El Gato sailed two days from Taormina Sicily to Greece, 300 miles, and it was Christy’s first experience for an overnighter. The wind cooperated and we had great sailing conditions! Catching a tuna was a bonus!
Upon arrival we sailed under a beautiful bridge with El Gato colors so we pulled out our SDYC burgee, and headed to Navpaktros.
Navpaktros has Venetian walls and a castle with cobblestone stairs winding through the city to reach it.
Seeing El Gato down below, the only boat in the harbor (again), is something we never tire of.
After putting Christy on a bus to Athens, we sailed towards the Corinth Canal and were lucky to enter without having to wait, and entered all alone, close to sunset. It was stunning.
We met our next guests, Cheri and Jeff Husted, Megan Bryan and Bruce Peeling in Voiliagmeni, at the Astri Marina, and set off to see the full moon rise at Sounin over the Temple to Poseidon.
First Greek Island stop was Kythnos.
We found a nice harbor all to ourselves.
The next stop was Sifnos, and as we passed Sefros the wind topped out at 42 knots!
Grateful we had 2 reefs on, and the small solent up. The wind increases near the islands and this time it blasted. We were never overpowered going downwind and the cat is so stable the guests were comfy and happy. We felt really good about buying our Catana. El Gato performed well!
Figuring out where and how to anchor in the bay was another story. With strong gusts at 360 degrees we finally decided to tie up to rocks. By nightfall there was a line of boats along the rocks.
The buses on the islands are cheap and nice and take you everywhere so we hopped on board and explored.
Met Americans Barbara, Lilly, and Elouise on the bus and invited them to come jump on the trampoline. Small world so of course we know some of the same folks from the midwest!
The sail to Milos was easy breezy. We anchored at Adamas, the big harbor and played with our toys.
Next day we did a circumnavigation of Milos and found the caves that were in all the travel brochures. Milos is known for mining. The natural beauty when you leave the main town is gorgeous.
This channel/cave was our favorite to swim through and under.
Day trippers loaded up on a small sailboat to come see the caves.
Spent the night under the stars in a pirate cove, and had a BBQ with young men from Athens who were chartering for the first time. Magical evening eating our tuna, their mixed grill, watermelon, and all while sitting on rock ledges that pirates used to hide on. The proof was there was a rock cleat the pirates carved to tie up their boats. The pirates would light candles and spread them around to make it look like a city to lure the ships in. Then pounce.
The next morning was hectic though. The wind came up hard and even though we were in a cove it swirled and blasted and when Eric went up to see if all was OK he saw the boys boat had lost it’s stern line and was dangerously close to being loose. He shined our spot light on them and one of them woke up. Since they were up until 3 and it was only 5 they were not easy to rouse. After lots of maneuvering and close calls with us they bolted out of the small enclave into the Meltimi (strong Greek winds) to anchor. We finally slept.
Today we put our friends on the fast ferry to Athens and are looking forward to riding around the island tomorrow on a buggy!