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Lonely and cold: Long trip to Crete

We had been thinking back and forth about sailing to Crete. It is a very interesting island and we have friends who live there. From the Peleponnes it is two long trips. The wind conditions in Crete are demanding and the safe harbours and anchorages are rare. To Crete you usually get quite well, but back you often have to cross against the prevailing north wind, which blows quite strongly as Meltemi on the north side of Crete. "Crete is a wind hole, I don't go there with my boat, but with the ferry", told us a boat neighbour in Astros, who is sailing with his catamaran all year round. We did it now anyway, looking out for a weather window.

Three days ago we cast off our ropes in Monemvasia and set course for Cape Maleas, which is well known for its chaotic strong winds. There it was rather calm, as also in the passage between the Peloponnese and the island of Kythira. Here it is important to watch out for commercial shipping. Our depth gauge did not tolerate the proximity to a freighter very well and did not give a correct depth anymore. With the attempt of a reset it has said goodbye then completely. So further without depth gauge and tightened navigating with Navionics. There a slight restlessness, especially when entering the anchorage Avlemonas on the island of Kythira and when anchoring could not stay away. But it worked out well and we had a relatively quiet night in the beautiful large bay in front of the long sandy beach all alone. And a nice morning red with the coffee before leaving.

On the next island on the way to Crete, on Antikythira, there are no sheltered bays to spend the night and the only port is very small. When the 96 meter long ferry turns, there is a lot of swell. It does not have to be. So we decided to take the long way of 56 nautical miles directly to Crete into the bay of Chania. After the beautiful morning red then cloudy sky, cold wind sometimes from the east, then from the west, then too little to sail. And on the sea around us no other ship or boat in sight. A feeling like at the end of the world, if we had not seen the snow-covered high mountains of Crete soon and would know: There we want to go.

We reached our destination Port Kolimvari (in the very west in the bay of Chania) quite relaxed even without our depth gauge. Originally a pure fishing port, there are works going on - also with EU funds. A marina is to be built. There is not much to see yet. No water and electricity, but plenty of space. We are the only guest boat. So ropes out and moored. Crete welcomes us with clouds and rain. Kalispera Kriti!

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