Cruising in Greece

Sailing TB from the Villaine River in 2009 and now cruising Greece in 2011.

Vessel Name: Tobin Bronze
Vessel Make/Model: 35ft cold moulded plywood sloop
Hailing Port: Bristol
Crew: Peter and Judy Ward
Launched in 1985. After one year sailing in the Bristol Channel, TB has been sailed for 17,700 plus miles by Peter, Judy, Charlotte, Ben and Sofie - firstly based in Dartmouth and then in South Brittany. [...]
03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros
30 October 2015
01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei
25 November 2013
19 July 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
01 December 2012
01 November 2012 | Koilada
29 September 2011
10 September 2011
15 June 2011 | British Columbia, Canada
20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
28 October 2009 | Cangas
17 September 2009
Recent Blog Posts
21 June 2017

Dodecanese Islands - Spring 2017

Judy and I arrived back at Leros airport at 08:15hrs on Wed 10 May 2017. We had a three and a half hour wait at Athens for the small commuter plane to Leros. A long wait but we enjoyed the views of various islands on the one hour flight to Leros. The boatyard had arranged for a hire car to be waiting [...]

03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros

Orei to Leros, Summer 2016

Judy and I returned to Greece on 17 April 2016. Sofie and one year old Edith met up with us at Heathrow and we flew off together. We picked up a hire car at Athens airport and drove to Orei on Evia Island, crossing on the Arkitsas to Edipsos ferry.

01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei

Summer 2014

19 July 2013

An Island Too Far.

For the first trip of the summer, I planned a nice little cruise down the west side of the Argolic Gulf, past Cape Maleas to north west Crete and along the coast to Iraklion. We were to meet up with Kevin and Lesley there and then continue the loop back to Koilada via Thira (Santorini) and Milos in the [...]

Peleponnese Part 2 - To Tolo

01 December 2012
Judy and I returned to Greece on 27th June 2012, flying in to Athens and then catching the bus down to Kalamata which took about four hours from the Peleponnese bus station. It was noticeably much hotter (30 deg C during the day) than when we left about four weeks earlier. And it grew hotter by the day as July progressed. I read somewhere recently that the temperatures were about 10 degrees hotter than the historical average. I can believe it! It was extremely hot by August.

After spending the first day settling in and stocking up the boat, we hired a car for a few days to explore the southern Peleponnese and Mani Peninsular. The ancient site of Messene was visited on Friday morning. It is a beautiful peaceful location and a visitor can easily see the layout from the well maintained site. Refer and

Open air forum at Messene
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

After a leisurely lunch we drove over the wild mountain range on the Mani Penisular to Mystras, a Byzantium hilltop city.
Walled hill city of Mystras.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

For further information, refer and

We arrived to find that the site had closed at 15:00hrs even though the guide stated that it was open until 20:00hrs. After a few cold beers under the shade of the trees down in Mystras town square, we decide to stay the night in the Mystras Inn and do the tourist bit next day. We had an evening meal in a tavern up the road towards the old city. The view across the valley towards Sparta was fantastic; which is more than we could say about the food!

Saturday morning we had a good meander (or climb as it is on the side of a mountain) around the site eventually making it to the citadel at the summit at an elevation of 590 metres. We returned to the boat in Kalamata Marina by 15:30hrs and eventually retired to the lovely cool verandah of the yacht club and the soothing comfort of cold beer.

On Sunday, we drove 80 km (2 hours) south down the Mani to the Diros Caves. This was an unforgettable experience, being punted along an underground river for over 1,500 metres. Rather than me trying to describe the caves, refer or watch this video. It is a bit long but shows the extent of the caves.

That evening we went to the tavern just next to the marina entrance where we were establishing ourselves almost as regulars with the extremely efficient Greek waitress. We watched the European Cup final where the Spanish team dispatched Italy 4 - 0 with their usual brilliance and flair. It bought back memories from 2010 when we were in Galicia watching Spain win the World Cup.

After returning the car to Kalamata Airport, we spent a couple of days on maintenance. We found a local refrigeration engineer who charged up the ice-box compressor. I had replaced the old 25 year old hoses and for the first time in a couple of years the ice-box was cooling properly. And it was needed as it was very hot on the boat inside the marina.

On Tuesday 03 July Charlotte and her friend Laura arrived at 22:00hrs on the bus from Athens. Next morning we left at 10:00hrs and motored for 6 hours in hot conditions before anchoring at Methoni.

Venetian fort at Methoni
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

We were one of twelve sailboats in the large anchorage.
Over the next few days we toured the old Venetian Fort, visited Finnakouda and O.Kitries and returned to Kalamata Marina by 19:15hrs on Saturday 07 July. Over the next couple of days the girls departed back to London, Judy and I did some more maintenance and stocked up the boat prior to departing south east towards Kithera.
We had a couple of overnight stops - firstly at Koroni and then Porto Kayio

Porto Kayio.
Sheltered anchorage at Porto Kayio.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

before reaching Kapsali harbour in southern Kithera. This is a beautiful harbor set under the guard of the Chora at Kithera high on the overlooking hilltop.

