Barry's Blog #99 - New friends, fair winds and one last push north

October 4, 2019

The wind gods seemed to be aiming their fury at a different part of the Aegean Sea than the area we were in and that gave us another opportunity to climb further north in our seemingly never ending quest to reach the Greek mainland.

 

At 7.30am on Wednesday the 4th of September 2019 we weighed anchor and headed away from the island of Serifos in a generally northern direction. I say generally because once we stuck the nose of A B Sea out there, the reality of the wind direction and strength was quite different to what the wind forecast websites had led us to believe.

 

There was a constant 15 knots coming directly from the north and we really didn't fancy the idea of motoring into that for 5 or 6 hours. A decision was made to bring out the sails and see how far we could climb in a north west direction. That worked fairly well and we got about a third of the way to Kythnos, then the wind dropped to a more reasonable 10 knots and that gave us the opportunity to put away the sails and motor the rest of the way to our preferred anchorage in the north west sector of the island of Kythnos.

 

 

By the time we arrived 5 hours later the north wind had picked up to 30 knots, definitely not as forecast. Fortunately the anchorage was well protected and we slowly manoeuvred around the busy anchorage looking for a good spot. Once we found it our anchor went in first time and in 30 knots of wind that gives you an all round good feeling.

 

Best Greek anchorage yet

 

This was a picture postcard perfect anchorage and we could easily see why it was so popular. Not only did it offer really good protection from the strong Meltemi wind blowing from the north, it also provided good holding and all round general protection from most swell conditions.

 

The anchorage is Fikiadha Bay and it's split into two by a sandy beach that reaches out from the main island to a much smaller island just a short distance to the south.

 

 

There's a fair sized taverna on the hillside near to the sandy beach and if you're feeling extravagant you can shell out 30 Euros (AU$48.50) per day to enjoy the privilege of renting 2 sun beds and a small drinks table shaded from the Greek sunshine by a palm frond umbrella. That price is if you want to be on the front row. If you're in row 2 or 3 it's a mere 20 Euros (AU$32.25) a day.

 

Another attraction of this anchorage is a natural hot spring which bubbles up from deep underground right on the edge of the beach. It's not the most spectacular hot spring I've ever been too but it was nice to lay down in fresh water heated to a very comfortable 35C (95F).

 

At the hot spring we got talking to Jeff and Lena Bey from Levittown, PA, USA. They had chartered 

a huge super yacht for Jeff's retirement celebration and were taking a month long trip to check out parts of Greece and Turkey. After a long chat we left them and their family to enjoy the hot spring and then wandered back along the narrow path which meanders around the bay.

 

All that walking in the Greek midday sun had built up a thirst so we stopped at the Taverna for a couple of cold beers before getting back on board A B Sea.

 

 

We literally had only been on board for 2 minutes when a big tender almost a third of the length of A B Sea pulled up alongside and the skipper dressed in whites handed over a bag containing 4 bottles of lovely wine and a note from Jeff and Lena wishing us a safe onward journey.

 

Later that afternoon we heard our names being called as a guy on a SUP (stand up paddleboard) approached the back of the boat. His name was Hugh Mair and he and his wife Claudia had been following our adventures of YouTube for quite a while. We invited Hugh on board for a beer and a chat. It's always great to randomly meet up with our viewers, subscribers and Patreons.

 

Later as Hugh was leaving, he invited us out to the taverna that night for dinner and we got to meet his wife Claudia and the rest of the guests who were sailing with them on their yacht MairMade.

 

 

Time to head further north

 

Watching the weather forecasts over the next couple of days we saw another break in the Meltemi wind and decided that was our chance to make one big dash and finally get to the Greek mainland.

 

But before that could happen we needed some fresh supplies and the nearest town was 1.5 nautical miles away by dinghy. Arriving in Merichas we found it to be a pretty fishing town and home to a couple of ferries which bring goods and people to the island on a daily basis.

 

 

We arrived just after midday on a Saturday and thought we might be out of luck as the supermarket on the quayside was closed. Luckily we found another 2 supermarkets further along that were still doing a brisk trade. Noting their location we thought we'd have a quick look around the bay and stop for a light lunch of grilled fresh octopus and a couple of cold beers before we bought the items we needed and headed back to A B Sea.

 

The following morning the wind dropped to a very comfortable 10 knots and by 08:15 we were on our way for the 5 hour trip to Sounion bay on the southern tip of mainland Greece between the Aegean Sea and the Saronic. At one point the wind picked up to a pleasant 15 knots and we managed to get both sails out. But as always favourable winds never last too long and we ended up motoring the last half hour into Sounion where we dropped anchor under the inspiring sight of the temple of Poseidon perched high on the hill overlooking the bay.

 

 

But I'll tell you all about that next week.

 

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

 

 

 

Link to Barry's next blog

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