Today was an engine cruising day! We left Ormos Siferi in Skiathos around lunchtime after a leisurely morning … we were about ready to leave when we caught the wake of a big ferry and the anchor came loose again … I don’t think I ever want to go to Ormos Siferi again!!!! It was no problem as we were leaving anyway ….
We decided to do a circumnavigation of Skiathos and it is a very beautiful island. The bays on the south coast – Platania and Koukounaries – are busy, with several “day flotillas” and day trip boats – and of course mobbed with people on the beaches, parasols and beach bars. We headed out into the Skiathos Strait and the waves came up a bit more but nothing compared to how they had been a few days ago when we crossed from Volos.
The west coast has quite a few little bays and beaches – starting with the famous Big Banana Beach and the nudist “Little Banana Beach” next to it – most of the beaches along the coast were pretty busy with land tourists – some were great places for a lunch stop and a good place to go for a dinghy ride, but a bit open for the yacht.
The further north we cruised, the less people – and at the top north west tip of the island were a few coves where we could happily have stayed but they were still a bit choppy. As we turned the corner to the north coast, the scenery reminded me of Zakynthos – with white cliffs and white sand beaches at Kastro and Lalaria, quite spectacular scenery. Of course there were the usual day trip boats on the beach – and a few little boats exploring the rocks, really very pretty but quite rough water as it faces straight into the winds of the north.
And so, we were back at Skiathos Airport – this time at the other end of the runway. A couple of planes took off as we approached – but nothing so dramatic as the landing at the other side! The north east corner is also very pretty – despite having the runway in the middle of it – but again the bays there are not really suitable for anchoring, with ferries passing by and power cables on the ground as well.
We can now say we have “done” Skiathos – all the way around the island. So far, the Sporades are very pretty – but quite busy compared to the Cyclades (but then the wind here is at least do-able!). We plotted a course on the auto-pilot to take us across the strait to Skopelos, the next island along in the chain – and in search of a bay to spend the night.
We skipped Nea Klimi – which is the first harbour on the coast – as we didn’t really want to be in a harbour, but were in search of a quiet bay to lay at anchor. Skopelos is the famous “Mamma Mia” Island – the filming location of the 2007 film Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep and Peers Brosnan …. I really must watch the film one of these days, as everyone around here is obsessed with it and the day trip boats go to the film location, Kastani Beach, blaring ABBA all the way 🙂 There isn’t much to see at Kastani Beach – just looks like any other beach to me! We tried out a small bay just south of Kastani Beach at Panormos – but again, while it was very pretty, it was full of other boats and there was no space for us unless we wanted to lay in a line on the coast!
We carried on around the corner to the south coast of Skopelos and came across the lovely little bay of Limnonari … a boat we had been moored with in Volos was laying in there, but yet again no space for us! We are always too late – people like to find their spot at lunchtime when we are just leaving … so we always have this problem 🙂 Skopelos seems to be as pretty as Skiathos – so we had not problem to keep going, we still had a while before dark.
We managed to find plenty of space in the next bay along at Stafylos – the sun was going down just as we approached the bay and as usual, yet another spectacular sunset over the water behind us.
We dropped the anchor on sand, having searched the bay for the right spot! The first time went wrong as we landed on the weed, so we moved a little closer and found a patch of sand where the anchor held fast. Phew! However, just as we anchored the power all went off in the boat again … this is getting to be a problem. Ed shut everything down and we managed to get the nav system back up and running again on one battery bank so we had an anchor alarm – and he then started investigating. It looks like there is a dodgy cable to one of the battery management systems which is causing our issues, so as soon as we find a calm bay to lay still for a day he will check it out.
Stafylos turned out to be pretty rolly water … the waves were finding their way into the bay and there was quite a lot of swell. To be honest, at this stage we didn’t care – the anchor was holding and we would just let the waves rock us to sleep 🙂