Katapola, Nisos Amorgos

Vasco da Gama
Ian Strathcarron
Mon 24 Aug 2009 09:37

My first blog of our new sailing season comes from the heavenly island of Amorgos, in the south eastern Cyclades.  It’s about 25 miles long, but less than 2 miles  wide at its widest point, shaped like a lizard, with a mountainous spine and indented bays on both coasts.


After two months in England, catching up with family and friends, we noticed the country roads filling up with tractors, and men and women in the fields making hay.  It was the harvest, and time for us to move south.  We flew to Athens with our son Rory and then by tiny propeller plane to Khios Island, followed by a ferry to Cesme in Turkey where Vasco da Gama was berthed.


There weren’t many yachts around and we soon realised why, as the Meltemi, a strong northerly wind, typical of these parts in the summer, was blowing heavily.  Our aim was to sail due south to Santorini in the southern Cyclades, but after four days sailing in winds of Force 7 to Gale Force 8, we tied up in Amorgos for a rest.  At least we moved quickly, but what was planned to be a leisurely cruise turned into something more like the Whitbread Round the World Challenge, with all of us in the cockpit hanging on for our lives.   The rewards came at night when we tied up in secluded, sheltered bays on tiny islands, or docked at charming small ports, populated with trendy, Athens-style cafes and restaurants.  One day Rory said the following waves were about 20 feet high, but I preferred not to look.   About an hour away from Amorgos we were greeted by a school of eight  very large and powerfully built dolphins, who entertained us with a breathtaking  acrobatic display.


We will probably spend a week here, enjoying our meals at Captain Amos’s Taverna, the best food we have found in Greece so far,  and head east when the wind dies down.