Our next stop was the Island of Kios. As we went north the sea became more and more uncomfortable and although we were just a short hop from the mainland, the mainland was Turkey and we weren't allowed to go there, so we decided to change course and head West. We finally arrived on the Island of Ikaria and moored on a new quay in Evdhilos, a small harbour on the north side on the Island, where we were the only boat but were still charged Euro7.15/night for the privilege.|
Our main concern was to get to the other side of the Aegean to avoid the Meltemi winds! So, with the weather forecast reasonable, we continued west. We started the day with a flat calm - the first this year - but the wind got up and we finished with half a gale, up to 30Knots and a very uncomfortable sea! We had the jib out which took care of the worst of the rolling, but half way across, we noticed that the rig had all gone horribly slack. We couldn't immediately identify the problem, but thought that the forestay (the rigging between the top of the mast and the bow of the boat) had broken. We had to roll the jib away, which made the motion even more uncomfortable. Eventually we reached Mikonos after four hours of that horrible sea, but we didn't like what we found. Mikinos is known as a resort for, let's call them the younger more eccentric generation and when we were greeted by jet skis, disco's and sweaty BBQ'ing humanity in various states of undress, we headed back out into the horrible sea, which seemed a sanctuary after island life. South was the island of Poros, which was only some 15 Nmiles away. Going south with the wind and the waves behind us was a lot more relaxing and made the passage easier. We found a space in the newly built Neoussa marina, what a relief. I didn't fancy another windy night on the anchor, especially since we had a mast problem.
In the safety of the marina we needed to get the sail down, and identify what was wrong. With the help of an Italian Yachtie we took the jib off and accessed the forestay, but it turned out that the problem was the fitting at the mast head (the mast cap) - it had collapsed and bent and although it wasn't broken (probably caused by the strain of the wind and the waves), it needed to be repaired or replaced so we had to find a boat yard. For the time being, it wasn't going to get any worse and the mast wasn't going to fall down, but we were concerned by the lack of boat yards in the islands and this part of Greece!
We stayed on Poros for a week, waiting for the weather to calm down (our neighbours had already been there for two weeks and still hadn't left when we went!). It was a good opportunity to visit Poros which is very popular with the Athenians with many smart young people coming to the island for their holidays. Neoussa is a small town with lots of little streets and many expensive shops all painted smartly white with the traditional blue doors and shutters. We visited the archeological museum in Parikia (the main town on the island) and the Ekatontapyliani church, which were very interesting.