THE VOYAGES OF EOS 2017 AUG-OCT
Thursday 31 August
Mike and I flew easyJet Manchester/Iraklion then bus to Agios Nicolaos for the second part of 2017. Journey uneventful.
Very hot on arrival and the boat absolutely filthy, tomorrow’s task. Supper at Sirocco the slightly bohemian bar/cafe above the harbour. I must remember to send my lemon ice-cream recipe, the Greeks don’t appear to make it, only lemon water ice.
Friday 1 September
Could only clean the port side and windows, the Dutch boat next door is very close and doesn’t want our dirty spray over their clean yacht, two days later we were able to finish the job. Meanwhile restocking with food, swimming and sleeping, still very hot
Saturday 2 - Thursday 7 September
Checking all is well for Richard’s arrival on Thursday. Black Velvet returned to our port side, good to see them again. Out to. Supper at lo I bou?? the restaurant recommended by our next door neighbour at home; the owners have been to stay with Paul, a very good evening
Friday 8 September
Left our mooring, the Marina Office will be glad of this as we were put in the wrong berth in the beginning, i.e., we didn’t really fit with other yachts.
Refuelled and as usual a cheerful efficient man. €1.24 per litre
Set off for Nisos Kolkithia and Spinalonga Lagoon. The first and empty but usually full bay we attempted to anchor in was inundated with wasps - hundreds of them, no wonder the only other boat was coming out fast; the anchorage inside the island was clear of weed though water opaque, quite ok for swimming, a lovely spot and eventually we were the only boat remaining. A quick sorti ashore in dinghy, late supper and an evening watching the stars
Saturday 9 September
A visit to Spinalonga Island, once a fort then a leper colony (read Victoria Hislop’s book The Island) We anchored off amongst the many trip boats and took dinghy ashore. A fascinating place both as an ancient fort and the leper colony, having read the book it felt very real though rather spooky.
Eventually left for MILATOS a tiny port, we managed to fit in alongside at the entrance just missing the rocks and annoying the local fishermen - again. It is a bit of a one horse town, decidedly dusty, good swimming, small supermarket and gift shops. From the menu we thought we would be disappointed however the patron had many fresh dishes for us which were good.
Sunday 10 September
A good trip to NISOS DHIA an island 6 miles NNE of Iraklion for the most wonderful anchorage, a few other yachts in for the day, eventually all leaving us alone for a very peaceful night. Brilliant swimming and only the falcons for company.
Monday 11 September
A longish day to RETHIMNO after a quick look in at Ormos Bali which we didn’t particularly like, not very useful for yachts even anchoring in the bay which was wide open.
Shortly after leaving Ormos Bali the wind suddenly changed direction to give a very short choppy sea, quite uncomfortable.
Arrived Rethimnon circa 16.00 to be given an alongside berth near the entrance, not keen at first but on reflection it turned out to be good.
A long walk to the old port, another photo opportunity for Richard. Supper at the most delightful Italian Restaurant La Toscana, much nicer than the very crowded and touristy restaurants along the harbour front.
Wednesday 13 September
Decided to go on a Land Rover Experience trip across the island. Brilliant fun, shared the vehicle with Victor from Kiev and his wife Alexandria from Ukraine and 2 children. Our driver Demetrios gave us a huge amount of information about Crete, including the doctors who do weekly drives around the hill villages to visit elderly patients, check blood pressure etc, as obviously they couldn’t get to a medical centre - something for our rural NHS perhaps?
In the centre a reservoir has been created to provide water for the hill villages to continue cultivation. History of olive trees, raki, etc. 3 stops in all, one at Crete off the beaten track - well worth €75 all in.
Thursday 14 September
Left Richard to catch the bus to Iraklion and his flight home. We left also for Iraklion to meet Tom and Madeleine, Had a very good trip and good entrance into the mooring, met by a helpful Italian from the adjacent catamaran.
Good to see T & M for supper at Fish Taverna for a delicious fishy supper, back to look at their Ibis hotel, another funkily designed one as in Palermo.
Friday 15 September
A quick shop before they arrived at boat, then off for a windy ride to Nisos Dhia, not successful this time, couldn’t get an anchor hold, too many people, too much wind for swimming, back again to Iraklion in rough sea.
Saturday 16 September
Too much wind which gave Mike and I a chance to actually explore the city. Parish Church of Saint Titus with lovely modernist glass, then Museum of Christianity beautifully arranged, the weight of the vestments with all the embroidery must be exceedingly hot in these temperatures.
A quick visit to the Cathedral adjacent, very painted with galleries reminiscent of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul.
A not very good lunch and back to the boat for a sleep.
