This was the last legs of our Greek sailing trip, where we started to feel the melancholy of abandoning our temporary nomadic life style, where we were faced with the trickiest harbour drama yet, and when hubby told me that I had become a sailor.
Day 10: Andros – Korissia, Kea
The wind started to shift from the north, as predicted, and we decided it’s time to leave Andros and head to Kea. The wind was strong enough at 4-5 Bft, and it was predicted to grow stronger. We went through some spots where the wind was difficult, and it got a bit bumpy, but we expected it as much.
Kea is an island situated closest to the mainland and is popular with the Athenian yachts during the weekend, but this was Tuesday, and the bay was pretty deserted. The port of Korissia and Vourkari are situated on the same bay, 10 minutes away from each other, with Vourkari being the more sheltered and popular. After observing both ports, it looked like Korissia was a bit more interesting that day, and we got the boat ready to anchor, and put some extra lines out to anticipate the strong wind.
And the wind really built up in strength, and the boat was rocked sideways the whole night long. When we woke up in the morning, several of our neighbours had disappeared, which we learned later was caused by their anchors being pulled away during the night and they had to relocate somewhere away from the harbour. Our own anchor was securely in place, but the boat still rocked so violently we got sea-sick from being inside the boat (and nobody had got sea-sick being at the sea so far), that we knew we had to move the boat to Vourkari.
Day 11-12: Vourkari, Kea
The 10 minutes cruise to Vourkari was well worth it. Once again, we put plenty of anchor line to secure ourselves nicely, and once the boat was moored we could feel how markedly quiet the water on this side was. Vourkari is known to be a party hot spot in high summer, but on that day it was a sleepy village with only few restaurants and shops being open. One of the restaurants open was Aristos, one of the most well-known taverna in the village, and since we are moored directly in front of it, we gave it a visit. The Kid and I picked one dish to share: the shrimp rice, and I was so glad we picked it. Of all the fantastic Greek dishes I’ve eaten so far, I fell in love with the shrimp rice, which is actually made with huge juicy prawns cooked in their shells. It is is cheaper option from their signature dish Lobster Spaghetti, but I think it must have tasted just as wonderful, and the prawns are easier to eat. The Kid also gave it her approving thumbs up.
We spent the following day driving around the island, and had a stroll at its main village, Ioulida. The afternoon was spent going around the water in our dinghy, letting The Kid took the helm. The real excitement began in the last afternoon when more boats were coming into the harbour. It was Thursday, and for a lot of these charter boats, that meant a return to the home harbour the next day, which makes Kea the most strategic place to spend the night before. By the time it was 7 o’clock, the harbour that contained only 3 boats the previous night was packed. I was rather concerned over our anchor line, hoping none of these boats, moored so close to one another crossed ours and pulled it from the ground.
The next morning I woke up feeling something didn’t go right with our anchor. At first I thought it was our anchor that got detached, but after checking outside, it was clear it was the neighbouring boat that was swaying sideways because their anchor had come loose. What happened after that was a lot of drama that slowly woke up the whole harbour, and basically started the day. The boat next door got ready to fix their anchor by going out of their mooring, but as I had been worried about, their anchor line crossed ours, and by pulling it, the whole chain got entangled. They spent some time to fix this, but by the time the other boat tried to get out, we also found out that their anchor line also messed up ours. We got them all apart, but by that time, we alraedy had to shorten the chain so much, there was not much that actually held the boat. It was much earlier than we planned, but we decided to leave and head back to the mainland.
This is when Hubby told me that I have finally became a sailor because I, someone who sleep like a rock, managed to wake up before anybody else when I sensed there was a problem with the boat. He wondered how it did it even happen when I never got woken up when The Kid was having nightmares. Oh well, something you just can’t explain.
Day 13-14: Lavrio and Sounion
After being our home for the previous 2 weeks, it was quite hard to leave the boat Arethusa at the Lavrio marina knowing how much fun we had in it, but our water adventure had come to and end, and we still had 2 more days to spend on land around Lavrio.
We were picked up to go to our rental apartment, deep in the heart of Cape Sounion. We were a bit worried that it was too remote and we wouldn’t be able to get provisions easily, and we stocked up accordingly before going. Once we arrived at the house, we were greeted warmly by our hosts, an elderly couple who owned the charming little house surrounded by a small planting garden and sweeping view of the cape. Staying at the house made us all felt we were staying with our own grandparents, especially for The Kid, who bonded right away with the couple who would show her around the garden, sharing their fruits and flowers with her. We also loved the surrounding open spaces where we could stroll and spotted the Temple of Poseidon from a distance. I, for one, appreciated the fact that we could take a hot shower in a proper bathroom again (we couldn’t use the boat’s warm water heater the whole 2 weeks).
We did visit the Temple of Poseidon up close, and while it was imposingly beautiful, we ended up standing around the cliff, watching boats went by down below, thinking that just days ago it was us sailing, having the closest we ever had to live as nomads. After the visit to the temple we decided not to go to and see Athens, feeling that we were not quite ready to leave our dreamy days and busy Athens would have been too overwhelming for us.
I had never been as enthusiastic about sailing as the Hubby (and probably will not ever be), but this trip had totally won me over. I came to understand why many sailors never wanted to go back to solid ground once they bonded with the sea. It was an amazing experience for us as a family where we got to share a very intimate amount of space, came together as a team manning the boat, and where everybody, not just The Kid, learned a lot in the process.