Astipalia and Levitha

Rob and Jacky Black
Tue 4 Oct 2011 06:14
36 37.1 N 26 23.7 E
Astipalaia Vathi Bay Tuesday 20th September
We left Thira just after 0800 and soon had the main set but with not much wind the engine was the main source of power for most of our trip.
We passed close under the cliffs of south east Thira and noticed a couple of larger yachts anchored off a small fishing harbour about 3 miles to the
east of Vlikadhia marina some thing worth noting for yachts with too deep a draft for the marina. We had an uneventful passage to Astipalaia
with only a couple of ships and two yachts seen. We decided to head for the bay on the north east side reputed to provide excellent shelter and for us
the best jumping off point for Levitha our next island. The bay was really good and when we arrived there were already a couple of boats at anchor at the head
western end. To our surprise we also noted that there is now a small quay where 4 boats were attached 'stern- to, in front of the taverna. Later 2 more boats one a catamaran
also managed to squeeze in here. By dusk there were another 4 or 5 boats at anchor so a popular place. This bay is lovely - clean water for swimming and very sheltered.
We had a very peaceful night here the holding was excellent and there was no noise apart from the odd goat bleating and dog barking!
The following morning we left early - 0700 and set sail for Levitha a journey of about 20 miles. We wanted to get to our destination early as the buoys in the bay get full
and we were advised by a very nice Dutch couple to ensure we were there before mid- day (they were proved right as we discovered later).
37.00.1 N 26 26.1 E
Levitha Bay Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd September
The morning was dull with almost total cloud cover - the first day like this we have had for months! However it was still warm and the wind gave us a quick passage with the genoa
fully set and a SE breeze around a force 3 to 4. The entrance to the bay on the SE side of Levitha is hard to spot but eventually we found our way in and dropped the sails in the entrance.
there was a fair swell running outside but once into the almost land locked bay to the east of the entrance the sea was calm. There was only one boat on our arrival - tied to the first buoy.
We were soon fast on the 3rd buoy in to the bay. By 1400 there were only 2 buoys left (out of 10) as this is obviously a stopping place for charter boats!  It proved to be a very quiet and pleasant place to be
and we stayed for two nights - with just the sound of the goats to disturb us. The cloud cover lifted late in the day and the stars that night were spectacular as of course there was no artificial light here.
There is a tiny community that live on this island - a small taverna some 15 minutes walk from the jetty which we didn't visit but reportedly has good locally caught fish! One of the residents has laid the buoys and charged us
7 Euros for the use - this was for 1 or 2 nights. The water was clean and clear for swimming and the bay was very sheltered from the fairly strong winds that were blowing outside.
 Our only disturbance on the first night was the arrival of a large fishing boat (at least 20 metres) around 2300 which proceeded to pick up the buoy ahead of us.We were very concerned that we would touch if the wind went light and the boats swung awkwardly. Fortunately this did not happen but the following evening when it arrived it didn't stay as there was only one buoy left at the far eastern end of the bay and we guess he couldn't see it in the dark through all the masts of the other yachts here.
We left on Friday morning set the main and sailed for Leros.