Sailing Greece – The good, the bad and the Meltemi
Hi everyone in this Sailing Greece episode we begin by highlighting the recent catastrophic earthquake that shook both Turkey and Syria.
As a channel we want to use our reach productively and for the greater good in some way. We felt that this was a good opportunity to inspire people to give in some way.
As a sailing family living in Greece we often meet fellow cruisers who either live in or sail Turkish waters close by. Though we haven’t ventured across the border to Turkey just yet, we feel a connection with the people there. We and also have close family in neighbouring countries.
What we aim to do as a channel is bring you all a bit of light in a world that can at times feel very dark.
Moving on to sailing life in Greece and the episode…
It was bittersweet leaving Kos after a surprisingly wonderful time there. I was apprehensive about visiting the island beforehand. In my younger days I had visited Kardamena and recalled it being a throng of drinkers and not much to shout about. However we were more than pleasantly surprised when we landed in Holly and began exploring.
There is no doubt that Kos is clean, welcoming and idyllic nowadays and a far cry from the previous 18-30’s vibe. We would 100% return if only to take an enjoyable reprieve from the relentless Meltemi.
It was a tough call as we set sail. The winds had picked up and as usual the prediction was pretty ‘off’. This was actually due to be our first leap towards crossing the Aegean and heading over to the Ionian area of Greece. We soon discovered that this was probably not the best time of year to be picking that battle! The mid-summer winds can lead to very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous sailing conditions.
We battled on and eventually dropped the hook in Tilos before all hell broke loose. Every vessel was herded into the port to shelter from the onshore waves and winds. We awoke the next day both frazzled and claustrophobically sandwiched between lots of boats. Most cruisers are on holiday and enjoying long lazy lie-in’s. We were chomping at the bit to leave again before the 9am sunrise winds pick up and we might become stuck.
Full of greek pastries we eventually picked up the anchor & plodded on once again. This time we made a calculated call to head to a sheltered anchorage at nearby Chalki. Along the way Ross demonstrated how to fit preventer line and I managed to squeeze in a nice yoga flow.
WHAT A DELIGHT
Chalki is easily one of our favourite islands of all time to visit. Having sailed almost 100 of the Islands here in Greece this is a weighty statement to make!
But if you love quaint greek architecture, Italian style waters-edge buildings, delicious seafood and crystal clear waters chalk is for you! An island not to be missed and we were mesmerised by the town.
The only downside from a cruisers perspective might be the price of provisioning so be sure to fill up your storage cupboards in advance.
As a result of experiencing some belting winds we recommend the spot we chose for stern-to anchoring (near the port). The gusty but great holding at the south-west Pondamos anchorage is also good.
The beaches here are pristine. Even though we visited in the height of summer it never felt overcrowded and our anchorage was pleasantly occupied. This is an advantage of sailing to the more remote and unique islands of Greece.
One thing we will never forget about this particular island visit was the extreme heat we experienced. Some days up in the forties (Celsius) and we dipped in the sea numerous times throughout the night in an attempt to sleep more soundly. The wind itself felt like a hairdryer and gave little reprieve.
Much love to you guys, and as always, thanks for being there and keeping the dream alive for us.
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