Panos the Greek boatman is waiting for us on his 20-foot caique at the small fisherman”s pier in the old harbour. It is one of those morning of mornings with not a ripple nor a breeze to disturb the mirror surface of the sea. This is a day for “sea and caique” . . . and chicken legs and peppery rocket and pickled beetroot and the biggest red tomatoes . . . and of course a chiller bag of cherries and peaches.
Father Frank from Berlin is in his “Mary blue” T-shirt and of course he thanks the Blessed Virgin for our good fortune with the perfect weather. Annie and Trevor are bringing up the rear with the picnic basket.
We set off around the lighthouse into a glassy sea, past fewer and fewer signs of civilisation until we really felt we were sailing in the open Aegean with just seagulls and jumping fish for company.
We take Panos” suggestion to continue till lunch time and then drop anchor before we jump in the water in a protected little cove.
Swimming and frolicking in 7-metre deep crystal clear waters, we see an army of sea urchins on the rocks near the beach, so Panos lays out the picnic cloth on the covered deck. (I think I may have one remaining sea urchin spike in my foot from my first encountger of two weeks ago, so we”re not going there.)
Laughing and falling about as we toss the salad and Trevor swearing “Bugger! That”s why I don”t eat beetroot” as he peruses his stained new shirt, we settle down to eat. And a silence descends. This is not your usually chatty “tea and cake” afternoon. The gentle rocking and the lap-lapping, sun on our backs are like a drug. We all seem to be overcome at once by where we are. The buzz of cicadas and the cries of the peacocks ashore add to the reverie. Schools of sardines flit in the aqua waters around the boat while zargana jump out of the sea. A seagull gently glides past.
A yacht appears in “our” bay and we are no longer alone. Up anchor and head towards home getting our first real chance to see Spetses town and “Spiti Charlie” from the sea. A tired crew, we wend our way back to the house for an afternoon nap.