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Planning stages for Greece trip, and could use some help

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This is basically a continuation of my thread “Planning stages for Turkey/Greece trip, and could use some help”, posted in the Turkey forum, because most of my questions concerned the Turkish part of my trip, and I didn’t know how to specify two tags for a thread. As our itinerary evolved, we found that we had additional questions concerning the Greek island part of our trip, hence this posting.

We're planning to go from Bodrum (Turkey) to Kos via ferry, then move on to Patmos, Samos, Chios, and Syros, in that order (staying at each as long as holds our interest) before arriving in Athens. The problem is that we can't find an easy way to get to Syros from Chios. It appears that all the islands we want to see except Syros are in the Dodecanese or northeastern Aegean (with fairly easy ferry access between them), but Syros is in the Cyclades, and not readily accessible from Chios. We would like to avoid a day-long ferry ride, if possible, and would consider a stopover on Mykonos on the way, if necessary (although we've already been there and would prefer to avoid re-visiting places). The problem we're having is that ferry schedules aren't posted yet for the May 2013 time period, and I'm also having trouble finding flights that don't go through Athens.
We would consider changing the order that we see the islands prior to arriving in Syros if it would facilitate transportation, but without proper ferry and flight schedules, we're having a tough time with the logistics.
Any advice (including where to get ferry schedules for the May 2013 time period) would be greatly appreciated.

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