Greek Sailing Odyssey Day 18: Astypalaia - Anafi / by Honza Cervenka

I woke up at 9am and noticed--probably at least in part due to being still half-asleep--that the sea in this harbour sounded like a river: waves were very small and frequent and hit the pier almost constantly, giving me an illusion that there was a stream nearby.  Once I pondered that thought for a bit more, I had a quick breakfast and grabbed a book as Maurizio and Lisa went for a walk around Astypalaia.  We left at about midday and set course to Anafi.

 Bye bye Astypalaia!

Bye bye Astypalaia!

The wind was strong for most of the journey and the sea was quite rough.  We made pasta for lunch and it was quite the challenge to cut potatoes and garlic with all the rapid movements of the ship--I am still to this day grateful for having all 10 fingers!  My dad lost his challenge to ever-changing gravit and lost all of the vegetables he meticulously chopped to the floor...  Tricky business!  The good news was that we kept on making very good progress, the high of the day was 9.7kn under my stewardship.  My dad came at a close second with 9.3 kn. It seems our family has high wind in favour!

As we approached Anafi, we were welcomed by a steep and monumental rock on the island's eastern edge.  Since at that point we also headed against the slowly setting sun, the huge cliff appeared all black.  How surreal!  Once we passed the cliff we could look back and admire it without the sharp sunlight in our eyes.  The harbour again had just one pier for large ferries so we moored there and inquired when the next ferry would come, which we were told would be 10:30pm.  We decided to remain moored, go to explore the Chora on the top of the hill and then come back in time to move the ship off the pier and anchor in the bay in order to make space for the ferry.

Greece-Anafi-Coast-Honza-Cervenka

The walk up to the Chora was a bit of a trek--we essentially climbed over 300m in 20-25 minutes.  We had the choice of a longer and less steep car road or a straight and steep path, so we went for the latter.  The Chora was quite compact as the whole island is supposedly home to only 217 citizens, but that did not diminish its beauty at all.  My dad and Maurizio thought it was the most beautiful one we have seen so far, although I am still holding on to Andros to be the beauty queen of the trip so far.

 The path leading up to Chora atop.

The path leading up to Chora atop.

All of the Anafi houses were built in the standard Cyclanese fashion, but we noticed a large number of stand-alone bread ovens (they looked very much like pizza ovens), which we hadn't seen in this multitude before; every few houses would have one in their yard. On the very top of the Chora there was a big rock with--guess--a church on top and we made it up there just in time to see a beautiful sunset.  Sadly we spent the sunset in the kind company of other two tourists, who chose to enjoy the solitude with beer and hard rock music played from their iPhone...

 VIew of an islet off the coast of Anafi

VIew of an islet off the coast of Anafi

 Nearby rocky hill glazed with the setting sun.

Nearby rocky hill glazed with the setting sun.

After sunset we explored the windy streets of Anafi a bit more (sadly by then there wasn't much light so I don't actually have many pictures) and started descending back to the harbour at 9:20pm.  We made it just in time to vacate the only parking spot so the ferry can moor.  We anchorred a few hundred meters away from the pier and to our surprise so did the ferry once it finished off-loading passangers; we would have expected it to stay moored overnight.  We made quick dinner and spent some time just sitting outside and watching the dimly lit Anafi and the yet dimmer ferry that called it a day at the other end of the bay.

 Anafi locals chatting away into the sunset.

Anafi locals chatting away into the sunset.

Moored in Anafi at 7:10pm. Traveled 64.7 km/34.9 nm in 7.5 hrs. Anchored nearby at 10pm to free the pier for an incoming ferry.  See map for the route sailed during the Odyssey and click here for more posts from the Greek Sailing Odyssey.

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