On Saturday 15th June we sailed up to Arki and squashed onto the end of the quay.
It was wonderful to be back. Arki is very peaceful (except when the tripper boats arrive) and the perfect place to chill for a few days, with small coves and sandy beaches. Nikolas and Carolina had recently got back from their winter in Poland with Alexandr and we had delicious lunches and dinners in their taverna, pigging ourselves on Mama’s fantastic cooking. Lin specially loves their octopus.
We sailed back to Lakki on Tuesday 18th to stock up and see Ian and Jo and Claudio and Olga. On Wednesday we went over to Alinda to have lunch with Claudio and Olga at To Steki.
We got hotter and hotter and were glad to hear the hooting of the (unscheduled) bus coming up behind. We went back to Alinda in the evening to have their last dinner with Claudio and Olga in their hotel, before they caught the 4 am ferry to Kos on Thursday. On Thursday we left the town quay to go and anchor off the town beach.
There was a horrible clanking from the engine – the feet of the bracket holding the watermaker pump on the engine had sheered, so the pump was wobbling around. Luckily we were only going a short way, so as soon as we were anchored we could take it off.
On Friday we motored round to Xerokampos, where we picked up a mooring buoy
We left early on Saturday 22nd morning to motor (no wind) down to Kos to pick up Becky and Charlie. On the way Lin noticed that the bilge pump was running – one of the watermaker pipes had split and fresh water was pouring into the bilge. Kos marina was full, so we went on to one of the marina berths in the old harbour as we needed water (Sue later told us that there is water on the free quay, but the marina berths were much more convenient for meeting Becky, who was dumped on the ferry quay).
Becky and Charlie arrived at about 10 and we all went straight to bed.
About 3.30 we were woken by loud talking followed by a shriek and a splash. Three extremely drunk posh young English women were on the quay, one of whom had fallen (or was pushed) in. She clung on to the back of our boat while the security guards tried but failed to lift her out. Lin could not get our swimming ladder down as it was blocked by the boarding ladder, so the young drunk swam over to the Dutch boat alongside us, who had got their ladder down. We went back to bed and slept soundly.
On Sunday we motored up to Lakki in a light headwind. Charlie kept watch
and Charlie drove
but he and Becky slept for most of the voyage.
In Lakki we went on the town quay. On Monday morning we did our shopping and Simon tried to find a metal workshop to make new brackets. Takis, the wonderful grocer opposite the taxi rank, told him where to go, but despite cycling to the top of the hill he could not find it. Takis then said that he would sort it all out for us when he delivered our groceries – not the kind of service you get in Tesco. Once stocked up we set off for Lipsi.
Becky struck her favourite pose.
Again the bilge pump started working – this time the pipe had fallen off because Simon had not tightened it up enough, but fortunately we did not lose too much water.
In Lipsi we tied up to the town quay and went to the beach, perfect for Charlie because it is gently shelving sand, so the water was warm.
We had dinner that night at Manolis
On Tuesday 25th we had a short motor (still no wind) up to Arki.
As we motored along, a ghost came up the ladder to haunt us.
We stayed in Arki for three days, exploring all the sandy beaches, which Charlie loved, chilling and again eating wonderful food at Nikolas’s taverna. Charlie was a big hit with all those who remembered him from last year. He met Alexandros again, but was rather shy at first,
Charlie didn’t like the fisherman thrashing his octopus.
The big beach past the ferry quay
And idyllic Tiganaki beach at the south of the island, where we had a private cove
On Friday 28th we left Arki at 7.30 and motor-sailed to Agathonisi, arriving at 9.45 and anchoring off the beautiful beach of Spilia, just outside town.
Like everywhere else our friends were worried because it was almost July and was still very quiet, not only fewer yachts than usual but also fewer people staying in rooms. The new apartments are almost finished and are heavily booked from July, which should bring more custom to Maria in her shop and Yanni and Voula in their tavern.
There is now a 1 million euro road building programme on Agathonisi, funded by the EU. A strange priority since they are remaking the road to Spilia and installing solar powered lights, but nobody lives in Spilia, there is just a sandy beach, and the old road was a perfectly good dirt road. They are also remaking the road to Catholiko, a tiny village at the other end of the island, but this will provide better access to the archaeological site, where they are going to build a small museum. Everything that brings more visitors to Agathonisi is a good thing for the locals, but not so good for those of us who love it for its peace and quiet, as well as its friendliness.
On Saturday morning we moved round from Spilia to tie up to the town quay, which is a bit tricky, especially in a strong wind, because it is too shallow for us right up to the quay, so we have to use the dinghy to get across to the quay. Charlie spent the morning playing on the town beach.