Onwards to Athens – an end in sight (almost)….

September 9, 2011

The last blog left you as we arrived in Navplion, the most recent spelling mistake that we visited.  Well, I mean, there are just so many ways of transliterating the Greek name places into the Roman alphabet.  You see, there are some Greek letters which have no real equivalent our alphabet, so the next best thing is to produce a spelling that sounds about like the Greek way of pronouncing the place name.  Navplion is variously spelt Nafplio, Nafplion and Navplio.   This can lead to trouble trying to locate places in the pilot books, with two places with vaguely similar names but wildly different spellings will succeed in getting mixed up.  Then there is the simple fact that there is apparently a limited supply of Greek place names, leading to repetitions.  There are, for example, no less than 3 Agios Stephanos in northern Corfu alone.

One of the three castles that defended Navplion in times gone by.

Anyhow, we are now round in the second Poros that we have found as we have travelled round the coast of Greece.  The first Poros is on the southern coast of Cephalonia; we visited there a number of times earlier in the year, including sitting out a gale for a few days.  This Poros is the island of the same name but it lies about 30 miles south of Athens.  But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

The park in Navplion - the old centre of the town.

We arrived in Navplion on 2 September and found ourselves a berth on the town quay.  It’s a lovely town, quite large but with a wonderful old town just by the port which is mostly untouched by modern development.  There are 3 castles there, all in pretty good nick and a museum.  It is also close to Mycenae, the centre of one of the ancient Greek civiliasations.  None of which we visited.  All too busy.  We had to shop for food and things, there was a mountain of laundry to do, the wind caused problems and then there was the disaster.

Old town square, Navplion

We had spent an hour or so on the day after we arrived looking round the modern town on the bikes, mainly looking for a laundry.  Failed.  When we got back to the boat, we fell into conversation with our neighbours, who told us that they had hired a car last time they were there and had found a laundry!  Joy.  Directions were given, the box was bolted on to the back of my bike (why always me?) and off we set.  We took a turn too soon and cycled for miles searching for the ***** laundry but finally found the place and left our dirty washing there.  On the way back, we passed a Lidl and stopped to stock up on cheap booze and stuff.

The following day we had looked at the weather forecast and found it was going to blow strongly from the north, so we’d decided to stay put.  In fact, we wound up spending most of the day fighting with anchors to keep us off the harbour wall and not really able to leave the boat alone and go off to the museums and things.

The following day, we were so far off the wall (to stop the hull banging against it) that I decided to do a bit of modification to Boris the passerelle, so that we could use it like a draw bridge and not have to have one end resting on the quayside.  This turned out to be a DISASTER; as I walked out to the end of the thing, it tipped up and dumped me into the ogin.  Unfortunately, not only did I collect a remarkably good set of rope burns on my right hand but I succeeded in twisting my knee, which promptly decided to swell up and stop working.  I therefore spent the next 24 hours in bed on a mixture of pain killers and alcohol, which did the trick!

Porto Khelli (or Helli). This is the hydrofoil ferry leaving the main port, leaving behind a nice relaxing wash for us all to enjoy.

J did a good deal of admin types bits during the day and we managed to escape mid morning on Tuesday 6 September and made our way down to Porto Khelli (or Helli) where we anchored in a small cove off the main bay.  The next morning, for reasons which escape me, J got us up early and we motored round to Dhokos, a barren island about 12 miles to the east.  We found a wonderful little anchorage there and were anchored with a long line ashore by 1230. 


On Thursday, we planned our return to civilization and fresh food by going to Poros.  The wind, for once, did just as we’d asked for; blew steadily from the north east all day.  We got a really great sail, making 5 to 6 knots most of the day.  Glorious! 

Early morning in Derrick Cove, Dhokos

Poros town is on the southern side of the island, about ½ a mile off the mainland.  To reach the town quay or the anchorages beyond one has to hug the shore of the island through the channel as it gets very shallow on the mainland side.  J was at the helm and watched the depth gauge like a hawk as we made our way round to the North Quay.  The town is on a promontory lined with a quay, where you can moor either to the north or to the south and is backed by lots of little shops and tavernas.  It’s a great little place, and we will be back here in a few days as it’s the first real stopping place south of Athens.

The quay side at Poros

Tomorrow, however, we leave here heading into one of the marinas in Athens, first to meet up with a Greek friend from many years ago who lives there and then to pick up our friends Iain and Terri, who are coming from Scotland to visit us for a week.  Look out for the next blog to hear how it goes and whether they cope with the sudden, dramatic change of temperature and/or some of the less romantic aspects of yacht cruising such as very little headroom in the aft cabin, a fairly limited water supply and the stench from the holding tank at times.  Will this be the end of a beautiful friendship?  Will we wind up killing one another in one of the remoter parts of the trip?  Watch this space …..



  1. but we will have travel scrabble and PG tips – all will be beautiful – assuming we don’t melt. Terri

  2. You can always jump overboard if things get too heated. Enough water to keep cool in. I’m sure you will have a wonderful time with your friends. Hope you are okay Duncan and that your knee has healed. Happy sailing to you all. Love Di xx

  3. So glad your knee has got better, mine haas just about got over the tear last week, it’s just the on going pain in the back of it, just counting the hours till tuesday morning!

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