Sunday 17 September
All ready to slip at 06.00 only to find our anchor was firmly stuck under a heavy chain running across the harbour; back to the wall, a visit to the Coast Guard, phone call to a diver and eventually a very thin, brown and wiry Theodor?arrived. Dived without a wetsuit and no time had released our anchor, €100 later we set off for THIRA/SANTORINI, a good 7 hour trip during which the port oil pressure dropped, silly thing.
Approx 16.00 arrived at NISOS THIRASIA opp Santorini to find several buoys to which with assistance of the restaurant boatmen we were tied fore and aft; the boatman later gave us a lift to his restaurant Captain John for supper, a very pleasant evening and after the last trip boat left the only ones. 90% of the trade is done at lunch/ late afternoon. Although there is a jetty used by trip boats - no way could we have got on there. We had a well deserved peaceful night in lovely surroundings.
Santorini may be the most photographed Greek Island but from a yachtsman point of view the anchorages/moorings are not ideal, the coastline is steep cliffs with most habitation high above.
We were very happy with our spot looking across to Santorini
Monday 18 September
Slipped 10.30 having made repairs to port engine and waited for the boatman to untie us from his buoy.
A very pleasant trip to Nisos Foligandros . Mike had put a pencil note in our pilot that it was “gorgeous” don’t know who by, luckily it turned out just that. An L shaped jetty, one for the numerous ferries, the other for yachts and space for anchored yachts in bay. The harbour master was firm and fair in getting as many yachts as possible on the jetty, leaving space for the high speed ferry alongside, also the larger car/lorry ferry at midnight stern too.
Charges reasonably high at €40 inc water/elec, we were lucky to be close to a elec post, only two on jetty. Later some commotion as a Polish boat cast
pinched someone’s hose, not realising he had to pay - jolly international relations.
Very good small supermarket and a delicious pie/coffee/crepe shop.
Good beers, swimming but not a bus tour to the Chora.
We have decided the Greek Islanders run their affairs well, buses, ferries, commercial vehicles all arriving on time, rubbish collected - just the National Government needs sorting. Of course we don’t know how much profit is made or whether the ferries are subsidised.
Tuesday 19 September
A very good trip to NISOS Serifos Livadhiou, Middle Cyclades. A newly reconstructed harbour leading to a certain amount of confusion as to head ropes/anchors and some pontoons had water only, the elecs to arrive later perhaps. Nevertheless once the trees have matured and electricity installed it will be a worthwhile stop. The village itself is delightful with many shops and not too touristy.
We gravitated to Skippers Dock for a drink or two, the owner dressed in immaculate white chinos and navy blue T shirt, later he wore a natty yellow head band. Dinner 3 courses plus glass of wine for €14.90. Noisy Austrians in boat next door!
Wednesday 20 September
Too windy for us
Off by bus to the Hora, well worth the visit, pretty shops and bars, lovely today but in the summer according to a shop owner a bit zoo like. Very very good homemade lemonade.
Re-fuelled and Mike re-filled the port tank oil sump.
Later whilst having a drink, two VERY old ladies were driven to the cafe to meet friends and the priest, even we were given pieces of a spicy type gingerbread, they drank tea or coffee from very pretty little teacups. Apparently this was the nine month anniversary of a deceased, sometimes it can be a birthday or date of death.
Supper at Skippers Dock, we tried very hard to keep within the menu price, a little over the wine allowance. the food was delicious.
THURSDAY 21 SEPTEMBER
We ummed and ahhed as to leave or not, eventually slipped 10.25 into a lumpy sea between the islands, once in the lee of KITHNOS very pleasant. We came alongside another non-square jetty in LOUTRA which took us a it of time to get straight, the jetty not being square!!
This is the last stop before Athens where so many are leaving their charter yachts tomorrow
the harbour and anchorage are full, full full.
FRIDAY 22 SEPTEMBER
Slipped 09.45 for a rock and roll trip to POROS though the wind did die down mid afternoon as forecasted.
Just nosing our way adjacent to the quay to hear a shout and there were Grant and Lesley on Cavita. However we knew that part of the quay was noisy and made for round the corner, still not quite quiet but better. Some lovely super yachts harbour, one very sleek silver called “My Toy” what a travesty. Moored further out and beautifully lit is Christina O, Onassis yacht, the favourite holiday venue for so many rich and famous people.
Grant came round for a drink, but Lesley was suffering from an overdose of visitors and retired for peace and quiet.
The night of the slimmest new moon I have seen and staggering red/orange sunset.
SATURDAY 23 SEPTEMBER
Decided to stay another night. We managed to get hold of the water lady, filled our own tanks and washed down boat, then sold the remainder of our token to adjacent yachts, all in all we made a profit.
