Love, In All Its Forms, Ep. 142

The summer winds in the Ionian Sea are by-and-large quite mild. When it does blow, the wind comes onshore from the west. Therefore, most of the favorable, comfortable anchorages are on the eastern side of the islands. Cephalonia was no exception, with a range of options between quaint and bustling. As we motored into Poros under glassy calm seas, and we were the only boat in the anchorage, the town was feeling much more on the quaint end of the spectrum. A pronounced V-shaped gorge was cut into the ridge behind the town, hinting at a large valley inland and many decades of heavy spring runoff. A few multi-story buildings lined the shore, but otherwise, a long uninterrupted beach greeted us as we landed with the dinghy. Cephalonia was lining up to be a chill, low-key island, about as much of a polar opposite to Mykonos as one could get. A few teenage boys explored the rocky shallows, appearing to care less about what they might find and more about the simple companionship of a friend. Or perhaps Mom kicked them out and told them not to return until dinner time!

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Crashing Through the Cyclades, Ep. 122

As we departed Poros in the pre-dawn light, we would be leaving the Saronic Gulf and entering the greater Aegean Sea region. This part of the Aegean is best known for the Cyclades islands, with popular destinations like Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos. And popular with our friends, of which we had four groups joining us over the next five weeks. Karen and I had one more week by ourselves; seven days to cross the 100 miles to Mykonos, where we would pickup our good friends Bob and Lisa. The excitement of having guests after several weeks of being by ourselves was tempered by the reality check of the mid-Summer wind conditions in this area. We had been casually watching the weather forecasts in the Aegean since we had arrived in Greece a month ago. Boy, was this going to be interesting! July and August here are renowned for the Meltemi, a very forceful wind that blows down from the Black Sea and fans out over the Cyclades islands. It can ebb and flow, but when it really blows, it can carry on for five or more days, pinning you down in the closest south-facing harbor, trying to avoid the fetch of waves that start several hundred miles to the north.

A typical Meltemi wind forecast for the Cyclades islands, with red meaning 25 knots or greater
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