Poros is separated from the mainland by a channel a few hundred metres across with a shallow area at the South East end. The town can therefore be approached from the east, keeping north of the rocks just west of fortress island of Nisos Bourtzi, or from the west. Generally, if you’ve been cruising south of Poros, you will arrive from the east, if you’ve been sailing to the north, you’ll arrive from the west.
The channel is busy with ferries and hydrofoils passing in both directions, small passenger ferries and larger car ferries shuttling between Poros and it’s mainland sister town of Galatas, and yachts arriving and leaving the quay. So keep a good lookout and don’t forget to look behind you as well as ahead. It can be daunting to see a ferry heading towards you but there is plenty of room for you to pass, provided you keep to the edge of the channel.
The channel follows the line of the quay, kinking north then south again. If you attempt to take a short cut across the southern half you will go aground. This is particularly tempting if you arrive from the east as you will see yachts on buoys opposite the charter base and many more further down, but between the two it is shallow. The bottom is soft so you will be unlucky to do any damage but the water taxis make good money towing people off – they don’t do it for free!
They seem to get at least one customer a day in high season, sometimes more. I watched two yachts in succession do it last June and even Flotilla lead yachts have been known to end up there! The chart is clear and if you haven’t bothered to check it I suggest you go slow so at least you have a chance of getting yourself off without assistance. Keeping your speed down in the channel is wise anyway – the locals get fed up with people tearing through putting up unnecessary wash.
If you’ve chartered from Poros, the company’s quay at the east end of the channel is available for your use but make sure there is a member of staff around to help you in – there’s a technique to dealing with the crosswinds and strong currents that sometimes come down the channel! Mooring here is on mooring lines.
If you’ve chartered from elsewhere, use the new pontoons and quay at the west end of town which have water and electricity available. There are a few mooring lines on the pontoons, though these seem to be disappearing at a rate of knots, certainly far faster than thy’re being repaired!
I would suggest you avoid going stern to on the south quay, between the charter base and the water ferry landing spot. Aside from the large swell put up by passing ferries, which will be with feet of your yachts and challenges the most well set anchor, the bottom is strewn with all sorts and fouled anchors are common. There’s nothing to get the adrenalin going like pirouetting around your stuck anchor mid channel as a ferry bears down on you!
There are a few spaces here where you can go side too (near the main square) but yachts usually raft out here so be prepared for company, and a lot of noise from the bars nearby. You will find it quieter on the quay and pontoons on the west side.
If you prefer anchoring, most of the bays are fine for daytime stops, with the bays west of the town offering better shelter if you’re staying overnight. In fact if you’re the type who has always worried about spending a night on the hook, these are excellent places to build your confidence, with virtually all around shelter and good holding. In high season you will need to take a line ashore as you’re unlikely to be alone.