At 7.40am on the 20th August we departed Ierekas in the Peloponnese and made the 63 mile journey across to the Cyclades Island of Milos. The first 17 miles were in 25kts of wind with the sails reefed ,but all too soon the wind dropped to 10kts and we finished the journey motor sailing the remaining 46 miles.
The Cyclades Islands comprise of a more challenging sailing area mainly due to the Meltemi, the northern wind that blows from early July through most of August. Milos is the southwestern most island in the Cyclades, from east to west and it measures about 23 km (14 mi), from north to south 13 km (8.1 mi). Adamas is the main Port of Milos Island and sits on the North perimeter of a flooded volcanic crater. We arrived at the entrance at sunset, and it was dark by the time we were approaching the Port. We could see that the Quay was busy but were unable to see how much space there was in the darkness. We decided to drop anchor and move across in the morning.
The following morning we moved to the Quay – 7.50 Euros per night plus 5 euros for water for the duration of the stay. We had not really had to think too much about Covid 19 whilst in the Peloponnese as the area was extremely quite with very few tourists, however as we left Money Penny to explore the town and search for supplies and a laundrette, we were shocked and slightly disturbed at the number of tourists! We would certainly have to be more Covid aware whilst on Milos Island.
We spent three nights on the Quay at Milos during which time we hired a car to enable us to explore this extremely pretty but (at the times)windy island. The beaches on the South side were beautiful and we stopped at Paleochori for coffee at a beachside restaurant, Sirocco, that was in the middle of placing their ‘plate of the day’ in the sand to cook. The temperature gauge showed 80 degrees centigrade and we were unable to walk on the sand nearby. Swimming in the sea was like taking a hot bath!
The traditional blue & white stucco houses were visible all around the Island and we saw octopus drying outside seaside restaurants, small fishing boats tied up in natural harbours and spectacular rugged coastline along the North shore.
On the 24th August we decided to move on. We had a fantastic sail out to the entrance of the ‘flooded crater’ but were hit by 31kts of wind as we exited. We decided that it would be wise to find a sheltered bay on route to our intended destination. This took us 14 miles to find!! (Kimolas) We were grateful to have our trusted Rocnor and that, eventually the wind decided to subside so that we could get some well earned sleep.
After a better than expected night we left Kimolas on route for the island of Sifnos. We motor sailed the 15 miles to Vathi on Sifnos and anchored in the bay. Sifnos & Serifos are known for their traditional pottery and there are many small pottery shops in both Vathi and Katarmes. Once safely anchored in the pretty horseshoe bay, we took the dinghy ashore for a coffee, to explore the tiny village and then the obligatory lunch in a beachside taverna! Oh what a lunch!!
Money Penny anchored in Vathi
The following day we decided to make our way as far north as possible to try and avoid the Melltemi which was exhausting us! Our destination was the Island of Serifos however, as we sailed out of the bay of Vathi we were again confronted by 20-30kts of northerly wind on our bow! We made for Katarmes, the next town up on the North West coast of Sifnos. Anchored in the bay, we prepared lunch whilst Money Penny spun around her anchor as squalls encircled us. After three hours (at 15.00) we upped anchor and made haste to Megalo Livadi on Serifos.
We spent two nights anchored off the beach of Livadi with an amazing view of the Chora on the overlooking hillside. We have to confess that we caught the local bus to the top of the Chora to explore this beautiful mountain village, however, we did walk the beautiful route back down. Due to the Covid situation the village, which is normally packed with tourists, was a treat to walk around. Arts and craft shops lined the small narrow streets and the miniature ancient houses sat quietly among them. Under normal circumstances these houses would have been full of August visitors.
The view from the chapel at the summit of the hillside.
The Meltemi had got the better of us. We would return to the Cyclades early next year before she began again! Early on the 28th August we departed Serifos on route for Hydra in the Saronic Gulf.