Friday, July 10, 2009

Aegean Mini Pilot: Koukounaries

After Orei we next stopped at Koukounaries on the south coast of Skiathos. It's main claim to fame is is apparently "one of the top ten beaches of the world", so you'd have thought it would be a good place to stop.

Alas we were not that impressed. Firstly there was the problem of where to park - check out the chart extract above from Navionics. The harbour was tiny and of the limited space about half was taken up by fishing boats, while the rest during the day is taken up by day tripper tourist boats.

As they leave in the evening there was a rather inelegant rush to get one of the two or three berths along side the quay. We decided not to join the scrum and anchored off the south side with shore line wrapped round a lamp post.

It was rather exposed especially to the south and alas that was not only where the wind was coming from but also a mysterious tsumani like short burst of swell (probably from one of those fast ferry cats passing by way out to sea).

It felt very dramatic as the yacht bounced up and down and waves crashed onto the rocks but a quick check of the depth guage showed we went from an even 2m under the keel to ranging between 1.8 and 2.2 m.

Not knowing when it might hit us again we decided laying the kedge as well would be a good idea:

After all the day trippers had gone home the bay quietened down considerably and it was time to check out the famous beach.

While we had our faithful Nemo to hand, but of course to one who will happily jump into piranha or sea urchin infested waters there was clearly a better way to get to shore.

The water was lovely and clear and it was noticable how much warmer it got the closer in we swam.

But when we got there it was just another beach, with a slightly forlorn, deserted feel to it: empty sunbeds, closed stalls and sun shades angled at random.

So it was back to the boat for dinner on board while the sun set and the stars came out.


Harbour fees: none

Rating: *****

Best bit: the peace and quiet in the evening after the day trippers have gone

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