Taking a break from the tedious task of hunting down our replacement boat, we were offered the chance to go sailing with Steve and Chris to help them try out their new main sail and cutter configuration. Steve is an engineer, and had designed and had built a self tacking cutter that had its own boom, and added this to their American Cabo Rico yacht- a kind of scaled up version of Solon- so we were keen to experience the ride.
Goose winging the cutter and genoa sails with the wind behind us
Steve the proud Captain at the wheel
We visited 3 islands- Astipalaia, Nisiros and Kos, so we had plenty of time to study how another 38 foot boat handled. She sailed much like Solon, but felt much steadier- inclined much less and was slower to respond to any gusts- which reassured us that these were the things we were now looking for from a sailing boat. Astipalaia was a quiet remote anchorage just round from Maltezana on the southern part of the island. Here we found a quiet taverna for a coffee and a swim, which gave the boys time to discuss yachts.
Ahhhh sharing yachting tales- the joy!
Nisiros is an extinct volcanic crater. Armed with hire car the four of us wound our way round the hairpins to the ridge of the crater where the crazy planners allowed construction of Nikia a half ruined but pretty village. Drop down from here on the narrow windy road avoiding the 2 or 3 tourist buses coming up from the crater, full of guests shipped over for the day from Kos by tour companies. Reach the centre and you can walk on the crusty surface, casually strolling around the hot steam clouds that bubbled and hissed from below. The heat from below the ground combined with the intense sun made for sweaty conditions. There is a solitary Taverna at the Volcanoe with trees for shade and toilets and there is also a very informative Volcanoe Museum in Nikia- worth a visit.
The specks in the background are people to give some idea of scale.
The island also had some beautiful neglected old towns, and it was peaceful strolling through the narrow streets exploring.Checkout the pebble mosaics in Nikia.