Rob and Jacky Black
Wed 2 Sep 2009 09:24
37 26.4N 24 25.9E
Kithnos - Loutra Bay 29th August
We left Aegina on Saturday morning having collected the laundry at 0800 and bought some lovely fresh croissants and bread for the journey.
There was little wind and so once again we were using the engine however we did have the mainsail up and were hopeful that there would be some later in the day to help us reach Kithnos some 50 miles to the east and the first of the Cyclades islands on our trip. The journey was pretty uneventful
only marked by the number of passing ferries which seemed endless plying their way between all the islands and Athens (Piraeus). I was able to see the
Olympic Stadium through the binoculars as we sailed passed about 8 miles off the coast. We had originally decided to go into to a bay on the west coast
of Kithnos but as we were making good time we pushed on and went into Loutra a small bay on the NE end where we found the harbour to be full! However
there was a lovely sheltered narrow bay nearby where we duly anchored and took a line ashore to an iron post on the rocks. We were the only sailing boat
here but there were a couple of quite large motor cruisers. Later we were joined by several more motor boats and eventually another yacht arrived in the dark.
We had a most peaceful night which was good after the rather noisy quayside of Aegina.
37 27.8N 25 19.6E
Mykonos Sunday 30th August - Thursday 3rd September
Having left at first light from Kithnos we made good progress across the channel between Siros and Kithnos and decided to leave this island to the north
before heading up through the islands west of Mykonos and into the main harbour there. We had a favorable current with us and were able to romp along
at 7 knots for some time with the main and the engine on about 1000 revs. It was a misty day and the various islands almost seemed to float out of the water.
Gradually the wind headed us and progress slowed until just before our arrival in the harbour when we had gusts of 20 knots! (A portend of what was to come later!)
We had been speaking on the radio with Kishorn and Chica who were also en route for Mykonos and once we were all tied up we were able to give then hints
on where to find a suitable berth - they arrived about 30 minutes after us having spent the previous night on the west side of Kithnos.
We were alongside the wall next to the rather dusty car park in the first basin of the new marina. No facilities here although there are boxes with piping for
power and water none work at the moment. The outer quay here is for Cruise ships and ferries and when we arrived there was a very large one along side.
Since Sunday we have had at least 6 more liners come and go.
We decided to hire a car for a couple of days between the 3 couples and used it for shopping and exploring. On the first day we hopped into taxis passing the
marina after dropping off ferry passengers 5 Euros to get to the car park on the edge of town (a 10 minute journey) where we found a Europe car rental office. The others
(Trevor, Lesley, Rick and Cobi) had the car for the day while Rob and I walked into the main town to explore. The buildings here are all white, flat roofed and usually no
more than 2 stories high. The town spreads up the hill that looks over the bay and it is a warren of narrow alleyways and passages. Even the paving stones
are outlined in white in places! We passed so many cafes/ night clubs and restaurants we lost count many of them with terraces looking out over the bay; needless to
say the prices matched the locations! We didn't find a bread shop or a butchers shop but could have bought a Rolex  watch or Gucci handbag at any number of outlets!
On the old town quay where the small ferries leave from there was a van selling fresh vegetables and a small covered market stall with what remained of a fish catch of the day.
The place was full of tourists (presumably from the cruise ship) so we headed back to the car park and took a bus back to the marina where we visited the Taverna Matthew
conveniently placed on the road at the entrance. Here we found there to be much more reasonably priced food and drink available and they had free wifi.
Having had a light lunch of calamari and a half carafe of local white wine we retired to the boat for a siesta.
By the late afternoon the wind was getting up and we had to put out extra mooring lines (the forecast for a strong wind the famous Meltemi was right!). We joined the others for
supper in the Taverna later and heard about their day tour of the island. The meal was good and prices were excellent compared to the town restaurants.
Tuesday dawned and still the wind was blowing at 30 knots. We took the car for a round trip of the island and succeeded in getting lost at every turn - the map had English names
whilst the road signs were mostly in Greek! However as the island is very small it didn't really matter and we were able to visit many of the beautiful bays that this island is
famous for. Mostly we couldn't get out to view them as there was no where to park the car! We were on the whole rather disappointed with the place - the scenery is nothing like
as spectacular as the islands in the Ionian - very arid and little in the way of trees or other vegetation. All the houses are the same - white, flat roofed and with
mostly blue shutters - quaint when first viewed but rather boring after a while. On the way back to the marina we called into 2 different supermarkets and were able to get
the heavy supplies of water beer, coke etc.
We met a chap ( the skipper of a large Super yacht - Sundara) in the Taverna - Philip and later his wife - they were awaiting the arrival of the owner and it was good to hear from Philip
about various places in Turkey. He also kindly gave us contacts for helpful folk in Marmaris and other ports which will be useful for us next year. In the evening they came round for
a pre-dinner drink and he mentioned he knows someone who may be able to help with our fridge problems.
We are hoping to leave here tomorrow and head for Samos.