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31st October - 15th November Syros and back up the Evia Channel and home early

We managed to get away from Tinos and over to the island of Syros but after another week being stuck in Syros due to more gales we turned around and headed back up the Evia Channel to find somewhere to haul out of the water

We had a horrible two and a half hour sail from Tinos Harbour to the town of Ermoupolis on the island of Syros. But we had to escape when we did as this was going to be the only day the weather would let us go. We did intend to go to Paros but once out of the harbour we realised it would be a horrible 7 or 8 hour sail.

Ermoupolis is the capital of the Kyklades and a lovely town to explore. We spent 6 nights here but not out of choice, but due to the high winds that were blowing outside the harbour. Ermoupolis nestles between two small hills and the houses line the tiny streets all the way from the harbour and up the two hills. We spent a lovely day climbing the streets to up Ano Syros which has an old monastery and church at the very top with great views of the Northern Kyklades. Everyday we went out and explored more of the streets and narrow staircases that make up the town. The only negative during our time here being the ferry captains who seem to think they are driving a Formula 1 race car, continually doing the equivalent of hand brake turns in their huge ferries and causing all the yachts to constantly rock and roll in the harbour

We had a minor drama whilst here as we needed to reanchor due to all the rocking and rolling from the ferries. So we slipped our ropes and lifted the anchor in the bay ready to moor up again. However whilst reversing back against the quay our steering broke. Thankfully a speedboat was out in the harbour and we managed to get their attention and they kindly came alongside and helped us safely in the right direction back to the quay. Not sure what we would have done if they hadn't been there. Thankfully Karl managed to fix the steering after a a couple of hours.

We were lucky to have spent a couple of evenings in the company of Armin and Birgitta Mueck, a father and daughter team, who make wildlife films for Swedish TV. They were great to spend time with and lead very interesting lives where diving and swimming with Orcas, Sperm Whales and sharks is just everyday stuff. They showed us some of their footage and it was amazing.

Whilst we were in Ermoupolis we made lots of phone calls to organise somewhere to lift out of the water, the price in Syros was 165 euros per month and a further 400 just to lift out. The price came in for a yard in Crete and it was even higher. After looking at the forecast for the next week we made the difficult decision not to try to go any further South. Going South in these high winds whilst not impossible was going to be tiring and uncomfortable and then the prospect of possibly having to fight our way back up against the prevailing winds was not something we liked the thought of.

After taking the tough decision to head back North we started searching and found a boatyard which was only 65km from Athens airport and on the east coast of the Attiki region opposite Evia, so on Sunday 6th November we turned around and headed out of the Kyklades and back towards Lavrion in the entrance to the Evia Channel. We spent a further 3 nights in Lavrion waiting for the right wind before heading further north into the channel to Nea Styra where we anchored in a lovely bay. We hit the 5555 mile mark whilst on our way to Nea Styra.

On one of the few calm days we'd had in 7 weeks, we made our way to the boatyard to get hauled out. So on Thursday 10th November we finished our cruise early and came out of the water.The boatyard has a lounge that boat owners can use with a lovely log fire which is most welcome. A Dutch couple, Wim and Gerrie from Yacht Melody, that we had met briefly in Tinos, were also here so we had a lovely afternoon drinking gin & tonics and enjoying each others company. The boatyard, Evoikos Sea Centre is near a lovely village called Halkoutsi and is run by Zacharias, his wife Krina and their son Dennis. They are lovely and we are happy to leave Madison here.

So we are now about to fly to the UK and embark on a tour of England again in a hire car before heading back to Edinburgh around 24th November.























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