Departure: Reggio Calabria, Sicily, October 21, 10 am Arrival: Katakolo, The Peloponnese, October 23, 3.30 pm Nautical miles: 292
Finally, we made it to Greece and Leo had returned to the country where he grew up #homesweethome. We still have have a fair bit to go before we reach our final destination, but the journey from Sicily to Peloponnese was our last longer passage this season.
The last few passages were strongly dictated by the forecast, although we had planned to stay a bit longer around Sicily, heavy weather in the long term dictated otherwise and basically rushed from one passage to the next, which proved very wise afterwards.
The 290 NM from Sicily to Greece went fairly easy with steady winds most of the way. We ran out of gas on the second night, which caused our delicious noodle soups to turn into the saddest dinner of lukewarm curry water with rubbery noodles. Kai was a bit disgruntled by the lack of dolphins (he always looks for them when he’s out on deck, so cute), but yet again we had quite a few stowaways – little birds catching a ride across the sea – and they made for great alternative playmates for Kai (although one-sided perhaps).
Already after one quarter of the way the Greek Olympia sounded over the radio providing hope that we would make it after all, and so we did. We sailed passed Zakynthos and its beautiful cliffs and headed straight to Katakolo, a rather big cruiser port, however charming enough when off season. As a storm was brewing, by the time a developing Medicane, we decided to head further already the next day in order to find a more comfortable shelter.
Departure: Katakolo, The Peloponnese, October 24, 8 am Arrival: Kiparissia, The Peloponnese, October 24, 2 pm Nautical miles: 30
We had an easy motor sail to Kiparissia, a very lively bigger village, hidden behind a large free harbour. This port, one out of many, apparently build mostly by European development money, is mostly finished, just the cosmetics and a management plan is missing. Yet it offers perfect protection and is only a small walk from town, where we finally replenished our provisions and purchased a new gas bottle.
When things don’t go exactly according to plan, magic happens. It was our intention to sail directly around the Peloponnese (the Corinth canal is closed) to reach our winter destination sooner rather than later. But the wind did not favour us – so we’ve time to explore instead, and what gems we found!
Possibly some of the most beautiful waterfalls we’ve ever seen. And although a bit cold, nothing beats swimming under a waterfall. Those waterfalls are reachable easily by car from the W and South side of the Peloponnese and are an absolute must see, so make sure not to miss it.
Departure: Kiparissia, The Peloponnese, October 30 Arrival: Gerakas, The Peloponnese, November 1 Nautical miles: 62+54+34
*Overnight stops in Methoni and Vatny
Luckily the forecast allowed us to continue as we were getting a bit stir-crazy and impatient to make progress and meet up with Leo’s dad. So we did as much progress as possible with longer day sails, trying to utilise all available daylight. After stops in Methoni, famous for its history and archaeological sites and Vatny, a long bay just around the infamous cape of Tenaro, we finally med up with Beduin (Leo’s Dad sailboat).
Meeting Leo’s dad and his partner was bonus, especially since they would accompany us to Leo’s hometown, giving an extra boost of confidence for the last part. His Camper Nicholson 32 (Beduin) from 1964 has sailed more than half across the globe with him and it’s super cool sailing along with them.
We spent a couple of nights in Gerakas enjoying the quiet anchorage – calm waters and a quiet town. Every morning we were greeted by the most stunning sunrises – so spectacular that Pernille could even convince Leo to go for a 7 am SUP in the golden morning light.
Departure: Gerakas, The Peloponnese, November 3 Arrival: Ydra, November 3 Nautical miles: 46
From Gerakas we sailed to the famous island of Ydra, and although we only got spend one night at the island it was clear to us, why this island is such a popular tourist spot – pristine nature, quaint little towns and yet still remarkably close to Athens. We might swing by here again some other time.