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Ikaria - Agios Kirikos

19 December 2021
Jane Paulson
We had planned to winter here again this year but this time, we had arranged to rent a small apartment. It was very close to the marina so we could keep an eye on Stiletto.
We are very proud that we went through all of last winter “off grid" and although we had access to fresh water, we had to rely solely on our wind generator and solar panels to produce our electricity. It worked extremely well, it was a real challenge, one that we enjoyed immensely, but we don't feel that we want to do it again.
So, we arrived in Ayios Kirikos and waited for a slot to become available in the inner basin. This is the best place to be and we were hoping to get the same slot as last year but this involved waiting for a small pleasure boat to move.
The inner basin has now become home to lots of very small local leisure craft, a couple of fishing boats, and 2 sail yachts - one of which does precious little sailing - the other is a complete wreck that has not left its berth for a very, very long time.
All of the local boats should be moored in the port which is directly next door, but are they going to pay 25€ a year for a berth when they can get one in the marina for nothing??!!!!.
The fact that the marina is for visiting yachts has nothing to do with it. Sadly it is not managed and consequently a small minority group seem to think they have the right to keep their boats there. There are those who very occasionally go out on the water but will get one of their mates to put a dinghy in their slot to “save the place" so that no visiting yachts can use it. They have no right to do this.
Other boats are complete wrecks, are tied up taking up valuable space, and simply do not move at all.
Normally, locals will take their boats out of the water for the winter thus freeing up berths but this did not seem to be happening whilst we were there and time was marching on as we had flights booked for our trip back to the UK and we needed to get Stiletto settled in the inner basin before we left.
Andreas went to visit the mayor. They had quite a chat and Andreas explained about the number of boats that were occupying spaces but were simply not seaworthy and did not move. They discussed the fact that the marina was built at great EU cost but was now left to fall into total disrepair because it was not managed. The mayor put his hands up and just shrugged and whilst he recognises there is a problem, he clearly does not know how to sort it. He said the marina was the responsibility of his deputy, who he sent the next day to visit Andreas and he really just wasn't interested. We were shocked by the attitude of these highly influential people.
So. A team talk. We agreed that we were not prepared to leave our old girl in the main basin whilst we were away. The southerly storms are severe and water cascades over the sea wall at an alarming rate. We would spend the entire month that we were away fretting. We asked a couple of boat owners if they would move their boats and let us in but they refused. The irony being their boats were coming out of the water in a couple of weeks time anyway so swapping places for a short while seemed do-able, well to us anyway.
We decided that we didn't want to stay. We would return to Leros and take a berth in the marina there. We would have to pay but it is worth every penny. The marina is 5 star. Extremely safe and sheltered. Awesome facilities. A full working boatyard so we can get Stiletto lifted, scrubbed off and polished ready for the next season. There are excellent engineers that can fix absolutely anything and aside from all that, we really like Leros.
We called them. They had space for us. Two days later we were on our way.
It was with a very heavy heart that we left Ikaria. We had made many friends and had been looking forward to spending time with them over the winter months but the politics surrounding the marina, with the local Ikarian mafia at the heart of it all, left us feeling angry and quite frankly, disillusioned.
Muse for this post: Don't wait until your deathbed to tell people how you feel. Tell them to f**k off now!!!!! Once you hit a certain age, you become permanently unimpressed by a lot of s**t !!!
Comments
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 15 years and have owned Stiletto for 13 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]
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Stiletto's Photos -