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Crew: Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon
 

Cruising notes for Greece
compiled 2007

Page references to Greek Waters pilot 9th ed. 2004 Rod Heikel Pub: Imray

Navtex p29

We picked up Limnos (L) and Iraklion (H)  very well throughout the southern Aegean. Weather was broadcast 3 times daily (on most days) but at variable times not consistent with those in the table. 

Levitha p 280 36°59’ N,  26°30’E date of information Oct 2007 

There are 10 red moorings in the Eastrn arm of Ormos Levitha they are quite close together and the one furthest in are in quite shallow water. We were charged 7 this applies for 3 nights. The Taverna is very pleasant. The only wine they had was in bottles and quite expensive. No GSM coverage in the anchorage but there was at the taverna. 

Nisos Anafi p295 36°20’ N, 25°46’E, date of information Oct 2007.

I agree with the comments on swell especially if the wind has too much west in it. The breakwater was being extended while we were there. The red light has been switched off and the end of the workings indicated by a dim yellow flasher. The ferry jetty on the east side has been extended southwards and an even more extensive jetty built on the west side of the breakwater. The Poppy taverna is still to be recommended. The walk to Chora takes about 50 minutes to reach an altitude of 250m. There are 2 minimarkets and a nice bakery. There is an ATM near the taverna on the jetty. We could find no Internet access. GSM coverage was patchy in the harbour but OK in the Chora.

Nisos Leros p 438, date of information Sep 2007.

Lakki   37°07’ N, 26°50’ E

The breakwater for the proposed marina has been constructed and the marina is operational. Most visitors still use the Lakki marina on the western side. They use the “lazy line” system for tying up.  We were charged €16.50 (ie €1.5 per m. per day). They have a temperamental and expensive wifi €5 per hour; or €3 to use the internet in the café. The old fashioned grocery store opposite the Alpha bank on the east side of town sells delicious olives and will exchange camping gas cylinders. The biggest super market is on the edge of town on the road to Platanos.

Xerokambos 37°06’ N, 26°53’ E

The breakwater in front of the fishing harbour has been enlarged. There is still little room for yachts.

Nisos Kalimnos  p442 date of information Sep 2007.

Limin Kalimnos 36°56’N, 27° E

The marina continues to be kaput. The planned north breakwater is actual. There are water and electricity points along the jetty in front of Kalymna yachting, if you plug in some one will come by and turn it on for €5 which lasts 2-3 days. The Mariner outboard agent on the road between yacht jetty and the defunct marina was very helpful to us.

Vathi 36°58’N, 27°02’E

Not much room for manoeuvre in here. There is no sign of the proposed pontoons. There are submerged boulders on the north side of the pier where it joins the quay. Nevertheless is a very delightful and photogenic place. The bus from Kalimnos town is only €2 or you can walk the “Italian way” over the mountain, about 3 hours.

Nisos Kos p449 date of information Sep 2007.

The Marina is usually full at the weekends but there is usually space in the old harbour. Vice versa mid week.

Old harbour 36°54’N, 27°17’E 

A new pier has been built projecting NE from the north of the north side of the entrance. There are water and electric points which is included in price €16 per day in our case. An attendant who resides in a kiosk on the corner between the yacht jetty and the ferry jetty may direct you to a slot. 

Marina

This is all singing and dancing.  With helpful and courteous staff. There is free wifi which can reach many of the pontoons or you can take the laptop into the very pleasant TV lounge next to reception.

We had maintenance work done here and can recommend Takis Paspalidis and his colleagues Costas and Dmitri who operate out of “Yacht shelter” a workshop on the first floor above the gents showers.

There are four chandleries, 2 in the marina complex and 2 slightly less expensive within 100m of the southern entrance gate. Between them they have a good variety of stock and they can order stuff in but expect to pay through the nose if Plastimo have anything to do with it. We found it to be several hundred Euros cheaper to have a new cooker flown out from UK rather than pay the Plastimo RRP in Kos. The marina will gladly receive parcels and have a large store room for this purpose. “Selas” specialises in safety equipment but we recommend avoiding at all costs becoming embroiled in their interpretation of Greece’s Byzantine liferaft servicing regulations.

