Kyparisa to Pilos
22 August 2016 | Pilos
A early start saw us sailing by 08:30am and again breakfasting on fresh fruit with Greek yogurt and honey. Initially with no wind we motored but by lunch time the wind arrived and with just the jib out we managed to downwind sail the rest of the way.
Kyparisa is a small fishing port and on arrival we expected to either have to med moor (backing the boat up to the quay having dropped your anchor first) or anchor outside the harbour if it was full of fishing boats. We entered to find the harbour almost completely empty. The few other yachts there were all tied up alongside so we did the same which made for easier getting on and off but the rough concrete wall was a little hard on our poor old fenders. It was from here that Tess was to catch a bus back to kyllini (yes I know all these places starting with K even I was getting confused) we could have pressed on but this would have only meant her having to catch three buses instead of two with the greater risk of missing her bus connection or worse the ferry. We BBQ'd on the harbour wall much to the amusement of the locals coming down to promenade along.
The following day we found the Bus station and confirmed the time for her trip the day after 9am. Jackie and Tess then found a local hotel that would allow non residents to use the pool and luxury sunbeds at a cost of 3 euros for the day. They took themselves off to chill out whilst Pete set to to repair the broken instrument cover, having found a local hardware store that would cut and drill some perspex to size. That evening we ate out at a harbour side restaurant dining on Calamari, meatballs & mousaka. A great end to Tess's stay with us. The next morning we walked up to the bus stop and saw her off.
Returning to the boat we decided that as the wind was favourable we would press on to the next port and by 10:30 we were scooting along at 6 knots with a broad reach. Passing a most unusual Disney fairytale castle that some local hotel owner had built. In the grounds there was also a giant horse about 3 stories high and a number of what looked like giant chess pieces. We wished we could have explored this anomaly further but there was nowhere t stop and the winds were pushing us on.
Having come round the island of Proti we found the coast now had big cliffs and giant caves set in them rounding the bottom of the island of Sfaktiria we entered the bay of Ormos Navarinou here the Naval Battle of Navarino was fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence. An Ottoman armada, which, in addition to imperial warships, included squadrons from the eyalets (provinces) of Egypt, Tunis and Algiers, was destroyed by an Allied force of British, French and Russian vessels. It was the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships, although most ships fought at anchor. The Allies' victory was achieved through superior fire-power and gunnery.
By the time we arrived it was already 7pm the town quay looked full and the marina also we didn't really want to pay marina prices for a night so sailed across the bay finding a section of shoreline with nothing on it and anchored in 5 MTS of water for the night. Initially we had some very fast windsurfers zooming past us but by sunset that had all retired to shore and we were left on our own. Getting up next morning we swam off the boat then watched whilst eating breakfast, several water-skiers learning on the now flat calm waters.
We pulled the anchor and headed up to Pilos finding a berth on the harbour wall. Once again no charge for tying up, only if we wanted water. As we had almost all our tanks full we declined. The wall was quite high so we had to arrange a step on deck for Jackie to be able to climb up onto the wall. The Saturday was spent doing odd jobs and just relaxing and looking around the town. We had planned to leave on Sunday but a poster caught our attention detailing a display of Greek dancing the following day (Sunday) at 9:30pm so we decided to stay an extra day to see this.
During Sunday we joined the locals at a quay side taverna and swam and relaxed whilst also having a treat of lunch out. We returned to Argonauta and left again in the evening in time to watch the dancing. We were not exactly sure where it would be but the town was small so expected to come across it easily. Not so, we walked around and by 10:30 had to admit defeat, the event was definitely not happening here. We consoled ourselves with dinner at one of the many restaurants surrounding the square and eventually made our way back home to Argonauta fed and watered but without the culture we had stayed to see.