Mediterranean 2009 / 2 - Siros, Dilos, Mykinos, Tinos and Lavrion

I the headed off to Sinos as I worked my way north. On route the engine compartment blower fan stopped working so I had to find a replacement. I anchored in the town harbour just in front of the many waterside restaurants. The ferry make quite a swell as they turn to go stern to against the quay. My gangplank got caught under the dock and the ends crushed as Malua surged back on its anchor. Not a great sight but better than fibreglass against concrete. Having the bicycles on board is a great help in covering a lot of ground in search of a spare part. Serifos harbourI found a chandler and did not expect them to have a fan but could you believe it the very same fan at a much better price and in Oz. Such a pleasure to fit it. So now I have the hum of the blower as we motor along keeping the engine room cool or more importantly the alternator cool to give out the required amps. That evening for the second time the two yachts with the Swedish family celebrating the fathers birthday came stern too along side again. They were having great fun from the old couple right to a young baby in arms. The British vessel I had met at Serifos can in and invited me to drinks and dinner. Great night but their outlook for the British economy is not good with their prediction of asset values only 40 % of their highs of a few years ago and the pound to go through the floor.

I packed up, untied the lines and was heading out of the harbour when from across the water came this holla of Harry, Harry. Who was calling me? As I turned to this distant figure on the dock he took his cap off and I instantly recognised my great Italian friend Francesco and Paula who I had last seen in the Halkadiki. Delos lionsThey had just come onto the island and had moored in the marina away from the swell and were walking to the town to get some provisions. We arranged to meet in Mykinos in a few days time. I continues to Delos to see the ruins and the famous lions ( stone that is and not the originals. I anchored under the sign that said no anchoring and took the RIB ashore to walk around the ruins just as the last of the mornings tour group as leaving and an hour before the afternoon group arrived. 16 guided groups from an American cruise liner. Thank goodness I am not rich and have to follow the group.

I set off for Mykinos to look at the old harbour. I had to weave my way around the three cruise liners and two large sailing ships anchored in the bay. I put my nose in the new harbour which like many Greek marinas is not finished to again hear a bellow of Harry from the dock side. Francisco had arrived and was moored along side. raftingI came in against the dock and they rafted up on the outside. They had two New Zealand guest on board their small boat so my vessel was used a shower room, beauty parlour and dining room. Francesco prepared a great pasta which we enjoyed after passing the pots from one vessel to the next.Italian pasta The following day they set off for Delos while I sailed to the bay Ornos south of the Mykinos town. Again the bicycles came in handy but I took the high road up over the mountain rather than the coastal route to get to Mykinos. Was it hot and a long slog only followed by a short sharp down hill flight to cool off.. This evening we had skate pasta on Francisco's boat with no passing the pots from vessel to vessel. I also saved tome water.

The next day was a day sail to Paradise Beach to see the beautiful people who had obviously not arrived for the summer. Well rather that than the previous visit which was an eye opener. Now off to Tinos and the route north but I fear the wind is coming out of the north and I will have to battle a head wind or wait a few days.

I arrived at Tinos and was greeted by a very friendly harbour master who placed me at the end of the wharf with my stern to and into the prevailing wind.  The forecast for strong wind was still in force and during the night the wind came through.  It started at 25 knots then rose during the day. I put extra lines to the dock but was not happy with the holding of my main anchor.  The dust was blowing off the dock right over Malua and out into the harbour.  That evening I put the ?? anchor, the 20mm polypropaline warp into the RIB and led it out from the bow 70m out into the harbour.  Back on deck I pulled it taught with the windlass and was able to move the stern off the dock, not that was needed because the wind was driving Malua away from the dock but it was good to know that if the wind changed direction the second anchor would hold us off the dock. 

That evening the wind rose to to more than 40 knots.  Some gusts touched 50.  It was a howling storm.  Tinos linesThe other boats were all up most of the night tending to their lines and fenders. Luckily I had no problems either with the lines or being blown up against the dock.  The wind dropped the next day and people rearranged their location.  Only the very large ferries were travelling between islands. I stayed put for five days while the wind blew a storm.  On the sixth day I decided that it was time to leave despite the wind still in the 15 to 20 knot range.  It took almost an hour to retrieve the second anchor, undo the extra lines and pull up the anchor.  At last I was off westward towards Athens.  Out side the harbour the wind was still up but the sea had calmed so I turned Malua bow down wind and headed for Kythnos passing north of Sifnos.  My chosen harbour was Loutra but as I approached it was obvious that it was on a lee shore and there would be no shelter in the prevailing conditions.  Plan B.  Sail further south to a deep inlet on the island of Kythnos.  I dropped the anchor in a lovely bay Ioannis 37 23.909N 24 28.162 E. I started to clean the boat of all the dust that had come off the dock.  The boat and my cloths were full of sand so I did I big wash using the faithfull footmatic tub wash in the cockpit.
The next day I set off in a flat calm northwards with a few day to spare before Denny arrived.  I was heading to the island of Kea to a good protected bay.  I was able to sail up the coast but had to motor the last few miles into an increasing strength wind. Lavrion I dropped the anchor opposite the town wharf of Vourkari. 37 40.026N 24 19.528E  The holding is not good but after a few goes I got the pick in and it held with a good pull astern.  The following day was Sunday and the yachts and power of Athens started to arrive and try to find a place at the wharf.  It is always funny to watch how the inexperienced skipper go astern especially if there is a cross wind.  In the end most of the vessel found a spot.  The following day I was off to Athens, in fact Lavrion the port on the eastern mainland shore near the international airport.

I arrived to find not a single spot to tie up to.  Just then a yacht left and I quickly slipped into the spot.

Here are some photos Mykinos and Tinos
The next phase of the trip is: