May 9 Loutro, Crete. Paradise discovered

Written by Jack van Ommen on May 8th, 2012

I am anchored in a small bay in Loutro on the S.W. Coast of Crete, 35.12 N 24.05 E. At the end of the trail it was worth the long slog from Santorini.Sunday afternoon I took off from Flikhada on Santorini. There was not much wind. For the first time I used my largest and lightest head sail, the 150% Dacron genoa, vintage 1980. With wind strength under 10 knots it works very well and it made for a great sail till the wind dropped to less than 5 knots and I motored most of the night. It was full moon. The moon came up in a a red ball of fire; difficult to photograph on a bouncy boat. There was a fair amount of traffic, mostly ferries. I took short half hour snoozes. I covered the about 100 miles in 24 hours and anchored in a small cove on the south end of Gramvousa island. 35.36.400 N 23.35.000 E off the N.W. tip of Crete. Tricky place to get in and out of.  I will have to do a little sculpturing again to the keel , as usual, on the next haul out. Again the winds on Tuesday were very weak and I motor sailed most of the way. The west and south coast of Crete are much greener than most of the Turkish and Greek coast line. Some of the fertile valleys are covered with hot
houses.  Loutro and many of the villages here on the southern Crete coast have no road access. Just by water to the few larger towns with road access.
The major habitation is on the north coast and one needs to cross the high snow capped mountain range that runs lengthwise from W to E.  I came here because of the description of this unusual spot given to me at my nephew’s birthday, last March, by Lydwien a friend of Fransje, Dirk Jan’s partner.
And when I started reading up on the area and Crete in general I had to come see it. Lydwien has been coming here for quite a few years. Because access is challenging it makes for a perfect peaceful get a away. There are great hikes to be made to nearby villages, a famous “Sweet Water Beach” with waterfalls, Samaria Gorge, etc. The water is crystal clear. I can see my anchor clearly.  I was able to get a hot shower in Lydwien’s hotel. Today we are going for a hike. I am waiting to get to shore to check the weather forecast to make my plans for the next days. But I will most likely  sail back to a marina about 20 miles to the West and leave the boat there and try get to Iraklio, the capital city and check out the very interesting archeological museum to see the Minoan period collection.

 

 

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