Freya & Us

Vessel Name: Freya of Wight
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanranger
Hailing Port: Portishead
14 June 2018 | Karlovassi, Samos- 7,150 NM
11 June 2018 | Samos - 7,117 NM
31 May 2018
31 May 2018 | Kalandhon, Naxos - 7,006 NM
25 May 2018 | Naxos - 6,988 NM
21 May 2018 | Rhinia - 6,938 NM
13 May 2018 | Poros - 6,834 NM
06 May 2018
05 May 2018 | Astros - 6,770 NM
29 April 2018 | Leonidhion - 6,751 NM
25 April 2018 | Monemvasia - 6,711 NM
17 April 2018 | Kalamata - 6,606 NM
17 November 2017
14 November 2017 | Bristol - 6,606 NM
14 November 2017 | Athens - 6,606 NM
12 November 2017 | Kalamata - 6,606 NM
01 November 2017 | Kalamata - 6,606 NM
24 October 2017 | Kalamata - 6,606 NM
11 October 2017 | Pilos - 6,565 NM
04 October 2017
Recent Blog Posts
14 June 2018 | Karlovassi, Samos- 7,150 NM

Dodgy mountain roads - again!

We had a very unpleasant passage to Samos just a stones throw from the Turkish coast. We left very early in the morning, because of the arrival of the water tanker, and initially it was a beautiful still morning as we left Patmos. The wind picked up a little and the sails came out and we thought we were [...]

11 June 2018 | Samos - 7,117 NM

Another Birthday

The wind blew so hard we were boat bound in Kalandhon, Naxos. We were safely tied up in the fishing harbour but the wind made any ventures ashore horrible. We managed a little stroll later in the day and miraculously the wind dropped just as we decided we'd had enough of hiding on the boat and we had [...]

31 May 2018 | Kalandhon, Naxos - 7,006 NM

Our first Meltemi

We really enjoyed Naxos. From our anchorage we could see the old town, castle and temple to Apollo. On shore the old town was very interesting and beautiful. It turned out to be 2 old towns - one inside the Venetian castle walls and the other one Greek and sprawling over the hill below. It was really [...]

25 May 2018 | Naxos - 6,988 NM

Be careful what you wish for!

After a really peaceful night in our anchorage the Meltemi was still blowing in the morning. Mykonos was only 5 miles away and had a sheltered marina and so we bit the bullet and off we went. As soon as we left the bay we were being soaked by the waves as we crashed through them. It took 1.5 hours to [...]

21 May 2018 | Rhinia - 6,938 NM

Birthday Boy

The passage to Kythnos was 46 miles in a straight line and we started in a flat calm sea with no wind - set Flossy and that's it. Right in the middle was a huge lump of rock, the island of Agia Geogios, totally barren and uninhabited apart from lots of windmills. Later the wind picked up a bit and we [...]

Towers!

12 November 2017 | Kalamata - 6,606 NM
Warm
Kalamata is a popular place to overwinter for yachties and over the past few weeks boats have been pouring in. Some arrive and are lifted a few days later with their owners flying home, others stay afloat with their owners living aboard for the winter. It makes for a lively social scene and we've made friends with Louise and Gordon, a Scotish couple living aboard their Moody 31. A small boat for live aboards but they have made it very comfortable. Our first boat, Socotra, was a Moody 28 and spending time aboard with them bought back lots of memories.

We wanted to fully explore the area of Mani, the middle of the three fingers of the Peloponnese, and even though the distances aren't huge the roads are so slow we decided we would need a hotel for the night, so we set off in the car heading towards to the fishing village of Gerolimenas where we had booked a room.

Our first stop was in Limeni, a picturesque fishing village on the west coast with a few tavernas and beautiful tower houses. The people of Mani claim to be the true descendants of the Spartans and they certainly had a very violent past. When the Romans and later the Byzantines and then the Ottomans occupied northern Greece, many people fled to Mani and competition for land became fierce, so individual families lived in fortified tower houses. They are everywhere, some still lived in, some derelict and others converted into hotels or holiday accommodation.

Our next stop was the coastal town of Areopoli named after Ares the Greek god of War. We found it to be a pleasant place with narrow old streets, old churches and restaurants to hangout in around the old town square. From there we drove a few miles further south to the caves of Diros. These limestone caves are right on the sea and after buying our tickets at the top of the cliffs, we made our way down past the closed (for a few years now) museum to the lower carpark and the cave entrance. The caves are completely flooded and you visit them by boat. You are slowly punted through the caves across mirror flat water often having to duck down to get through low and narrow passages. They are full of stalactites and stalagmites and the reflections in the water created a wonderful and beautiful atmosphere. Well worth the exorbitant (for Greece) entry fee.

From the caves we carried on south to Gerolimenas where our hotel was. There were towers everywhere, high up on the hills, on the side of the road and on the cliff edges, with what must have been fabulous views of the rugged coastline that reminded us of Cornwall.

There is a lot building here, with old towers being converted into holiday homes, but also new developments in the same style. The new developments are very small and scattered across the countryside and have been done very sympathetically. While they aren't there yet, they are in danger of overdeveloping the area.

Gerolimenas, is of course a pretty fishing village and our hotel was in a converted tower right on the sea. The hotel was excellent, luxurious and very atmospheric. We had an (almost) Michelin quality dinner in the hotel restaurant with a good bottle of Greek wine finished off with a very short and very windy stroll along the hotel's sea front walkway - lovely.

The next morning, after breakfast on the beachside terrace we made our way up the hill to a viewpoint above the village of Vathi, where almost every other building is a tower. This is apparently the most photographed village in Mani and we did our bit to keep it at the top of the list.

We then headed onto Cape Tainaro, the most southerly point on the European mainland. We parked the car by the ruins of a medieval church built on the ruins on Ancient Greek temple and walked along the often narrow and rocky path to the lighthouse on the cape. At times we were scrambling on all fours over some narrow ridges and steep climbs, but we made it and the views were fabulous. On the way back to the car we found the ruins of an ancient fortified village we missed on the way there, which had some wonderful mosaic floors to look at.

Leaving Tainaro, we started heading north along the east coast of the Mani peninsula stopping at Porto Kagio. Our guidebook described it as a favourite hangout of the international yachting set so we obviously fitted right in. It was more of a small fishing village with a sheltered anchorage rather than a Cannes or Monaco, but a lovely spot for a drink nonetheless. From there we drove a little further north along a spectacular mountain road before heading back to the northwest coast to get back to Kalamata. We stopped in Stoupa only 40 minutes from home for a very late lunch/early dinner. Stoupa is very touristy with a lot of foreign visitors and some expats but still quite nice.

Our final few days in Kalamata were spent putting Freya to bed for the winter and of course a bit more socialising. Freya was lifted on the Friday morning and we retired to the bar while she was cleaned off and put into a cradle. Sat in the bar we were surprised to see a mast moving along the road. It looked very surreal to see a boat moving slowly along a road. A few minutes later the boat itself came into view, it was Freya on a trailer being pulled by a tractor to the marina's second boatyard by the bar.

The following morning we said goodbye to Kalamata and got the bus to Athens where we are spending a couple of nights before flying home to Bristol.

The link to our map seems to be stopping people leaving comments on the blog, so I've removed it from these posts for now. I will be keeping it up to date so simply go to one of the special map only posts and click the link there to see it
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