Nisos Nisiros p452 date of information June 2007.

Palon 36°37’N, 27°10’E

Very nice harbour but it can become very busy. The car hire company in Mandraki will deliver a car to the harbour.

Mandraki 36°36’N, 27°08’E

The alongside berths suggested are fully utilised by tripper boats from Kardomena. Stern too at the south end of the quay would be possible but Palon is much better.

Nisos Simi p457 date of information June 2007.

Panormitis 36°33’N, 27°50’E 

Very pleasant anchorage.

Rhodes p458 date of information June 2007.

Marina

Although the breakwater has been built this still shows no sign of completion. We saw one or two adventurous boats anchor inside the breakwater.

Mandraki 36°27’N, 28°14’E

This is the place to go when visiting Rhodes. We found the situation to be slightly less desperate than we expected.

Visitors now mostly go in the north east corner in the section marked “hydrofoils” on the plan. An attendant may direct you to a slot but he will not assist with taking lines. Anchor bow or stern too being wary of the chain. It is also possible to moor in the charter yacht berths but not on Friday or the rest of the weekend if they are expecting their clients to return in which case the slots will be roped off. The old visitors pontoon on the north section of the western side is very rickety and is mostly taken up with “ground to a halt” live-aboards. We paid €5 perday plus €5 for water and electricity. There are more yachts than electricity pods so when some one leaves plug in immediately – don’t waste a minute – and then negotiate a prepaid card from the attendant. The €5 buys a certain, unspecified, amount of electricity which in our case lasted about 4 days; unused units “disappear” when the plug is removed.

The minimarkets at the south end of the basin are well stocked and will exchange camping gas bottles.

The port police are polite but punctilious. 

Nisos Astipalaia p 471 date of information Oct 2007.

Skala 36°33’N, 26°22’E 

Building work has been attempted here but as with so many harbour improvements in Greece it has collapsed before completion. Reclamation work has commenced west north westwards from the ferry jetty for about 50 metres. A new breakwater has been constructed from boulders north eastwards, for another 50 metres, from the end of these works thus creating a protected inner harbour. There was no light deployed on this. Sadly, it is all in a very poor state of repair and makes the mooring situation more problematic than it was before. Shelter from the Meltimi is fair but not as good as might be hoped. The alongside berths indicated are made awkward by the arrangement of old rubber tire fenders orientated so as to be useful for commercial vessels rather than small craft. We were told that the authorities prefer yachts to moor anchored stern too during the busy season, however we saw no evidence of authorities in action.  Some yachts anchored in the middle of the harbour but care would be needed not to inconvenience the ferry. There is one water and electric point with a phone number to summon the attendant to arrange the connection.

Nevertheless we had an enjoyable stay here. The tavernas are pleasant and the minimarkets reasonably well stocked. There was also a good bakery in the harbour area and a better stocked supermarket in the Chora near the row of 7 windmills.

Ormos Maltezana  36°35’N, 26°23’E

A new short breakwater has been built on the east side of the exhisting jetty projecting west ward for about 40 metres. There is space for only one or two yachts on the end of the jetty. The shelter in the anchorage was very good.

Thira – Santorini p290 date of Information Oct 2007.

Skala Thira The basin was full of bumboats used to ferry cruise ship passengers ashore. The cable car was operational, six cabins capable of carrying 6 persons travel each way every half hour.

Athinios

This is now the main ferry port. A spectacular serpentine road takes travellers to the top of the cliff.

