Rob and Jacky Black
Wed 10 Aug 2011 07:12
39 08.2 N 23 38.5 E
Friday 5th - Tuesday 9th August
Nea Klima (Elios)
We decided to miss out the main harbour of Skopolos and headed round the southern tip keeping close to the coast so we could view the various
anchorages en route for Nea Klima where we had pretty much decided to end up. The coast line was lovely with steep hillsides covered in pine trees which we could smell from the sea.
There were some delightful looking bays for anchoring and we were tempted to go in for a lunch stop and swim but decided to press on to try and make sure we found a space on the quay
at Klima. (we find if we get to a harbour after mid afternoon it tends to be full!). The attraction of this place is that it is not listed as a harbour in the pilot book so not so many folk know about it
especially the fact that it is free to berth and there is free electricity and only a small charge for water. With the weather being so hot we wanted to get along side to use the power and run the air-conditioning for a bit
so Rob could sleep below instead of in the cockpit which is where he has been most nights for over a month and it's not that comfortable.
On arrival there seemed to be a couple of options so we dropped the anchor and backed into a space which turned out to be alongside a UK flagged boat called Gillie B owned by Graham and Gillian Bush. Needless to say we ended up spending some time with them and discovered they know several folk that we know and in particular Rob and Sarah Bell from Serafina. We shared some piloting information with them when they came for drinks with us and the following day we joined them on board Gilly B and heard a bit about their sailing experiences over the years including doing the Arc and the Rally Portugal.
This little hamlet is lovely with a tiny beach just behind the quay so a stroll of 15 metres saw me in for a swim several times each day; there was even a fresh water shower on the beach so that meant we didn't have to waste our water
from the tanks. The village had a couple of butchers, bakeries and supermarkets dotted about the narrow lanes and 3 tavernas with terraces above the road, overlooking the harbour. In addition the local bus service stopped in the village so on Sunday we took the bus at 10.30 to Glossa the second town of Skopolos (just a 30 minute ride to the north). We met up with our French friends from Odyssee, who had sent us an email to say they were in Skopolos town and would be on the bus. We all disembarked from the bus in the hillside town and explored the narrow lanes and tiny shops before taking a taxi across the top of the island to see the Mama Mia church set up on a steep pinnacle of rocks. The journey was very scenic, the island is full of steep ravines and almost totally covered in vegetation - not sure what trees but many small pine and loads of wild olive. The road twisted and turned and went up and down - so I was very glad not to be doing the driving. Once we arrived at the small taverna and car park at the bottom of the rocky crag where the church is situated we arranged with the driver to collect us in an hour. It was a fairly strenuous climb up numerous steps to get to the tiny church but the views were marvelous so it was worth the effort. Our taxi came back for us on time and on returning to Glossa the driver recommended a small taverna with a wonderful terrace looking out to the west and over the harbour of Loutraki some 100s of feet below us. We had a good light lunch and enjoyed a kilo of local rose wine ( which led to plenty of siesta time when we got back to the boat!). We caught the bus back to Klima and arrived back on board around 1600.
On Monday Jacky took the bus to Skopolos main town and met up with Alain and Anne again for a coffee and chat before exploring the delightful alley ways and lanes of this most picturesque place.The houses are usually on 3 or 4 stories with wooden balconies that jut out over the lanes. Many have profusions of flowering shrubs growing to add colour to the already charming place and occasionally there is a small square with large trees provided .shade. The main harbour is quite extensive and was packed with sailing boats as the North Aegean Yacht Regatta is being staged from here. not long after I arrived I watched around 50 boats leave the harbour and later I climbed up on to the our harbour wall to watch the race starting. It all looked very competitive with lots of shouting being carried across the water on the brisk breeze!
We had one more night at Klima and left on Tuesday morning with a vague idea of getting to the west and finding a good sheltered anchorage as the weather forecast indicates some strong winds for Early on Thursday. We passed a couple of bays on the southern end of Skiathos but they looked busy so we decided to press on for the gulf of Volos where we think there will be good shelter from the almost gale force NE winds expected.