All in a day's sail
23 August 2014 | Sifnos, Greece
Just before my return to Greece the guys had stayed in the beautiful bay of Kiparissi and loved it so much that on my return, Paul took me there to stay a few days. What a lovely spot, a safe enclosed bay with a spectacular backdrop of hills/mountains and pretty white houses. On our last night there was a dramatic thunderstorm and after talking with family back in the UK we understood that England was experiencing similar storms.
The following day we had a great sail over to the busy little island of Spetzia. The guide books describe this as a vehicle free island (except motor bikes) but we saw quite a few cars so not quite what we had expected! After just one night here we moved on to a quieter spot, a small bay on the island of Dhokos. We spent 2 days here enjoying the peace and solitude of this deserted but beautiful place before moving onto our next island, Idhra. We dropped anchor and tied a stern line ashore in this tight anchorage. That day there were many charter boats so space was limited. The next day we took a water taxi around to Hydra the main town of Idhra to have dinner. On this island there really are no cars, just ponies and donkeys that are led through the winding, narrow, cobbled streets carrying provisions and transporting visitors and their luggage to holiday accommodation. We had dinner in a pretty taverna with lights hanging in the trees above whilst the cicadas 'sang'. You really do get the feeling of going back in time in Idhra and one can see why the rich and famous including the singer Leonard Cohen choose this island for one of his homes.
After several days here we set sail to the next group of islands, The Cyclades. It was an excellent sail in moderate sea conditions, with wind forces from 2 to 5, changing quite dramatically. We arrived at Serifos 8 hours later and anchored in gale force 6! This was our first experience of the 'Meltemi'
To take shelter from the forecast winds we motored around to Ormos Koutala. On arriving we could see there was no space available so we anchored off and took our tender to shore to investigate the possibilities. Well the quay was fairly full but a very nice guy explained that he was leaving in about an hour and we could go there. We waited on Paradise patiently watching through the binoculars to see when he moved off. He signalled us after 2 hours, so we upped anchor and motored over to the quay. As we approached we could see a dinghy holding 6 people hovering around our space and just as we dropped our anchor to moor up stern-to, they nipped in to the spot! Paul shouted to them to clear the space as we were entering with our boat, they ignored this and told Paul they were reserving the spot for their motor cruiser anchored in the bay. Paul told them this was not possible and we were having the place as we had negotiated the spot and were half way through the mooring up manoeuvre. They obviously have not met Paul before and continued to refuse to move away so Paul calmly reversed Paradise to the quay trapping all 6 and their dinghy to the quay wall! Well, there was much shouting and arm waving from them and I am pretty sure Paul got much satisfaction in telling them we were leaving in 2 days time and they could leave then. By then many spectators had crowded around to watch this scene as the shouting and arguing continued. Paul did tell them if they promised to leave we would reverse out (not easy!) and let them out. They refused and one of them went to get the port police. The upshot seemed that the port police told them reserving a spot by that method was not expectable and so we let them 'free'.
By then all thoughts of our lunch were over and our appetites had completely vanished so we