In Tune at Sea

The adventures and misadventures of Philip & Geraldine aboard In Tune

26 May 2017 | Livadhiou, Serifos
24 May 2017 | Pharos, Sifnos
19 May 2017 | Naxos

Waiting for the weather to pass

26 May 2017 | Livadhiou, Serifos
We ended up motor/sailing up to Livardhiou, Serifos but that was OK as it wasn't too far and being calm made the motoring easy.

We decided to go to the town harbour because there was a storm system forecast with some strong winds, so thought we would seek a secure place.

We keep saying "this is the Greek Islands" as the excuse for everything. This "marina" or town harbour is quite new (It's not in our pilot guide or Garmin chart plotter). It has good concrete seawalls for shelter, mooring lines, bollards, electricity and water, even telephone plugs on some connection points. But after being built with, presumably Euro zone money, its just left - no maintenance, management etc. We are staying here free, free electricity if you can find one that works, nobody organising boats where to go or collecting money. An old guy comes around each day to give water if you need it - he unlocks a hatch in the concrete, connect a long hose so we can fill the boat tank. I'm sure none of this is official - he's just taken the initiative to do this and collect 2 euro for his service!

The buses are another source of amusement. On the last island, Sifnos, every time we asked about timetables, the reply was pursed lips and a shrug of shoulders. When I asked here about bus timetable I was told that the information booth doesn't know - ask the driver! Well the driver, Vasilisi, has a cousin in Sydney and has visited Oz a few times, so we found reliable bus information!

We've spent time high up on the hilltop wandering the chora streets, as usual for the islands.

One perfect day

24 May 2017 | Pharos, Sifnos
Sifnos - If anyone asks me why I am doing this lifestyle - Sifnos answers it all. We have had the most idyllic time on this island.

After a pleasant sail from Paros, the intended anchorage at Kastro on Sifnos, proved to be small, exposed, and risky in my opinion, so we headed just a little further S to an anchorage called Pharos. I would rate Pharos as the best anchorage we have experienced so far in the Greek Islands. With a good beach (by Turkish and Greek standards), a taverna ashore and chapels on every hilltop it is an ideal setting.

Intending to take the bus to the main town of Apollonia the first day, the timetable and bus proved unreliable (this is Greece!) so we ended up sharing a taxi with a couple of French women. It's interesting that the islands have their individual "flavours" - Paros was mainly UK visitors, whereas Sifnos has mainly French visitors; even the taverna had a menu in French.

After wandering the back streets of Apollonia we took the bus to Kastro, where we had originally intended to anchor. Kastro has history of thousands of years; not much is left of the castle but there is still much of the narrow streets and houses that date from medieval period.

After giving up once again on the Greek bus system to get back, we decided to walk one of the ancient trails. These stone paths were once the "roads" that people travelled by foot or mule from one village to the next. The 5 Km walk back to Pharos was rewarded, by a swim in the crystal clear waters from the boat and ice cold beer.

That evening we were fortunate to be anchored in the very spot that there is an annual festival where a famous religious icon or painting is given to one person on the island to keep for a year. The icon and person arrived by ship and then there was a service in the chapel on the bluff (lasting several hours!) to pass to the next villager.

This was, for me, just the most perfect day I could imagine.

Next morning we motored further north in dead calm conditions to Yeoryious, however, once again the Yeoryious the anchorage was too small so we continued north to LIvadhious, Serifos.

Frustrating day and a hair raising dinghy ride

22 May 2017 | Naousa, Paros
We left Naxos at the crack of morning coffee time, and had a leisurely couple of hour sail across to Paros, anchoring near Naousa on the north of the island. Intending only to stay one night I changed my mind after we had huge thunderstorms throughout the early hours of the morning.

We decided to take the dinghy over to the town (1.2 NM) when the weather calmed down to fill up 2 gas bottles and top-up our wifi. The gas was easy but not so the wifi. Unable to sort it out in Naousa, we hired a motor scooter to go to the main town of Parikia. Three hours in Cosmote carrier couldn't do it, in the end admitting that their system was down. Another carrier, Wind, and 2 hours later, they refunded our money unable to get it working. Finally VodaPhone got it fixed.

Getting worried about leaving In Tune all day with the wind increasing we returned to Naousa. By the time we headed back in the dinghy the waves were 3 - 4 metres and we were getting air-borne off the backs of the waves! I was very glad that I'd bought a new carby for the outboard engine in Naxos to get us back! A warm shower and dry clothes after being soaked to the skin felt great; not to mention the whiskey! A frustrating day but glad to get the jobs done.

Paros is popular with UK people living there, plus is popular with tourists, however, I fail to see why. Admittedly we did not do it justice, but nevertheless failed to see the attraction. We didn't even take one pic, sorry. We'll leave tomorrow, destination, Sifnos.

Barely beat the wind

19 May 2017 | Naxos
We had an abortive leaving at Katapola, Amorgos, 2 days earlier when we had equipment failures in pretty strong winds, so decided to go back and anchor and sort those out, (chart plotter and reefing jammer) which mostly we did.

So we left for the second time in much gentler winds with our chart plotter working and had a good sail for several hours with the code 0 sail again. We decided to skip our original destination at Mirsini Skhinousa, and press on for Naxos. Unfortunately we lost the wind and then ended up with a head wind for the last 2 hours. With strong winds forecast we decided to shelter in the town harbour.

The marble arch on the sea spit is part of a temple begun in 530 BC but was never finished as it was sacked by Persians in 490 BC. We spent our first day ashore wandering around the Venetian castle on the hill surrounded by alleys, arches and tunnels which used to be the up-market part of town. The Venetians occupied the island in 1207 and was a Venetian duchy for 300 years until it fell to the Turks in 1566. It became Greek in 1832. The author of Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis, taught here in the school for 12 years. The young Byron on visiting Naxos wanted to buy it for his retirement; nice idea.

Next day we took the town bus up to a hilltop town call Apieranthos,had lunch and wandered the town.

I had dropped the outboard motor off when we arrived, so picked it up after they had worked on it for 2 days and they still could not get it to run either. The only solution in the end was to put a brand new carbie on. $$$ It now runs better than ever!

Leaving soon (Sunday 21st) for a short trip across to Paros.
Vessel Name: In Tune
Vessel Make/Model: Fountaine Pajot
Hailing Port: Australia
Crew: Philip Greetham, Geraldine Pamo
Philip Greetham: Retired from the corporate world, having had careers in teaching, customer service, training and consulting. Born in the UK, my parents emigrated to Australia as "£10 poms" settling in Melbourne. [...]
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