Kapsali Harbour.
Kapsali Harbour under the Chora at Kithera.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

After a couple of days in Kapsali and then in Avelmona, a warning of a pending Meltemi wind sent us scurrying out of Avelmona at 06:30hrs to get around Cape Maleas before the winds set in. For those unfamiliar with the Aegean, a Meltemi is the fresh to strong northerly wind which can blow for up to ten days at a time and can create very unpleasant sailing conditions around exposed headlands such as Cape Maleas. Even the name, Cape Maleas, causes butterflies in sailors tummies! Ref

As it turned out we motored past the Cape in calm conditions and were safely tucked up in Monemvasia Marina by 12:30hrs. Later that day we were joined by an Italian boat we spoke to in Avelmona and a friendly Greek boat from Kapsali. I was now back in my old stomping ground having first visited Monemvasia in 1974. There was no marina there then and it was very exposed in a Meltemi.

Walled city at Monomvasia with the Citadel high on the hill top in the upper town.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

Monday 16 July was the hottest day of the year and of course it was the day Jude and I picked to explore the upper town in Monemvasia. Ref

By 08:00hrs next day the wind was gusting 25 kts from the north and causing pandemonium for the 3 or 4 badly moored yachts on the outer wall of the marina. It is absolutely amazing how little consideration some charterers have for other boats as they try to barge in and don't care who they inconvenience. By the time the Meltemi blew itself out, it was Friday before we moved up the Gulf to Leonidrion for the night. When I told the lady from the taverna that we used to visit her father's taverna in 1974, she immediately presented us with a bag of fresh vegetables from her garden.

Taverna by harbour at Leonidrion.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

It was quite exciting on Saturday 21 July when Tobin Bronze dropped anchor among the fishing boats at Tolo (Tolon). I spent two summers in 1973 and 1974 living on a sail boat, Whimbrel, based there. It was in Tolo in 1974 where I met Judy.

Villa Otto courtyard.
Villa Otto courtyard.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

Unfortunately, Tolo has changed dramatically since then. Mass tourism has drastically altered the town. It used to be a lovely unspoilt fishing village but no longer ... even the beach has been eroded away to less than a quarter of its width. It was nice to have a few beers with Stavros and Yannis and reminisce about old times.

Stavros, Yannis & PW.
Stavros, Yanni & Peter drinking beer where the Paradosis Taverna used to be.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

After a couple of nights, we moved on to Nauplion which we also knew quite well. Judy departed to Athens and Wiltshire on Tuesday while I stayed on with the intention of doing maintenace. But it was so hot, 35 to 40 deg every day that I gave up and had TB lifted out of the water in Koilada for the winter.

Stavros, Yannis & PW.
Bourtzi in Nauplion harbour.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'July 2012'.

We would not be going back to Greece in 2012 as Ben was getting married in Montpellier in September.
On 02 August, I caught the hydrofoil from Ermioni to Athens and flew back to London. We had cruised 614 nM during the summer with 77 nights onboard.
Tobin Bronze's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 3 of 3
Tobin Bronze going out in the 1967 Melbourne Cup.
Sept 2017. Dodecanese Islands
17 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
Dodecanese Islands
23 Photos
Created 24 June 2017
Cruising from Orei. Evia to Leros in the Dodcanese in May, June
18 Photos
Created 30 October 2016
Launch from Orei, sail north to Thessaloniki, around the Khalkidhiki paninsula and Mt Athos to Nea Peramos.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2015
22 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
Re-launch in Kilada to Orei, Evia in early July
16 Photos
Created 22 July 2014
13 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A late summer cruise to the northern Cyclades
18 Photos
Created 20 January 2014
Cruise to Crete
11 Photos
Created 19 July 2013
Visits to Koilada May & june 2013
11 Photos
Created 9 June 2013
From Kalamata to the Argolic Gulf in July 2012
57 Photos
Created 12 January 2013
From Messolonghi to Kalamata May 2012
45 Photos
Created 10 January 2013
Italy to Zakinthos and Messolonghi
15 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli - three of the Aeolian Islands
30 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sardinia and Sicily Sept 2011
19 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing from Cartagena to Sardinia
24 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing TB from Faro to Cartagena in June and July 2011
64 Photos
Created 9 August 2011
Sailing on John's boat 'Derby Lass'
20 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
Delivery trip with Woody from Vigo to Lisbon when John Q. met us. Then to Ohao where Judy replaced John for a trip up the Guardina River.
41 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
June - July in the Rias Baixas, Galicia
26 Photos
Created 8 August 2010
Six days on the "Dunmow Flitch" between Braunston and Market Harborough in April 2010.
26 Photos
Created 1 June 2010
Lay up for winter in Cangas
17 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
Newport R.I.,Cuttyhunk Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
48 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
Highlights of the trip from Viveiro to Ria de Vigo.
34 Photos
Created 2 August 2009
Hugh pod of dolphins encountered 10:30hrs 04 June at approx 44º24'N; 006º32'W
18 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
Between 02 June and 04 June 2009 from La Roche Bernard to Ribadeo in Galicia, Spain
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 June 2009
Port de Foleux is about 15 miles up the Villaine River, 6 miles upstream from La Roche Bernard
4 Photos
Created 18 June 2009