Saturday, September 20, 2014


To the ones that are not sailors or that don't know the winds on the Aegean sea a brief explanation: The winds on that region in the summer months are medium to strong, sometimes too strong with several days with F7 and blow almost always from the same direction. It is the famous Meltemi.

When it blows over F5, and that is very often, the wind creates a nasty sea with short period waves, not too big (rarely over 3m) but steep and one behind the other. That makes going upwind a very difficult and wet sailing to say the least. Not all boats can do it. Mine is particularly good at that and I like it but not for many hours, since it is quite hard on the body and soul. Most, including my wife just hate it. Ok, as I said it is hard, some would call it incredibly uncomfortable and many would get seasick. Not properly the right weather to make a long passage.

Andros, Batsi
As the wind comes always roughly from the same direction (NW) it is a very bad idea to go straight to Turkey and come back the same route. The way back would be almost always upwind. The right way to do it, to avoid upwind sailing, is to make a big angle between the course of voyage to Turkey and the course of the return voyage. 

Kea, Vourkari
That means that you will end up at a much higher lattitude (or lower) than your starting point in Greece. The other solution is to arrive to Turkey at a lower lattitude, make the Turkish coast up (where the winds are less strong) and then come down to about the same place where you have started in Greece. That's another way of managing that 45º angle between the course up and down. 

Kea, Vourkari
That's just what we have made, coming to Turkey by the Southern Greek Islands (Crete, Rhodes) and then going up the Turkish coast till near Izmir and coming down towards the Saronic gulf (where Athens is). It worked pretty well, only on the way up from Rhodes to the North and going up on the Turkish coast we got really upwind winds.

This post covers the return from Turkey to the Greek mainland, crossing the Aegean sea, till the Corinth Channel, at the end of the Saronic Gulf:

Kea, Vourkari
We left Çesme marina (Turkey) and sailed to the nearby Greek Island of Hios, anchoring on Ormos Salagona. There we made a relatively long passage (that is not always easy) to Andros Island. In our case with a good F5/F6, it was a delight (at least for me :-) with the boat going almost always over 8k. Between these two Islands there is most of the time a big river of wind blowing at F7. In Andros we anchored in Batsi (very nice place).

From Andros we made the small passage to Kea and stayed three days at the beautiful and very sheltered anchorage of Vourkari.

We stayed three days because between the Island and Greece mainland it was really nasty, F7/f8 and a very disagreeable sea. As my wife really hates to sail in bad weather we stayed put. I don’t like to be more than two days on the same place but if I had too, this was not a bad spot.

Saronic Gulf
Saronic Gulf
From there we made it to Aegina, on the Saronik gulf (in front of Athens). We anchored on Ormos Maratona. 

The Saronik gulf is just a very beautiful place with lots of anchorages in an incredible scenery, with some prominent Greek temples on the shores.

From Aegina Island we made it direct to the Corinth Channel crossing the Saronic Gulf. 

We crossed the Corinth Channel the same day and for the night we anchored a bit outside Corinth Port, taking advantage of its shelter. Corinth is a really ugly city but the channel is awesome. 

It is really incredible how ships of considerable size can cross it, with a channel pilot, of course (and one of them is a woman).

The Captain
and the Admiral

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