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Day 12, 13 & 14 – Kalotiri & Pano Koufonisi

Our very good Greek friend Nancy has joined us for a couple of days, Nancy is not her real name it’s Athanasia, but everyone in Greece and England calls her Nancy.

We met Nancy on Pano Koufonisi, arriving at almost the same time as the massive Comote ferry that had rushed Nancy from Athens. It’s a bit surreal to arrive at a remote harbour in the Cyclades and there’s a friend from Milton Keynes on the quayside waving at you. Mooring up was a complete disaster, but I’ll come to that in a bit.

Before heading off for Koufonisia, after being storm bound on Amorgos for 3 days, we wanted the tranquility of a remote anchorage. We found it at Kalotiri, just 7 miles north of Katapola. The journey there wasn’t particularly windy but the residual swell from the last 3 days of high winds made for a very rolly polly 7 miles.

The anchorage though did not let us down, just 4 boats in a huge bay. We all skinny dipped, though I should add our boats were probably at least 50 yards apart so very little detail was observable. Our chums Bill and Christine invited us to dinner which was delightful, after which we had a sharpner (Scottish for a snifter) and looked at the stars. No light pollution, definitely the biggest sky we’ve seen any this holiday so far. Here’s a view of the bay and the boats at anchor.

Although the bay is extremely remote, as is often the case, at the end of the bay was a tiny church on a hill. I walked up the path to the church to take piccies of the bay and continued to the church. Unusually the door to the church was open and inside was a small pot of oil with a wick left alight so you could light candles for loved ones. I’m not religious but I lit 5 candies, one for Nancy (it’s important to her), one for our friend Kate, who’s recovering from a serious accident, one for her sister, taken too soon, and two for our friend Mariette and her dad who’s seriously ill. I hope they help.

So on to Pano Koufonisi. I first need to mention a Greek lesson from Nancy. Sometimes Koufonisi is Koufonisia, I asked Nancy why. It’s a question of singular or plural Koufonisia means the whole group of islands, Koufonisi means just one, like the main island we are staying on Pano Koufonisi.

Now for the disastrous park. No anchor, lazy lines (a line collected from the quay, taken to the bow and pulled tight (the line is usually connected to a large lump of concrete on the sea need) so as to act in the same way as anchor. Normally very simple, but with a cross wind you need to get the line to the bow reasonably quickly. We didn’t and ended up side to the quay. Could have avoided it easily so just a bit embarrassing. Oops.

Koufonisia is a bit commercialised but still retains charm and has just the best beaches with perfect sand and turquoise sea. We dallied two days because we couldn’t drag ourselves away. Pano Koufonisi had a direct ferry from Athens and makes a perfect retreat whether by yacht or ferry. A couple of piccies of the main bay in Pano Koufonisi and a windmill behind an old fashioned boatyard on a peninsula, a real chocolate box picture.

For sailing chums, Rod’s pilot guide doesn’t really day enough. The new harbour is small but because it has lazy lines has a lot of parking spots. The piccie below gives you an idea, boats can be moored on two of the inner harbour walls with 15 + boats.

Tomorrow on to Piso Livadhi on Paros tomorrow.


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