We have had another fabulous 2 weeks.  We were actually sailing in the right direction with the wind behind us, not too many waves and generally great conditions for gentle sailing.  Fair Winds and following seas on the nail.  

We juggled sailing with work days, we visited some beautiful bays, we saw dophins and had some great fishing bays for Lilly to splash around in.

As we retraced our steps back to Khalkis (the opening bridge). We thought we would be clever and pick up fuel in the same village as we had on the way up last June.  However, this did not go according to plan as when we arrived in  Loutra we couldn’t get alongside the quay as there were too many boats.  We knew we had enough fuel to get to Khalkis so we carried on and hoped it would be easy enough to find a willing garage to bring fuel to the quay as we waited for the bridge to open

The bridge was due to open at eleven thirty at night. It opens at slack tide during the night and at this time of year only every other day.  We knew from our trip up in June it was a long wait often an hour or two after the proposed time.  This time however we knew we could anchor easily on the other side of the bridge as we had seen boats there last time.  This time though we would be waiting alongside the quay right in the centre of town. Unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to get fuel on this side (the north side of the bridge) as it was pedestrian only, maybe we would be able to sort it in the morning on the other side.

This is in fact what happened and everything went smoothly with the passage through the bridge, anchoring in the dark and getting fuel and water at the quay in the morning.   The only thing that took us by surprise was when the port police charged us for our half hour stop at Limni in June on the way north.  We had called in there to try to get fuel, in actual fact we couldn’t get into the harbour as it was full and we had tied up on the outer wall whilst we investigated fuel and water.  We hadn’t been able to find anyone to help and had left to try further north.  This is the first time we had been charged for a quick half hour stop. It was a reminder that people are watching even if they are not there to help you!

With both our water and fuel tanks full we headed for an anchorage at Eretria.  At first we tried pulling alongside the huge empty quay but realised this wasn’t going to work for our catamaran.  The quay had a rough stone ledge at the water line jutting out into the water.  We realised that for keel boats this may not be an issue but for catamarans which have straight sides it was impossible to keep the hull away from the rough wall.  So we headed over to the anchorage.   

We had internet, food and water so we stayed a few days and enjoyed the fabulous sunrises.  Eretria has a lot of history and we found the remains of roman villages at the edge of the town that is now.  The village now was modern and run down.  We were dismayed at the amount of litter left everywhere especially around the numerous bins where it was obviously no-one’s job to clear up after bin men.  The money spent during the 80’s to unearth the roman town had obviously done a great job, unfortunately a lot of the sites were covered in plastic now and fenced off in the hope of preserving them.  There was one area, we assume paid for by the French as the inscriptions and notices were all in French there had done a brilliant job of build a glass fronted building around the ruins making it look well kept but easily accessed even 40 years later. 

From Eretria we sailed to Boufalo a lovely quiet bay with one or tavernas and a great fishing beach for Lilly we only stayed a night although we did have a treat and went aboard a Lagoon 42 which Paul has decided would be the only boat we would swap ours for.  A lovely Australian couple who also lived on board all year with their dog Sally.  We slowly headed south again, stopping overnight at the uninhabited island of Vasiliko before heading South West to the island of Kea in the Cyclades.  We had avoided the Cylades during the summer months as the Meltemi winds are strong and long.  But now at the end of September we had a gentle northly pushing us gently southward! 

In Kea we stopped in the double bay of Vourkari and Korissia.  We were able to restock our food supplies and water tanks once more before continuing southward.  Our next stop was Fikiadha on the Island of Kythnos, and what a haven this proved to be.  

We realised such a beautiful bay would soon be full of charter boats from Athens, but as the wind calmed to nothing we realised it was also appealing for the super yachts. 

We had great entertainment with the charter boat anchoring techniques, we still haven’t worked out how best we can help people who find the whole process very difficult.  However, with the sun out, the sparkling, clear seas, the sandy beaches and the odd gin and tonic, we sat back and enjoyed the show!

I had a few days work to do, the internet was good so we made this home for a few more days and took some amazing pictures.  I took my camera for a walk as Lilly said the fishing was far to good and refused to go with me. I feel I have lost my walking buddy for good.  However, I have a lot to learn with my new camera so I wasn’t lonely.  To be honest inland the island was fairly barren, non of the greenery from the Sporades further north but it was a beautiful spot for swimming and great to be back on sandy beaches again.

We introduced ourselves to another English registered boat and found that they were also booked into Samos for the winter.  We enjoyed a fun evening BBQ with them and realised that we only have another 6 weeks or so before we tie up for the winter.  For now the winter seems a long way off and we are happy to keep sailing down through the Cyclades before heading East to Samos for the winter.

We are Free to Sail 57

We are Free to Sail 57

We are back on anchor and free to sail.  (In the image above is the bay we are now sitting in). Well that is the theory anyway!  In reality we need to do another shop and we need to pick up a parcel that hasn’t arrived yet So in the meantime we can test all of our...

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

Overwintering on a boat in Samos Marina, on the beautiful Greek island of Samos could be quite a lonely affair if it wasn’t for the live-aboard community, let’s refer to them as the ‘exuberant partakers of the odd libation’.... so one naturally forms, The Sunday Lunch...


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