Slow Sailing

25 February 2020
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15 December 2018 | Washington, NC
03 November 2018 | Thetford, VT
21 September 2018 | Bradford, VT
13 August 2018 | Thetford, VT

Sailing In The Cyclades

16 June 2016 | Syros, Cyclades
Heather
We've seen a few more nice places in Greece since the last time I wrote and we're now in the Cyclades- a group of islands in the Aegean Sea that are noted for the pictures you see with the whitewashed buildings and churches with the blue roofs, the old windmills and lots of dry landscape. They have really pretty anchorages but some are quite rolly, and they have mountainous landscapes with crystal clear water below. We took a snorkel yesterday and saw things like decorator crabs, starfish, brightly colored bristle worms, fish, etc and the water color & clarity is great but there is something missing........ coral! It is great to see so many people swimming here though- everyone is in the water and it is lovely, just not full of life. You certainly can see a long way on land, because there are few trees here. The goats huddle along endless stone walls for shade and what they're eating I don't know. On the day we sailed over we knew it would blow 20-25 but this was fine since we wanted to sail and it was downwind. But by the time we got here we had 30 gusting 40's and we were reaching in big seas. No problem, the boat was totally fine and even though it's been a year since we've had anything much for wind or seas, we didn't miss a beat. Just like riding a bike, you don't forget. Nonetheless, we were glad to see the harbor come into view and get the anchor set. We had to remind ourselves that we do this for fun. By the next morning, it was beautiful again & calm. We could see the anchor from the side of the boat.
From Greek Islands

To backtrack a little, since I already had this written... after a day of biking around on the island of Poros we left and headed to Porto Kheli which is on the Peloponnisos. It is a good anchorage and there was supposedly some wind predicted. We wanted the boat safe so we could take the ferry to the island of Spetses, regardless of the wind direction. We had a nice sail over a distance of about 25 miles. Shortly after arriving, we actually got a much needed rain shower to wash off the boat- the first rain we'd seen. The anchorage was really pretty and the holding excellent. The town on the other hand was just OK but it served its purpose because the ferry was super convenient.

We had such a wonderful time hiking on the island of Hydra that we wanted to tour its sister, Spetses which was a 10 minute speed ferry away. Both of these islands became wealthy with shipbuilding in the 1700's and the infrastructure of the main harbor town on Spetses has lovely mansions, buildings and stone pathways from that time, not to mention a pictureseque loop road that circles the island that is perfect for biking. Once we left the outskirts of the town, it was us & our bikes on this quiet, paved road weaving in & out of the indentations of the coast. There is nothing else there. We can always find plenty of open, quiet space.
From Greek Islands


The wind never materialized and we left the following day to head up the Argolic Gulf to the town of Navplio. We motored in the morning calm and made water the whole way up. We are on 100% watermaker since there is generally a water shortage in Greece in the summer and no rain to speak of. The cruising guide listed this town as a real gem and it is exactly that. We had at first planned to anchor here, being afraid to med moor but after getting the anchor all set and coming ashore, we asked the port captain if it was OK and he said in so many words, that no, it was not OK, we should med moor like normal people do. He said a cruise ship was expected and we would be in the way. Dang. We went back to the boat and got all the junk rigged such as fenders, lines and plan ready to move onto the dock. By then the afternoon breeze had kicked in and it felt even more uncomfortable but actually wind on the stern makes us back up straighter so we made it in to the dock with some new friends waiting there to take our lines. Once tied up, med mooring is great, even though we look like monkeys getting on & off our boat with no passarail- we use the dinghy to straddle between the boat & the quay. Sure enough, first thing the following morning a cruise ship ghosted in and we understood more clearly what the port cap meant. It was great being at the dock!
From Greek Islands
From Greek Islands

Navplio is a lovely Greek town with 3 fortresses, one which is at the entrance to the harbor, one sort of ruined one on the point, and one really nice one called Palmidi, that towers over the old city and the yachts on the quay. You can tour it too after climbing 1000 stairs. It is the largest fort we've ever been to and had 8 bastions. At night it was all lit up and lent such a great feel to the area. The old town was so OLD and full of narrow staircases, shiny stone plazas from years of foot wear and beautiful buildings. From Greek Islands


From Navplio we took a bus to an ancient site called Mycenae. Unlike the others we've been to on the mainland like Delphi & Olympia, this is from an even older time period so the ruins were more ruined and there were no columns or large structures to frame in a photo. But, the openness of the area was pretty and its always interesting to then go into the museum where all the artifacts that have been excavated from the site are displayed. Clay vases, figurines, jewelry and metal weapons were buried with the dead in several tombs.

We've been throwing various boat projects into the mix since we're still finding things that need doing. I'm working through servicing all the winches (we have 9 onboard) and we've changed all the fuel filters since the generator still seems to be stuttering. The filters didn't help so Jon was thinking of replacing some of the fuel lines on the gen-set too it since they're old and feeling soft like they might collapse under demand. He felt like we'd never be able to find that small of hose in Navplio. But, the first auto shop we stopped at had this pleasant customer named Yannis who knew English and could do the translating. Once he found out what we were looking for, he even offered to drive us over to the place we could get it! So we hopped in and he brought us over & sure enough, they had the hose. What we thought would take us several hours we got done in less than one. When Yannis found out how we came to be in Greece, he was so interested in knowing more that he bagged fixing his car and he took us out for a coffee and a stroll so we could talk instead! We had a great time and it was so nice of him to help us out like that. He & his wife are going to be vacationing in one of the Cyclades soon but we're not sure we can sail over to it- it is too small to have a good anchorage.
From Greek Islands
From Greek Islands

We finally broke down and bought a big bag of dry cat food yesterday because we're tired of seeing cats that could use a good meal and not having anything to give them. Our first little cutie was this black, friendly cat. She would sit in the shade of people's beach umbrellas at our anchorage hoping for a snack. In general though, the Greek people do put out food for the animals, it is just that there are pockets where maybe people don't, or maybe it isn't regular enough. Its funny, this catfood we got is made in Italy and on the bag it says "Original Italian Quality" and then it says "Not tested on Animals". Huh?

We're a little nervous about heading too far east because the summer wind in these parts is called the Meltemi and once it gets going in July, it blows out of the NW most of the time until October. So we might turn and head in a different direction rather than do more Cyclades given that we have a pretty good feel for them now. It is beautiful in its starkness, it's hot during the day when you're out in the sun but it cools down so much at night that we're fighting for the blanket so that is good. The water colors are striking and villages are cute. There are lots of charter boats but also lots of private boats sailing around. So far there has always been plenty of space in the anchorages. Its been great to experience this area.
From Greek Islands
Comments
Vessel Name: EVERGREEN
Vessel Make/Model: Tashiba 40 Hull #158
Hailing Port: E. Thetford Vermont
Crew: Heather and Jon Turgeon
Extra:
Hello! We are Heather & Jon Turgeon of S/V Evergreen. We started sailing in 1994 on our first boat, a Cape Dory 31, then sought out a Tashiba 40 that could take us around the globe. It has been our home for 19 years. We've thoroughly cruised the East coast and Caribbean and just completed our [...]
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