Summer 2006- From Kalamaki to Kos and From Kos to Syros
I would like to describe this trip in order to help also other sailors or people who plan to make a similar trip to find the best places and to share my experience in order to avoid mistakes that I have made during my trip.
We started from Kalamaki the home port of Alma Libre with just two of us and we made a wonderful sail to Tzia (KEA). This is always the first stop for all boats heading to the Cyclades. It is always nice and friendly stop with good food at the tavernas in Vourkari, The next day we left for Syros Foinikas the second home port of Alma Libre. As I have described in other parts of the site we have a house there which was build in Finikas in order to keep the boat in the marina there and to have also a house for the children to spend the school holidays. The house is now also available for renting. You may click here to see the related pages.
The children and Gianna boarded the boat and we left the next day early in the morning for Rinia one of the nicesest Island in Kyclades near Mykonos. This Island is uninhabitant and has very nice tyrquise waters and it is always a pleasure to be there as there are protected bays all around.
Rhinia is very close to Delos a very important port in the ancient times which is worth visiting weather permitting as with the meltemi there are fierce wind and current in the channel.
After Rhinia we sailed to the southern bays of Myconos which are well protected from the north wind and the meltemi as the yacht port is one of the worst in the Aegean.
In the morning the wind was blowing and we had to make a decision too go or not as the forecast for the next days was even more wind. So we decided to go and we started our sailing throught he Ikarion sea which is one of the longest open sea passages in the Aegean.
We were lucky as the wind has not been over 5 Bft and the waves were reasonable. The children were sleeping and we arrived in the afternoon in Patmos around 2 o oclock and I was very happy to be again in Patmos which is one my favourite Islands in Greece. Patmos has many nice bays around so we decided to stay for a few days there before sailing to the other islands.
The famous monastery and the town .
The port from the monastery. Although the port seems to be protected when there is strong meltemi it is much better to go away from the quay and anchor in the bay as the wind comes from the side and the boat is difficult to hold straight.
After Patmos the wind has increased and it was blowing around 6-7 Bft continuously so the sailing was not easy and especially the mooring of the boat. We decided to go to Arki and Marathi islands which is 7 miles away from Patmos and we had excellent strong wind sailing to the bay of Marathis where there are three tavernas with excellent food.
These are very small islands , which belong to Patmos, mainly covered with bushes and some trees, about 8 nautical miles away from the holy island of Patmos, and north of Lipsi.
In the largest of these islands there are living about 40 people mainly from fishing. Also some in Marathi. The port is well hidden in the double fiord created by the rocks, and is well protected from the winds. Around the port the visitor will see the old houses from stone whitened in the usual island style as well as some new ones.
During summer time there are many visitors to these picturesque islands attracted to the romantic scenery and to the crystal clear sea. The best beach is at Marathi, a smaller island opposite Arki with bushes.
beaches of Linari, Tiganakia and at Marathi.
A useful phone number is that of the Tripas, 22470-32230 the best taverna in arkii.
The wind was very strong and it was not pleasant to stop at tiganakia the small Islands you see in the south of the picture so we decided to continue for Lispoi Island which is very close and has better protected bays to the strong north wind.
After the swim we sailed to the port in order to see also the small village which we heard that has also a nice marina. When we were very close to the port I prepared the boat for mooring and I lowered the bowthruster which blocked and it was not going down. The wind was very strong so I anchored outside the harbour to find out what is going on. I could not find the problem and all of the sudden the bowthruster could be lowered probably was a problem of bad contact in the switch which is located near the safety pin of the thruster. The port was really worth visiting very picturesque and we had a nice dinner with fish so cheap that we could not believe it.
After the small Islands we sailed to the Island of Leros which was to be the naval base for the Italian Navy during the Italian occupation of the Dodecanesse. They have one of the best protected harbors in the Aegean and is still used as a naval base of the Greek Navy.
First we stopped in the bay of Xyrokambos which is in the southern part of the Island. The various restaurants have put permanent moorings as the bottom has not a very good holding with the strong wind it is not always easy to get a line through the mooring so we preffered to anchor and than get the mooring for extra security. The bay is nice and has good tavernas ashore. After that we sailed to Laki the main harbour. The place was once very much developed by the Italians with nice streets and trees but now you see only ruins and the past glory.
