Passages – Chartering from Sunsail’s base in Milina means you have a rather long trek into headwinds out to the Sporades Islands with few anchorages along the way until you reach the island of Skiathos. Our particular cruise required us to navigate the Trikeri channel four times to pickup our guests. But, our experiences in Orei and Pigadhi more than compensated.
The meltemi north east winds blew steady between 15-25 all but two days of the charter. Lisa purchased Imray’s Greek Water Pilot and overview nautical chart of the area which were used as our primary cruising guide for this trip.
Anchorages – Most anchorages were a bit bounce in the cruising area. As the wind came up strong a few nights during our cruise, it’s important to make sure your anchor is secure and have your second anchor ready particularly in Panormos, Skopelos, as the evening wind is strong and funnels straight into the bay striking at 90 degrees in this crowded anchorage. Additionally, we anchored off Pondkousi Island at the mouth of the Trikeri Channel on the north side, again not recommended due to fishing boat activity and sea lane traffic waves, but had no choice since the south bay recommended in the cruising guide appeared untenable with the east southeast window we encountered at the mouth of the channel.
We were fortunate that we had calm conditions the day we planned to lunch at Klima (Peristeri) and O. Prassos (Skantzoura) for which we decided to spend the night. Both were well worth the stops to swim in the crystal clear blue water. In addition, we truly enjoyed our night anchored off of Pigadhi (Achilles departure port for the Trojan wars) awaiting our friends’ arrival.
When provisioning at Patitiri (Alonnisos) we anchored in the adjacent O. Rousoumi which was bouncy from both direct and reflected wave action created by the ferry and tourist boats. After the last ferry departs, the anchorage becomes quite calm and enjoyable.