After the last minute scramble to drop our lines and leave Alimos Marina in Athens, it was such a relief to be heading out towards Poros Island just under thirty nautical miles away from the mainland.
Amazingly we negotiated the tight exit with no really heart stopping moments and we were soon on our way after almost three months of living on Sunday and not being able to leave the marina.
It was such a good feeling gazing at the dark blue waters and feeling the salty air on our faces. Unfortunately there was very little wind so we ended up motoring the whole way but we really didn’t care. It was just so great to stretch our sea legs again and get used the different motion of a catamaran after sailing exclusively on monohulls previously.
After five hours – during which we saw only a couple of other sailing boats and some freighters and ferries – we arrived at Poros.
As it was a public holiday weekend we were expecting the anchorage to be quite crowded but the one we liked from a previous visit in November, Ormos Neorion, only had a few boats at anchor – including one yacht that had been there on our previous visit.
Once we were settled we decided to have our first swim of the year. It was such bliss diving into the crystal clear waters even though it felt very cold!
The following day we took our new dinghy and outboard over to Poros town for their first proper outing. Our Mercury outboard propelled us quickly over to the Centre and once there, we found plenty of spots where we could tie up as there were very few visitors.
We had a wonderful wander round the pretty little town, walking passed the restaurants and tavernas with mostly empty tables and turning up inviting laneways to explore the less touristy parts.
We stopped to look in the tiniest of chapels, browsed the shop windows and bought a pair of shorts for me.
Getting back was a little less smooth. Our new outboard suddenly stopped! It sounded as though it had run out of fuel but there was loads in the tank. Capt’n Birdseye quickly found a switch that should have been in a different position so fortunately we didn’t have to row back!
Back on board we wished that our “Corona bubble” friends on Polykandros were there with us to enjoy the peace and beauty of the anchorage. They were a little behind us in the queue but apparently the completion of their export document was “imminent”so we decided to stay another night hoping for good news the next day.
We had another good day wandering around the town, buying a few things at the chandlers (better stocked than some of the “flash” stores on the mainland) and relaxing in our quiet bay.
Infuriatingly nothing had changed for Polykandros and because we were officially meant to be leaving Greece due to our Schengen 90-day visa-free period being on the point of expiring, we sadly decided we had to press on.
The following day we hauled anchor and headed to our next stop – the dramatic and rugged island of Kithnos. As we departed Poros through the narrow channel to the South we were very taken with how lovely this small town looked from the water.
Again, there was absolutely no wind so we motored for the first few hours.
At one point the water ingress alarm went off in the starboard engine. A quick check and everything looked fine – apparently it has always been a little over sensitive and has a history of causing a hubbub when there was actually nothing wrong!
Very soon after this a lovely breeze started to ripple the ocean surface so we hoisted the sails. The main went up like a dream – after having to haul Bali Hai’s very heavy main up by hand for so long it felt extremely luxurious having a power winch to do the job for us!
The furling headsail came out OK but was stiff and slow – but it had been out of use for three months so who could blame it?!
The sail was absolutely glorious and we were really please and surprised that Sunday cut through the water so well. The winds were light – 11 to 13.5 knots and she averaged around 5.9 knots with a top 6.4 knots which wasn’t bad.
By the time we reached Kithnos in the late afternoon we both felt exhilarated after our first sail since November last year when we had just bought Sunday. It was such a great feeling!