Milos to the Greek Peloponnisos

Thu 12 Aug 2010 19:10
36:48.969N 21:42.581E
Thursday, 12th August
Left Milos 1.00am Saturday morning as winds forecast, on leaving the shelter of the long channel hit bumpy seas and a South Westerly wind of about 15 knots, sailed close hauled, wind dropped early morning and had to motor for about an hour then the wind picked up again this time from the North West and we managed about 6 knots close hauled, then the wind died again then picked up as we sailed into a bay on the island of Elafonsis, just separated from the South Eastern finger of the Peleponnisos by a narrow shallow channel.  Arrived late afternoon after a 15 hour sail and anchored in a lovely bay (Ormos Levki) with clear water and a white sand beach.  Sunday walked over to the magnificent nearby beaches of Ormiskos Frangos - certainly the best beaches of the Greek Islands.  Sadly left lovely Elafonisos early Monday morning as good winds forecasted and headed over to the middle finger and an anchorage at Porto Kayio, good sail, close hauled with winds picking up and altering direction to help us arrive in good time.  The scenery, buildings and landscape were totally different here with natural stone towers and buildings that resembled castles, it had a slightly Scottish feel about it (other than the weather!).  Tuesday morning we sailed up to Port Limeni, on the West side of the middle finger and anchored in the bay overnight.  Early start Wednesday morning and down to Diros to visit the amazing Vlychada Cave, well worth the effort as a boat takes you on a 1300 metre journey through tunnels with amazing stalactites and stalagmites which are cleverly lit to make a breathtaking spectacle finishing with a 300 metre walk out of the caves.  The known length of these caves is 14 kilometres and they were discovered in the early 1900's.
Left Diros about 10.30 and headed across to the South Western finger of the Pelopinnisos, no wind and sea like glass so motor on for several hours, then wind eventually picked up  and a lot of tacking later we saw the impressive Turkish tower at the end of the huge Venetian fort next to the town of Methoni.  This South Western finger is totally different again, green and lush with neat little white houses with terracotta roofs and courtyards full of palms and flowers (including roses!)  Anchored in the bay and visited the amazing fort which has been left in a totally natural state with many of the buildings still suprisingly intact.  Methoni has a strong Italian influence and tourists to match.  Now the wait for the right wind to do the long sail to Sicily.