*2022 APRIL: Les Cyclades2022-04-18
Here we go again from SPETSE towards PORTO HELI a few nautical miles further north. We moor there in the large bay very well sheltered. The new marina is superb but a little expensive to our taste.
From here we rent a car to explore the remains of ancient Greece. We start by visiting the EPIDAURE theatre built in 300 BC. Of all the theatres in Greece it is the best preserved. It is also famous for its exceptional acoustics.
We leave again to go to NAFPLIO (former capital of the country before Athens in 1828). The historic heart of the city is beautifully decorated and full of charm enticing the barge to walk through the alleys. Its harbour welcomes pleasure boats on its main wharf in front of the many restaurants.
We were able to approach the famous Falcon Maltese large modern sailboat of 88m moored at the pier of honor.
NAFPLIO is overlooked by the ruins of the Venetian fortress of Palamidi, built over the centuries.
The next day, taking advantage of the good weather, we leave in the direction of Hydra small island 10 Mn more to the East. Mr Beelzebuth sails peacefully in a gentle breeze. In the evening we let loose in the cove of GEORGIOU, we are there alone except three small fishing boats who have just set their nets and wait the next day to recover them.
In the morning we sail to the port of HYDRA
We’re docking MR on the north wharf facing the city.
The day is superb, in the evening we find the crew of GALATEA with whom we spend a very good evening.
On Thursday, April 7, a strong north wind rose, turning this pleasant little port into a real pot. We double the moorings, we put fenders so as not to hit the dock. MR is tossed from all sides with a strong backwash coming from the south dock. We spend our day on board to check and readjust the moorings. In short a lost day but fortunately without damage on MR.
On Friday the 8th, the harbor is calm again. It’s the day of Richard’s blood test. We’re going to the local clinic to take the blood. Later in the evening, the result will announce 156,000 platelets: Great, they’re up!
During the day, we visit this adorable little village in the air of a small Saint-Tropez by its small white alleys, its shops and bars restaurants with terraces facing the sea.
We also walk along the path along the coast to the bay of Mandraki (at least for Mercedes because Richard stopped before). The weather is very nice and we enjoy it.
In the evening we dine on the terrace of a taverna inside the village.
On Saturday, we head back towards POROS at 15Mn, still in a weak breeze that makes MR advance at 5kts. We take advantage of these moments to let ourselves go and bask in the sun.
On Sunday we make our way to ATHENES (marina ZEA) along the way a couple of dolphins came to play with us. It’s the first time in a long time.
In the afternoon, we set out to discover this mythical city. We arrive at the Acropolis at 17:30 to admire the sunset, but no luck the monument has just closed.
We walk through the neighboring districts (Plaka, Psiri, Monastiraki) which are very lively and picturesque. We stroll there, until evening and have dinner on the spot before returning to the boat late in the evening.
Monday morning we visit the Acropolis and its Parthenon. These monuments, still being restored, testify to the past greatness of Greek civilization. The images express the magnitude of the task of their builders.
Then let’s go back to the boat to help Larkis (the local ONE SAIL representative) who has to come aboard to adjust the cable length of our code zero and take steps for the making of our next genoa. In the evening we tour the marina where the boats are all bigger and more beautiful than each other and where the oysters cost the price of caviar!
Wednesday morning we go to the Athens market. At the market we discover impressive stalls of meat and fish however there are few fruits and vegetables.
In the afternoon we leave Athens towards the bay of SOUNIO at 26Mn, south of the peninsula.
We anchor at the foot of the temple of POSEIDON, god of the sea. Incredible views
The next morning we head to the island of KYTHNOS and its enchanting bay of KOLONA. The place reminds us a bit of the bench of ARGUIN thanks to its tongue of sand that separates the two anchorages. Mercedes finds many sea urchin shells to make her jewelry.
Later we will sleep near the small fishing port of MERIKHAS further south of the island.
On Friday 15 April we leave KYTHNOS for the island of SYROS and its small port of FINIKAS. This island is the capital of the Cyclades, but it has lost much of its superb since the merchant navy no longer runs on coal. So the ships are no longer forced to stop there to refuel the coal.
On Saturday morning we set off again for 25Mn towards MYKONOS. It is the island most frequented by tourists but also by the Greek jetset.
The comments of sailors advised us not to come to the marina under the pretext of being poorly received or even rejected. But the bad weather is coming.
Mercedes called the marina office and followed the procedure in place. Two hours later we received a message that we were welcome.
On our arrival and after having warned them, a marinero welcomed us and helped us to moor MR in a professional way. Nothing to complain about!
The evening visit of the CHORA (city center), which with its specificity is none other than the Greek IBIZA: The trendy city that wakes up at night to the sound of the music of bars and discos that make young people dance until the early morning.
On Sunday, as expected, the gale from South-East falls on us and lasts all morning. This wind made the boats blush with sand transported from North Africa. After checking all the moorings we waited for it to pass. In the afternoon new walk in the city, by day this time.
We plan to stay 3-4 days until the good weather returns and we can visit the island by scooter.