Kurukulla at Englishman's Bay, Tobago

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Kos to Mykonos or Flat calm to force 9!

Kos chora

Kos castle at harbour entranc
The arrival process in Kos was relatively brief. We berthed on the quarantine berth on the south side of the old harbour entrance from where a helpful Port Police Officer directed me to the various offices, Immigration, Coastguard, Port Authority, Customs and finally back to Port Police and short of being relieved of €15 to re-enter the EU (or so they claim) the process was all over in 50 minutes and relatively painless. Perhaps made easier by the fact that half the officials were on strike over Greek Government cutbacks! On completion we moved into the old harbour and berthed on the extensively refurbished town quay which is now administered as part of Kos Marina.
That evening we toured the town, bought a few provisions and dined onboard. Kos town is a bit of a tourist trap and not greatly attractive.
Sunset on arrival in Archangelos
Next morning we set off at 1000 to head north. Given the light but contrary winds we decided to get as far north as we could before sunset. This resulted in us bypassing Kalymnos and Leros, neither of which seemed to have any anchorages sufficiently attractive to tempt us to delay, and arriving just after the sun had set in an anchorage at the southern tip of Nisos Archangelos, just north of Leros. The bay was an easy entry in half light as we sailed into the anchorage and proved to be delightful when revealed in the sunlight the following morning.
Entering Nisos Athagonisi
After a brief swim the next morning we again sailed off the anchor, heading to the north via the western side of Archangelos, passing between the offlying rocks and the main island. Initially we were ghosting on the wind but as the day went on we were forced to put a reef in the main and roll up part of the No 2. Given the conditions we decided to stop for lunch in Nisos Lipso, sailing onto the anchor in the eastern of the three bays at Lera Lipso. After a pair of hours we set off again to Nisos Athagonisi where we anchored initially in the eastern branch of East Bay but given the lack of swinging room and the weather forecast for the night we moved into the western arm which was potentially less sheltered but offered considerably more room for error!
From here it was intended to head for Fournoi but a contrary wind and foul, choppy sea resulted in a decision to curtail the day and head into Nisos Arki where we anchored in the eastern arm of Port Stretto. This was the least preferred according to Rod Heikell but with the western arm obstructed by moorings laid by the local taverna and the eastern arm shallower and with better holding than reported we decided we had made the best choice.
Alongside the inside of the ferry pier at Fournoi
Next day it was northwards again, this time to Nisos Fournoi. We anchored in a bay near the southern tip of the island, mentioned but not described in the pilot. It proved to be ideal with two possible anchorages both of which were vacant. We had the bay to ourselves. Next day we headed north through the narrow channel to enter Fournoi town where we berthed on the inside of the ferry quay. Within minutes the Port Police were with us; following a successful document check, very friendly and no charge for the berth. The town, if you can call it that, is very small but almost totally unspoilt. The locals were very friendly and we dined in a taverna at the back of town which offered wholesome if not “haut cuisine” food.
Wholesome food at Taverna Karlia

That night, at 2300, we set sail from Fournoi for Mykonos. Steve took the first watch after we had cleared the rocks and islands to the north of Fournoi and had a pleasant three and a half hours solo, motoring and sailing in the light winds caused by the lee of Nisos Ikaria. Just as he woke me to hand over the wind started to catch us round the western end of Ikaria and in the next four hours went from force 2 to gusting force 9! Three reefs in the main and only a quarter of the No2 genoa showing. Fortunately we were not quite on the wind and could sail a bit free. Steve managed to sleep through all but the last 30 minutes but even he woke when we were knocked flat by a gust on the south coast of Mykonos! The night passage had been planned to get Steve some night sailing experience, it proved it's worth but he missed the most exciting bits! At 0800 we anchored in 6m, in Super Paradise bay, with 50m of cable out to hold us against 40 – 45 knot winds.
Coco's Bar, Super Paradise
I have to say I was quite glad to have arrived and to get a bit of rest! We spent the next 48 hours there, swimming ashore for a beer or two in the beach caf├ęs, (one or two was enough at €5 for a small bottle of local beer and €8 for a G&T!).
Tuesday morning we sailed round to Paradise Beach for a couple of hours snorkelling and lunch. The snorkelling was fantastic with a bigger variety of fish than I have yet seen this trip. On completion we moved the 5 miles round to the unfinished marina just north of Mykonos town and secured ourselves a berth for the next five days whilst I return to the UK for Daniel's graduation ceremony. On arrival it was obvious the marina, although unfinished, is already in a poor state of repair, another EU funded project that will never be finished because if you finish it you then have to charge for its use and repay the funding from the EU! Power supplies have rotted away without ever being connected and water pipes are in place but not connected to the main. To provide ourselves with a second holding off rope, for better security whilst I am away, I had to dive down 6m and recover a broken one from the harbour bottom.
Super Paradise! If you believe it!
There are several more down there so any complaints that we are using two will get short shrift!
Next edition once I am back from UK.

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