Friday, November 28, 2014

Memories of Greece

I love the ocean. I love its enormity, its depth and its reputation as an uncontrollable force not to be reckoned with. The ocean never fails to make me feel small. This in itself is what puts things into perspective – everyday worries become distant concerns as life on the water gives you an unimaginable sense of freedom. It was sailing around the Greek Islands in 2008 that presented me with this realisation.

We organised the trip through a company called Sailing Holidays – we give them money and in return they give us a boat for two weeks and a guide boat to follow to different islands around the Greek coast. When you arrive, you become part of a flotilla, which makes the trip extremely sociable and constantly filled with various laughable events; including dinghy races (which happened to be the moment we realised ours had a hole in and preceded to row and scoop water out simultaneously), cocktail making competitions and an awards evening to finish off the trip. We managed to scoop ourselves the Golden Shield after all the mishaps – we lost a bucket, a solar shower and even a dinghy, which we later found bobbing on the ocean. However, we later became the height of everyone’s entertainment when we found ourselves lost at sea and slept on the wrong island for the night. 

The beauty of this journey was that my brother came with us. As an impressionable teenager he had given up on family holidays at the age of sixteen, but it appeared that sailing around Greece was an opportunity not to be passed up. My mother’s cousin also joined us. Interestingly enough she had little swimming ability, in actual fact she had no swimming ability, which made living on a boat for two weeks interesting to say the least. 

The days were filled with cruising along the water, dolphin searching and sitting on the front of the boat singing along to Nickleback’s ‘Rockstar’. We witnessed the most beautiful bays in some of the more remote Greek Islands with one tavern and a small number of residents, as well as some busier towns where we could hit the shops and eat out in the restaurants. Nothing however, beat falling asleep on the deck under the stars and waking up in the morning with the ocean at your feet. 

It really was an incredible experience, living on the ocean, and six years on my family continue to dream of the day when we will be able to go back and do it all over again.


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