We headed the 39 miles (about 7.5 hours) north, to the Island of Kithnos in the Northern Cyclades. The wind was forecast to be around 8-10 knots northerly, but as usual it did its own thing, changing rapidly between 5 and 25 knots, always on the nose, so no chance to sail in the morning. However at lunch time the wind shifted to about 35 degrees with around 20 knots for most of the remainder of the trip, Mark was a very happy man, adjusting sheets to maximise speed, racing other yachts who had no idea they were in a race and cursing the wind shifts as we hit the occasional blind spot on the south of several islands – I had to remind him a few times that too much tilt means you go slower … I don’t think he’ll ever learn.We anchored off the sandy beach at Ormos Kolóna (Sand Bar Bay) on the North West side of the Island of Kithnos. The beach is actually a sand bar joining the small island off Nisis Ay Loukas to the mainland, with anchorages either side of the bar. It is a silky soft sandy beach, the best beach we have seen so far in Greece, with one taverna and two houses perched on the hill above it.Ormos Kolóna is a very popular spot, but at this time of year there are very few day trippers and only a few yachts anchored just off the beach, which we had virtually to ourselves. It is such a beautiful spot, but you can imagine in July and August the bay packed with hundreds of boats long-lined ashore and day tripper boats disgorging masses of tourists each guarding their square metre of sand with sun brollies and beach towels – but not today.
Naturally, Mark had to test out the water as soon as we arrived, whilst Hudson runs round the boat supervising, he gets so excited I am sure one time he will lean over too far and fall in.The scene from the taverna is delightful, with hardly a ripple on the water, the yachts seem majestic as they relax on the glassy ocean, it is oh so peaceful, just the odd splash as someone dives from their boat … Until one of the bar staff asked if the dinghy that was floating off to sea was ours ???? Mark left his beer and dashed down the hill, across the beach and plunged into the water, swimming out the several hundred metres to where the dinghy had drifted … there was nothing I could do, so I guarded the beers and snapped photos from my vantage point high up the hill – someone had to do it. Dinghy recovered we returned to the boat for a relaxing curry, watching the sun set over an idyllic anchorage.
We left the next morning at about 10:00am knowing there was some more unsettled weather with strong gusts heading our way. We wanted to ensure a space on the town quay of Loutra, a secure harbour, which is a short distance away on the eastern side of the island.