This is still a delightful spot, useful shops, lovely views of tree lined hills. Crowded enough at this time of year, not maniac though.
Quick visit to Caveta, the interior true Art Nouveau.
Supper out at Taverna Garden, St George Church Square. Recommended by Grant and Lesley, very good but enormous portions, Mike chose village sausages as a starter would you believe, then a gigantic piece of liver, delicious but too much. I don’t know why I didnt chose grilled green lipped mussels as Madeleine, much less filling than my pork kebab!! Towards the finish a group of French came to dine, for some extraordinary reason kept turning round to stare which really spoilt the atmosphere - goodness knows who they thought they were.
On way back at the from the 47 ice cream variety shop I found a lemon sorbet.
SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER
Slipped 08.00.Breakfast en route for the Corinth Canal. Arrived circa 12.00 and told to anchor and wait. Around 16.00 we were told to up anchor to go alongside in order to register and pay €211 and proceed in line through. Quite awesome, only dug in the 19C and the most expensive canal in the world per km. Whilst waiting at anchor the wind got up a bit, I can’t imagine e how awkward it could be in a really strong wind.
Arrived in the Corinth Harbour alongside, a bit weary but managed a jolly last supper on board with T & M.
The town looks a little deserted but it is Sunday evening.
MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
Fishing boats coming and going, fish for sale alongside our boat, I don’t know what type of fish we bought, it was delicious for supper.
Off by taxi to Ancient Corinth about 8km from the harbour. Another vast settlement which still requires a lot more excavation work, the museum very informative and well laid out.
Coffee in the village and a last beer in Corinth which by this time has definitely come alive, cafe culture is here. The city has a series of squares and pedestrianised areas closest to the sea and at intervals the same style of awnings, think these are provided by the authorities, the space let to cafes and restaurants.
Lunch before T & M caught their bus to Athens and home.
TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER
A very quiet run to Galaxidhi, a dear little village tucked behind islands on the north shore of Gulf of Corinth; the anchorage is U shaped, the opposite shore is wooded with picnic and bathing places. By the evening the quay was full.
We met an Irishman a boat or two along who came to the cafe for a drink. He sails single handed downwind only, knew several mutual friends in Licata and also Lauchran from Coast Guard unit at Formby. His boat is only 30ft but has sailed her across the Atlantic
The place is full of restaurants where coach loads of tourists stop off, I assume the village is on the way to Delphi which we wont visit.
WEDNESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
Up late! Made a quick visit to the delightful small Nautical & Historical Museum of Galaxidi. It has fairly recently been upgraded with money from the Stavros Niarhos Foundation.
Set off for PATRAS and through the Rion Bridge, very majestic, however the ferries still run, no one quite knows why, probably the loss of jobs.
Arrived at Patras harbour, quite difficult to locate, no room in the domestic harbour and were told to visit the commercial port where we are the only vessel. The elec is via 5 pin socket which we don’t have and have never come across, apparently the super yachts and those who sail in International waters use this system. The best water pressure ever.
Had a good look round, in layout not dissimilar to Corinth, though bigger and scruffier. Found an M & S with some good clothes, I hope ours at home have the same.
Although there have been improvements made to the port, the tonnage coming in appears to have been lost as have the ferries, these inexplicably to us have been moved 2km along the coast, acres of concrete for something; I think cruise ships come in the summer.
THURSDAY 28 SEPTEMBER
Waited until 1.45 for the fuel man which meant we had no time to get to Nidri, instead
opted for the town quay at Messalonghi, never thought we would be here again; Mike had a row with the Dutch manager some years ago after the sponsons on Eos were damaged on lift out and he refused to pay the repair bill; we weren’t the only people to fall foul of him. The area has been tidied up, I suppose in response to the marina being closed for a year or two. Feel sorry for the town as it has had its University closed leaving hundreds of student flats empty and the town bereft of young cafe habitués
The weather turned quite nasty with a following wind, quite high waves which we spent a lot of time sliding down and corkscrewing.
Rain for the first time in 2 or 3 years, luckily cooked our rather strange cut of lamb on the bbq before it started.
FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
Slipped 08.00 into a cold grey sea, felt like sailing on west coast of Scotland. Sun eventually came out as did every yacht in the Ionian for what must have been a fabulous day’s sailing.
Arrived at NIDRI and to the pontoon which Di had booked for us, only to be told not welcome here, partly I had dropped the anchor at an angle to the boat and partly I suspect because we were a smokey motorboat. Only once before have we been spurnned. Anyway we were found another pontoon and even here we weren’t made very welcome, though Mike thought we were OK - too many Brits around.
