39:11.48N 23:55.47E Steni Vala, Alonnisos Island.
Sunday, 11th August, 2013.
We had a great anchorage at Panormou or Panormos as some say with wonderful views over the surrounding pine clad mountains and the beach area. As Jim has been watching the weather for a little less wind from the meltemi and he thinks there will be a gap on Monday or Tuesday we are on the move to the island of Alonnisos to put ourselves a little further north so we are in the right position to cross over.
As we came out of the bay of Pannormou there was gusting of wind but once outside the entrance the wind dropped until we turned the corner and headed up the south side of Skopelos island when the wind came in strong gusts and then disappeared again for a few seconds. We felt the full gust as we crossed between the two islands and once past the main town and port of Patitiri the gusting stopped and we were able to sail nicely along the coast.
Alonnisos is very unspoilt by tourism basically due to the fact it was very badly damaged in the earthquake of 1965. Ferries arrive from Skopelos with day trippers but as we sailed along the coast you could see very little housing and development. We had been told by several people you must go to Steni Vala on Alonnisos as it is so pretty. They didn’t tell us quite how small it was going to be. We could see the small quay in front of the tavernas was full but our French catamaran friend had already arrived and waved as he had spotted a space for us. Quick with the lines, no time to put the dinghy down, line up with the quay and down with the anchor and motor into our spot. Luckily, our French friend and a English chap Jim had helped the day before took our lines and we were in. We dropped the dinghy and used it as a bridge to get to the quay as we had to anchor further out than normal due to the rocks in the water. The distance covered was 21.28 miles.
We had a great time talking with everyone about their sailing experiences and enjoyed a great evening in this lovely and very little harbour. When flotillas arrive everyone is bows to and lined up also on the rocks the other side. Thank goodness they were not there on our arrival.
The Sporades Marine Park of Alonnisos was founded in 1992 to protect the breeding colony of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal and rare wildlife and flora and fauna found on Alonnisos and the surrounding islands. We looked hard but we could not see one monk seal. There is no longer access for the public to view the wild goats on Gioura or the Audouin gull or Eleonora falcons on the islet of Skanzoura. Tiny warblers to paddid harriers pass through the region in large numbers to and from their breeding grounds in northeast Europe. Jim did see one grey heron fly over.