We spent another 5 days in Pali waiting for a break in the wind to allow us to continue westwards and eventually we had to settle for a ‘least worst’ option.
But staying a few extra days allowed us to enjoy one of the parties associated with the festival of the Virgin Mary. Although the main event takes place in Mandraki we were advised to head for the monastery close to Nikia for the evening. Following the religious service there is a meal of bean soup followed by Greek dancing. The meal was simple, but free, apparently sponsors wait years for a chance to provide the meal! The dancing was very informal, everyone just having a good time. What struck me was the number of youngsters taking part in these traditional dances. And it was busy, maybe a couple of hundred people and every hire car on the island parked for a kilometre along the road leading down to the monastery. The only transport we could get was a small quad bike. Very under powered and not suitable for the mountain roads. Suffice to say, never again!
Our constant examination of the forecasts gave our 24 hour window of opportunity as Friday and Saturday and we decided to make the trip to Milos, some 140 miles in one over night, 27 hour passage. The forecast was for head winds the whole way, but less than they had been, or would be.
So we were up early on Friday and set off at 6 am, just after it was light enough to see the harbour entrance and its sand bank. It was not a particularly pleasant passage. The wind was building the sea into a short chop over an existing residual swell which resulting in a short, confused sea. As the day wore on the wind was gusting to 18 knots requiring both engines to stay on course and keep up any speed, 4 knots was the best we could do!
We passed north of Astipalia at lunch time and at sunset we were passing the south western tip of island of Amorgos. As the sun went down the wind and sea dropped away a bit and our speed increased slightly. We passed north of Ios at 2 am and as the sun rose we were approaching the island of Polyaigos , just east of Milos.
Despite the less than favourable weather we arrived at the port of Adamas, as planned, at 1130 and moored to the yacht pontoon. A tiring passage and not the most comfortable but we are back on schedule with a day or so in hand, although had to skip Astipali, Santorini and Ios.
We’ll be in Milos now until probably Monday or Tuesday before the wind dies down again a bit although this next leg should see the winds from the north as we head south of west. That is a good point of sail for us, but we’ll see !!