Luckily the Medicane passed us by, and we breathed a sigh of relief.
We set off the day after from the complete calm of our hurricane hole on Astipaliea and headed North to meet up with Fly the Coop who had been tucked into a small harbour in south Naxos.
Initially, we made great speed as the wind was reasonably strong, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining so we felt content even though the sea was increasingly lumpy. Suddenly, the head sail went all baggy and we realised that the halyard had snapped – again!
We pulled down the head sail and packed it up on deck. Ian hanked on the storm jib to the fore stay and we cracked on north. With such a reduced amount of sail we were a bit slower so we decided to peel off at Amorgos and anchor for the night there. We were circling around some potential anchorages when we saw a flash of a flipper in the water. At first we thought it was a turtle but then we noticed a head and whiskers, and the distinctive tail fin of a seal. It is extremely rare to see them so we felt very fortunate. We tucked in amongst the fishing boats in a little bay which was fantastically sheltered from the incoming swell.
We had just put the boat to bed when the rain came. We rustled up some comforting pasta and enjoyed a solitary night.
The next morning was a little gloomy to start with and then the sun came out and it turned into a glorious day. After fettling the genoa by hauling it up on the starboard spinnaker halyard, we motored across to Iraklia and met up with Bryn and Jill – We are now a mini flotilla. It is so nice to have sailing buddies with whom to discuss weather, routes and plans, and drink wine!
In the morning, we walked up to the pretty village of Panagia on Iraklia, a distance of about 4km and we didn’t see a single vehicle. The views were amazing to the east. We arrived hoping to find a cafe or taverna and enjoy a slap up brunch. Nothing was open. Luckily, the village shop and bakery was open so we bought bread, salami, tomatoes, cheese and pre-wrapped croissants and sat down to a hearty picnic instead. (At a staggering cost of E28 !) We were just grateful to have something to eat. As we came out of the shop a pick up truck was driving by so we hitched a ride back to the port. It was fun to be bouncing along in the back of the pick up.
Next stop, was a late lunch anchorage off some impressive rocks just to the north. We would never have been brave enough to anchor there on our own.
After an overnight stop in Epano Koufonissia, we motored north to Rinia and anchored there before a final quick sail north to Tinos where we sat out strong winds (50kts) and awaited our guests.