2 clueless day skippers with Patience

The Cyclades

09 June 2019
Donna Smith
There are over 26 Islands that make up the Cyclades.
There is strong Notherly wind called the Meltemi that likes to hang around these islands in the Summer. It is most common in July and August, so we're hoping that our decision to visit in May and June will be a good one.

Friday 24th May
We set off South at 6.45, as we had 63.5 miles to cover today. There wasn't a breath of wind, so we chugged along, thinking, this is going to be a long boring day if we can't get the sails out. Honestly, I ask you, travelling by boat (albeit under engine)to explore a new set of Greek islands -boring? Have I turned into a spoilt Princess? It was not my proudest moment dear friends, then to rub it in just a bit more, just as I was moaning, a pod of dolphins came and played in our bow waves! It was wonderful, my mood changed quicker than Superman in a phone box. They stayed for 10 minutes, jumping in front of us, diving down, veering off and then like sycronized swimmers (minus the peg on their nose) they swam under the water along the sides of the boat and emerged in perfect unison inches from the bow. It was spectacular to watch, the silver lining to travelling under engine - the dolphins love it ! I consider myself reprimanded so never again will I consider any part of this sailing adventure 'boring.'

As it turned out, we were able to turn the engine off as the wind did arrive and we sailed to our first iskand in the Cyclades. This was the mountainous island of Andros, whose summit at the centre of island (on Mount Kouvarion stands 1,134m, that's 3,721 feet!!) - have to get my walking boots on for that one !) The majority of anchorages, main port and town quays are on the South West , presumably to offer best shelter from those pesky winds, that I shall not mention again for fear of them making an early appearance! We selected an anchorage by the beach in Gavriou bay, as it looked like a sheltered spot on the chart.

Apart from the rather large ferrys coming and going, quite close to us, the anchorage felt safe. As darkness fell the bay became a magical grotto as the locals have dotted lights in the caves and around the rocks - quite magical. The village was very traditional, with brilliant white houses , decorated with blue shutters and terracotta pots on the doorstep. We walked up to the village church, perched on the top of the hill, (all villages have at least one) although this time there was also a small collection of solar panels on the hillside - brilliant! Finally, these lovely hospitable people are realising that their best asset (along with the ancient sites of course and beautiful seas) is a natural resource worth harnessing.

Next stop the island of Tinos .
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
Patience's Photos - Main
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