Katapola on Amorgos via Ormos Grikou on Patmos
36:49.626N 25:15.802E Sat 12th August 2017
From Samos we decided to head for the southern end of Patmos and a sheltered anchorage there in Ormos Grikou. We started with a brief, brisk sail until the forecast winds deserted us once again and we ended up motoring for nearly half of the 34+ miles. We had been lead to expect winds of 20-30kts all day but instead poor skipper was kept busy trying to keep Goldcrest moving in all sorts of conditions. As we approached Patmos, the winds picked up again and blasted us into the bay where we were very happy to pick up a private buoy for a small fee of 5 euros (which was never collected!). En route we had good views of the fortified monastery of St John the Divine which dominates the hilltop above the main town. St John is supposed to have written the Book of Revelations in a cave on the island and in the 11th century the monastery was built to recognise this very holy site. As there were constant threats from pirates, it was built more like a castle than anything else and is quite spectacular. We contented ourselves with just the view from seawards as we were looking for easier shelter in our chosen spot. We felt very secure on our buoy in the attractive bay which seems to attract the big boys of the yachting world. There is an upmarket resort at the head of the bay which may be part of the reason.
The fortified monastery on Patmos:
Our view from the buoy:
After one night there, again with the first part spent sleeping on deck under a bright, starry sky, we left before breakfast for the 48mile passage to Amorgos. We started out reefed in strong winds, but that soon changed and we had to motor in seas which became increasingly rough. Then we managed a few hours of exciting upwind sailing with the toe rail under water some of the time and Goldcrest and crew enjoying the very rough ride. As we approached the tall cliffs of Amorgos however, we had to turn on the engine to get us around the corner and then to make any headway in the very confused seas along the side of the island and a strong tide setting up onto the coast. We eventually tied up stern-to in the harbour at Katapola which we last visited on a charter in 2001. There is a great deal of ferry activity here in high season and the quayside gets very busy, noisy and smelly with exhaust fumes from waiting vehicles and the ferries themselves. In between ferry arrivals, it is much more peaceful and makes a good “pit stop” for us as we are able to fill with water and, thrill of thrills, get the laundry done. As I am writing this however, our anchor was lifted by a boat departing from next to us and we had dramas for quite a while as the crew appeared to have no idea how to extricate themselves from the situation. Meanwhile our engine was on full power to keep us from bashing into the quay behind us. Oh the joys of Med mooring in a busy harbour with clueless boaties.