***Mark, relaxing with a cold beer in 'Paradise', don't miss the go-go dancers in the background***Balvenie, looking somewhat small in Superyacht alley!***The little church overlooking the anchorage on Paros***
Finally we left our little sheltered and very friendly harbour of Finakas on the Cyclades Island of Siros and headed due east. Heading east is not a good thing when you are circumnavigating in a westerly direction but sometimes you just have to make these sacrifices to ensure you do not miss any of the best bits. It was a beautiful day, the strong winds had abated, the seas flattened and we had a very pleasant but slow sail the short distance across to Mykonos.
We anchored in the southern bay of Ormos Ornos amongst several other yachts and sat back and watched the procession of superyachts arrive on this sunny Friday afternoon. This was our first taste of the big boys and their bigger toys in the Med, as most of them don't seem to go the extra miles to Turkey, I don't know why as I suspect it is not because they can not afford the fuel!!
One of the top stops on Greek cruise ship itineraries, Mykonos boasts a lovely cute little old town around the port area (yachts not permitted), with white sugar cube buildings which I thought looked more like marshmallows as all the buildings edges were nicely rounded, most of them displaying 'med blue' shutters and trim, with blossoming bougainvillea cascading down, all picture perfect postcard scenes. All the tiny boutique shops, bars and cafes welcome the arrival of around 4 cruise ships a day in summer, there was just 1 in while we were there at that was busy enough.
We had heard about 'Paradise', an area on the southern coast not far from our anchorage so decided to catch the bus and check out Paradise. Basically its a beach resort that could have been in Thailand or the Caribbean, with thatched umbrellas, sun loungers and many many people. Its a major party spot, loud music, cocktails aplenty, go go dancers, partiers dancing on the table tops - and we went at about 5pm!!! We didn't stay for the full moon party, this was way out of our league.
2 nights and one full day seemed enough for Mykonos, so we lifted anchor and motored south in no wind and glassy seas to Paros. There is a small harbour on the northern coast, but with 3 over 20m power boats tied up it didn't leave much room for anyone else, so we anchored off in a Plastiras Cove a nearby sheltered bay for the night. The plan was to spend a couple of days here, then go across to the neighbouring island of Naxos and leave Balvenie tied up for 3 days while we caught the ferry down to Santorini. However we are ever flexible and after hearing the morning radio net which gave a 5day weather forecast of very light winds we decided to point the bow south, ever conscious of the fact that we would have to put the miles back in north again. The weather was warming, the dreaded meltemi winds possibly about to strike at any time, we knew we would not be able to seek shelter in the small marina as we draw too much, but life is full of gambles and sailing our own yacht into the crater of Santorini appealed, so south it was!
Mykonos.. Ormos Ornos - 37 25.14N 25 19.37E 13m sand & weed but can see bottom, can go further in but quite busy and more noise from the shore
There is a free dock on the inside of the cruise ship dock which many were using, you need to catch the bus to town from either and Ormos Ornos was closer for us to leave heading south
Paros.. Plastiras Cove - 37 07.56N 25 13.17E 7m sand Harbour wall would have been good if room, some parts closed off for charter fleets
Internet - Unlocked Wifi onboard in Ormos Ornos most of the time, no signal on Paros
Money - ATM's in Ormos Ornos
Provisions - Small grocery and bakery Ormos Ornos. Good Fruit & Veg shop Mykonos town just by bus station
Formalities - none
Sightseeing - Local buses around Mykonos 1.40Euro, most hourly but not regular times past the hour