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A week in Ios Port: Weathering the Meltemi, ferry swells and three anchor manoeuvres

Over 30 nautical miles from Amorgos without wind, so we had to motor. We wanted to get to Ios Port to safely weather the next Meltemi and maybe take the ferry to Santorini for a day trip. We didn't want to deal with the hectic pace of Santorini with all the excursion boats, ferries and cruise ships on our own boat, especially when the Meltemi was forecast.

At first, there was only a rough spot for us in Ios Port on the south pier, which was also so low that we had to climb up our passarelle on all fours. The wind was not the problem here, the anchor held well. But the swell from the ferries gave us two restless nights with a day's boat watch in between.

Then we were able to move further inside the harbour. No sooner were we nicely moored than we had to leave again to make way for a tanker, which apparently supplies the whole island with fuel. So we had the second anchor manoeuvre - with some stress, as we had caught the anchor chain of the catamaran lying next to us and had to free ourselves from it first. In the process, we lost a mooring line that we had used to free ourselves in the harbour basin. Fortunately, the catamaran crew fished it out. We found it again on the pier. By then we had found the best spot in the harbour - on the east pier, on the very inside. There was little wind, but we still had the swell from the ferries, but in a weakened form. Anchor was well set, fenders well placed, we observed this for a day, and then we could leave our boat alone and explore the island.

Ios was the island of the hippies in the 70s. In the meantime, it has become the island of party-going youngsters. The Chora is beautiful, but there is a nightclub or disco in every third house. Some of them only open at one o'clock in the morning. Not for us. But we made the climb to the chapel on the peak above the Chora to have a great view over the surrounding islands at sunset, also to Santorini.

Yes, Santorini - we couldn't make the visit by ferry. It's the off-season, there aren't so many ferries and not during Meltemi anyway. We would have had to stay overnight in Santorini at a horrendous price. And with our own boat? Since a north wind was forecast for the next two weeks, we didn't want to go any further south. So no Santorini, ok for us, because there are so many interesting islands here. But while the Meltemi was blowing down, we explored Ios on foot and by rented car. There are not only discos and nightclubs. Of course, we visited Homer's grave in the very wild north of the island. We were fascinated by the now completely empty picture-book sandy beaches, the wild rocky mountain landscape, the many terraces, most of which are no longer cultivated, and the variety of rocks: marble, gneiss, slate, granite, pumice, lava. Barren to look at from the sea and then so many colours when you take a closer look!

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