36 56.8 N 26 59.0 E
Kalymnos Sunday 2nd – Thursday 6th October
It was a windless and sunny morning when we left Xaracambos bay – we headed to the SW and passed the top western cliffs of Kalymnos close to. The rocks are sheer and high and the island very barren. We dropped into the bay of Emborios to have a look at the mooring buoys available –they looked substantial (page 456 in Heikell) and there appeared to be 6 – all but two occupied when we went by. We then followed a track south through the passage between the small island of Telendos and the main island a very scenic stretch of coast with many possibilities in terms of anchoring especially in the lee of Telendos. After rounding the headland on the south west tip we passed 7 or 8 yachts heading north which we felt meant we may find a spot on the quay. Close to the main port on the southern coast lies another very small harbour - Ormos Vlikadhia, which again we called into to see what it was like. It was indeed small and offered little shelter from the present wind which was SW. However in a northerly we felt it would be good, providing not too many other boats were of a like mind!
On entering the main harbour of Pothia we noticed a long stretch of quay half full of yachts on traditional Med. moorings this area is not shown on the chartlet in Heikell’s 10th edition on page 455. But it has been improved by building a concrete extension over the rubble to provide spaces for about 20 boats. However it is quite exposed to both ferry wash and any swell that gets into the harbour from southerly winds. We opted to go further into the harbour and seek a place on the old town quay which lies to the SW of the town on the inside of the ferry port. We found one place and were soon stern to with the passerelle out – having been assisted by a friendly guy on a French yacht. We eventually made contact with the electricity ‘man’ and were duly connected the following morning. Water is available but is none potable unless you drive into the mountains or order a water tanker! We decided that we had enough to last us but were given the hose connection of the French boat to wash down before we left later in the week.
The town is the second largest in all of the Greek islands – it sprawls up the hills and along the valley floor that stretches to the NW. A mixture of 3 story Italian design buildings many painted in pinks, and ochre colours with lovely balconies often with ornate iron railings and decorations around the windows. There are some imposing ‘state’ buildings which dominate the water front including the Cathedral with its silver dome. There were plenty of tavernas and shops so we were able to get all our supplies including some good value wine. Our friends June and Steve arrived a couple of days later and it was great to catch up with them after 2 months. Needless to say we had plenty of coffee and chat sessions and went to supper on Piper one night and out for a good meal the next. (Our turn to entertain next time we meet up – probably in Marmaris later in the month).
Jacky took a bus trip to see the tiny harbour of Vathi that lies to the north of Pothia on the south east side of the island. It was a bit ‘hair-raising’ to say the least as the bus wove its way through tiny lanes – wind mirrors brushing the bushes and shrubs surrounding the houses as we passed! The valley at which Vathi forms the head is fertile and green in stark contrast to the rest of the island.
The harbour is long and narrow and there is a small pontoon for yachts to tie back to (as per the chartlet on page 456 of Heikell). However there is no evidence of the proposed pontoons shown.
The head of the bay has a sandy beach and several small fishing boats lay on laid mooring lines.
With a southerly storm forecasted for the coming weekend we were all discussing at length where to go and watching the changing timescale of the gales! We finally decided to leave on Thursday and head for Niseros another island we wanted to see this year. Meanwhile our friends on Odyssey called by to see us – they were on the newer pontoon, so we organized for them to take our berth when we left having given them a call on the VHF they were duly standing by as we upped our anchor at 0800 and waved good-bye to June and Steve who were going to stay put in Kalymnos and ride out the storm there. We took fuel on the first of the fuelling berths just outside the main port on the port side.
We had a cracking sail to Niseros probably the best this year with the winds building from the NW as we progressed and we were soon flying along at over 7 knots with two reefs in the main and half the jib un-furled. On arrival in Niseros we stowed the sails and approached the very narrow entrance with caution having been warned of silting to the port side. The depth dropped down to 2.4 metres but rose a bit on entry. We found a spot on the north quay and were soon all fast having been helped with our lines by a couple form a Westerly Falcon called Bintang. (They did the EMYR in 2008). This place was delightful and we wished we could have stayed longer – we will certainly be going back.