We made an early start from Kastri. The morning was calm and Zeynep and I heaved up the anchor. She took turns with Steve on the helm as we set off north for the island of Skyros.
The weather forecast for the next few days was for strong north east winds, the Meltami, and so we decided to head for Linaria, the only port on Skyros. The Pilot Book didn’t give much information about it other than it was small but well sheltered, and so we had a back-up anchorage close by as Plan B.
As we cleared the coast of Evia we hoisted the main sail, hopefully, and motored into slowly building winds which began to turn slowly but steadily to blow from our starboard beam, settling there at between 11 and 14 knots for about 4 hours as we flew along under our main sail and Code Zero, at points making 8 knots through the water. The wind only died away as we entered Kolpos Kalamatsis, the bay on the approach to Linaria. It was the best afternoon sail we’ve had, the wind was rock steady from the east and hardly varied in speed. The sea was relatively calm.
As we approached Linaria we couldn’t see into the harbour for the huge ferry berthed there, so we crept in wondering what we’d find; and what a suprise. We were met by the Harbour Master in his rib and guided in, stern first using laid moorings, no need for an anchor. The Town Quay is about 10 boats big and there was plenty of space for us. The HM then gave us his welcome to the port, with high lights including piped music in the showers; the water was so crystal clear that we had to keep our Black Water tanks closed and weren’t allowed to shower on board!
The port is very well sheltered from almost every direction but there is almost nothing here other than restaurants; you can see the entire port from the quayside. It was fantastic! Although there are a couple of ‘Mini Markets’ the emphasis is on Mini, if you want anything resembling a proper shop or supermarket you have to go into Chora, the island’s capital about 10 km away.
So we settled in to wait out the Meltami and spent Sunday doing very little in Linaria because it was raining on and off most of the day and was rather windy. For us it was quite restful, Steve found a cafe with Internet and did some writing while Zeynep went and explored the local beach.