We needed to get ourselves more to the west to get out of the strong northerly wind systems through the Cyclades, so headed off back towards the island of Kythnos. We revisited the bays of Stefanou on the east coast and Sandbar Bay on the west coast over a couple of days as we positioned ourselves for the step across to the eastern Peloponnese around the Poros peninsula.
It's about 50 miles so we left early, anchor up at 06.30 and breakfast once the sails are set and we are underway on our course. The main complication of the trip is that you need to cross the end of the TSS (the big ship motorway) heading south from Athens. There's a lot of ships heading through these waters, we had up to three vessels bearing down on us from different directions at times. However, with the AIS system that shows heading and speed information it's much easier than it used to be just with Mk1 Eyeball. We had to alter course/slow down twice for cargo vessels that were determined not to shift their course by even a degree but comfortably kept the big stuff at a decent passing distance.
With a F2 forecast most of the voyage was under motor but we had the occasional period of 12-14 knots on the beam and the genoa came out to support the mainsail. Halfway across Chris noticed that we had a small split in the mainsail near to a batten car, luckily just below the first reefing point, so the main was reduced for the rest of the journey (and until we can get the tear sewn up).
Poros is a very busy port with hundreds of yachts and ferrys charging around the harbour. We chose to stop initially just outside the main area in a small bay on the Peleponese mainland called Aliki. It's a pretty place when you arrive from the sea, much greener than the islands of the Cyclades and with space for a number of yachts with reasonable shelter. We will use this to rest tonight and then take a look around the Poros area to see what the berthing options are and also find a good bay to hide in when more strong winds come through again on Thursday.
The view as you enter Poros harbour from the east
It's been a year of hiding from the winds here in the Aegean. We knew there was more wind but hadn't factored in the number of days when you really can't leave the harbour, around 40% of the time it's not been sensible to go sailing so far this season.
Main Picture: our anchorage at Aliki, Splice second left of the boats