When cruising Greek waters, there is a large variety of sights and routes. We were northing along the Aegean coast, as we chose not to fight the dreaded Meltemi winds in the Central Aegean. We did get an extremely nasty taste of Meltemi east of Attica, when we had to ram through steep 6 foot waves against 36 knots of wind. We had four or five hours of this punishment before safely reaching Lavrion harbour. The only damage was ceiling panels detaching in the most vicious slams.
Earlier we had stopped at Monemvasia. This is an impressive Gibraltar-like rock jutting from the Eastern Peloponesus, with an medieval Byzantine fortress and walled city. Much of it used to be ruins, but houses are now being tastefully restored. Monemvasia gave its name to "Malvoisie" or "Malmsey" wines favoured in 17th century England.
Hydra, the chic, car-free island much patronized in the seventies by Elton Jones, John Lennon, and specially Leonard Cohen (who still owns a house there) was the usual chaotic scene. This little harbour is lined with the impressive stone mansions of the former 18th and 19th century pirates/merchants that much contributed to Greek independence in the war with the Turks, and started the Greek ship owning tradition. Yachts were treble parking in the Med-mooring style with much fouling and crossing of anchors chains. Here is a picture of a drifting charter cat paying a visit to a mega-yacht.
Morrowind prudently moored alongside a rusty cargo, with no anchor involved...
Here also is a picture also taken by Frode of wooden schooner leaving Hydra, of the type built in Turkey and called "Gület".
We sported the Hydra "Independence" ensign on our forward flagpole. It is a quaint mixture of christian orthodox, masonic and nautical symbols, with the defiant maxim : "Catch me if you can..."
Later we reached Chalkis, a town located at the narrows between mainland Greece and the island of Evia (Euboea), with from times immemorial an opening bridge spanning the 50 foot narrows. Aristoteles is said to have despaired at understanding the reason for the strong alternating currents under the bridge. Of course the Med usually has no tides, but they operate here. The stream is dangerous enough for the bridge to be opened only at slack waters, in our case at 4 in the morning after a long vigil. In the Venetian days (they held the place for quite a while) the bridge was a black tarred wood affair, and the city and island therefore named Negroponte. The Venetian fortress controlling the passage can be seen on the left of the picture, the (closed) bridge on the right.