We stayed in Porto Cheli for a couple of days to take advantage of being securely tied up against a quay. Porto Cheli had suffered quite badly in the storms with debris blown around and boats damaged. Once the storm had passed, the sun came out and temperatures were back into the 20s.
We decided to take a ferry to the nearby island of Spetses as the wind direction made the small harbour there untenable. It was a quick visit as the ferry was nearly two hours late leaving Porto Cheli but was on time coming back! Spetses town is quite sweet with lovely nautical themed stone mosaics around the place. There are very few cars so most people get around on scooters and quad bikes with the occasional bicycle.
The next day (Tuesday, Oct 2nd), we continued our journey eastwards, slightly earlier than planned as a boat three down from us had their anchor under ours. We awoke with a start as the chain rumbled loudly, a sure sign of a crossed anchor. We had intended to go directly to the island of Hydra but we diverted to the small island of Dokos.
We found a lovely bay to spend the afternoon and night with goats on the shoreline and a little chapel. Unfortunately, we also saw a huge amount of rubbish on the shore which is such a shame. However, there was a spectacular sunrise the next day.
After an early start, we headed 5nm to the island of Hydra. We’d intended to go into the main harbour but when we saw the ensuing chaos with too many boats trying to get into too few places even by 10am, we went and anchored in the bay next door. Mandraki Bay is about a 30 minute walk from the main town of Hydra but you couldn’t get a calmer feel. It’s quite a deep bay so most people drop the anchor and take lines ashore. We waited to make sure Nimmie was settled and then headed for Hydra town. By the time we got there around 1pm, all the spaces on the quays were full and people were rafting in front of them. Now, some of you will be familiar with rafting alongside so that boats are tied together along the length of the boat and then onto the quay or pontoon. Here people were stern to the quay with their anchor out and the next lot also put their anchor out and then motored back in between the bows of two boats and secure their sterns to the bows of said boats. How chaos doesn’t ensue in the morning, I’ll never know but I’m sure it does!
Hydra also doesn’t have many cars. In fact, only a few commercial trucks are allowed so if you need a taxi then you can choose between a boat or a four legged variety.
It was a vibrant, up market place even though clearly catering for tourists. A walk back to check Nimmie was okay and found a lot more boats in the bay, including one that decided to free anchor in front of us! Drinks and dinner on board before retiring to a very peaceful night’s sleep.