Sitting in Porto Kayio on the evening of the 26th ( I think) we had been looking at the wind and the general weather for the next couple of days, and made a quick decision to leave Porto Kayio that evening and do a night sail to Monemvasia, which is a good ten hours sail. The evening was calm with little wind, and the wind was going to be wrong the next day anyway, so one way or another we would have to motor. Tom had slept a lot during the day, so I reckoned he could do most of the night, whereas I had swum and kayaked a lot, and knew I would need to sleep, plus, he stays awake most nights anyway!!!! So decision made we upped anchor and set off. It was a very calm night, and the sea was like a mill pond, with very little swell. We knew we had to watch for traffic, as thee is a pretty main shipping line that goes North of Kithira in the gap between Kithira and the mainland, so we stayed pretty north of that. Tom did say it was actually quite exciting as there were ships all over the place, and smaller fishing vessel too that didn't show up on the radar, so he had to really keep watch. The dogs slept the whole journey, so it was better for them. I slept on and off around two hours at a time, and then around 6.00am we came to Monemvasia. Popped in alongside the key happily and felt very comfy.
What a magnificent place, the rock of Monemvasia reaching up out of the sea, and the little fortified town all but hidden as the stone and tiles of the houses blended in with the rock. We spenta couple of days here, wandering and exploring, walked up the original path to the upper town and battlements, but sadly were not allowed up to the top to the church of Agh Sofia as they were undergoing renovations. It was still well worth the walk for the view though. This is a must visit place, really magical. What made it even more special were the turtles in the harbour, they would come in mid day to get tid bits from the fishermen, then leave again in the evenings. We saw three at one point and they were playing together.
|Tom at Monemvasia|
|Looking down over the town.|
Sadly time to move on, though I really loved it here. Next stop is a little harbour called Leonidon, or Plaka a bit further up the coast, A fairly nondescript place, with two main tavernas that both vie for your custom. A sailing holidays flotilla came in just after us, so there was plenty of entertainment, and met some nice people. We sat in on their morning meeting, and heard all about the wind expected that day. We needed to get two new batteries, so thought we would go to Port Kheli, as we thought there would probably be more chance finding them there.
A force six to seven was due to come in from the South East, which was fine for a sail to Kheli, but when we got there there was actually no space, and being at anchor in the middle of the bay would not have been very easy with the battery situation. So we decided to leave, head into the wind and go to Spetses.
29th 30th May Spetses. Big winds, found the bay and quay not as Mr Heikell syas in his book!! No where to park so to speak, Tom had, the not so brilliant idea of tying up along side a big old ship, well, I suppose it was pretty solid and not going anywhere, but the wind was howling and pushing us up hard against it, so after having all the fenders turned orange from the hull of the ship, we gave up on that one and anchored in the bay. I was not that happy about it all, the wind was so strong and there was a pretty big swell coming in to the bay so we were all over the shop. Eventually the wind changed a bit, though not much less, and we managed to get a rope ashore for extra safety and to keep us straight. A very tiring evening and night, very little sleep. Spetses itself is lovely, a lot of roads with no cars so good for the dogs. The next morning the wind had dropped considerably and the sun was shining so I sat at the back of the boat and proceeded to scrub all the fenders to get the orange off them. We went ashore for a walk, and walked towards the fishing harbour, there were a couple of yachts in there, one, preparing to leave, so we reckoned it would be a good chance for us to move there. We had found the batteries that we needed as well, and this would make getting them onto the boat much simpler. So back to the boat, up anchor, and as we went towards the fishing harbour, the other yacht that we saw was also leaving. Yay. At one point we were told we may have to leave around six pm as a big super yacht, stink pot was coming in, but luckily there was space, and we stayed where we were and it came in beside us. That evening there was a big posh wedding party at a taverna just along from us, looked like all the models and beautiful people from the States were there!! Great people watching evening. Next morning early departure for Hydra.