The meltemi only lasted a couple of days and it wasn’t long before the wind forecast on the inside route of Evvoia was perfectly flat and we could continue our journey northwards without any problems. We weighed anchor at 11h45 and were back on the engine coastal cruising – there are lots of little islands and bays at the southern end of Evvoia but other than a couple of ferry ports and towns, not many you could stay in which were not full of fish farms.
Skipper Ed is at least smiling again !!! We’re back to blue skies and sunshine, at least for the moment.
At around 17h30 we came across the bay of Sikies … and this was a gem of a find. It was very difficult to see from the approach and we thought it was a case of another dodgy chart issue as the inlet that was apparent on the chart could not be seen with the naked eye. However, when we got in there we had a lovely surprise – the bay had just a couple of houses including a beautiful villa high up on the mountain on one side and few villas on the other side but none of them looked occupied. There were no other boats to be seen – except for the little fishing boat on the mooring in front of one of the villas.
The chart depths were wrong again – which is the case more often than not. We were afraid that the 20m depths would continue too far in, but after slowly surveying the bay we found a good spot, right in the middle of the bay, where we can drop the anchor in about 12m – our swing would take up almost all the space, but there was nobody else around. We dropped the anchor at 17h35 in perfect water and watched the sun go down.
The following day we had the first swim of the season – the water was clear and you could see the bottom. The principle of AIS signals attract other yachts applied here too – over the days we were there, we did have several visitors but most did not stay long. There was, in truth, not much space in the right depths for another yacht unless they were equipped with an awful lot of anchor chain and could stay a little further out although a German yacht did seem oblivious to the fact that he was way too close and we had to set alarm cushions at night as if the wind turned, we would have hit him. Very frustrating!
The sunsets were beautiful in this bay – and each night we could sit and watch the sun go down. Friends of ours from Australia, Natalie and Mike, who we had come in contact with via one of the Facebook sailing groups, joined us in the bay with their trimaran “Scout” for a few days and it was nice to get together with them in person.
We spent a while in Sikies – for no other reason than we didn’t want to leave. It was pretty close to the perfect bay – protected from the wind and seas, clear water for swimming and peaceful and quiet. Being away from civilisation is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is definitely what we like to do! The lack of tavernas, bars and people would bore others, but for us it’s perfection.
As this was the first time we could swim in the water, it was the first time we could have a look at the bottom of the boat and see what state we were in. It was not great at all – having spent a long time in Cleopatra Marina and some time around Vonitsa in the slimy water, there was a reasonable amount of growth on the boat in the places the coppercoat had not been sanded properly to activate it. The top of the rudder, the prop, the underside of the keel, the through hulls all had marine growth – but then if we remember what the dinghy looked like when we tried to put it in the davits in Cleopatra, there’s no need to think the boat would be any different. Ed decided to take the opportunity to do a major underwater cleaning exercise – using the proper dive equipment rather than just a snorkel and mask. This turned out to be quite a major exercise as although we’ve been carrying the dive compressor around for a few years, we haven’t used it very much – and Ed has put on a lot of weight since we bought the equipment, so the weight belt needed major adjustment and he couldn’t fit in his wet suit 🙂 Eventually, trussed up like a chicken, he did manage to keep himself underwater properly without sinking to the bottom – but I didn’t have the heart to take any really embarassing pictures of him in the wetsuit!
The other game we decided to play was to try out the drone for the first time on the boat – we have not been brave enough to try to take off or land it from the boat – but we are longing to get some footage of Liberation from the air. In Sikies, it was possible to take the dinghy to the quayside with was only a few hundred metres from the boat and to practice take off and landing in a safe place. Ed spent a while flying it around our boat and backwards and forwards over the bay to capture the amazing views – as well as flying around Scout to be able to send some footage to Mike and Natalie. Unfortunately, when he came back with the SD card, it was empty …. HE HAD FORGOTTEN TO TURN THE CAMERA ON ….. agghhhh !!!!! Clearly not in the good books – we decided to stay an additional night so he could try again the following day and this time he was brave enough to take off and land from the swim platform. We’ve got some good footage which I’ll add to this blog when it’s been edited.
Reluctantly, we left Sikies around 14h00 on 26th June, after spending five days laying at anchor and continued our journey towards Chalkida and the challenge of negotiating another bridge – another new thing to work out.