The Greek Islands are a fantastic cruising ground. From a sailors perspective, anchorages are plentiful and the distances between them as long or as short as you want them to be and as long as you keep an eye on the wind, there is not much to go wrong.
To my surprise though, at this time of year things are still quiet. If you talk to the shop owners they will tell you of dwindling business and that the once 6 month tourist season is now only 10 weeks. Mid June to late August. I’ve no idea why this would be, maybe the whole world is working too hard, but it seems to be true. Tavernas and beach front bars are only just starting to open. There are very few travellers around and even fewer yachts, except the French and Italian boats, they know they are onto a good thing and start sailing in Greece from March/April.
Since the castles and hot springs of Loutra we have spent the last week island hopping through the Cyclades, visiting the islands of Kinthos, Serifos, Sifnos now Milos. Every island has its own unique charm. Serifos has great beaches around the port town of Livadi and the Hora (old town) perched high up on the surrounding hills provides a great backdrop. Back in the day, the Hora were always built on high ground to defend against attacks from pirates. The Hora of Serifos is particularly spectacular with its narrow winding alleyways, steep stairs and whitewashed buildings all set off against spectacular views across the island. There are also a whole host of great walking trails heading off from the Hora and you could spend days exploring this wonderful spot.
We enjoyed a relaxing late afternoon sail from Serifos to the bay of Vathi on Sifnos. We left before Calyxa and unbeknown to us as they left they got a line caught around their prop and had to dive under the boat to free it. I had not turned my VHF on so did not know they needed help…oops. Luckily some other yachties at the dock fended their boat off the dock while they untangled the mess.
Vathi is a very protected anchorage with crystal clear waters and great holding thanks to the sandy bottom. We spent our day playing on the beach and swimming, the water is still a little chilly, but every day it is getting a bit warmer 🙂
Leaving Valhi mid morning, we spent a good 5 hours beating to wind on our voyage to the island of Milos. It was a fantastic sail in 15-20 knots of breeze. At the end of the day we dropped anchor in turquoise waters just off a pristine sandy beach. Milos is famed for having some of the best beaches in Greece and so far we have not been disappointed!
Today its back onto the wharf at Milos town where we have tracked down an Orthopaedic specalist to give Peter another Cortisone injection. He is still in a lot of pain and has been yacht bound for the last few days. We are doing our best to set him up for the most comfortable flight possible back to Sydney on Wednesday where he can hopefully get some proper R&R.