With the works completed in Olympic Marine, it was time to head off again. We decide to head west to the Saronic and to Elafonisos Island at the southern end of he Peloponnese. We then backtracked and headed north to pass through the Corinth Canal which was booked for the 21st June.
Leg 1 - Port Lavrion to Hydra (Mandraki Bay) - 1st-4th June (40nm)
Hydra has been a favourite of our since first visiting there many years back. Everything moves by boat, water taxi and donkey and it just has a real charm. We leave Port Lavrion at 6.30, which was challenging as there was a lot of crossed lines. Its calm seas and blue skies with a Force 3 blowing. I fitted an additional filter to the watermaker last week and can now run water direct to a drinking tap (we have always made water but have not fancied drinking the water from the water tanks) so hopefully no more plastic bottles. By 12:00 we reached Hydra town but the (very small) port is full so we head down to Mandraki Bay (a short distance away). We almost had the bay to ourselves when we arrived but as the day progressed the charter boats arrived and it was a comedy of errors as they attempted to anchor and tie lies to shore beside us. We had to hang around until it all settled down before heading into town. The next morning we tried to get a spot in town again and as we entered a charter boat informed us that they would be pulling out so we waited and got a spot on the end of the quay. We felt like a bit of a minnow with the superyachts park all around us but were happy to be in town for the night. In the end we stayed three nights taking some time out to relax in the small port town. It had changed a fair amount since out last visit - much busier and the Superyachts taking up most of the space (which really takes from the views and small town feel). The ferries and water taxis were more frequent then we remember so a lot of wash and noise at times.
Leg 2 - Hydra to Ermioni (Mainland) - 5th-6th June (12 nm)
We left Hydra at 8am on a calm and sunny morning with a NE Force 3 blowing and headed into Kapari Bay just west of the main town (southern quay). The wind and swell built over the day so we moved the following morning to the bay to the north just outside the main port. Its a small town, and we have usually visited before on Market day (great farmers market held every Thursday) which is really worth the visit.
Leg 3 - Ermioni to Poros - 7th-9th June (22 nm)
We headed off from Ermioni at 9am in another calm and sunny day and anchored in Navy Bay just west of Poros town. We picked up my daughter Niamh and her boyfriend from the Ferry on the evening of the 7th. We have to stay put another day as the American cousin and girlfriend are also joining us for a week and once again collect from the evening ferry. Poros is a pretty spot with lots of cafes and bars but not much in the way of shopping except for a good chandlery. This was a key shipping and Naval base throughout history.
Leg 4 - Poros to Ermioni - 10th June (22 nm)
With the four twenty-somethings on board we head back to Ermioni and tie to the quay (by 1pm) as there is a number of nice restaurants and bars for them to enjoy in the town and this is a good launching point for the Peloponnese. We did chance our arm and divert to Hydra in the hope of getting into the port as this is a good place for the gang to enjoy but all full.
Leg 5 - Ermioni to Monemvasia - 11th-12th June (45nm)
Monemvasia is definitely one of our favourite places in Greece and for some reason is not as well know and popular as it should be (which is great for those that love it as it never seems crowded). The medieval fortress has been there since the 6th century with the relocation of the inhabitants of ancient Sparta and the town walls and many of the buildings are still in place. Its just spectacular and breath taking. There are also a number of lovely bars and restaurants (tastefully done) inside now but done in a way that simply adds to the fairy tale feel to the place.
We set off from Ermioni at 6.30am and spent the next 7 1/2 hours motoring peacefully in glassy calm seas arriving at the north harbour at 2pm. We stayed two days and would have stayed longer only we had a schedule to keep as we had to drop off and collect guests over the coming week.
There is a small opening in the walls that opens to a rocky beach where the family actually got to swim with a large sea turtle - just to make it all that more special. We were also treated to a short but very wet and noisy thunderstorm that lasted an hour or so before heading out for dinner in one of the lovely tavernas in the fortress grounds.
Leg 6 - Momenvasia to Elafonisos Island - 13th-14th June (32 nm)
After the usual early start in another calm and sunny morning we leave and head south for the south west tip of the Peloponnese. Elafonisos is a small island (7 square miles) with a population of about 300. Its famous for its sandy beaches and blue-green clear waters. We anchored in the bay in 7m and stayed here for two days swimming and simply lazing about.
Leg 7 - Elafonisos to Kyparrissi - 15th June (50nm)
The forecast is for unsettled and building winds in the south Peloponnese so we head back up north (eastern side) to Kyparrissi. This is a small town (but growing somewhat as a new road has made is more accessible to tourists). We tie up to the north side of the small harbour in the town which is no longer in use - room for two boats max and we take one of the two spaces. Its a short stay but enough time to get a feel for the town and enjoy some good food and have a drink overlooking the harbour before heading off next morning early.
Leg 8 - Kyparrissi to Hydra (Mandraki Bay) - 16th-17th June (34nm)
We are feeling the schedule now as we need to get some guests back to Hydra so that they can catch the ferry to Athens on the 17th. We anchor off, in the now familiar, Mandraki Bay with lines tied ashore. It's a 10 min rib or 25 min walk to the town. There is also a water taxi service that will collect and drop you to and from the boat and Hydra town. After 2 days we pretty much have seen every corner of the town and it's time to set off again. We drop off one set of guests and collect another before heading off the next morning.
Leg 9 - Hydra to Vathy-Methena - 18th June (29nm)
Our new guests are only with us for a few days - friends of my daughter and we are feeling guilty as the weather has changed and we are heading into a day of thunderstorms. We decide to brave it and head off. The wind is blowing hard, visibility is poor so we strap everything down and head off - its heavy rain and very load bangs as the thunderstorm rages - we count the time between flash and bang to see how close (3 seconds at one point). We are actually sitting between two thunderstorms, one to the east over Athens and one to the west over the Peloponnese. We hug the coast and run through the Poros channel to avoid the worst of the wind and swell. By the time we get to the north of Methena the weather is breaking and we can see the sun starting to break through the grey. As we reach Vathy the blue skies are returning, the winds are easing and we are back to summer in Greece. Vathy is a very small port and we squeeze through the entrance and moor up to the town quay. Not much here - a bar a few tavernas and a very small mini-market but its a nice place to relax after the pounding of the last number of hours.
Leg 10 - Methena to Angistri - 19th June (8nm)
Its a lovely sunny and calm day so we decide to pop up to the small island of Angistri just north of us an spend some time swimming in Skilomango bay on the south west corner. After some time swimming in the bay we head up to the main town of Megalocori (c.500 population) and anchor off the port.
Leg 11 - Angistri to Korfos - 20th June (12nm)
This is the final leg of this part of our journey as we head over to Korfos on the Pelopponesse mainland to drop off and collect guests before we head through the Corinth Canal and over to the Ionian. We head east first to drop off guests at Skala port and then turn about and head for Korfos. Again another sunny and calm day. we motor across and anchor off the floating pontoon in 7m. Korfos is small port town popular with yachts transiting the Corinth Canal.