Leaving Paoika on Paros, Sangaris headed west-ish through the southern Cyclades. The first leg took us through the windy passage between Paros and Andiparos that's famous for its kite and wind surfing. If you look really closely you'll see Kath under that red kite and Craig looks pretty good on the windsurfer, too! We tucked up under some islets in the middle of the passage for the night and the day-trippers in the small boats you see were gone by evening leaving just us to enjoy the crystal clear waters.
The next stop was Despotica, adjacent to Andiparos and a not-to-be missed anchorage. From there we caught up with Rick and Barbara on "Far Out" at the little harbor in Vathi on Sifnos. As chance would have it, the restaurant we chose that evening for Barbara's birthday celebration was hosting a wedding and we were encouraged to join in the merriment from a nearby table.
From Sifnos it's about 20 miles SW to the great cruising ground and three islands of Kimilos, Poliagos and Milos. "Sir Rod" as we and most cruisers call Rod Heikel, the author of "The Greek Pilot" that we always have at hand, suggested that Stenon Kimolou-Poliagos (the channel between Kimolos and its uninhabited neighbor, Nisos Poliagos) could have severe gusts and "though there is not a big sea in the lee of the islands, the wind can be very strong indeed". Good luck made it a lake for us and Revmatonisia a lovely place to anchor for couple of nights near Psathi, Kimolos. This very cool rocky outcropping was just a few boat lengths away as were these colorful boathouses, now summer "cottages" and access to the chora (old town), which was an easy uphill climb although one local chose the old fashioned way (no that's not Craig on his ass! And, oh OK, that really wasn't him on the windsurfer, either.) Then, just a short hop away was what became a favorite anchorage of Pollonia, Milos, with the evening sun showing off Sangaris and the quintessential Cycladic church on the point.
The shots above and below give you the flavor of this very special island with its phantasmagorical volcanic rock formations.
The next day we made our way to the main town of Amorgos, Med moored to the dock and as we strolled to town we just happened to say hello to a fellow sailor, Simone, on an Australian flagged boat called "Planet Perfecto". Suddenly she did a double take, recognizing us from our blog, and said she'd been following it for some time and will also be up on sailblogs now that she's setting off cruising - talk about serendipity!
Perhaps our favorite anchorage on Milos was at a little north coast place with the fun name you see. It's tucked in behind those amazing rocks and is normally inaccessible because of the prevailing northerly winds, but we caught two days of rare southerlies. By the way, those sea level doors were originally boat houses for the fishermen, who would sleep in the little room above, rather than returning to their village each day. Nowadays, these "syrmata", from the Greek work "syro" - to pull - have become novel weekend retreats - and most folks do keep a small boat in the boathouse.
In Polonia the moorings seem always available; if anchoring stay clear of the ferry and watch for extensive mooring chains and rodes. In the main port of Adhamas, the "Port Captain" Miltos is a jovial character who seems to have a floating price scale depending on how well he likes you. Oddly, we paid 23 euros for three nights - others were 20 a night. There can be a violent surge when ferries arrive too fast, which some do, so stay as far from the dock as possible and leave lots of space between boats.