The 3 Fingers

Rob and Jacky Black
Thu 14 Jul 2011 10:59
40: 12.2 N 23: 46.9 E
Nissos Dhiaporos 7th - 9th July
We had an uneventful motor- sail from Limnos back to the mainland until we neared the towering slopes of Mount Athos where we were able to pick out the numerous monasteries perched on the
rugged hillsides. Goodness knows how they were built as road access seemed limited from what we could see from the boat. We crossed the bay of Singitikos and headed for our chosen anchorage inside the island of Dhiaporos.
We dropped the anchor in a bay called Mesopanayia at the north eastern end - low and behold the French owned yacht Odyssey were also there - last seen alongside us in Thassos! We also spotted another Blue Ensign flagged yacht and the owners duly came round to see us later - a Scottish couple who come from Fort William and have a Southerly. They are Archie and Doreen but we can't remember their boat name!
We all had a swim (one of many in this bay which was delightful!) in the very warm water - it is now 32 degrees most days and sometimes even warmer so no excuse for Rob not to get wet!
We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed just relaxing - swimming' snorkeling, reading and we took the dinghy ashore for an explore over the rocky outcrops and sandy bays of this island. There were a few small 'rented' motor boats that came to the bay for the day but by tea time they all disappeared and we had the place to ourselves which meant it was really quiet. We had to deploy the cock-pit mosquito net as there were both mosquitoes and the odd wasp which annoyed us when trying to eat. After a lovely couple of days we decided to leave and head for the small town of Panayia where we wanted to top up with water and get some fresh food. We had heard that there was a new marina (unfinished) and when we got to the bay it was actually there. However we decided to go alongside the main ferry pontoon as it was empty and get our water and shopping before moving across the bay to the marina which is some 3 kilometers out of town.
We were pleasantly surprised by this little place a well stocked supermarket, two wet fish counters on the quay and several tavernas on the beach. We bought large prawns to have for a late lunch, bought the other necessary items, filled up with water and Gerry found out about travel options for returning to Thessaloniki later in the week. We then headed for the marina and tied up alongside on the outside of the first pontoon. The inner side and the other pontoons all had lazy lines and most seemed to be for privately owned yachts, motor boats and fishing skiffs. The water taps on the pontoon were not working so we were glad to have filled up on the town quay. (We had asked if we could stay there but were informed that there were 3 large day trip boats that berthed there overnight) Later we saw them all return from their visits to the Mount Athos Peninsula. We were able to take the dinghy across the bay - only a 5 minute trip to go shopping etc and to eat out too.
Saturday night saw us at a lovely restaurant at the Angelos Hotel on the beach front where we had a splendid meal as Bert and Gerry's guests. We were looked after by a waiter called Jefferson from Brazil and ate some delicious food-
appetizers were on the house and we followed these with various dishes which couldn't finish! All this as we looked out across the bay to where our boat was moored and the sun set leaving a glorious pink hue across the water!
Sadly when we returned three nights later for another meal we were informed that the chef had decided only to cook for the residents of the hotel (lucky them) so we had to go else where to eat our final meal with Bert and Gerry.
In-between times we went to the town of Pirgadhikia some 6 miles across the bay where we tied up for a few hours and had a super late lunch before heading for yet another gorgeous bay - Kriftos on the southern side of Dhiaporos island.
Another day and quiet night was spent here and then we moved to our favourite bay of the week called Dhimitriaki which was part of the mainland just to the south east of Panayia. We met the French boat Odyssey again and enjoyed snorkeling over a reef that edges the bay as well as going ashore to talk to the residents in a small camp site on one of the sandy beaches. (Jacky was hoping there might be a washing machine in the shower block but it turned out to have no facilities really and was a private site occupied by 4 Italian families and one Greek).
The following day we returned to Panayia marina and started to get the boat cleaned up. Bert and Gerry packed and we went ashore a couple of times for more supplies and for supper. Bert very kindly went up the mast (no mean feat as it is 20 metres high) and retrieved the damaged Windex. Fortunately he could see no other damage and was able to put the cable plug onto the fitting to protect it until we get a new one hopefully in Nea Maramaras. June and Steve arrived in Piper so we all had drinks on Arwen before we went ashore.
It was sad to say cheerio to Bert and Gerry - we have had a fabulous time with them, but they duly left by taxi to meet up with a bus to take them to Thessaloniki some 2 1/2 hours journey away.
Later Jacky put towels in to soak (the water now available on the pontoon was hot after flowing down its length so no need to boil a kettle) and we were also able to have hot showers standing under the hose on the jetty!
We went ashore for some last minute supplies with June and Steve and enjoyed an ice-cream then had pre-dinner drinks on Piper before retiring for a very hot night's sleep. Next stop will be Porto Koufo on the western side of the Sithonia peninsula.