We left Antiparos heading for Denousa Island on June 12 when the wind switched around to the southwest. As we headed around the southern end of Naxos Island, we saw that it was calm and beautiful in Ormos Kalando, so we pulled in a dropped anchor, figuring that we could get to Denousa the next day. The next day the wind blew so strongly that we could neither leave the boat nor head out to sea. After a day, the conditions were good for leaving Kalando but the wind was too much on the nose for sailing to Denousa, we deviated to Kalotyri Bay in Amorgos Island.
We spent 3 very enjoyable days at Amorgos Island. We wanted to rent a car and see the island but that appeared to be difficult to arrange since there was no town where we anchored, and our mobile phone had had an unfortunate bath in the toilet that rendered it inoperable. However, I discovered Evdokia Car Rental with a Google search and a couple of emails latter, they delivered a fine little car to the beach (Ayios Pavlos) at Kalotyri Bay for their standard rate of 30 euros a day.
Amorgos island’s coastline is almost completely characterized by high, steep cliffs. There is a spectacular new road (thank you EU) along the west coast of the island that connects Aegialis in the north to the highland Chora and the ferry town of Katapola. It is only 5 miles as the crow flies to Katapola but more than 20 miles of hairpin turns to drive there. The highlight was the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa. One drives to a small parking lot on the east coast below the Chora and hikes up to this very small monastery clinging precariously on the cliff side, built to protect a religious icon, dating from the year 812, from intruders.
From Amorgos we did a 31 hour passage direct to Kastellorizo (Megisti), the easternmost Greek island that lies only 3 miles from our marina at Kaş, Turkey, where we checked out of Greece. By moving quickly we took advantage of an excellent weather window at the start of a meltemi (period of strong northwesterly winds) plus saved some of our limited European (“Schengen”) visa days for further adventures. We are now back in our berth at the Kaş Marina.
The monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, from the trail (looking up)
We sailed from Antiparos to the bay at Vathi on the island of Sifnos where were hiked and explored for five days. We took advantage of the great bus service on the island. From Sifnos we returned to the bay between Antiparos and Despotika island. The wind was perfect for sailing in both directions.
Sotiris carries Mackeral and octopus at Captain Pepino’s Taverna, AntiparosM.
We had a great time with Laura’s sister Cathy and her husband Brock who spent five days on Sabbatical III. We met them at the ferry dock in Paroikia (Parikia), Paros Island on May 31 and took them to Sabbatical III via rental car to the Monastery at Ioaunnou Bay, and from there by dinghy to our boat in the bay. We walked the beautiful hiking trails above the bay — climbing to the highest point to get sweeping vistas toward Mykonos. The next day we drove around the island, with long walks around Naoussa and the highland town of Lefkes.
Naoussa Harbor, Paros
On June 2 we sailed from northern Paros to St. Georges Bay in Antiparos Island, a distance of 28 nautical miles. The wind and sea was up, and the first 45 minutes heading north out of Paros was quite uncomfortable. When we turned downwind in the wide channel separating Paros and Naxos, we had a much smoother, and fast, sail. The highlights of Antiparos that we experienced were it’s famous cave, the charming town of Antiparos, and the nearby uninhabited island of Despotiko. Laura and I visited Despotiko Island two years ago and all we saw were goats and a fenced in area that was clearly an archaic ruin. This time, there was a large team of Greek, Italian, and American archaeologists and their students hard at work restoring the site. The lead American took the time to explain the history of the site and then we spent time chatting with the American students.