Like vagabonds, the seven of us, duffels in tow, loitered leisurely along the bustling quays, tavernas and kafenia of Naoussa harbor on the Greek island of Paros. (Perhaps only in the Mediterranean do “leisurely” and “bustling” not seem contradictory.) We were killing time, on the lookout for Stuart and Monique, neither of whom we’d ever met. They were, respectively, the skipper and the cook for the sailboat we had chartered.
The sailboat should have been easy to find: a 54-foot Jeanneau monohull (as opposed to catamaran), so new it didn’t yet have a name emblazoned on its stern. We apparently would be its very first paying guests. But other than that description of the boat, among the hundreds of others at anchorage in the harbor, we had no firm idea of what we were looking for, much less what exactly to expect during the coming week of island-hopping in the Cyclades. Read more.