The original plan after leaving Fri was to head for Tristomo (a lagoon with a narrow entrance at the NE end of Karpathos), Chalki (an island off the W coast of Rhodes), and then Mandraki (at the NE end of Rhodes), following the western coasts of Karpathos and Rhodes. However, after further review of the forecast and consultation with the cruisers Greece sailing guide we decided to follow the eastern shore along these two islands as seas can build up at the entrance to the lagoon in a NW Mistral. The passage from the north side of Kasos to the south side of Karpathos and on to Pigadhia was one of the most interesting yet. We set off on a nice broad reach with a reefed mainsail in a fresh 14-16 knots of wind, anticipating that the wind might increase between the islands. Sure enough, it did. We gybed onto starboard after rounding the tip of Kasos, the wind picked up to around 20 knots, fine, we took a few rolls in on the genoa, but it was when we gybed back onto port tack near the W end of Karpathos that the wind suddenly rose, first to 25 and then gusting up to 34 knots. Time for another reef in the mainsail and for the staysail. But then, behind a large bluff, the wind died almost completely until the stong winds returned for most of the way up the coast towards Pigadhia. We were beginning to wonder if we were wise to attempt to come into harbour in such winds but fortunately as we approached Pigadhia the sea flattened, the wind eased and we found the harbour to be well protected. We dropped our hook and went stern to the dock beside the coast guard boat and then celebrated our arrival with a cool beer all around!
We found Karpathos to be a bustling ferry port with some excellent Greek restaurants and not too many non-Greek tourists. How can one refuse a gyro for just 3 Euros? The port authorities were also very pleasant, both the Port Police who stamped our Transit Log, and the Harbour Master, who connected us to power and water. It seems that there is a huge connection with the USA here in that many folks have spent time in the US, either on merchant vessels or opening restaurants, e.g. Captain James restaurant in the shape of a ship on Baltimore waterfront. So, next day was a 2-loads of laundry day as well as replacing an engine fan belt, etc. The following day, after checking out with the Port Police at 07:30 we were headed to Lindos, Rhodes.