Arrived 5th July exhausted afters 12 hours traveling, car, plane, ferry and car. Generous friends, both called David, drove us at each end making it possible. Joan, the previous owner showed us around until our tired brains could take no more. Then we went to a taverna for a beer, a moussaka (me), a gyros (Sue) before an early night.
Today we’ve shopped for provisions – Lefkas is a lovely town – and delved into all the lockers on the boat finding all kinds of useful stuff, loads of spares, ropes, tools. So happy. Having a beer and catching up before a shower and a meal on board.
Yesterday our friends who live here sailed Lover with us from Lefkas to Nidri and gave us intense instructions on reefing the main and other bits of technical stuff. I was exhausted pulling the main sail up and down. Oh for in mast reefing! Everything works so far! Called in at IBA but they are busy with an open weekend.
Successful sail both days, Sue at helm, me doing sails anchor etc. back at Nidri for our first guests, Dave and Cathy from Borth y Gest. Spray hood and genoa both need some re-stitching so they’ve offered to do this for us – they do this on a semi-professional basis.
In Palairos on the mainland for the night. Sue managed to steer us to the harbour wall in a strong crosswind only panicking slightly. Weather hot but not stifling. Our friends did major repairs to our genoa and spray hood. We wouldn’t have coped nearly so well without their help. Back to Nidri on Thursday night to have a few improvements made. Nice to have experienced sailors for our first guests.
Wandered round the little town buying small items for the boat, such as a mop for the deck. After a coffee ashore we upped anchor only to find we were hooked on another chain. We managed to lift this and then made the mistake of lifting it off with a boat hook. The chain was then trying to pull the boat hook out of our hands. An experienced neighbour helped us out from his tender by putting a rope round the chain so we could take the weight on the rope, release the boat hook and then drop the chain. Next time we’ll loop the rope round and take the strain that way. After that we had a great sail and anchored in Athena Bay on Meganissi with lines ashore. The depth meter was playing up making life a bit more difficult. We had some wonderful swims here.
More wonderful swims, lunch then a wonderful sail back to Nidri where we ate at our usual taverna. 14th
Sitting in the shade in Nidri waiting for the engineer to come to check our boat out. Tom arrived and we are getting quotes for the stuff we want. David and Cathy hired a smaller boat for the day and had a good time. We all had a BBQed sweetcorn and a gyros (equivalent of fish and chips or dinner kebab at 2€ very good value) for dinner on the promenade.
Had a great sail tacking up the Meganissi Channel in steady 16-18 knot winds. At the south end winds increased and we reefed the genoa and took the main down. We found a lovely bay but found anchoring difficult in gusty conditions and gave up after dragging twice. Out of the bay the winds were up to 30 knots so we were relieved to get into Sivota. We picked up a mooring buoy that we thought was Mark’s but turned out not to be. Exhausted I watched whilst Cathy cooked tuna and rice. Revived we played blob.
Moved to the quay and did some jobs. Had lunch in the family restaurant and an evening meal in a taverna picked by David. Sue tried to buy a guitar off the musicians that were there to entertain us but their English was non existent and we think they thought we wanted to book them! Just at we were finishing David and Viola appeared and we decided to meet up with them the next day.
Met up for a coffee and decided to sail with them to Kastos where they had agreed to meet with some friends, Phil and Fi, who live near James and Rachel in Norfolk. We had a good sail but had to motor for an hour. We chose a bay to the north of the island and all concocted a meal which we ate on Pernoll.
A lazy day at anchor, swimming, snorkelling and playing bridge. Afternoon tea on Panacea. Another meal for eight, this time on Panacea.
A short trip on Pernoll to Kastos village where we did some shopping and consumed some of the delicious, expensive ice cream before heading back to the bay where Lover lay at anchor with David on board and saying our Cheerios to Phil and Fi for a day or two. After lunch and swims we played bridge while David and Cathy went coasteering in the hot sun. Meal aboard
Lover followed by walk up to the church.
Woke up to quite a strong onshore wind. Fortunately we had had strong gusty winds from that direction the previous evening and knew the anchor was holding. Had a long beat north between Kastos, Kalamos and the mainland with the main reefed. The wind was very variable. Stern to in Matika town harbour where we filled up with water having gone down to our reserve after a weeks use. The town is deserted and very quaint. Some of the shops are third world. All eight of us share a meal of various dishes chosen by Viola.
After doing some shopping we set off for one tree bay , motoring for a while then proceeding at snails pace north in very light winds before meeting up with Dave and Viola for bridge. I get myself into a bad mood. We all eat together a meal of greens vlicro, pasta salad, and couscous.
We are on our own for a few days as Cathy and David are going back to Wales today. We had a couple of nights at anchor off one tree bay and now we’re in Palairos again as stainless steel Pete is going to heighten the Bimini so I can stand and helm.
