12 August 2019
Nerida Matthews | 30 degrees, wing 15 knots
We left Agathonisi with the wind blowing 20 knots from behind for the 2 hour trip to Arki. A pod of about 12 dolphins joined us for a short while, always good to have them as company.
We arrived in the tiny fishing harbour on Arki and were lucky to find one place left. The harbour has room for about ten yachts and a couple of tour boats. Tour boats bring people in from the neighbouring islands of Lipsi and Patmos, where they stay for an hour swimming or enjoying the hospitality of the two tavernas and one café. There must be significant coordination as one boat leave another arrives a few minutes later.
In the evenings the sleepy town square comes alive. Young children with nets try and catch small fish, while others kick a soccer ball. People emerge from their accommodation or yachts to the colourful tavernas. Last night a wedding party arrived by boat from nearby Lipsi island and celebrated at one of the restaurants. We were seated by the waters edge overlooking a display of tiny boats made by local school children. They were tethered in the water and moved in unison in the breeze, very charming. Fish is the main thing on the menu, along with local goat stew and barbequed meat. We enjoyed fried local cheese, an Arki salad (consisting of tomato, cucumber, caper leaves, olives, crisp aniseed flavoured bread and local cheese, which was too big for two people and probably could have served eight), baby shark with garlic sauce and the biggest pork chop you have ever seen. Delicious but way too much food. We think we will have to start ordering only one main course!
This morning we are sitting on the boat enjoying the quite of the harbour. A fisherman has just speared an octopus in the rocks, another fisherman is sorting through his nets and a young boy from one of the tavernas is pounding an octopus on the concrete to tenderise it. Today we will head down to the south end of the island to a bay set in amongst small islands with crystal clear water.