Vlichada 36°20’N, 25°26’E p294 

We stayed here during a SW gale. Although the forecast was B 8 we only measured winds to 7 with gusts to 35 knots on our instruments.  The harbour is secure in these conditions but entry and exit would be impossible due to swell breaking in the entrance. There are no markers indicating the reefs/sunken breakwaters in the approach. However the directions in the pilot worked fine. Lights have been installed on the end of the main breakwater and opposite on the north side of the entrance as shown on the plan on the latest edition of Imray chart G34. The harbour has indeed silted along the north side of the main, southern, breakwater especially by the dog leg. Don’t be fooled by the large motor ketch moored here with a motor boat alongside they are so firmly aground as to be entombed. We saw how it was done – during the gale swells brought sand and pumice over the breakwater.

 

Fishing vessels have largely taken over all the berths. Some local yachts have put up “no mooring” signs” fishing boats indicate their spot with tires and piles of nets. The possible spots for visitors are stern too in the west corner of the north west basin or in northerly winds alongside on the starboard side just inside the entrance. Although some electricity/water pods have been installed we found none to be functional. Under some rusty manhole covers there are some dodgy looking water spigots, a water man comes in the mornings (sometimes) to switch the water on.

 

There are two tavernas on the cliff above the harbour accessed by a staircase. They can arrange a hire car. There are no shops in easy walking distance. Buses run 3 times a day to Thira. 7.30, 10.30, and 14.30 returning at 7, 10 and 14 thus the only option is to go in at 10.30 and return at 14. There is a “Champion” supermarket near the bus station in Thira and also a good chandlery 2 minutes walk from the bus station on the Messaria road. There is a second chandlery about a mile further along this road. There is a second – larger – “Champion” on the road half way between Emporio and Perrisa. Perrisa has a good bakery and laundry but you would need a hire car to access these.

There are signs that the harbour is still being worked on but at the current rate of progress it will take an eternity to complete. The cynical might say this is because the locals are happy with this state of affairs as there appear to be no fees and we found no activity from any authorities. The lack of beacons may be, reducing the numbers of visiting yachts. 

Nisos Ios p 288. Date of information Oct 2007.

Port Ios 36°43’N, 26°16’E

 

A row of buoys mark off the swimming area of the beach for the whole width of the NE end of the bay. A new breakwater has been built west wards to shelter the moorings of the fishing boats on the western side of the harbour. About 12 Lazy lines with buoys have been installed on the East quay for yachts to moor stern/bows too instead of anchoring. A massive chain runs across the harbour about 50 metres to seaward of the quay from approximately opposite the “Breakfast Giros” etc restaurant on the north side to the “Octopus tree” taverna on the south side. The lazy lines are attached to this, I presume. Getting an anchor caught in this if one chooses not to use the lazy line does not bear thinking about. There is much weed and other detritus on the seabed to make anchoring interesting. We were not too bothered by ferry wash although there can be as many as 10 movements a day. The high speed catamarans can accelerate to 30 knots while still in view of the yacht quay, if our AIS is to be believed. The deceleration on arrival is only slightly less dramatic. 

A long green hose can provide water, it is non potable, A charge is not made out of season. Drinking water can be obtained from the very convenient supermarket at the SE corner of the harbour. 

Nisos Sifnos p 254 Date of Information Nov 2007.

Kamares 36°59.5’N, 24°39’E

Signs indicate that the yacht berths are on the south side of the harbour and fishing boats on the south end of the mole. There is evidently some overlap. There was evidence that lazy lines had been installed at one time but little remains now.  There are water points on the quay with a number to call for the attendant. There is a small supermarket about 100m towards the town. The port police were not much interested in seeing our paperwork.

Nisos Serifos p 253 Date of information Nov 2007.

Livadhiou 37°08’N, 24°31’E

Signs on the North jetty indicate the yacht and fishermen’s berths. Yachts go on the seaward end. The pods for water and electricity were non functional. The Malabar café a little way north of the jetty has a wifi intenet conection if you bring your own laptop.

Porto Heli p 209 37°19’N, 23°08’E, date of information Nov 2007. 

Telephone numbers painted on the pavement by the yacht quay indicate the person to summon for water and diesel.


Website © Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon 2008