I was skipper in a sailing boat (Silent Progression) to sail in Cyclades islands for one week, departing from Lavrio port.
The only think I knew, so far, it was that my crew will be composed from five people US citizens.
Starting early in the morning I was preparing the boat to be perfect (if I can use the term) for this trip. Early in the afternoon my crew arrived.
and the skipper Yannis (this is me).
After the typical introduction I started asking questions in order to prepare our plans.
From the very first moment, reading their faces, I understood that they all were very friendly and happy fellows. They were a family from Illinois and they decided to spend their vacation in Greece, sailing in the Greek islands. The occasion was that their younger girl (younger child of the family) was graduated from the high school this year and she was ready to follow a university next period.
They wanted me to choose the trip, that makes sense, provided that they will be in a position to visit the two islands that the wanted to. The island were Delos and Milos. Oh my God. Delos is located at the NE side of Cyclades islands, while Milos is located in the SW side of Cyclades islands. I explained them that this trip is very long due to the distance and the location of the islands. I saw their faces getting pale and I felt some kind of disappointment. I had to make quick decisions to make them happy.
I asked my crew whether they were afraid to sail during night, commenting that I use to sail also during night and I am experienced to do so. I explained my question, declaring that by this way we are going to gain distance and make it possible to visit the two islands that they wanted. It was already 5.30 in the afternoon and the closest island should be Syros (Finikas bay) after 8 hours sailing. The answer was positive, therefore I asked immediately the broker’s office to issue the necessary documents for the departure. In the mean time we arranged for light dinner that we should have while sailing. So every one was happy with the decision.
Sailing during sunset, direction S-SE
We left Lavrion port just after six in the afternoon sailing to south – south east, next to Makronissos and Kea islands.
The weather was calm with a light breeze coming from N-NE. We used the engine, but provided that the wind direction was beneficial to our route, we used also the sails to boost our speed.
At the Tamalos cave (SW end of Kea island) we turned towards east NE cape of Kythnos island and from there taking direction to Finikas bay in Syros island. At port side there was Kea island and at stardoard side was Kithnos island. The dark had already started and after switching on the navigation lights we reefed the sails as the wind was completely reduced and could not help us anymore.
During our passage from the Kea channel we were eyewitness of an incident with a Turkish war ship. The vessel was sailing quite close to Kythnos shore and although it was already dark was not using the navigation lights, that means that was crossing the channel illegally. A few minutes later a Greek war ship appeared, having navigation lights on, following exactly the Turk ship’s route, till the both disappeared in the dark.
Day 1 route
As soon as we arrived at Finikas bay, we dropped the anchor to secure the boat and everybody went to sleep.
It was a long afternoon – night sailing trip.
You may enjoy all photos of day 1 here.