Having spent two days in the marina, we were finally ready to leave. The keel cooled fridge was cold, stocked and working well now we were in the water ( it doesn’t work very well on land as it needs water to cool it). We put the genoa (front sail) back on, pumped up the dinghy (Baby Nimmie) washed everything down within an itch of its life and bought enough fresh provisions to last us several days.
On Sunday morning at 1130 we finally slipped our moorings and headed south east to the Western Cycladean island of Kythnos. There was absolutely no wind so it was a four hour motor. We even passed the point of our collision on the way. Needless to say, we kept a very sharp look out the whole time! Our destination was a bay on the West side called Ormos Kolona, a bay that was the more westerly of two bays that are separated by a sand spit. It was relatively crowded on a Sunday afternoon with Greeks enjoying the weekend and charter boats on their first day as it’s only 20 or so miles from Lavrion. However, we found somewhere to anchor eventually that wasn’t in weed or across a super yacht’s anchor chain. They appear to put out 100m of chain which limits everyone else’s options. Anyway, we got the paddle board out and went to the beach. Daytime temperatures are around 35 degrees in the shade so a swim and a cold beer at the beach taverna was required! More boats came in as the evening progressed but we were settled and didn’t even need to growl at anyone for trying to anchor too close to us. A meal on board and we settled in for the night, having decided that we would stay there another night as it was such a delightful spot.
Most yachts left on Monday morning so for about an hour all was quiet until an armada of super-yachts arrived. Clearly, they’d all got the same memo about how lovely the place was! Apart from the slightly unnerving sight of them reversing very close to us as they went against stern to with lines ashore, it gave us plenty to watch during the day with all the toys these boats carry. We went ashore again in the morning to find the local thermal spring and to climb up to a chapel on the hill that overlooked the two bays. On the way up, we came across the resident goat herd, complete with kid goats!
The afternoon was spent lazying about, swimming and just chilling. Lovely. We decided that we would give the local taverna a try and we weren’t disappointed. Liz had baby goat (how could she after seeing them gambolling about on the hillside?) and I had lamb chops. The piece de resistance was the starter of fried local cheese balls – absolutely delicious. Back on board to watch the sunset and several more boats come in.
We had a rude awakening this morning when firstly, one of the boats that came in late last night decided to leave at 5am and then a nearby super yacht left at 7am. I decided to stay awake as I figured that more super yachts would be leaving soon and, sure enough, most of them left by 8am. Luckily, none were a problem for us but they could have been so that was a relief.
We wanted to go round to the NE side of Kythnos as we had heard that there was a thermal spring there at a village called Loutra. We even managed to sail part of the way, although, inevitably, the wind died and we ended up motoring.
Well, it was a delightful place with a spring that would give you third degree burns. According to the guide books, it is 50 degrees C in the outside pool and I can believe it. We had anchored around the corner in a little bay and walked into the village. On the way we came across a bag full of rubbish that had been dropped by the side of the road. We picked it up and took it into the village but couldn’t believe that someone would just drop it like that. Even a 15 min walk each way was enough to make you want to jump into the water when we got back to the boat.
We had decided that we would head further south to a bay called Ormos Stefanou as it would give us shelter from every direction. It has a chapel on an isthmus that apparently has an icon from Panayia Athenia (Virgin of Athens) who swam here from Athens when it as overtaken by the Turks. That is one hell of a swim! It is a delightful bay though with a couple of tavernas and only two other boats. Liz is complaining that it is too sheltered as it’s still very warm at 8pm as there is no breeze. No pleasing some!