Gramvousa on Crete

35:36.431N 23:34.747E Fri 1st Sep 2017

Our view from the boat in Hania:

After a very enjoyable week in the midst of the tourist bustle of Hania and another great evening spent with family, we finally left on September 1st.  Once again we were forced to motor the entire 28 miles west to our next destination in very light winds and rounding the long Rodopou peninsular to cross Kissamos Bay seemed to take forever.  It was more than worth it however to find ourselves in possibly our favourite anchorage ever with two calm days to enjoy its beauty.  We anchored off the remote island of Gramvousa at the north western tip of Crete with gorgeous views in every direction and the clearest turquoise waters.  Of course it is a magnet for tripper boats by day and they poured off onto the island in their hundreds (over 600 on one boat alone).  Most of them then filed up to yet another magnificent 16th century Venetian fortress which overlooks the bay.   By 5pm however, we had the place almost to ourselves apart from a few fishing boats and the one or two people who live there part time during the summer.  It was pretty perfect and a late swim by moonlight made it even more special.

Looking down from the fort:

The fort lit by the setting sun:

Golden cliffs in the sunset:

The next morning we rowed ashore early to walk up to the fort before the crowds arrived.  The Venetians certainly were energetic with their castle building and we have now explored a good number of them.  This time their signature Lion of St Mark coat of arms carved in marble, had fallen from its place above the entrance.  It was a bonus to be able to see it up close for once and admire the strength and solidity of the emblem.  On our way back down to the beach we spoke to the fisherman’s wife who spends some time there and she turned out to be from Swansea originally!  The day trippers weren’t quite so numerous on Saturday, but we were joined by 6 other yachts by the evening.  You would have to be mad to miss this anchorage if you came to Crete!

A fallen Lion of St Mark:

Looking back to a now full anchorage in the early morning light: