We woke quite early in Kassandra Point, which was hardly surprising given we were right out in the open, in front of a beach. The Mantus had held perfectly – although there wasn’t really much wind to give it a real test. We retrieved the anchor and left the bay around 10h45 intending to get to Porto Koufos on the next peninsula for the night. There was nothing much to report with the journey – we traced our track backwards and had therefore seen it all the last time. The wind was calm to start with and we were motoring – I had my laptop out in the cockpit and was happily catching up with some work. Just before we rounded the bottom of the peninsula, the sea started to build and the wind came up around 17 knots – we hastily cleared the cockpit before everything got soaked and hoisted the sails for a more comfortable ride.
In the mid afternoon, we approached Porto Koufos – the place had been recommended to us by friends in another yacht and we were confident it would be a great place to stay overnight. We dropped the sails and entered the bay – however, it seems that there were loads of yachts who had the same idea! There was a big mega-yacht blocking half the bay and there wasn’t really anywhere we could stay … so once again, we were on the hunt for an anchorage.
We decided to continue on round the end of the peninsula – we had planned to skip the west coast of the second peninsula anyway as it didn’t seem to offer any more stopping places than the first one! The good places appeared to be on the East coast so that’s where we went. As we round the tip of the 2nd peninsula, all hell broke loose with the sea!!! There was very little wind – but the sea was rolling in on the beam with waves of around 1.5m height … these got steadily worse as we kept going and eventually were around 2m, throwing the boat from left to right. We couldn’t sail for better stabilisation so just hung on and kept going.
There are several small and pretty bays at the bottom end of the peninsula, but the rolling waves were rolling in there too and there were far too many rocky areas. We didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. Eventually, we got to Ormos Sikia which is a big bay half way up the peninsula – it’s a mixture of sand and weed on the bottom so we thought we’d get good holding and we hoped we could find a spot that was protected from the swell. We checked out both sides and eventually decided on the southern side, at Skala Sikia – there were a few restaurants there and we considered going ashore for dinner but decided we couldn’t be bothered to launch the dinghy so ended up eating on board.
The night was pretty uncomfortable – the swells continued to roll in but obviously not so high inside the bay – and once again the Mantus held tight. It was just about OK to sleep but we both woke up several times during the night. The plan for the next day was to finally make it to Diaporos which seemed to be the best place in the area by all accounts – and only a couple of hours further up the coast.
The swell continued the following day until we were about an hour away from Diaporos – finally the sea was calm and we could enjoy the lovely scenery of this area. The island is a bit of a challenge – there are numerous rocky areas, submerged rocks and shallow areas so it is tricky navigating. This wasn’t helped by the fact that our C-Map/Jepperson chart appears to be very inaccurate in this area! We are now navigating with both the main system and also on the iPhone with Navionics as the backup as their charts seem more comprehensive in this area.
We decided to go for the North Bay of Diaporos as the reviews on Active Captain said this was the quietest area as there were no tavernas or bars on the beach. We approached the bay just before 18h00 and it was indeed a beautiful spot …. just one other yacht in the bay and a sandy weed bottom with around 8m depths. Perfect! Down went the Mantus again and again held fast on the first set … things are looking good.
So here is a pretty big album of the beautiful area we are in …
For the first time in several weeks, we were finally in an amazing spot, laying at anchor and could go for a swim and relax. Our friends in Mistral were anchored at the other end of the island – and hopefully we’ll get to meet up with them in the next few days.
We’ve covered some miles in the last few days – from Thessaloniki to the bay on the other side to Kassandra Point to Porto Koufos to Sikia and now finally Diaporos. The plan is now to relax for a while and enjoy!