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Day 15 & 16 – 17 miles turns into 42 ending in Parikia

We planned to go to Piso Livadhi on Paros from Koufonisi, a 17 mile hop. A chance of cloud and rain but nothing much. No problems the first hour but then a thunder storm arrived, monsoon rain and winds that gusted up to 27.8 knots. We had the main sail up, which was ok without the Genoa but still meant we were doing 7.5 knots just with one sail. Two other small problems, the small Cyclades ferry pinned is to the south of Naxos meaning we would probably hit the south West tip forcing us to tack in amongst the bad weather. He got called a very bad name.

The second problem was that poor Nancy felt sea sick. So we made best speed to get to Piso Livadhi. Eventually the storm passed and the rain stopped. And eventually the sea calmed and Nancy started to feel better.

When we got to Piso Livadhi, which looked a really cute little place we found the harbour was rammed, mainly due to a flotilla being in town.

We needed a plan B.

Quick discussion with Bill and both crews we decided to head 12 miles north to Naousa (pronounced ‘Nowsa’). Turns out Naousa was no better, the marina was packed and the bay littered with gin palaces. All this gave it air of protentiousness, and given we would have had to dinghy ashore as well the place didn’t appeal to us.

We needed a plan C.

Another quick discussion and we decided to go south on the west side of Paros to Parikia. The harbour is home to a couple of charter companies and it was Saturday, turnaround day so all the yachts were in. That meant we couldn’t get in the harbour and had to anchor stern to too the outside of the harbour wall.

None of this was a problem, but being outside the harbour with a southerly wind we wanted plenty of anchor chain out. We also noticed the boats already there had anchors that were far from straight (good chance of a crossed anchor).

First time in I dropped the anchor to soon, and of course on pulling it up found we had picked up the neighbours anchor chain. This time we launched the dinghy to make it easier getting the line under the chain. Bit of an issue getting the Italian crew concerned to let more chain out so we could get the tangled anchor and chain close enough to the surface. Eventually sorted and we anchored second time ok. Just part and parcel with sailing, adds to the adventure!

What of Parikia? The town is the main port of Paros and also a major ferry hub for onward destinations. That makes the water front a busy place, especially when 3 ferries arrive at once. Suitcases, back Packers, cars, buses and lorries every where. Plenty of whistling going on as well.

But once you get behind the water front the old town, despite the commercialisation, retains much of its charm. It has a maze of narrow streets which remind you of the hill top Chora on other islands. The piccies below give you an idea. We enjoyed Parikia and stayed an extra day to explore.

That also meant that Nancy could catch the direct ferry back to Athens to go home to see her folks. It was sad to see Nancy go, but it was nice seeing her for a couple of days.

Quick fuel up from one of the tiny tankers which randomly turn up on the quay side (picture below) and we’re off to Sifnos now. Not sure where we’re going on Sifnos, plan A is Faro, plan B Ay Yeoryis, plan C Vathi.

More later,

Yammas!!

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