Day 8 - Sunday - Batik Hammam - Tersane Island>
At 4am I awoke and caught another glimpse of the stars through a small clearing in clouds that had formed. In the distance, flashes of light suggesting that the good weather that we had had may be about to end soon. I went back to sleep, hoping for the best.
At 5am I felt the first spots of rain and quickly gathered up my blanket and joined the procession of other half-asleep people from the top deck down to the cabins below. To anyone sleeping down below, the noise must have been quite something. Once we got back to the cabins it wasn't just a case of crashing out on the beds as most people had all their belongings strewn across the beds, so there was much re-organising and hefting of bags and suitcases before anyone could get back to sleep.
9am, and most people were up. To stop the rain getting into the kitchen/bar and seating area below deck, the crew had moved the hatched futher across of the stairs. This meant that everyone bumped their head on their way up to the deck. Some of us managed to do this twice.
The rain was pouring down, the clouds a consistent gray blanket and all accompanied by the flashes of lightning and rumble of distant thunder. Things were not looking good for the day ahead - we joked that our card-playing skills would be perfected from here on in.
Then came the recriminations about who was snoring. I had heard someone snoring away like a warthog with a cold. A couple of times I'd woken and thought "Won't someone please nudge him." My money was on Robert. I then found out that Terry was the main suspect and, to avoid the sounds, Tony and Pat moved only to find themselves near another snorer - me. So, there I am blaming other people and find out that I too was making warthog noises. I promised Pat that next time I would sleep face down!
Then the weather cleared. Almost as quickly as that last sentence. It began with a window in the clouds to blue sky which soon became a completely blue sky. Everything had a freshly washed sheen to it and it felt like the storm had cleared away some of the haze of the previous few days.
We headed off for the next cove - Sarsala Bay - but the crew decided not to stop there, as the water was not very good. The hills on this bay were not covered with much greenery, and a lot of silt had been washed down the hills into the water, making it totally cloudy.
Instead we sailed on to Bedry Rami, where there was a small jetty, a few Lyceum tombs cut in to the hillside, and good clear waters. Probably because of the good condidions here, we stayed for much of the day - until around 4pm - during which time I had three separate snorkelling/diving sessions. Twice I thought I'd found something of value on the sea bed (the level of which dropped quite dramatically just metres from the shoreline). Both times I proved the saying 'all that glitters is not gold' when I found a piece of foil (looked like a gem from the surface!) and a small tulip-shaped tea glass (the refelection on the rim suggested a bangle of some kind from 7 metres above).
Under water, over water - this was a day of new experiences as I took to the skies above our bay. I had taken up the opportunity of a spot of parasailing from a boat visiting our cove. I also took an underwater camera with me (in case it got a dunking) to record the moment that I was lifted high above our gulet boat, looking over the entire cove and over the hill into the next cove.
The surprising thing about parasailing is how calm it is. I expected that when I lifted off I'd be feeling the wind, getting an urge to shout and whoop. However, it is a very peaceful experience, and when you are up in the air, your feet hanging below the clear blue waters far below, there's little to do other than take in the views, smile, and perhaps kick your legs. Whooping it up hardly seems appropriate - or dignified!
Our final stop for the day was at Tersane Island. This is a deserted Greek village which some of the group decided to investigate for themselves. The majority stayed on the boat and relaxed or, like me, got back in the water. Unlike the previous stops, there were very few fish in the water here. The sea bed was very silted up, with very little plant life - nothing living here for the fish to feed on.
Neil and I revisited the breath-holding challenge. He first managed 37 seconds, and then a not-vastly-improved 38 seconds. I told him about the hyper-ventilation thing - relaxed breathing then three successive very quick and deep breaths before going under - after which he broke the minute mark, staying under for 72 seconds.
Come bed time (which seemed to be quite early on the boat at around 10pm), there was a scrum for the best position on deck, but the first lot there soon realised that there was no decent position on the bow - all the mattresses were already soaking wet with dew, so it would be a cabin stay for most. However, Manda and myself found a space on the mattresses at the rear of the boat, which had not succumbed to the dew, alongside Neil and Elina. Before going to sleep I told all around me that if I snored to come over and give me a nudge. Neil promised he would and asked me to do the same if he snored. I then turned in for the night, lying face down. Oh, and I did have to give Neil a jab in the ribs too!