A little more than usual to report today. Fairly gentle start, heightened Bimini arrived and I adjusted the system so it didn’t hit the boom. Then about 16:30 Sue started to make tea and said the cooker was not right. I went down and somehow it caught fire, the gas ignited in a blue flash and we tried to smother it with a fire blanket then let a powder extinguisher loose. I rushed out and turned off the gas in the locker. No harm done but we have just spent 5 hours trying to get the powder out of every thing in the boat. Tomorrow to Nidri to get a new regulator and to test the cooker.
Brilliant sail from Palairos to Nidri in winds gusting to 25 knots. Had to reef twice. Managed to buy new gas regulator and going to order new cooker. Don’t want to experience that again. Most of the powder is off the boat.
In Lefkas after motoring into strong winds. Di and Mel appeared as soon as we’d tied to the town quay. Followed up on a lead on a second hand cooker but don’t think it’ll work out. Paid out on a new anchor as technology has moved on since ours was bought and a new dinghy as the old one was shot. Sue is not happy about the drain of funds. Our friends met up with us in our special bay on Meganissi and gave us dinner and morning tea but finding a cooker is frustrating. Nearly a week gone.
On Saturday we successfully turned Lover round and moored bows to so we could have our new anchor fitted. We also ordered a new cooker from IBA. I took all the chain onto the quay, laid it out in ten metre lengths, marked it, and swapped it round so the bit that had been used the least was now next to the anchor. We sailed south with a pleasant tail wind for most of the way to Big Anchor Bay and had to tack the last bit. Much cooler so no swim when we got there. Mel cooked a meal on a one burner cooker that they had purchased which cheered me up.
Next day we went for a walk after our early morning swim and breakfast and set off for Sivota with a pleasant northerly wind. I had put the chain the wrong way over a roller guide so we had to take all the chain out of the locker, pass it under the locker and replace it. Sue thought the engine was not in gear so we put up a sail quickly. At the bottom of the Meganissi Channel the wind suddenly increased so we reefed the sails. The wind was gusting over 30 knots so we tacked closer to the shore but that made no difference. After a further exciting sail with the baggy genoa showing its age we took it down but could not tack with just the main so decided to motor. The engine started fine but would not go into gear so I went down to inspect and found a gearbox shaft sticking straight up out of the gearbox. So now we were in a certain amount of trouble. We decided to sail to,Sivota and I texted Dave and Viola to let them know of our situation. We had a brilliant, if slightly nerve-racking sail, occasionally getting completely overpowered and yawing alarmingly. I should have taken in another reef. Sue did an amazing job at the helm. We found tacking up into the bay into a gusty headwind difficult and were relieved when Dave and Viola arrived in a rib to tow us into a mooring. We treated them to a nice meal with the six of us.
We were very lucky that Sailing Holidays had a similar gearbox and the engineers were able to make one good gearbox out of that and ours.
The newly purchased second hand gearbox didn’t fit but parts from it were used to repair ours so we were able to leave Sivota only one and a half days after arriving. The people who helped us were amazing. We’ve come back to Nidri, hoping to get our gas system sorted but one part still hasn’t arrived. Maybe tomorrow.
We took Di and Mel to Lefkas to catch their bus, ferry and plane back to the UK. I met a couple from Jsails who measured up for a new genoa. They had an amazing computer programme and fed in all kinds of measurements and came up with a design for the sail. We hope this will be ready for our trip to Corfu. We then sailed back to Nidri and today had our new cooker fitted and the gas system tested. We also had our electrics looked at and may well upgrade our solar cells and alternator charging. Sue has been entertaining me with the guitar she purchased in Lefkas for not much more that Ryanair wanted to charge for transporting hers here one way. We need a chill as it’s all been a bit hectic so we sailed across to our little bay on Meganissi for some peace and quiet.
A lovely uneventful day. Early morning swim then breakfast of cherries, muesli, yoghurt and freshly squeezed orange juice. We walked to Spartachori in the morning to buy a few provisions. Had another swim before lunch. Then I did a couple of jobs, putting up a flagpole for our red duster and modifying the mozzie screen. Sue went through all the paperwork. Spanish omelette for dinner and Greek salad for lunch, with peaches and melon for dessert. Peace.
Decided we needed another day of peace. Read a lot, swam a bit. Fixed the leak in the shower head. Dave and Viola turned up and we had a few games of bridge with tea on our boat and dinner and more games on theirs. Had a leisurely sail to Sivota so we can meet up with our friends from Porthmadog, Carl and Melanie and watch the tennis final.
Met up with Carl and Melanie, friends from North Wales who set off from there several years ago. Watched Wimbledon final in a cafe in Sivota for the second year running and had one too many beers. We’re tied up on Stavros’ pontoon where you get free mooring, free water and electricity and free showers if you eat at his taverna.
