips but we haven’t been to Leros.  last week l was advised to book the tickets because the ferry only goes twice a week and was already almost booked out. I checked the weather forecast which was clear sunshine and no sign of rain.  All looked good!
With tickets and cameras in hand we set off at 9am last Friday to the ferry port.  We were pleased with the slight drop in temperature brought about by the refreshing breeze as we made our way to the check in area.  Then through security and out the other side to wait for the ferry. Nice bright sunny morning,  all looked ok.  
About five minutes to 10,  a very small ferry makes a speedy entry to the bay, a flaky white wash was on each side with the bow raised in the air. Suddenly we see the speed reduce and the ferry does a violent rock from side to side.  Then, much to the relief of all of us watching, it quickly levels off and pulls in alongside the pier.  As we board, I naturally head towards the steps which brings you to the top level where we hoped we would sit outside with the wind on our faces as is the norm for us when going to Kos.  The only crew member immediately said  “No upstairs! Everyone must sit downstairs”.   I wondered why but didn’t ask.    As we made our way towards the front of this stuffy enclosed cabin area.  I could smell diesel, not a good start!  it usually makes me nauseous. At 10.15am  with all seats full and 6 people standing, the engine starts up and off we go.  We head slowly out of the bay and I listen to the exuberant voices of the young couples and not so young people as they anticipate the day ahead.  Some people had been to Leros before but for most of us, it was our first time. Then suddenly we hear the engine’s power as the speed pick up and we feel the pull of the sea.  There are cheers and laughs as the first of the waves crash against the windows while the bow leaps up and crashes back down again.  Everyone grabs hold of their seat and all our attention is suddenly drawn to the windows. For a few seconds it’s  a white frothy sea monster wrapping it’s arms around us and then just as quickly, letting go.  Then we start to see not the calm of the bay but a mountainous sea of peaks and troughs. Now I know why we are not up on the upper deck!   We begin what is to be an hour and a half of a roller-coaster ride which seemed like it was going to be for all eternity.......
We were going against the waves and the captain was trying to ride over them, this meant we lunged forward and came down with a bang much like being in a car when it would go very speedily over a bump and crash back down on to the road. The ferry also tilted from side to side as he navigated his way over this terrain.  This caused quite a few of the passengers to get motion sickness.  I could feel the nausea and luckily I had a plastic bag which I kept on my lap, just in case....
  I kept looking at my watch and wondered how long more?  If only I could lie down but there was no room.  We were seated near the front of the cabin,  I thought I might do better if I could get to the cabin door which led to the control/bridge area.  I grabbed hold of a rail and with the help of a few strong arms made my way to the door.  I saw the captain,  a young man who seemed quite calm as he focused on the horizon which must have been difficult,  it kept changing by several degrees while his large window was blasted every few minutes with the white frothy sea monster!  He didn’t use the big wheel but instead he steered the ferry with a joystick.  As I stood there sucking in fresh air,  there was another huge lunge and then a drop back down,  I felt my knees buckle and I’m sure I moaned!  Immediately I felt a very strong arm wrap around my ribs,  and held me tight.  For a few moments I didn’t know who it was but felt secure and knew I would not fall.  It was the crew member.  He had leapt forward when he saw me and saved me from falling. There was a man and two ladies sitting in the bridge area.  One of the men said I could sit up there. They helped me up. The crew member said it was only 10 more minutes!  We were heading into Leros.  The sea started to get calmer and I could see the coastline from the big window.  Immediately, I started to feel better.  Thankfully, the contents of my stomach stayed where it was and we made it to Leros in one piece.   About 40 minutes later we were out of customs.  I sat and took in the cool sea air.  Later we took a short tour of the island and it turned out to be another stunningly beautiful place. On our return journey,  the captain agreed to have both myself and Mr.D sit up in the bridge. 
Will I go back?  I hear you ask.   Yes, but not by boat!!!!


2 comments:

  1. I would love a very small white, stone built, cabin, on a Greek island. Just a bed, table, two chairs, and a tap.

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