No Room at the Inn

We left Gavatha at 7am heading for Nisos Ayios Evstatios, a small island 50nm away in roughly the direction we were heading in. It was a pretty uneventful trip until we got there to find two big barges adding extensions to the quay. These turned out to be well needed as there was room for the ferry and one other boat, and that space was occupied by an Australian Privilege cat who was flying a boxing kangaroo and not the Australian ensign. We really didn’t have time to stay and chat as just after we anchored in 2m of water just off the small beach, the ferry came in and got agitated with us anchoring there. I’m pretty sure the ferry drew more than 2m but we decided that we didn’t like the anchorage much anyway and decided to get out of there and do a night sail across to the Northern Sporades. The guy on the republican, anti-Australian flag cat (him, not me) suggested a good anchorage on Nisos Kira Panayia called funnily enough Ormos Kira Panayia. It looked a good place to anchor in the dark, so we decided to head there.

We got in at 1am, dropped anchor and went to bed. Next morning we awoke to a pretty bay, but with thunderstorms closing in. Up came the anchor and the wind and we decided to keep to the lee side of the islands and make our way to Skiathos with only a couple of channels between the island where the swell was up. The strategy worked pretty well as the rain came down and the thunder and lightning show kept us on edge. We passed between Alonnisos and Peristeri and across the bottom of Skopelos. As we got to the strait between Skopelos and Skiathos, we got hit with a short, sharp chop and we had to head across the waves until we got in the lee of Skiathos before heading north.

We finally got to Skiathos and dropped anchor in 7m of clear water in a beautiful bay called Ormos Siferi, just to the West of Skiathos town. By now the weather was clearing and it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon as we dingied across to the NE cover of the bay and did the short 10 minute walk into town.

Lesvos – Home to Women Who Wear Comfortable Shoes

Apologies to Robin Williams (Good Morning Vietnam) for starters and then probably to a few more after that.

The motor sail to Lesvos was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. We stuck to the coast of Turkey and then got into the lee of Lesvos, both of which kept the swell down. As we sailed along the east coast of Lesvos, we entered shallower water and played dodgem with numerous craypots and fishing nets.

Lesvos is a strange looking island, with two giant landlocked gulfs cutting into what is the third biggest Greek Island after Crete and Evia.

We pulled into the wall at Mytelini, which had oodles of space. It wasn’t the most attractive wall in the Greek islands, our spot was right next to the bus stop. Mytelini is the capital and behind the waterfront had some cool little winding streets full of nightlife. We consulted Tripadvisor and found the best restaurant in town was 200m from La Mischief. Octopus in Red Wine seemed to be the local specialty and once again the 6 of us enjoyed some great Greek food.

Next morning the 6 of us became the 4 of us as we waved goodbye to Scott and Tiki who were off home via Athens. Then the four of us took off for our grand tour of Lesvos, the highlights of which were very cute little fishing villages (some of which rivaled that one we found in NW Spain – Allan). Petra was also worth a visit to see the monastery perched on top of a hill/mound in the middle of the village. And then there was Mithimna, with its 14th Century castle overlooking the town, it’s very cute harbour and the most enormous sardines that were more like small fish; and turned out to be the best sardines that I’ve ever tasted.

Lesvos is also a bird watchers paradise and our last stop for the day was the salt lakes where the flamingos hang out. Who would have thought – flamingoes in Greece? We managed to see them off in the distance so we able to tick that one off.

Back in town we decided the restaurant from the night before was so good we would eat there again.

Next morning the 4 of us became the 2 of us, as we waved goodbye to Kim and Jane and set off towards Skiathos. Lesvos is such a big island that it takes a whole day to sail from the East side to the West side. We had planned to stop at Mithimna, which had taken our fancy on the drive around, but the wall is small and there were no spots left. So we pushed onto a little village called Gavatha. We pulled up to the wall and were later joined by a yacht from Slovenia. The town itself had a nice church on the hill, a small resort and a rusting WW2 Tank (nothing unusual there!).

Then it was off towards Skiathos.

For photos of Lesvos, see