Today we were celebrating Hywel's 60th birthday. Poor Louise must have been tearing her hair out with the decision to hire a boat from Latchi for the day because this did not go as smoothly as it could have done. The boat she wanted to hire was going to be sailed over to the island but it just never looked like it was going to materialise! Then the weather looked like it was going to put the mockers on the day but in the end we were lucky because the rain did not come until during the night. Those of us who are not hardened sailors were not looking forward to a bumpy old ride and had bags at the ready but the bigger boat and the excellent captain meant it was smooth sailing all the way.
It was a motley crew that walked the gang plank for our sea voyage - armed with coolboxes of drink and food. Not the standard trip to the Blue Lagoon for us - no siree - our five hour cruise meant we were taken to places along the coast we had never visited before. I think we got to see it all - all those points of interested on the map.
We had a little hiccup when the boat ran out of fuel due to a faulty fuel-gauge - or at least that is what they told us. A small boat had to come out and meet us and replenish stocks - as someone said when Louise said we were getting tanked up this afternoon we had not quite anticipated it to be on petrol!
Once refuelled we tucked in as close to the coastline as possible - the slightly cooler weather made for a much more pleasant trip even though we all returned glowing from our exposure to the elements.
Our first stop was a little bay before Blue Lagoon - just as well because this one was empty and Blue Lagoon was packed so we were able to swim and snorkel with ease - the water was superb and there were plenty of fish to see in the water. Looks like we are going to have to treat ourselves to some new masks as the one I had seemed to leak as did the snorkel!
Those who wanted to swam and those who didn't didn't and then when we were all dried of a bit we sat down to share the food that people had contributed and drink a few more drinks. I can't really drink during the day and not out in the sunshine so I had brought some sparkling apple juice for Diana and I to share - equally as enjoyable and no chance of a baggy head tomorrow!
Our captain then took us along the coast right to the end point - doing the last stretch at full throttle bouncing over the waves and causing us all to be showered with spray - it was hot so we didn't mind and en route he pointed out places of interest or gave us interesting snippets of information.
On the way back we stopped right next to a shipwreck which has been down below for about 40 years - John said it was a real highlight for him as he swam over it trying to make out the various parts of the vessel and at one point was stood on a piece of metal that juts up almost to the surface - not good if you don't know it is there and are swimming or worse in a small craft as it could do a bit of damage - I think he would have spent all afternoon there given the chance.
We stopped at another cove where it was possible to swim right through the rocks and come out at a hidden beach on the other side. I am not a strong swimmer but I was determined to give it a go and managed it - it was fabulous if not a bit eerie and the stones beneath at the waters edge were a fabulous pinky-purple colour.
Last swim stop was at what we call Donkey Bay just below the unofficial campsite near the Baths of Aphrodite - by this time we were getting near to the end of our trip and we were all feeling the effects of the sun, sea and alcohol (well those who had been drinking!!!). It had been a really fabulous day and hats off to Louise for organising - the girl done really good!!!
The party animals of the group were going on to eat at Giolou later but John and I, Di and Rob as stuffy old codgers did not join them - we knew that once we had got home to change and sat down we would not be fit to go back out again later!!! We were right - we invited Di and Rob to share our leftover stifado from Sunday with some chunky bread and a glass of vino before the wearies started to catch up on us.
Fabulous day though and Happy Birthday Hywel - you have set the bar for birthday celebrations!!