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Date: 30 May 2006 19:31:56
Title: Northern Sporades

We had little wind for our early morning sail south from Sinthonia, so we had to motor most of the way, stopping at Pelagos, the most northern island of the Northern Sporades that has good anchorages.  We arrived in the early afternoon and stayed for a quiet night in an enclosed bay on the north of the island, with just a few seagulls for company.

Last Wednesday we sailed to the next island, Alonnisos.  When we arrived in the harbour at Patitiri, our lines were taken by the owner of a nearby yacht, Muscavado, who said he'd seen us at anchor in Porto Koufo and also remembered seeing us in Croatia, three years ago!

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It was a very warm day, with the temperature reaching 30 degrees C but we managed to walk up to the Chora (old village) on top of the nearby hill for wonderful views and a well deserved supper.  It took us 45 minutes to walk up the steep track and about the same to walk down the (longer) road.

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Thursday was another hot and windless day and we had to motor all the way east to Skiathos town.  Skiathos was quite a change from the quiet places we'd become used to over the previous 2 weeks, being a mecca for package tourism.  The advantages of such places are that the shops tend to be well stocked and we were able to get some laundry done.  The diesel supplier was less than friendly as the nozzle on his hose was too big for our filler cap and we had to use a funnel, making it a slow process.  He became impatient and stopped before we'd managed to fill up!  That night we had a thunderstorm and thankfully the temperature dropped in time for Helen and Paul's arrival on Friday afternoon. 

On Saturday we left Skiathos but there was little wind so we only went a short distance to the west coast of Skopelos island and anchored in a pretty bay called Panormou.  After a lazy afternoon we rowed ashore and walked around the headland to have supper in one of the beach tavernas.  On Sunday we started late and found enough wind to sail most of the way east, around the south of Skopelos, to Patitiri on Alonnisos, again.  We moored up and as we went ashore to have drinks in a nearby bar we saw a monk seal diving around in the middle of the harbour.  These are a very rare sight as they are an endangered species and supposed to be very shy!

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We walked up to the Chora again, this time with Helen and Paul, taking the old track both ways.  That night we didn't sleep too well as there was quite a bit of swell in the harbour, rocking the boat from side to side. 

Yesterday we had a bit of wind for our sail north to Pelagos where we anchored again in the lovely sheltered bay on the north of the island.  To our surprise we found Paul and Chris on New Dawn anchored there.  They joined us for drinks on board to catch up with their news since leaving Ayvalik.  Helen cooked roast chicken for supper on board and we had a lovely peaceful night.

Today we sailed south again to Alonnisos and are now moored in a small harbour called Steni Valla.  The winds are light  and southerly at the moment so we're heading for Skopelos town tomorrow. 

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