Tuesday 21 June N40:12.202 E023:46.938

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Tue 21 Jun 2016 08:28

Ok who turned the heating on?  Own up!

In the last week the temperatures during the day and night have soared by some 8 to 10 degrees from a comfortable mid to high 20’s and we now have 35 to 37 degree temperatures which have slowed down our lives considerably.  

We have the extra bimini cover rigged which keeps most of the boat in shade and funnels a breeze along the length of the boat.  We also have wind scoops rigged at both ends to draw air though the boat.


We are in a beautiful spot at the northern end of the Sithonia peninsula, with a green forest covering the mainland inland hills, extending down to the coast on this (east) side and stretching to the south in a thick green swathe.  

We are anchored in a shallow tuquoise bay area inshore of a large island that appears to be a local beauty spot and playground for the wealthy Greek population of Thessaloniki and surrounding areas.  It’s busy at the weekends but quiet and tranquil during the week and especially at night.   

The waters are blue and warm, the sand fringing the bay is white and the rocky outcrops around the bays and fringing the main island are a smooth golden brown sandstone carved to some bizarre shapes by the wind.  All very reminiscent of the French Atlantic coast around Ploumanach and the Morbihan.  On Sunday evening and much to our surprise, we watched a seal swim by, we weren’t expecting that!  To be fair we have seen very little wildlife, perhaps later when we round Mount Athos and head north again?

We don’t have this place entirely to ourselves – there are 7 yachts here, 3 British, one German, one Swiss and the other two are too far away to identify.  Not so crowded then and a great change to the Ionian last year which was the other extreme - too many yachts and too too commercial.

There are a small number of houses on the off lying island, mostly tastefully finished to a very high standard with beautifully manicured gardens.  It seems whoever owns them is not short of a bob or two -  its a beautiful setting to be enjoyed by all.  Along the southern end families have set up camps on the shoreline and are enjoying active family holidays with children swimming and paying in the shallow waters.  This area of Greece is a camping paradise - all the way up here we have seen small irregular campsites peppered along the eastern coast of the peninsula where this is accessible from inland.  Almost every bay has been crowded with motor homes and caravans.

From where we are the mainland shore is about half a mile distant and we will take the dinghy there today in order to rid ourselves of our rubbish and the inevitable empty wine bottles!  Perhaps we might find a taverna for a beer……?


Our plans are to move on tomorrow after three days here.  There are three or four places to visit before we head south again to round the (eastern) Akti peninsula and Mt Athos.  That particular peninsula is dominated (perhaps ruled) by the ultra Greek orthodox church who have taken the law into their own hands and do not recognise the authority of the central government.  Although we may sail-by, (minimum distance permitted is 1 mile offshore), we are forbidden to land and females are totally banned.  Not so long ago no females of any species were tolerated there.  The area is inhabited by monks and hermits!  Very bizarre!!  There are 17 monasteries most of which are reportedly clearly visible from the sea and that is as close as we can get.  

We need settled weather to make our passage around the mountain which rises straight from the sea, is reputed to be difficult and affected by strong gusts and choppy seas.  Also because of the ban we have to make a 65 mile trip before we can find a port or bay that we can use as a rest stop.  That makes a long day for us!  Next Sunday looks like a favorable opportunity at the moment when a decent break in the NE winds is forecast.

Charlie hadn’t appreciated it but there is little detail of the inshore coast accurately charted around here.  A coastal strip of water, up to half a mile broad, is simply hatched on the chart and shown as 0.5 to 1 m deep.  This makes approaching the coast somewhat difficult as we need at least 2 m in which to float.  We bought a greek chart but that hasn’t really helped.  So far we have only found the bottom once and that was while we were trying to extricate ourselves from a rather shallow bay.  We bought a greek chart in Thessaloniki in anticipation that this would make our lives easier,  but that is largely useless and hasn’t really helped.