Updated: Jan 3
The second leg takes just shy of 3 weeks, crossing from Sicily to Leros in Greece. We head across the Ionian Sea to the Ionian Islands, down around the Peloponnese, head east through the Cyclades eventually stepping off in the Dodecanese.
8th October 2022 - Up early to prep the boat and then head off at 6.45am in a gentle 4kn breeze and by 9.20am, we are out of the straight and heading east for Greece. Mount Etna smokes away as we say goodbye.
We have clam seas through the night. Winds did build for a while to 16kn and the swell to 1m but it was surprisingly quiet with few ships in sight. Sunrise just after 6am was beautiful and the traffic started to build with 60nm to go. 250nm and 33 hours later we arrive on the Island of Kefalonia and tie up at the town quay of Argostoli at 4.30pm. Of course after pretty calm crossing the cross winds whip up to 20knots as we back onto the quay (just to keep us alert!) but all went well.
Paula sees Kefalonia ahead and looking forward to getting ashore.
Tied up safely on the town quay in Argostoli.
While the turtles swim about the boat.
We stay a few days in Argostoli and then on the 12th October we head south 35nm to Zakynthos town and Island arriving 5 hours later at 4.30pm.
On the 13th we headed 30nm further south in calm sunny conditions arriving 4 hours later on the mainland Peloponnese at the town of Katakolo.
Paula takes time out every morning (when sea state allows) for her daily Yoga.
On Saturday 15th at 8.30am we head off again for Navarino Bay 7 hours and 50nm south. The winds pick up throughout the day and by the time we get to Pylos Marina the winds have built up to F5 and gusting wildly F6-F7 so we head into the North East of the bay and anchor at 4pm just off the beach at Gialova. What a great decision as the is a beautiful spot for a stopover. Loved it so much we stayed over another night.
On Monday 17th we left Navarino Bay at 8am in F5 southerlies, heading 16nm to the south of the Peloponnese to Foinikounta where we anchor at 10.30am off the beach in flat calm seas in 5m. We pass the spectacular looking Bourtzi of Methoni Castle on route.
On Tuesday 18th we up anchor at 7.50am and head south east for 47nm for the small bay and town of Porto Kagio. Fairly windy when we get there but we safely anchor off the beach in 5m at 2.30 pm. We have the bay to ourselves and pretty much the town as well. Nice spot for a rest on the beach. A Cycling tour visited for a while, otherwise it was pretty deserted.
There is a bad weather system heading our way so we up anchor at 7.45am and decide to head 30nm east to Neapoli, arriving at 12.30pm, a relatively large town with good protection on the town quay. Not a pretty town, but we are able to get laundry done and provision up. Lucky we did stay as winds were blowing F8-F9 for over 24hours and sea state was building and looking pretty nasty.
We stayed put on 20th and 21st as we waited for the weather to break. We were well sheltered in the port, but even still the boat was rocked about as the severe gusts came through every 10-15 mins throughout the time we were there. Not a very exciting town, and not set up for tourists but at least everything was open. We got a taxi on the 21st to the beautiful Monemvasia as sailing there was certainly out of the question in the conditions.
We decide to head for a small bay (Agia Marina) 8nm south for the night as a launching point for the Cyclades on Sunday morning. We leave Neapoli at 2.15pm as the winds begin to drop (F4 as we let off the lines) and anchor in 6m at 4pm. The wind is F2-F3 but there is still a large swell remaining from the few days of strong northerlies.
On Sunday 23rd we lift anchor at 4am and head off for the Cyclades, first stop is the Island of Milos 70nm and 10hrs away to the east. The trip is wonderful with blue skies in 21 degrees.
After 8 hours we see the Cyclades and Milos in the distance. Wind is F1-F2 on the nose so motoring all the way.
We tie up at the end of the Adamatas town pontoons at 2pm in flat calm conditions.
We enjoy an afternoon and evening wandering the lovely town
On Monday 24th we head off at 8.55am and head north east for 24nm to the Island of Siphnos where we anchor off the beach at 12.15pm just off the town quay at Platis Gialos.
On Tuesday 25th we head for Ios 28nm (4 hours) to the south east. Seas are calm and skies are blue in a northerly F2. No surprise however when we reach Ios town at 11.30am, the winds pick up and are blowing across the quay. We wait around to see if we can attract someone to help us get into the only available (very tight) spot on the town quay but to no avail. We move around to the other side of the bay (Mylopotas) and anchor off the beach in 7m.
On the 26th we raise anchor at 7.40am and head 36nm east to Katekola on the Island of Amorgos. We drop anchor in 8.5m just of the town pier.
Then all of a sudden, Thursday 27th October, we were facing into our final trip, a 45nm leg over 7 hours, leaving Amorgos, the eastern most island of the Cyclades, and heading for Leros in Greece, our first step into the Dodecanese island group. We raised anchor at 7.25 am. The winds started out at F2 and were F5 by the time we got to the town of Lakki on Leros.
We eventually tied up at 3pm in the Marina. This will be the home port for the next 12 months as we explore Greece.
We stayed at the marina until the Tuesday 1st November when we moved the boat into the cradles to be put on the hard for the winter. We were a little surprised to find that the 4 1/2 days were flat out working trying to winterise the boat and put everything away. We were very tired boarding the ferry back to Athens, where we stayed for a few days before boarding our flight back to Dublin.