After 5 and half weeks cruising the Cyclades, we’ve covered around 280 sea miles and discovered some beautiful anchorages along the way: here are some of our highlights.
We visited 12 islands in all, each with their own individual character and opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and sun-bathing – plus a lot of napping and reading. The majority of the time we were anchoring in deserted bays – with maybe a mini-market and a taverna to keep us going with provisions. It felt remote – not many charterers make it out the the southern Cyclades in particular – so we were often anchored alongside no more than two other boats.
You can take a look at our route in the map at the top of this post. My personal favourites were Kithnos (sand bar beach), Ikaria (Evdhilos) – for its friendly welcome and harbour – and tiny little Skhinousa at the foot of Naxos, which was a beautiful anchorage. And one from our second day, Dhokos in the Saronic Gulf, close to Hydra.
One significant change from our last visit, is how many times our boat papers have been checked. Since the introduction of the new cruising tax, the Port Police are super keen to check everyone in to the town quays, and check all your paperwork is up to date – in particular your receipt for the TEPAI tax. The port police are mostly super friendly and just want to get their job done and let us get on with enjoying our holiday.
On the fishing front, we only caught one tuna – on the crossing between Siros and Ikaria. Spookily, Rod Heikell had recommended this as good fishing ground in the pilot guide – and he proved to be right. Scott is still searching for clues on how to guarantee a better haul. Going out at sundown or sunrise is what the locals seem to do, so maybe we need to try that.
Solar energy has been keeping us going – we haven’t had to hook up to the electric once! The panels are really delivering all we need – and Scott has even hooked up a 12v water heater so we can have showers at any time. Yay!
In our last week we pottered around the islands north of Leros in the Dodecanese. We discovered a beautiful bay off Lipsos Island, and the harbour at Lipsos is charming. Scott made friends with a Swiss guy who lives there and knows all about how to catch fish from your boat. So Scott invited him over for coffee and they swapped fishing stories like two salty sea dogs. We plan to leave the boat in the marina here for July and August while the meltemi winds are at their strongest. Thank you Nemrod for looking after us, til next time!