We had a slightly longer day getting to Milos (as in “Venus de Milo” as it was found here) with some great sailing for the 2nd half. They say “cruisers don’t go to windward”, but we had a great beat (sailing as close into the wind as possible) with a couple of exciting tacks to get us into the bay at the end (exciting as we were dodging a ferry, coping with 24kt winds, a narrow channel and big wind shifts – fun). This is reputed to be the largest natural harbour in the Greek islands, the remains of a caldera formed maybe 90,000 years ago by a volcanic explosion much larger than Santorini. The landscape certainly illustrates its history – all angles and oddly coloured rocks.
On the sail in we passed several delightful little ex-fishing communities right on the water’s edge with brightly coloured boathouses below and balconied living quarters above. Of course they are mainly holiday homes now and the guide books say that only 10 households on the island make a living from fishing these days.
The pilot book says the harbour is uncomfortable or even untenable in southerly winds (which is what we’ve had most of the time), plus warnings on the harbour say “fast ferries cause dangerous wash”. The evening we arrived the wind was pushing a large, noisy slop onto the harbour wall behind us, then as we were working below, a large ferry wash slammed us backwards into the quay. Unfortunately my beloved boarding plank got in the way and one half was smashed to smithereens. Hours of work done for in seconds! It could have been so much worse though – if the plank had been more robust I guess it could have punched quite a hole in the stern of the boat. Yesterday the forecast was for even stronger winds from the wrong direction and the “harbour master” (not really sure what his status is, but he helps boats moor & takes the money) was warning everybody to leave. He never told us until I went up to see what all the commotion was about, so we decided to stay, helping a Greek boat out who got into real difficulties with their lines & anchor. We had a bit of a noisy night, but with no drama or danger. It was nice to have the quay almost to ourselves (2 others stayed).
We have had a busy few days here catching up on boat maintenance and other chores and first mate is always happy when she can get the laundry done and the boat cleaned, especially with both power and water readily available, which is relatively rare on Greek town quays. Now we are looking forward to the arrival on the late ferry tonight of Lindsay’s sister and brother-in-law from Oz who are joining us for 3 weeks.