Melt (emi) down

They say that a cruiser’s plan is written in sand at low tide, forever changing with the tides. And in our case, it could not be further from the truth. We never planned to sail to Euboea. We never planned to cross Euboea. And moreover, we never thought that crossing it would take us almost two weeks and the most unpredictable wind changes we have ever had!

While we were resting in Kea and planning to sail to Andros, we noticed something in our Windy app we did not expect. Meltemia, the strong Meditterean winds, were predicted to come every single day for at least a week. That changed everything. We dived in our Greek waters pilot book and figured out our next step; instead of sailing to Andros -Syros-Skiathos, we would go to Euboa and then sail to Skiathos directly from there.

Our first stop was Karystos, the southernmost port of Euboea. It was a cheap, well-sheltered harbor that served as our home for 8 days! Jelle was working every day while Elena and I explored the town, trying the local delicacies and playing with every opportunity. Our stay there was quite surreal, outside the harbor wind force 8 and we were going around in our T-shirts!

When we decided to cross Euboea we were worried we would have to motor all the way to Skiathos, but we could not have been more wrong! Strong winds, upwind sailing, and the rough sea was our norm there!

Chalkida is the chief town of Euboea and it is known for its “Evripos crazy waters”. The waters under the old Evripos bridge, the sliding bridge, are constantly moving, changing direction every 6 hours with a velocity of up to 9 miles an hour! The old sliding bridge with its crazy waters is quite unique in Greece and is the landmark of Chalkida. It also features a nice promenade full of bars, cafes, and restaurants, where we spent most of our time with Elena while Jelle was busy working. We spent three nights in the anchor here, and we crossed the Evripos old bridge around midnight, and afterward, we tied Libra alongside the promenade. We celebrated our last night in Chalkida having a drink at a bar, sitting across our beloved boat.

Friday, 14th October we untied our mooring lines and set sail for Edipsos. However, there was no wind and the day was grey and cold, so we decided to stop in Politiko bay instead. We stayed two nights here, two rainy, grey days but the anchor was holding and we visited the only open tavern in the tiny village where we enjoyed fresh fish and we met the cutest little kittens ever! It was a hard task convincing Elena not to take them with us.

After a very gusty sailing, upwind/half wind, and lots of sail trimming, the wind finally stabilized, and with a reef and staysail up we made it to Edipsos with 8 knots of speed! Edispos is known for its thermal baths and hot springs which we of course visited. We spent one night here, filled our fridge, and charged our batteries before we continued our Euboea crossing.

On October 18th we arrived in Orei, a small port town in northeast Euboea and our last stop on the island. We had a nice walk in the quiet, traditional village, removed, cleaned, and stowed the dinghy (no more rowing for the rest of the year!), and had a nice dinner by the seafront. The next day we would sail to Skiathos, our last stop before our final destination for this year: Thessaloniki!

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