We left Adama at 2 pm on Tuesday, 21 August headed for Porto Kayio, Methoni and Katacolon. This was a total of just over 200 nautical miles and, due to the settled weather we decided to do it in three days.
The first leg, Adama to Porto Kayio was the best part of 100 miles miles, or 20 hours and we did this as an overnight passage to arrive in the morning as other boats would be leaving. The weather was also predicted to be calm which was good. According to the Pilot Book the two easternmost fingers of the Peloponnese, Capes Malea and Matapan, should be treated with respect as far as the weather is concerned and can be subject to violent winds. We had a little taste on our way up here from Crete last year, but this time made the passage without much wind at all, the biggest challenge was all shipping using the Steno Elafonisou, the channel between Cape Malea and Nisos Kithera.
We made good time and were anchored by 9.30 am on Wednesday. We spent the day resting and swimming before going ashore for an early dinner. unfortunately it was not as good as we remembered and so leaving on Thursday was not such a chore.
Thursday saw us up at 6 and away by 6.30 heading for Methoni. Methoni has the ruins of a Venetian fortress occupying the entire headland which looked pretty impressive as we’d sailed passed last year so I wanted to visit. After a straightforward passage we anchored at 4.30, put the tender in the water immediately and went ashore. I had a look around the castle while Valeria supped wine on the beach.
The castle is Venetian and was built in the 13th century to control the east west trade routes around the Peloponnese. Although it looks spectacular there is little actually there apart from the round tower and the adjacent castle gate overlooking the old galley harbour. It passed to the Ottoman Turks who built the hexagonal tower, the Bourtzi, at the southern tip of the headland after they took the fort in 1500. This apparently had little defensive value but did help enclose the galley harbour.
After an hour or so hiking around the site, it is very large, I went back to Valeria and we went for a meal to Taverna To Kastro right outside the castle entrance. And what a fantastic meal, mini cheese pies, stuffed zucchini flowers and a delicious mousaka. Our intention had been to spend a day here looking around but we decided to push on so that we wouldn’t have to travel on Valeria’s birthday.u
So, at 6.30 on Friday morning we set off again for Katacolon. This is the small port and cruise ship terminal close to the ancient site of Olympia, the home of the Olympic games.