Porto Kheli, lat 37.19.25N, long 23.09.16E

Splinters Apprentice
Bone & Beth Bushnell
Wed 24 Jun 2015 06:34
We enjoyed the Halidiki peninsular but found really only one area of good anchorages around Nisos Diaporos. They were very good with excellent swimming and good pottering. Porto Koufos was a safe secure anchorage but deep so only limited room to anchor. Other places were small marinas/town quays, quite busy even early June.
The passage south to the Sporades was lumpy in spite of little wind but we did get 4 hours of decent sailing and made lots of water. The Sporades are lovely islands with good anchorages but now the number of boats around zoomed up. We have been used to only occasionally seeing another yacht so to have 8 sailing nearby was a reality check. Bone found the Diesel man so managed to get a mini tanker to fill us in Skopelos. The shopping there was excellent just a bit over the top with the "Mamma Mia " connection. It was filmed here and on Skiathos.
The weather Gods were kind and we sailed to Linaria on Skyros. A beautiful remote island that has turned its town quay into a marina. Free, unlimited water so we cleaned tanks, washed us, boat and clothes. Wonderful. The water was crystal clear in the harbour.
A good forecast saw us head south through the notorious Kafireas Strait with anchoring in Bista on Andros. A pretty anchorage with good holding and good swimming. Next day off to Kea to sit out a very iffy looking forecast. What a change from when we last visited 18 years ago. Good shops, clean and tidy quay and free water. It did blow but not too hard and we were well sheltered in the anchorage until in the early hours of the morning, when else, the wind did a 180 and came from the NNW, not good. A horrid spend entered and we quickly had had enough so by 0730 we were off to Kythnos. Good sailing and a superb anchorage, good holding, well sheltered with crystal clear water. Beautiful. We enjoyed sitting watching boats with 2 reefs in bounce around outside while we were snuggled down safely. A change to southerly had us off to Hydra. We looked at the main harbour in horror, too many boats all crowded together, no thank you. We found a quite cove, just us for a peaceful night.
Next day off to N. Dhokos and a picturesque anchorage in Derrick Cove. It was a small anchorage but by sunset there were 6 boats anchored/tied up. All was well until about midnight we were woken by a change in motion. On deck, not good. The wind was now NW coming straight into the anchorage. We were on a lee shore, getting uncomfortable with boats lying beam on to the increasing wind, not a good scenario. Nothing for it, we left and headed for a bay on mainland opposite. Interesting entering in the moon less night. But the bay looked to shelve gradually and was large. We dropped in 8m and in the morning, after a peaceful nights sleep, woke to find ourselves not too far offshore.
We are now in Porto Kheli a busy anchorage but masses of room to anchor. The laundry should be ready this morning and the shops are good. The supermarket has goodies we haven't seen for a long time.
Why do yachts persist in trying to anchor on top of each other, mad? The number of yachts around is amazing. All shapes and sizes but lots of very big , noisy things. It's only June. I am glad we will not be here when it gets really busy in August. Too many yachties don't seem to understand that as a long keeled boat we dance in strong wind, are not very manoeuvrable in close quarters (don't mention the impossibility of going astern) and the concept of anchoring too close seems totally alien.
We will potter around this area for a while then it's around Ak Maleas and up to Kalamata to winterise Splinter before flying home August9th.

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