After successfully getting Milo on board, we were straight off to Skyros. We had a nice sail – its fun going downhill in the Greek Islands. Skyros has a small wall, which was all full, so the guy from the port took us over to some free mooring balls, right under a cliff with a cool bar perched on top. Great spot to swim and snorkel – much better than being on the wall.
Once again, we did the hire a car thing – primarily to drive up to the Chora, with the obligatory Venetian castle perched on top. On the walk up it was good to see the working donkeys, carrying all sorts of building material up the narrow steep streets.
We also visited a cool museum, set up by an old-time Skyros family with all sorts of interesting stuff they had collected. But the best part was still where we parked the boat.
Next morning we continued south on our way to Andros, with wind instruments that decided to fabricate both direction and wind strength. Mmmm. Anyway we decided to put up the geneker for the first time this season, relying on guess work to decide how strong the wind was. It lasted a while until the meltemi decided to make an appearance. We reefed down and positively zoomed into Batsi doing 8s and 9s. It was still blowing 40kts (guess) in the harbour so coming alongside with the wind pushing us into the dock was a little exciting.
Safely on the wall, we sat it out a few days and checked out Batsi – which wasn’t a bad place to be holed up in -until it dropped enough to head over to Kea, a relatively short 35nm away on a beam reach. Kea gets a good write-up, especially the Chora, but there wasn’t much of a crowd there because the crisis affected Greeks from Athens weren’t coming across and it had a bit of a dead feel about it. However the giant pussycat on the side of the hill that was carved out in the height of the Greek empire was pretty impressive.
Next stop on our downwind run was Syros, where we were last year. It was just as enjoyable as last time, with its cool beach bars, a lively wall where the restaurants are a footstep away from the back of La Mischief, and quite a few mansions with exquisite wrought iron. Some are still magnificent, some are just abandoned shells of houses. The old town is a delight to wander with its marble streets. The town is the largest in the Cyclades and has a couple of big churches, one Catholic and the other Greek Orthodox. We went up to Ano Syros once again, a medieval Catholic settlement with its winding narrow lanes and whitewashed houses, and its wonderful 13th century church.
Whilst there we fixed one problem and found another. The problem with the wind instruments was traced to a leak where the wiring that ran down from the mast entered the boat, resulting in a junction box full of rain water. On the flip side, we had our top batten car pull out of the batten box, and no amount of lock tight would keep them together. So time to order a new box from Incidence in France.
After a couple of days (and nights where the boys hit the clubs), it was time to take the boys across to Mykonos to get some more nocturnal experiences like nowhere else!!!