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Leisurely to the South

Astros has pleased us again, but then we cast off on April 11, although the wind continues to blow from southern directions. We want to sail along the coast 30 nautical miles into the bay of Kiparissi. One third of the distance we can actually sail nicely. Then again the engine. This time we anchor on the north side of the bay surrounded by high mountains. At the small pier in the village, where we had already moored twice in the last years, we suspect swell. Good choice! We spent a nice evening and a quiet night in this beautiful scenery.

The next day we continue 13 nautical miles, into the Gulf of Gerakas, which we can see much better coming from the north than during our visit last year, when we approached from the south. With two other boats we are anchored in front of bow anchor with the stern to the pier. All nice and calm. But in the afternoon the wind suddenly blows with gusts of almost 40 knots from the valley onto our boats. The anchor of the neighboring boat slips. We are moored, but all bring out long springs to secure their boats. In the evening the gusts are over.

The next morning we continue. Destination Monemvasia. But first we have some stress, because our anchor winch does not work. 60 meters of chain to haul in by hand. Oh dear! But fortunately it works electrically. The next day we clean the contacts in the archaic system our boat has and dream of a remote control operated via Bluetooth. But: all is well again after we crawl into the anchor locker in Monemvasia.

Monemvasia! Here we were last year also in April, experienced a storm with dangerous breakers in port. And last year in October it was the first port in the Peloponnese that we called at on our way back from the Aegean.

The crane is still in the harbor, they poured concrete for the new marina. But it will probably take another two years until everything is finished. The floodlights on the pier are already in place. We wouldn't have needed them. We prefer to look at the stars. Only a few sailboats are moored here these days. But there are many motor homes. How will it be in summer? There is no infrastructure for this kind of mass tourism. But it would be a good source of income for the municipality.

We experienced the Greek Easter (one week later than at home) here. Greek Orthodox, the highest festival in the annual calendar.  Above all, a festival of families celebrating with friends and neighbours. Church service, procession, at midnight on Easter Sunday the churches open, everyone lights their Easter candle, greets each other and wishes each other a happy Easter. Large balloons with candles inside rise into the air and are driven out to sea by the wind. And then everybody celebrates and eats, because before that it was Lent: at night the ragout from the lamb, red colored Easter eggs are diced, Easter cakes, and on Easter Sunday there's lamb on the spit. That's how we experienced it in Monemvasia. Beautiful and impressive, especially the social gathering of families and friends. 

Now Easter is over. We walked here again beautifully through the sea of flowers and rocks. Now we look south to Cape Maleas. Past it we want to sail with favourable wind along Kythira and Anti-Kythira to Crete.

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