This week started at Ermoupolis, the capital of the Cyclades. We hadn’t read so many good reviews about the city, it ended up being a great surprise, we actually loved it!
The city was once the capital of Greece and it is easy to see the traces of its golden years. Ermoupolis is quite a charming town and not only on the water front, but as one walks inside the narrow streets, shops and cafes it gets better and better. Once you get to the main square of find this charming building, the city hall, which is supposed to be a replica of the palace of Troy, where Helena lived. How cool is that?
We were able to dock the boat in some prime Real Estate right in front of some super cool restaurants. The price for it… EUR 9 for 24 hours! Amazing, right? The daily fee was much cheaper than parking a car in any big city.
We then moved to Rineia island, just outside Mykonos southwest coast. This place is one of those daily trips some people do while staying in Mykonos. There was no wind and we just chilled
Our first stop in Mykonos was Psarou beach, the place of the rich and famous (I guess) who really like to party and show off their incredible amazing yachts with slides on the side. We had never seen anything like this. The crisis certainly did not hit this place.
Since the wind forecast was very wild, we just spent an afternoon there are quickly moved to Ornos beach, which is theoretically the most protected place to anchor your boat in Mykonos.
After almost one day anchored there, we thought we were pretty safe and Katherine and I went for her first kiting lessons (which by the way were great. She is a super fast learner). However, when we got back to Ornos, Ipanema had dragged anchor for at least 40 meters and it was about the hit a series of boats and make a serious mess into the bay. We got back just in time to save it and bring it back to its initial position and put 30 additional meters of chain. After this it didn’t move until we left, but I have to tell you, in a bay with 40+ knots of winds and all those fancy boats around you, it is quite stressful for the captain to stay cool and relax.
And because of that unfortunately I didn’t enjoy my time in Mykonos as much as I had liked to.
It was a shame because our good friends Fernanda, Chris, Beta and Nancy arrived one day after us and they were all over the place, exploring the island, the city, the fancy restaurants and lively nightlife and we did not follow them at full pace. My suggestion, if you want to go to Mykonos by boat, go to your friends’ boat, not yours.
Of course we did explore Mykonos a bit, but we would like to have gone around a lot more.
One day before we left Mykonos, Katherine left the boat. It is so sad having friends leaving. Luckily, Lucas and Carol arrived! They are a SUPER cool couple from São Paulo who quickly found their way around the boat and were helping us with EVERYTHING, from sailing to cooking and cleaning. We even already posted some pictures we “stole” from them. They also went around exploring Mykonos on two wheels.
After Mykonos, the sail south was one of the best ones of the trip so far, we had quite strong winds but coming from our tail, so you don’t feel it as much. The boat, and most important, the crew, behaved extremely well. We passed through the much feared (at least by me) channel between Naxos and Paros, which tends to have even stronger then average winds then the rest of the Cyclades, and we sailed all the way down to the island of Ios.
Ios is known for nudity and party… what a powerful combination, don’t you think? The island is much visited by the younger crowd, at least at heart. There are white sandy beaches, which are really nice, a frenzy festival for Feijão. I guess this is the closest looking beach to Ipanema we have been so far and Feijão went bananas running up and down the beach. It was a relief that he did not chase around any naked guy’s winner as he was so entertained by the beach. I was already picturing Feijão, with some guy’s “sausage” in this mouth, jamming left and right all “jumpidy” as a wild goat stung by a bee, while we trying to control the situation. Luckily nothing like this happened, so we are still welcome back to Ios.
Our first night in Ios we spent at Milopotas beach and the second night at Maganari beach and we liked the latter one better, we anchor really close to the beach and we had a fantastic time there.
Well we enjoyed it at least until 5-6 pm when this wild strong wind got to the bay. It was averaging 50 knots, but we had a gust that hit us at 64 knots. We were 80 meters from shore and it was enough to accumulate white caps at the boat. Crazy!
The south side of these islands protects you from the swell, but the wind builds up speed above the mountains and comes down with increased strength. This time again our anchor was really put to test and it did a fantastic job!
Our next stop was… world famous Santorini! What an unique place! It needs no introduction, right? (we will post more pictures of the island in the next post)
Luckily we had friends, Marcos and Alice, working there with a super classy sailboat, the Zik Zak, which they use to take visitors to day trips around the island. He is a full-blown Greek captain with 25 years experience and lots and lots of knowledge and stories to tell. He is probably that type of people who can fix a broken mast with a chewing gum and a paper clip. So as any less experienced captain would do, I just tried to hang out close to him the most I could to get some of that wisdom by osmosis.
This couple has been amazing and helped us to find this most incredible “parking” spot in the island just bellow Oia town. If someone spits from up there, it would probably hit our boat. We are so thankful they helped us; otherwise we had no idea where we would keep the boat. Santorini is certainly not an easy place to find anchorage as once you move a few meters from the shore it gets to 300 meters depths. Again, if you want to sail in this island, go with your friend’s boat, not yours.
Alice is a Brazilian girl who was abducted from Fernando de Noronha by Marcos and now lives happily in Santorini. She found out she had just got her Greek citizenship at the moment we arrived in Santorini and so we went out to celebrate at Dimitris, a seafood restaurant with incredible Mediterranean food and amazing view of the Ammoudi port bellow Oia town.
By the way, ports in Greece are not like other places of the world I know, dirty and smelly. I don’t know how but they managed to make them in places with transparent water, nice restaurants, with panoramic view, etc, etc, etc. On top of that, they certainly get the best sourcing of fresh seafood. Dimitris sometimes doesn’t even wait for the fisherman to come back to shore. He goes after them in the middle of the sea to get the freshest. How cool is that?! This is some serious sourcing in action!
Well, unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to our old friends: Fe, Chris, Beta and Nancy and our new friends and incredibly amazing guest: Lucas and Carol. We certainly can see this couple doing this someday.
Now I left the boat to come to a friend’s weeding, Sol and Willian’s, in San Sebastian, while Sarah and Feijão are fully in charge of Ipanema. I am sure they will enjoy their time without me.
On the other hand, I already miss those two sweet little buggers.