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Our Wakes: 2021

Eubee and the Sporades islands (July & August 2021)
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  After having visited several islands of the Cyclades we had to move north towards the Sporades  located North East of  Eubee island. This group of islands is relatively well protected against the Meltemi so it is a nice place to be in the months of July and August. The mountains on Eubee island deflect the meltemi and it is not too much of a problem to move towards the north. Unfortunately, in August , the high temperatures  triggered forest fires and a very significant part of Eubee has been destroyed by the flames. The corridor between the mainland and the island varies between 8 and 16 kilometers, but in the middle, there is only 45 meters between the mainland and the island. At this narrow point a bridge connect the 2 sides.This is also the place were you can find the city of Chalcis.  For boats passing under the  Chalcis bridge it is a little adventure. Most of the time threre is a very strong current. When the tide reverses there is only a slack tide of approx.10 minutes, afterwards the current starts again. Prior to passing the bridge, the captain needs to go to the coast guard and first pay a fee of 35 Euro. The coast guard will add your boat on a list of boats that will pass under the bridge that night. Between 9:00pm  and 3:00 am the coastguard will open the bridge and give via VHF the greenlight to pass under the bridge. Priority is given to commercial vessels followed by pleasure boats to sail under the bridge from North to South followed then by vessel passing from South to North. The cars on both sides of the bridge are stopped for approximatively 45 minutes.  When all the boats have passed under the bridge,  the operator closes it again until the next day. A lot of people come to see the spectacle of the boats passing under the bridge and wave at the passing vessels giving this crossing a kind of festive mood. Unfortunately, it is apparently impossible to predict the currents with any degree of accuracy. There is even a legend according to which the great philosopher Aristotle tried to solve this problem. He failed to solve the problem and was so upset that he jumpedn in 322 BC, into the waters and drowned. Once you have passed under the bridge, the rest of the trip to the Sporades is quite easy. On the  North West side of Eube there is the small town of Loutra Edipsos known for his thermal springs. The arhitecture of the city is special as you have a lot of Hotels of the 19 century that still today welcome people who wants to enjoy a cure of thermal waters. Some of the springs are accesible to everybody as they are located along the coast and little pools have been arranged if you wish to enjoy the hot water. After three days of sailing, we arrived near Skiatos, the first island in the Sporades. We decided to skip Skiatos as the harbor is always full of charter boats. We continued to the nearby island of Skopelos. This island has a big harbor and is well know because the movie Mama-Mia was filmed there (in the movie, the island was renamed Kalokairi). The major focus of visitors is the wedding chapel. From there, you have a very beautiful view of the surrounding seas. We have visited the island by renting a motorbike and  discovered that there were several beautiful beaches and creeks. The island is also proud to say that it is one of the greenest islands of the region as it has never had a forest fire. If you are in the harbor, you will see that the city consists of numerous white houses that cover the slopes. The streets are very narrow and the only way to visit the city is on foot. However, while you climb you will enjoy a nice view. Skopelos is very well connected with the other islands and the mainland as several big ferries come here every day. A few miles from Skopelos there is the island of Alonissos. One of the main attractions of Alonissos was a seal that visited the harbor frequently and loved to jump on the zodiacs or paddleboards that were in the water to sunbathe. Like all celebrity, he also enjoyed long photo sessions much to the delight of the visitors. Unfortunately, we were amongst the last to encounter the seal as we learned a few days later that he had been killed with a speargun. Likely a fisherman did not like to see his nets being damaged by the seal, so he decided to solve definitely the problem. Luckily nearby Alonissos there is a nature reserve that is closed to all visitors. In the centre of the reserve you have the island of Piperi home to  a   colony of 33 seals that live happily and are well protected.The old village, of Alonissos is definitely worth the visit. There are numerous restaurants from where you can enjoy a superb view of the islands in the area. The sunset can be very beautiful, so I strongly advise you to visit it at around sunset as you won’t regret it.If you sail further to the east, there are plenty of places where you can drop the anchor and have a very quiet night. In the morning you will hear the goats roam about the islands. Those anchorages are so isolated that you have no cell phone connection. Some will appreciate this, while others will be desperate for a signal and ask the captain how long he plans to stay there. Some charter boats do not come here because there will always be a passenger on board who will complain about being disconnected from the world. After a few days of enjoying those anchorages, we decided to move Northwards towards Chalkidiki region not far away of Thesaloniki
Chalkis bridge & current
Loutraki harbor  on Skopelos
Skopelos harbor
Church of Ma-ma mia movie
Skopelos
Patitiri harbor (Alonissos)
View from old Alonissos
Wreck nearby Alonissos