Our 40th Island in Greece and 39 years since I was first here!

The cathedrals and churches of the Chora above and the pretty coloured houses of Klima on the shore of Nisos Milos.

We left Milos after an informative morning at the Mining Museum and headed to an anchorage about 15 miles east.  We anchored over incredible sand and enjoyed some snorkelling.  We saw a wide variety of fish and even an octopus.

The jagged pyroclasticfloe rocks of Nios Poliagos.

Next day, we headed to Ios in the southern Cyclades and arrived bang on our ETA.

We anchored in Milapotas Bay over white sand and clear waters.  We discovered that Keira and her group of hen party friends were staying very close to the bay so we met up for a beer in the evening.

It was so great to see them all.

The view through the arched door of Port Ios

The following day Ian and I took a bus to Ios port and I tried in vain to orientate myself with my 39 years old memories.  It all seemed to have changed quite a bit.  There are certainly lots more buildings in the bay to the north and the dirt road as was, is now a proper road.

Church of Port Ios headland.
One of about 7 seven old windmills at the top of the CHora

We walked up to the Chora (litter picking the plastic debris on route as it is Trash Tuesday again) and had a wander round.  It wasn’t quite as charming as I remembered although there were some pretty bougainvillea shrouded squares, bonny churches and old windmills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and Steph in Crete 2011

Of course, we had a pitta gyros and toasted my best friend, Stephanie Minto, with whom I shared a good few gyros during that summer of ’79.

 

 

Meanwhile, there was lots of communication back and forth between us and Erin as her plans for her plans for Grandma’s 80th birthday trip to Wimbledon came to a head.  Her source for tickets didn’t work out; then Grandma missed her train.

But it all worked out alright in the end and they are about to crack a bottle of wine on Henman Hill !

It was a massive amount of organisation for Erin to do whilst working many hours at the restaurant too.  She sorted travel, accommodation, transport to Wimbledon, parking, tickets, picnic and even strawberries and cream.

What a fantastic memory making day!

Sun shining through the pretty church tower.

 

 

Storm bound in Monemvasia

The Gibraltar of the East. The rock of Monemvasia.

Having arrived in the sweltering heat it soon became apparent that Monemvasia didn’t want us to leave.  The wind changed to a strong Westerly, grew up into a boisterous teenager and went through full blown adolescence in the course of the following few days.

All our fenders deployed in fending us off the quay.
The eastern breakwater. Well protected but right up on the quay.

And so here we were.  Pinned against the harbour breakwater with gusts of up to 50 knots rocking us over and slamming the cutlery drawer open and shut in the throes of a proper teenage temper tantrum.  Thunder and lightning overhead have caused some yachts to lay chain from boat to sea bed to provide a possibility of earthing any strikes.  All of us have put our electronic items in the oven!

One night we all watched anxiously as two charter boats with a large group of Russians aboard demonstrated a Charter boat cha-cha in the middle of the night.  Poor things.  They ended up side-to the very end of the pontoon in howling winds after some impressive midnight maneuverings. 

 

 

 

The up side has been that we have met a great bunch of people.  Some waiting to head south, some, like us, to head east.

Trash Tuesday.

There have been; Brits, French, German, Dutch, Polish.  We have completed a Trash Tuesdays harbour plastic pick with everybody (Four large bags of plastic most of it in minuscule pieces, about 15kg in all) and had coffee and drinks on various boats.  There was a breakwater party one evening and a barbecue the next.  We have all been out for a meal to the T’Akrogiali taverna run by Tsakis, who is a delight, and whose Mama does all the cooking.

In between fending ourselves off the quay, we have had the chance to walk around the very pretty village of old Monemvasia (It is like a smaller and more rustic Dubrovnic) and do a circular walk around the jagged rock.  We have restocked our provisions, gas and water supplies.

 

We have seen the giant loggerhead turtles that frequent the bay daily.  They have distinct markings so we know it is the same two that return.  They gracefully swim around and pop up from time to time for a breath.  I was cutting Ian’s hair the other day whilst sitting on the back of the boat and one of them swam right under his toes. 

 

Tomorrow the wind will have died down a little which means that:

 

A) We can actually get off the quay

B) We can sail most of the way to Milos, due east of here.

Of course, we will have to come back this way in order to sail back to MdR in Sicily.  So far this year, despite the best laid plans, because of unfavourable winds, we have still seen very little of the Peloponnese, the Argolic gulf or the Saronic gulf.