Our Big, Fat, Greek Sailing Adventure | Part Two

sailing-parttwoThis is the second post of a two-part series about our sailing adventure in Greece. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

I’ll start where I left off in Nafplio.

Sailing Day Four

Before leaving Nafplio, Chris grabbed gyros for everyone to enjoy on the boat while we headed for the island of Spetses. Can’t get enough of those gyros (and Greek salad).

Spetses is a pretty affluent island and is know for their wooden boat-building industry. This was a pretty important stop for us because we needed to refuel and refill one of the water tanks. The boat needed a good cleaning as well. Why? We had a little bit of ran a day or two before and it turns out that it’s common for the rains to carry sands from the Sahara Desert! It left a light red dust everywhere. So while Haris hooked up the fuel/water lines, and swabbed the decks, we explored the island.

Island of Spetsus

The island is small, but pretty wealthy with upscale shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

We all took a liking to the white and gray pebble mosaics that decorated the ground before the doors of many homes. After doing a bit of research online about this art once we returned home, I found out that these “pebble pictures” are a traditional art dating back several hundred years. I would love to incorporate something like this in our backyard.

Examples of pebble mosaics

We walked around town until it was time for dinner. Haris made reservations for us at a wonderful restaurant, Mourayo. I loved the decor-the mix of the stone walls and soft-colored fabrics. The service and food were top-notch. You have to remember that this time of year is considered the off-season for tourism. There are dozens of restaurants and tavernas wanting your business. And when they get it, you better believe they will make sure you have the best experience! Many of establishments we visited asked if we would review them in Trip Advisor!

Seating at Mourayo

The following morning we wanted to visit one of the boat-building workshops and found two. Very simple workshops, but what comes out of them is gorgeous!

Wooden boat building/repair in progress
Spetses wooden boats

It was time to leave Spetses (and give our slip up for a super yacht that needed to refuel.

Sailing Day Five

The next island we headed for was Hydra (He-dra). I enjoyed a G+T (or two) along the way.

Chillin’ with a G+T

Haris was a little concerned about getting to Hydra’s small harbor in time to get a place to dock to stop for a swim. But he promised there was a beautiful place to swim once we got there.

When we finally entered the harbor at Hydra, I think there were tears in my eyes Greece (we got the last spot in the harbor, by the way). This place was GORGEOUS. It is considered one of the prettiest towns in Greece.

Both photos show the harbor as we approach Hydra

And the swimming hole wasn’t bad either. This bar with adirondack chair and tables with thatched umbrellas were settled on top of a cliff. There was a path from the bar down to the water where you can swim.

Tiki Bar on cliff with access to swimming

We had a little photo shoot before dinner:

Love this guy. Photo by Jim Vespoli
I made sure I had plenty of blue in my wardrobe this trip 🙂 Photo by Chris Sill

On our way to dinner, Haris met up with his best friend, Pentolis. The two of them were being interviewed by a local paper-for what reason, I can’t remember. But Pentolis is very well-known on the island. He actually has a dual-citizenship (Greece & USA) and is a Vietnam Vet. He spends half of the year here in Tarpon Springs, Florida!

Pentolis and Haris. Photo by Jim Vespoli

One of the most interesting things about Hydra is there are no motorized vehicles on the island. Residents get to where they need to go by foot or donkey. When we woke the next morning, it was delivery day for the island. Two small ferries were off-loading goods onto the land where a line of donkeys were lined up, ready to be loaded down with groceries, building materials, and other goods to be delivered to shop owners and private citizens.

Those are 25kg bags of limestone strapped on the donkey! And there are 5 bags! And check out how they strap roof tiles to them in the photo below.

This whole operation was so interesting to watch.

We loved this island. But we had to move on…

Sailing Day 6

We left Hydra and headed for Aegina.

Sails up! Note the American flag!

We stopped for a swim along the way.

Another day, another swimming hole.

When we arrived in Aegina we took a taxi to visit the Temple of Aphaia.

Aegina is known for their pistachios. Our taxi driver stopped along side of the road near a pistachio grove (?) so we can see how they grow.


Never knew they grew like this! They have a ways to go yet before they are ready to be harvested. Our driver broke one open for us to see what they look like inside. The shells are soft and the nut is small right now. But the shell will harden as it grows. Pretty cool, huh?

Young pistachio

We made it to the Temple of Aphaia. It was once believed that this temple, along with the Parthenon, and the Temple of Poseidon formed an equilateral triangle and was a source of power. Looking at a map, Chris and Jim found this not to be the case as the distances between these three temple does not form an equilateral triangle, and disproved a belief that was thousands of years old 😂 (we will probably never be allowed back in the country).

The Temple of Aphaia (both photos)

Back at the boat we enjoyed a bag of island pistachios and watched the sun set behind the rolling hills before going to dinner.

Island pistachios
Aegina sunset

Sailing Day Seven

It was our last day on the boat and we still had one more stop to make before heading back to the harbor in Athens. We left Aegina around 6:30 am and headed Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.

The Temple of Poseidon

The views from the Temple were breathtaking:

That water!!!
View of our catamaran from the Temple of Poseidon
Just us. Photo by Jenifer Vespoli

It was pretty hot up there while walking around the grounds. Once we got back to the boat we took one last swim in the Aegean. There was something really special about swimming under the Temple of Poseidon.

View of the Temple from the cat.

Once we left Cape Sounion, it was another 4 hours back to Athens. As we got close to the harbor, there was no less than 3 dozen other chartered boats heading in as well. Our week was over, but those memories will last forever!

We stayed on the boat in the harbor our last night. In the morning Haris came to say good-bye. He plotted our course on a map and gave it to Chris. He will send us the digital log book via email. He wants us to return next year, this time for two weeks, and to bring our kids. Ha! I don’t know if we would all fit on the cat! We may have to charter a super-yacht for that trip!

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