Yithion to Monemvasa
12 October 2016
We Left Yithion as early as possible on Monday morning. However we had to wait for the town hall to open before we could pay for the mooring fees. Normally if the harbour office is not open we would just leave especially if no-one had been round demanding payment. But as the port police had been so officious here, we didn’t want to find ourselves being chased and fined for non payment especially as the bill was only about 7 Euros. Four yachts in the harbour had been impounded by the police and we didn’t want to be the fifth! Although we wanted to leave at 07:00hrs we had to wait till 08:30 to pay, typically Greek, the person we needed to see wasn’t there and we were initially told he would be in in two hours. Telling them we were leaving they called him and he said he would be there in 45mins but after some discussion we agreed to see him 15mins later. We didn’t hold out much hope. Lo and behold he turned up in 10 mins looking as if he had just got out of bed. Paid up we released the lines and left. Initially we had no wind but gradually the wind built and by mid day we were broad reaching at 6.5 knots with 13knots of wind – perfect. We made for Nisos Elafonisos a island at the south of Parnon. In normal summer winds it has two fantastic sandy bays to the south sheltered from the predominant northerly winds but that day we has south westerlies so anchored around the corner. Shelter from the swell was great, but the spit of land gave little respite from the wind so with blustery 20+ knots of wind we settled down for the night, not going ashore. We left early the next morning to go around Argolikos Kolpos and up to Monemvasia. Starting with 20Kts wind on the stern we shot along with only head-sail up around the headland before then getting 30Knts close-hauled wind. With two reefs in both sails and playing the sheets in the strong gusts it was like dinghy sailing and with the toe-rail just above the water we were making a good 8knts peaking at 8.9knts shame we couldn’t make 9! We arrived at monemvasa by 15:00hrs and tied up next to a sign saying reserved for Hellenic coastguard but as no other places were available hoped it would be OK. When the harbour master came he explained it was for the Lifeboat, so immediately expected to have to move. However he continuedto say that the lifeboat was in Athens for servicing, had been for 3months and wasn’t sure if it was coming back at all. So we were fine. But it leaves you questioning the safety coverage out here in Greece, RNLI standards they are not. We spent three days exploring Monemvasia a Beautiful town Perched on a large rock in the sea, a bit like Gibraltar with a small causeway linking it to the mainland. No cars are allowed in the towns small alleyways giving it a feel of being back in time, especially at night in the dimly lit streets and squares. Pete spent hours photographing the place and could have stayed here much longer.