“Chewing gum’s not a good look,” said Baz as we reviewed the video. I have to agree, so no more gum on film!
The trip from Serifos to Kythnos, both islands in Greece, was a pleasant five hour passage.
We motored, motor sailed and sailed with variable wind until we arrived at Fikiadha bay and dropped 38m of chain in 6 metres of beautiful clear blue water.
Fikiadha bay is drop dead gorgeous with water the colours of aqua, turquoise and ultramarine, depending on how shallow it is and how much of the sandy bottom is shining through.
The bay is cut in half by a sand spit/sand bar. There are three rows of beds with tables and umbrellas and cost for hire per day is 30 Euros for the front row and 20 Euros for the other two rows. Thank goodness there’s a barman to bring you a drink to help you get over the fee!
Baz and I met some lovely people while we were there:
Hugh and Claudia Mair (from their SY MairMade) are from Texas and they kindly took us out for a delicious meal at the taverna, with their boating companions. It’s always great to catch up with other sailors, and when they’ve been following us, there’s a feeling of connection the moment we meet up!
Jeff and Lena Bey are from Levittown, PA, in the USA. We met them at the hot springs (I’ll tell you about those next) and had a great chat. When we arrived back at A B Sea a crew member on a sparkling tender approached and handed us a bag with four bottles of very fine wine.
An accompanying note told us it was from Jeff and Lena and they’re chartering a huge super yacht for Jeff’s retirement. We weren’t able to say thank you in person however as they left for Turkey as soon as their tender returned. Happy retirement Jeff!
Gerd was anchored behind us and he kindly shared information with us of a boatyard 2Km north of Limni on the island of Evia, where we may be able to stay over winter and do work on A B Sea. Of course, this is Brexit dependent as we’re travelling on our British passports, so we’ll let you know as soon as we have definite plans.
A visit to natural hot springs
On the other side of the spit is a little casually walled off pool (just big enough for four people to sit in). And this pool is special because it has hot water bubbling up through the sand! Baz and I had an enjoyable 15 minute walk up and over the hill from the bay where we were anchored. We watched a super yacht mooring stern to with two lines tied to rocks, ferried to shore by a crew member in a very nice jet ski.
There were a few other yachts moored there and we spent some time standing on the cliff’s edge looking out at the picture postcard view. We could see white caps on the sea outside the bay, indicating wind of at least 30 knots from the north, so we’d have to wait a while before heading to mainland as north is the direction we wanted to go!
The water in the hot springs was, yes, hot. Well, a balmy 35oC / 95oF and very enjoyable. Baz was surprised it didn’t smell of sulphur like other springs he’d visited in the past. I was personally glad it didn’t smell of bad eggs, and relaxed back in what Baz described as his “first bath in two years!”
These little springs were popular and it wasn’t long before others were queuing up to enjoy a par-boil. We had a nice chat with a South African lady before meeting Lena and Jeff and their daughters. What a lovely family.
Meeting people is one of the parts of travelling in A B Sea that I very much enjoy.
The best dinghy dock ever
Later that afternoon we took the dinghy 1.78nm to the nearby town of Merichas for provisions as the following day was Sunday and we weren’t sure whether the shops would be open. Merichas is a small fishing town that hugs the harbour and we moored our dinghy on the wall by what we can only describe as the best dinghy dock ever! Why? It had steps. So we practically glided out of the dinghy and up the steps onto land. I felt almost graceful.
The first supermarket we saw was closed but there were two others near the beach front. There were a few beach side tavernas open and we stopped at one and sampled a portion of grilled octopus between us with a couple of beers, before getting our provisions and returning to A B Sea.
After spending four nights in beautiful Fikhiada, we took advantage of the change in wind and for five hours enjoyed a pleasant sail of 15-20 knots on a starboard tack. About half an hour before arriving at Sounion on the mainland, we put the sails away and motored into the very popular bay.
Sounion - did I say it was popular?
It is. This is the last bay at the south east tip of the Greek mainland which boasts Athens and its harbour Piraeus further to the north west. Sounion is a great stopping point to wait for the best wind to carry you either north east into the Evia channel, or south and east towards the Cyclades islands. As Sounion is very close to the many marinas in Athens, there are also a large proportion of charter yachts that are either heading out on their sailing holiday or returning the yacht to the charter company.
Because of this we noticed many of the yachts that anchored in Sounion bay didn’t know how to anchor properly and often dropped anchor, looked down the anchor chain, then left on their dinghy for a taverna on the mainland without even pulling back on the anchor to check it was set.
Baz in his wisdom stuck to the outside of the ‘herd’ and also got in as far as possible to the beach to prevent anyone anchoring in front of us and either snagging our chain or dragging anchor towards us.
But I’ve got ahead of myself!
I’ll tell you how awesome it was to be on the mainland and who we met there next week.