The scenery here is beautiful surrounded by tree clad hills down a long inlet, only a stone’s throw from Scorpios, the Onassis island. The town itself is scruffy, lots of tavernas, bars, patisseries and lousy supermarkets.
Met up with some of the friends Di has made whilst she worked for Sail Ionian as an instructor for the summer. People have done such interesting lives, albeit somewhat on the edge of making a living.
SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER
This is our rest day and luckily we were able to stay on the pontoon, there had been some discussion of it being fully booked. No-one talked to us but perhaps because they were on a Bavaria outing.
Di introduced us to the No Menu Restaurant run by a French speaking Caribbean
woman and her chef partner. You chose a price level give them an idea of allergies and dislikes and the delicious food arrives, fish, mussels, prawns etc. The furniture is made from old pallets distressed and wheeled, lovely Carribbian fabric table clothes, a different dining experience.
SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER
Slipped 09.30 leaving in clouds of smoke just to spite the mingy Brits. Di came with us to be dropped off at Cleopatra Marina, Prevesa, to catch her plane back to the UK.
The Levkas channel, passed the swing bridge and subsequently the rocks and sandbanks is so easy now proper buoys are in place; until fairly recently you relied on withies as markers.
Arrived at PREVESA TOWN MARINA around 15.00. It’s not quite a marina yet, nothing is finished though the bones are there and will be quite impressive in a year or two, investment coming from the huge Cleopatra Marina down estuary. We are tucked away out of sight, for the moment, fine whilst we clean etc. but hope to move to a more prominent position before leaving. The dogs of war are still here chasing and barking at every vehicle, they would be more use getting rid of the hundreds of cats, one of whom rests on our sponson (exhaust), presumably nice and warm.
MONDAY 2 TO 11 OCTOBER
A busy few days getting boat ship shape and ready for a sale!!! painting, varnishing, winterising engines etc.
As the marina develops so the route to shops gets longer, the route along the “front” has been blocked whilst dredging, piling for new dock wall takes place. My preferred area of little local shops is immediately uphill and opposite the marina - I love it, so many little old people going about their daily tasks, most quite bent with raucous voices (fish wives come to mind), chatting and shouting their problems to all.
On my route was an ever increasing mound of old washing machines, bedsteads etc, anyway today the authorities were collecting it, hopefully for recycling - is this not a better way than individuals going to the tip or fly tipping, people around here probably don’t have access to a car. In Australia once every so often people can throw out their unwanted items onto a pile in their street which is then collected officially.
My other gripe about refuse and our wheely bin issue for houses with no space for said bins, could we not in those circumstances use the Continental method of large universal bins at strategic points?
Mike was in conversation with one of the piling team, who had been to Essex and had reasonable English, they discussed everything from Archimedes, Pythagoras and the brilliant Greeks in earlier times - this is exactly what we enjoy about our travels.
We went out to celebrate our wedding anniversary and thought to check with Trip Advisor, however the restaurant was completely deserted, the place we chose was very odd The Prevesa, we chose a starter each and a main course; my main course came first then the starter, Mike had both courses at once - our waiter nor the boss understood our problem; not the best WA supper, actually we haven’t ever had a good meal in Prevesa in spite of so many restaurants. Nevermind, around the corner we spied the most delicious looking little cakes, took them back to boat to eat with a glass of Metaxa - heaven.
A fellow boaty stopped for a chat who only came to Prevesa as her husband needed hospital treatment, excellent I gather though the building looks a little primitive. In spite of his various ailments they travel the world and have visited hospitals in most continents, better to keep going than die doing nothing at home I hope they have good sickness insurance if he pops off whilst abroad.
We had torrential rain and the temperature has been reducing generally especially morning and evenings, we now need our duvet on the bed.
PORTS AND HARBOURS VISITED SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER 2017
July to 7 September Agios Nikolaos, Crete marina
8 Sept Nisos Kolkithia, Spinalonga lagoon anchor
9 Sept Milatos quay
10 Sept Nisos Dhia anchor
11 - 13 Sept Rethimno quay
14 - 16 Sept Iraklion quay
17 Sept Nisos Thirasia (Santorini buoy
18 Sept Nisos Foligandros quay
19-20 Sept Serifos, Livadhiou marina
21 Sept Kithnos, Loutra quay
22 - 23 Sept Poros quay
24 - 25 Sept Corinth quay
26 Sept Galaxidhi quay
27 Sept Patras quay
28 Sept Mesolonghi town quay
29 - 30 Sept Nidri pontoon
31 October - Preveza marina
2017 The log for the first part of the year is currently mislaid but will hopefully be soon found