Finally got around to adding the second part of our Sporades blog.
After un-tangling our anchor we set off for Planitis Bay, a secure bay set in the north end of Panagia Island, away from civilisation.
Once you reach the top of the island, you can see the secluded inlet, and we motored in and anchored in the bay.
It is a very quite and natural part of the island, the only downside is that the currents wash rubbish into the inlet, so the beach is littered with debris.
Nevetheless, the water was clear and I had a lovely swim in the bay.
As there is no taverna we dined on board, then say on deck into the evening to watch the stars as there were no steet lights to dim the view.
The next morning we had a fairly early departure as a thunder storm was forecast for that evening and we had a long sail to get back to a safer harbour, so we set off with a light breeze back down the north coast of Panagia and Alonissos Islands. The wind gave up fairly soon after departure so we motored on, thinking it would be a boring day, but we were proved very wrong.
We sighted a pod of dolphins of our port bow, about 50 meters ahead, and were delighted when they started turning to join us, and we realised there were at least 20 dolphins including mother with babies. The sea was by now very flat, and we enjoyed half an hour watching them play in our bow wave, taking turns to stand at the bow. My video taken with my iphone turned out brilliant, here are some stills from it.
Eventually they left us to visit the rest of the flotilla behind us, and we motored on for a return visit to the Mama Mia Church – Church of Agios. This time the weather was in our favour.
Once we’d had our fill of this lovely church we noticed the wind had risen, and we set off around the north tip of Skopelos for a good sail. The wind got stronger as we progessed, so we reefed our sails and wizzed down the West coast at great speed (in a yacht this means about 7 mph).
Our stop for the night was Loutraki, a pretty village providing protection from the impending weather. Everyone (but me) wrapped up in waterprooks to walk to the taverna for the team meal, and we were entertained by the thunder and heavy downpour to accompany our delicious meal.
Luckily the rain stopped when the meal was over, so I didn’t get drenched.
Mondays trip was just a short hop down the coast, but as we were ready fairly early, and we’d seen dolphins in the bay before, we took the long route around Tsoungria Island, anchoring in the far bay for lunch and my best swim so far – lots of fish.
We sailed back over to Skopelos and rafted up in a beautiful bay of Panormos. The peace and solitude of this bay was broken by a loud crew on a nearby catamaran, and then into the evening by a taverna on the shore, but when we woke up all was quiet, so I slipped into the water for a quiet swim.
Another long sail beckoned, so we set off under motor back to the mainland.
As I had enjoyed Koukounaris Bay on our first visit, we stopped off again for lunch and I had another wonderful swim. The beach was busier today as more holidaymakers had arrived, so we had an audience.
Once we had lunched, the wind finally put in an appearance, and as soon as the anchor was up we hoisted the sails (not showing off at all, honest) and sailed gracefully out of the bay. Well, we have to provide them with photo opportunities.
A good sail took us to Kiriaki, a very pretty fishing town, not touched by tourism.
When we passed this harbour on our way out, we were intregued by masts aparently in midair on the shoreline. As we came into the bay we could see the Boat Building yard, with the boats up on metal ramps.
As we had a smaller yacht, we were moored between the fishing boats at the far right end of the bay, along with Robin and David, which meant we had a pleasant walk through the village to the shops and tavernas.
After a cocktail party on the largest yacht and dinner in the fish taverna, we had a quiet night in our corner of the harbour, while the sea rocked the boats in the main quay overnight.
Next morning, Mary Ann, Colin, Robin and David and ourselves decided to walk up the (steep) hill to the village of Trikeri. There is a lovely cobbled path up the hill, through flower filled countryside, with views down into the bay, and lots of butterflies enjoying the valerian.
The village at the top was charming, and provided us with a shady bar to enjoy a Frappe and Ice cream, and some group shots before working our way back down.
The lead crew had left Jake and his rib in the bay to ensure we didn’t have crossed anchors, as the fishing boat area had lazy lines galore. Lucky they did, as Robin and David required his assistance. But when he came to join us, the cord on his motor broke, so we took him onboard to taxi him to Trikeri Village round the headland.
As there was good wind, we then went out and sailed around Palio Trikeri, capturing some good shots of fellow flotilla.
Thats a good angle!
On our last day we motored back to Orei, and enjoyed the last team meal and award presentations.
I’d like to give a big Thank You to our Sailing Holidays lead Crew, Jake, Becky and Tom, who helped us have a wonderful holiday – we will be back (next 2 flots already booked).