4-week cruise around the Peloponnese
Part 1, From Nidri to Kyparissia
A cruise report by W. Schock
Now we go somewhere else! Constantly Caribbean is boring, especially since we have already seen most of the islands, so the tenor of Ernst. This was many years ago and since then a Greek “Skorpios” stung us. Yogi from Colombia, Ernst and I (Walter) from the “Franconian Lake District” sail now for many years in 4 weeks once “Around the Peloponnese“.
For years we are customers of Skorpios Charter in Nidri. Alternating with the Panopea and Erinika, each 40 ft, each with 3 cabins, 2 wet cells, solar panels, etc., the full program.
Arrived at the airport in Preveza, and a rental car is already ready for us, organized by dear Zoe. On the way to the Skorpios base in Nidri, we make a stop at Lidl and stock up on all kinds of necessities and other useless stuff according to the prepared list of provisions. On the way we briefly throw the handbrake anchor at the butcher and buy a leg of lamb. This should be enough for the first few days.
In Nidri, the team around the company chief Herbert is already waiting for us and we check in without much fuss. Vasilis explains again all functions in detail on board. Fruit, a bottle of sparkling wine, and the covered beds made us feel like welcome guests. We three are no longer in such a hurry in life and thus we decide to settle the remaining purchase tomorrow. For dinner, we go to “Harakiri”, the mountain village called by us, where the tavern serves the specialty “splinandero” and “kokoretsi”. We visit the taverns on the Nidri promenade extensively, especially the pub with Diana.
Monday, 13:00 all clear on board, everything checked, bunkered, nothing to complain about. Let’s go, start the engine, cast off, and head for Poros on Kefalonia. To get used to a lukewarm wind blows us with 5 kt ahead. Our Yogi is enthusiastic and in memory of his sailor time many years ago, he puts on the harness (lifebelt) to feel like in old times. Under main and genoa we shag along. Ernst and I try different sail positions and come to the conclusion that we don’t want to stress ourselves. So let it stay. Before the harbor entrance in Poros, we take in the sails, and shortly after Ernst announces that now 30 m of the chain are out and the anchor holds. Yogi is just tying up the stern lines. What variety of nautical knots he has with a line, amazes us every year anew. We drink the mooring beer in the harbor pub.
The next morning: a hearty breakfast. Looking into the yogi’s cereal reminded me of workers plastering a house with clay mixed with turmeric. And then lines away, anchor up, and course cave bay. With half wind in the most beautiful conditions, it takes only a few hours and the fire of Petalas is already visible on the peak.
Hardly around the corner, it is over with the wind. The sails are taken in and we head for the anchorage “to the green tree”. A bay, lonely, beautiful, and huge. Not a single boat except us. Because it is so beautiful, we decide to stay the next day and explore the cave after which we named the bay and let the tranquility affect us. With cooking cave exploring and worms bathing (fishing) we spend the day. At night it bristles up neatly and so we go, safely hanging on a 30 m chain on a 3 m water depth for hours carousel. Somehow it was nice!
The next destination is Zakynthos. The few NM we have covered in a short time under the “iron genoa”. The city harbor, overcrowded, noisy, and smelly does not invite us to stay. Also in the evening, there is no peace. Let’s getaway.
Katakolon is the destination for the day. Moderate winds promise relaxed sailing and when we round the cape and see Katakolon in front of us, we also see a huge tourist group transporter. We find a nice anchorage and enjoy lamb with beans, tzatziki, and good red wine. Everything from our own galley!
Kyparissia with its 5.000 inhabitants is halfway between Katakolon and Pylos. The approach is easy and there is enough space. We go alongside the pier. Here we are confronted with the events of the migration. A local, who received the shorelines, told us that the rusty barge lying at the pier, these days at nightly hour with approx. 100 fugitives docked. According to the painting of the ship, they all came from the Arab region. Within 10 minutes the ship was empty and the migrants scattered in all directions.