The island comes alive early, fishing boats chugging past our sleepy bodies, it sounds perfect, seagull calling for the unwanted tit bits discarded by the whistling fisherman. Engines of varying tones and the sound of a slight breeze flowing through our rigging.
We surface and investigate our new home for the next 24 hours, that is what becomes a special part of sailing, waking up in new surroundings. When you feel the need to move on, we just go at our own pace in the direction that we choose, ok, perhaps the wind chooses as we would rather sail than motor. Some yachts travel for miles on their engine despite a perfect wind which we generally cannot understand, however, they may be on a time schedule or perhaps cannot sail for some other reason. Why waste fuel and listen to the constant drone of mechanical parts when you can enjoy the sound of the sea as the hull slices through each wave, the wind whipping around our ears, flapping misbehaving sails and a cargo ship roaring behind you, of course it isn't all perfect!
Today we are going walking, with decent shoes a must when sailing, most sailors also enjoy walking, they don't always have any other choice, some have push-bikes, we like walking and have limited storage for bikes therefore our legs carry us to most places. Can cooked breakfast comes first with yummy bacon, eggs toast and beans in our full tums we set off.
The coast is very pretty with those great views all around, Chios on our right and Turkey on our left. The Coastguard office sits on the water's edge scanning every vessel on its journey past their island, one of the officers appeared beside the boat last night, an extremely polite chap asking where we have travelled from and how long we plan to hang around. He asked for no paperwork or passports which is fairly normal so early in the year. By May the official paperwork begins, charges will apply for mooring, electric and any water used, at present we are able to do all of these at no cost which is incredible.
Passing there office we realise that there are a lot of young guys and a few young women milling nearby, we work out that the buildings we are meandering around, are actually the Naval college! We adjust our route out of their territory, don't wish to become an example of an interfering pair of sailors!
Next to this expanse of official constructions we see a sports stadium from the 2004 Olympic games, here on this pretty little island it is the last thing we expected. Then we realise that when we were in Langadha on Chios island, a small boat came from here across with a group of sportily dressed guys, now it makes sense.The stadium is tired but functions perfectly, paint flakes litter the pathways outside, grass grows through the fencing and rusty patches form the Greek writing informing us of this once proud stadiums use. Very sad to see the deterioration of something so costly and useful.
Small informal roads wind around the hillsides, one of which I decide looks interesting, well, it does have a lovely church perched on the top, Kevin awaits my return.
The road becomes a gentle climb then degenerates into a track which then finalises in a sturdy white painted wall. Peeking over the stoney edge the church stands beautifully within an amazing cemetery, it is pristine, clean, with white marble headstones everywhere. Flowers adorn each of the carefully laid burial sites, large leafy trees form perfect shade over this lovely peaceful resting place. They certainly know how to maintain this cemetery and care for their loved ones with so much dignity.
Kevin has parked himself, legs swinging on a wall, clearly bored waiting for me! We carry on our route passing various homes, and farmland stretching over huge expanses of this coast. Some of the buildings we pass are really old stone cottages, these must have once been fabulous sandstone structures overlooking the ocean, now in their dilapidated state of disrepair is beyond a "doer upper" but they are such strong walls with the perfect view, why have they ended up in this sorry state.
Goats bleat and baa nearby where they chew through the undergrowth, they stare are we wander by still chomping on anything edible, two grey and white very cute kids bounce around beside their elders, clearly not at all interested in our intrusion.
From the pathway we look down to where the gentle white frothy waves wash over rocks and pebbles, creating a low rumbling sound. The sea looks so inviting yet it is pretty cold when dipping our tentative toes, a small wooden white lean to structure stands swaying in the slight breeze, we guess this was a beach bar in its previous life. I am positive that in a month or so, it will once again serve the holiday makers on their day of sunbathing and swimming, for now, it sits forlornly awaiting that coat of paint a few nails or screws and of course it's guests.
This lovely island is one which I would be happy to return to, even at this early part of the season it has an air of relaxation and beauty without the hustle and bustle of the larger towns and islands.
For now we head back to Kejstral for tea and a catch up with our sleep having walked a few miles and seen some fabulous scenery on Oinoussai.