I came across this picture
When I left for NL in June, I found a yard to put the boat ashore. He had a 6m wide entrance and my boat is 5,80m wide. . .
Close call. No room for fenders even.Another month again. Time flies, really. After staying for a week in a quiet bay just on my own, I was ready to move on. This bay had fishing nurseries. Small boats are sailing there twice a day to feed the fish.
I sailed to Poros. A lot of places in Greece have the same name, so is the case with the name Poros. This is the third time I visited a place called Poros. It is a secluded area with three little towns surrounding it. Every town with its own atmosphere. Lots of space for good anchorage.
The only disturbing things are the frequent ferries between the mainland and the little islands and ferries who sail further to Athens. These ferries are the big ones. It is not always clear where these ferries have their birthing, so lots of boats anchor in there way. I guess the captain has seen this a lot and is annoyed by this, so one day he steers right beside a yacht that is in his way. I saw a very big ferry very close to a very small yacht. I could not believe what I saw. When I was sitting on that yacht I would be very scared. The boat is on anchor, so you will not be able to move right away. But besides all that, it is a very nice stay, buzzing of boats and people. Nice shops and taverna’s. Local and touristic, so for everyone’s needs.
And the wind. It is almost always just a breeze. One of the rare places where the wind is not really an issue.
So I did some shopping, my fenders needed to be inflated, etc.
Finally I bought the book about sailing around Greece. I should have done that much more early, but I thought the internet will provide me with enough information. To have them both is so much better.
I changed my plans again. I am not going to Turkey or Crete. I am going to circumvent the Peloponnesus. The big peninsula. Pickup Ellen somewhere and go back or forth. She will be arriving in August. I really want to have a relaxing time with her, so I will look for an area where we can just enjoy. Later I discovered that this was a wise decision.
After all the shopping and exploring I left for Emioni. A little village further on South. A nice safe bay not to crowded. It is also a small peninsula. You can walk through the village from one coast to the other. Nice to see the different atmospheres.
The harbor was very small, the ferry could not turn in the harbor, but had to go out backwards first and then turn.
Just by examining the map I found this place and it turned out to be beautiful. I anchored behind a big mountain. So I had some shelter. You can just see my boat in the middle of this picture.
Every night there where live performances and I saw nice fireworks. It was not just for tourists I thought.
A couple of days later the wind shifted and it became untenable, so I moved to the other side and that was when I first discovered the beauty of this place. There was a very old village carved into the same mountain on this side. Surrounded by an ancient thick stone wall.
So all the performances and fireworks where indeed touristic.
I realized by looking at the weather maps that from now on the winds can be very strong. At the South of the Peloponnesos are some big bays and the tips form capes that are feared by many. Winds tend to go around the capes with a big force. So I will have to wait for the right moment to cross the capes. In the morning it is often quite calm, so I left early and crossed the most feared cape in very calm weather.
I discovered a small island on the other side with some bays where I should be able to spend the night. From here on there are less yachts. Most of the people on the yachts you meet are also living on it.
According to my new acquired book this island should have a small secluded bay with white beaches and almost no one around. That looks promising. On arrival there where beautiful beaches but also a lot of people.
They come from the mainland and spend the day here. Well, the water is crystal clear and the beaches are indeed beautiful. So I enjoyed it very much. The wind prediction permitted me to sail the next day across the bay to a small port, Porto Kayio.
After a very nice day of sailing I arrived in this small town. A couple of houses actually. The bay was completely closed in by mountains. With crystal clear water and some nice taverna’s on the beach, this is a nice place to wait for good winds.
Here I met an Australian guy, Marcel, with his son. He was born Dutch, but lived in Australia for 40 years now.
He bought a boat in Greece and was planning to sail it home. The trip should take one and a half year. Well, that is an impressive plan! We had some nice times and he also was going to Kalamata. So we left together and sailed around the second cape with almost no wind and ended up in Gerolimenas.
Not a good anchorage all the time, but with the predicted calm weather it should be good. The book warned about rocks on the ground, so the anchor should be checked. I dropped it, it looked good, but to be certain I snorkeled above it and saw nothing but flat rocks. I had taken the precaution of staying far away from other boats. So in case the anchor would glide to another hole, I would not have to worry.
A small village with houses right at the sea. A bit like Venice. What a beautiful place to live! The cliffs are quite steep here. We spotted a trail and Marcel decided to go up. I followed . . . on my slippers. I did survive, but my slippers did not. Nice view over the region though.
Because the weather predictions looked good I suggested to sail the next day. Marcel agreed and we left early. Trying to get to Kalamata. This is the biggest city on the Peloponnesos . There is a marina, but way to expensive. According to Marcel you should be able to use the commercial port instead. With barely wind we moved slowly, but as I experienced earlier, it will pick up during the day and I had a very pleasant trip. My water maker was ready for use, so I turned it on for the first time to make a serious amount of water. And it did! The water tasted better then from a marina. It did produce 50L during this trip, all on solar power. Wow!
The coast of the Peloponnesos is rough. I guess it is the wind and waves that makes it this way.
On arrival in Kalamata I spotted the commercial port and inside I saw lots of space for mooring alongside. A man on the key assisted me, so that was very convenient. I just had the boat ready when the Port Police arrived. I had to go to the office with all the paperwork. Well, that is the first time. I created a transition log with trips documented on it and with all the papers, certificates, etc. I left for the office. “First time visiting Greece?”. “Yes”. So fill in this form, go to the post office with this form and come back.
You get another form and have to come back the next day.
These kind of formalities I did not yet encounter. Later on I discovered I was lucky. A Russian guy had to stay here for two months. A French couple did not have the right paperwork from their insurance and where hold for a couple of days, a fisherman from Sudan was laying here for 9 months. Sometimes those Greeks can make your life very hard. I had anticipated for this and before I started this sailing tour I gathered all the papers I could think of. Oh, and I have a color laser printer on board. Very handy in case you miss something.
The city is a modern city, a bit like Rotterdam, but much smaller. Very unusual for Greece. But also very handy. All kinds of shops, even a Cash&Carry. I finally was able to buy cannes of decent coffee.
Marcel does a lot of fishing while he is sailing and offered me some fresh raw tuna he caught himself. I always wanted to try to catch some too and together we went to a shop where I purchased all the tools necessary.
I heard about the techniques to get the beast inside. Which will take an hour or so. Tuna’s are very strong, heavy and fast. Hmm, I will see. 300m of line, a strong rod and reel, some special designed plastic fishes and a big hook. That should do it. In the Mediterranean there should be tuna in summer.
Staying here is nice. Some boats with people I like, nice city and quiet weather. Here I will wait for Ellen to arrive.
Marcel bought himself a parachute for sailing downwind. It looked good, but not easy to manage.