37:53.05N 24:44.14E Kea to Andros
4th June, 2018 Monday
We left around 7.30 and arrived in the bay of Gavrion on Andros around 13.20 p.m. covering 28.92 k. miles. We had to motor sail until 15 miles before land. The sea from the Evia channel was causing swell but we managed to reef and bring in the genia. It is a safe harbour empty but for one boat on the wall. We had expected to anchor off the boat but that was soon stopped as the port police officer shouted to us to go on the quay. After dropping the dinghy from the davits and sorting our lines we dropped the anchor and went back on to the wall. When the first ferry arrived we soon realised why they didn’t want us in the bay as the thing was so big for the little bay and needed such a big turning circle we felt happier on the quay.
Andros is quite green and we were hassled to take our papers to the port police for checking. Two other boats left who came in and got shouted at for leaving and not taking their papers but although there was a big patrol vessel and a large rib neither were used. TBrhey seemed very busy when the ferries came and it took four of them to manage each one. We did take our papers and a very young chap who was probably on national service took all our details and photocopied our paperwork for their box files we didn’t get charged as no water or electricity worked on the quay.
Andros is large and has an airport but there are only 6000 residents in the winter growing to 36000 in the summer months.
We were asked by an English couple waiting for a ferry did we actually come from Hamble as they have a bungalow in Southampton and visit 4 weeks a year. Of course, Jim started talking about our trip and the guy told him they retired 15 years ago and settled on Andros as it was cheap and a great place to live after all his service with Hampshire police. Next time we visit we are going to have a tour of the island with a local.
Andros is the second largest island of the Cyclades. It is mountainous throughtout with the summit in the middle of the island. The two highest mountains are Kouvarion at 3,721 feet and Petalong a mile away rising to 3,097 feet. These peaks are snow-capped in the winter and early spring. It is very wooded and cultivated in places growing olives, apricots and many more vegetables.
The island is named after Andreus a general from Crete. During the Persian invasions Andros sided with the invaders which cost it dearly after the Athenian sea victory off Salamis. During the Peloponnesian War it sided with Sparta. The ancient capital was at Palaioupolis on the west coast but few ruins remain. It passed in turn to the Romans and to Byzantium and eventally to the Venetians in 1207 who built many of the fortified towers and the distinctive dovecotes dotted around the island. It was occupied by the Turks in 1556 and became Greek after the War of Independence.
Today it is popular with Greek tourists and some use it like a weekend cottage as being so close to Athens.
A very nice ice-cream shop with good wifi was just opposite the quay. The ice-cream was very creamy and although not the 46 flavours of Poros what we had was delicious.