After Leros we set sails for Kalymnos. Also this time the wind was very strong but we we were sailing south so we took advantage . We stopped in Vathi one very deep bay like a fjiord. We like this place very much as it is tranquil and has a certain magic that is not easy to describe.
In Vathy there is a tavern and a swimming pool like area where all the children play in the water. In the afternoon the place becomes very crowded with all the day boats arriving from the different close by islands for a fternnon visit but when every boat leaves the place becomes again magic.
After Vathy we decided to visit the main harbor of Kalymnos which is near by as we had never been there before. We found a nice place in the harbor which is not the nicestest we have vidited and we decided to take a taxi to go around the island and find a place for a swimm. The beach was not bad and there was a nice restaurant with a lot of people which the girls liked after all the days of isolation in remote places.
In the evening when we returned to the boat around 8 clock we heard an explosion on a roof of a house close to our boat and they fired fireworks we didnt understand the occasion but after that the boat was full of red color that falled on the boat from the fireworks.
The next day we tried to find a nice bay to the nearby Pserimos Island. The wind was again very strong and we could only find a protection in a south bay on Pserimos but with bad anchor holding. After the swimm we sailed to Kos and we put the boat in the new Kos marina which is one of the best all over Greece. After all the remote sailing it was nice to find a secure place and especially with a strong wind forecast. We cleaned the boat and in the afternoon we took the airplane to return back to Athens. I will return after 15 days to bring the boat back to Syros.
From Kos to Syros
During all the trip we mainly had the wind to our back so although there was always strong wind it was not difficult to sail south, but in order to return north you really need to think carefully the route. I wanted to do this as professional as possible and I consulted all possible sources. The vrdict was clear go first north to Leros Island and from there to west to the Amorgos Island but do it early in the morning as the wind shifts from NW to W in the afternoon.
We arrived in the night and the next day early in the mornig we set sail to Leros from there we started our route to Amorgos.
This is a very nice picture which displays the route and the actual wind conditions during our sail from Leros to Amorgos. The wind was coming from the west and we had to sail close hauled . The waves were very big and they stopped the boat it was a difficult route but with a good boat it is just a problem for the crew. On the way we decided to stop in the island of Levita which many claim that it is the best kept secret in the Aegean but with the string NW wind it is practically not comfortable for a stop over so we decided to continue against the wind and the waves.
It took us many hours to reach the northeast tip of Amorgos. Close to the islands the waves became even bigger as we had also the reflection of the waves to the step rocks that build a wall against the coming waves. The sea close to the island is chaotic and you have to prepared for that in order not to be caught by surprise. As we were now close to the destination port we decided to stop at Nikouria Island for a swim. What a difference the sea was calm no wind at well in the nicely protected bay. Clear green-blue water and we dropped anchor near the beach.
After we relaxed after the shaking we continued to the main harbor of Amorgos. The waves were again big but we were close to our destination . We moored the boat to the main harbor and I was happy to be again in this harbor. For one unknown reason Amorgos is a destination that you always feel happy to return it is perhaps that it is remote secluded by rough sea, waves and wind and youa re always happy to arrive. It is also one of the islands with little influence by tourism and it keeps its tradition.
During the night we were really lucky as we had the opportunity to participate in a concert with local music and dances. The dancers were young people from the island that were back to their home for the summer vacation. It was fantastic.
The view from the chora which is 30 min drive away is spectacular. The wind blows with considerable force and it can become cold even in the summer. We walked around the small streets of the chora and we returned to the boat to continue our trip.
From Amorgos to Naxos
The wind was blowing at force 6-7 bft but we decided to leave and have a nice sailing to the beauty of shinoussa on of the island that formate the Small Cyclades. These Islands are protected by the land mass of Naxos so even when there is a storm you can find there calm conditions and even south wind which is created by the vortex of the corners of Naxos.
We had excellent strong wind sailing conditions. The wind to the side over 25-35 Knots. We reached 10 Nm/hour our top speed. A few miles away from Amorgos the route is protected from the large seas by Keros and the sea is relatively calm. From Amorgos Alma Libre sailed through familiar waters,safe to its home port in Foinikas, Syros.