Spent a second day in Sivota so the engineer could change the gearbox oil and fit a new cable. Had some pleasant swims from the beach and met with some people from Whitby, friends of Mark and Francesca. Set off after lunch and had a pleasant sail across to Kalamos where we met up with Dave and Viola. Spent the following day there at anchor in a beautiful little bay and did a couple of jobs on the boat. Set off fairly early and had a good sail back to Nidri to pick up our SSR and provisions.
Stayed for a couple of nights anchored off Kalamos, played lots of bridge. Then we sailed to Nidri where we bought provisions, collected our SSR (thanks Sylvia) visited the port police and became legal and sailed for our last rendezvous with Dave and Viola in OneTree Bay. Next morning we sailed to Lefkas and anchored just north ready for a new part of our adventure to start. Up at 6.30 and off into the swell and fortunately light head wind (after the strong winds the day before). Had an amazing crossing to Two Rock Bay, covering the 25 miles in 5 hours. Spent a pleasant day there and motored to Parga next morning, meeting up with Mike and Jo.
Met up with Mike and Jo, old childhood friends, took them out for the day and agreed to take them to Corfu tomorrow. Our new sail was delivered and installed this evening – looks good but the test will be tomorrow.
Mike and Jo decided to join us for the trip and we set off at 7 into a bit of a swell. Things became calmer the further north we motored and we arrived in Corfu at 13.30 in a flat calm sea. After lunch Mike and Jo went off to confirm their travel arrangements back to Parga and we did a few jobs – moving the spare anchor into the bow locker with the old genoa, adding our spare water to our tank and same for diesel, topping up our outboard etc. unfortunately the lovely water outlets at Corfu had been destroyed. We ate overlooking the boat.
Shared Mike and Jo’s taxi into Corfu town, got my glasses repaired and bought bus tickets for the airport.
. Walked everyone to the quay and took 3 trips in the tender to ferry everyone plus luggage to the boat. After we’d organised lunch and had a swim we decided to stay put and eat ashore. The kids played for a while in the old tender but we donated it to a French boat before we left. His had completely collapsed and his attempt to make a new one from scraps of plywood and glass fibre resin didn’t look too successful. The couple were both very grateful.
Set off after breakfast for the anchor spot for Lidl and did a mammoth shop whilst the kids played on the beach. Just about staggered back to the tender which we filled with all the stuff and we swam and towed it back to the boat. Then we motored to Gouvia Marina and filled up our diesel and water tanks. We tried to sail north to one of the little bays opposite Albania but had to motor in the end. I am writing this from Gerald Durrel’s old house in Kalami Bay which is now a charming taverna. Sue and I escaped from the kids for a bit and walked to an adjacent bay for a quiet swim.
We set sail north from Kalami in very light winds and started motoring towards Ericousa. Soon we had 15-20 knot winds so we started to tack there. This was the first test of our new genoa and it performed admirably. The winds steadily increased until we had to reef both sails. Progress was slow and the seas increased. The children went very quiet and so were no trouble. We motored the last half hour and arrived at 1800. Sue cooked us cabbage and peanuts and the youngsters went ashore to play cards in a bar. Next morning we explored the island a bit and after lunch aboard the kids went to the beach. In the evening we all ate in the little bar and played cards until dark.
We stayed in Ericousa until after lunch waiting for the wind we’d had the previous two days but to no avail so we had a long motor back to Corfu where we anchored in a delightful bay Aria with one other yacht at 1900. Out of provisions Sue and I walked to Agios Stefanos, a lovely walk mostly on path. In the afternoon we read and did a crossword while Doug, Jo and Gabe repeated the same walk.
We stayed in the bay a second night, cooking the two tiny fish Doug and Gabe had caught on a fire on the beach then set off for the mainland after breakfast and a couple of swims, unfortunately motoring most of the way. The harbour at Sagiyada is very shallow and our depth meter went to zero and then packed up but we went stern to successfully and enjoyed the free water on the quay, all having showers and hair washes.
Had a kilo of giant prawns, calamari, klefticas, pizzas and chips at Taverna Atekos, whose owner was so helpful last time we we were here with a damaged boat and who remembered us. We walked up to the village centre for provisions whilst the kids crabbed and fished off the quay. After lunch we set off for Corfu town, managing to sail at least half the way. The family safely delivered back to their aeroplane, which they catch early after a day exploring the town.
Our 10th wedding anniversary!
Very hot but managed expedition to Corfu old town. Had a fair well dinner and then early to bed.
Very hot in bed and difficult to sleep. Alarm at 0300 then three trips to take luggage and passengers to quay. Back to bed before 0500 but up again at 0700 and off to Parga where we met up with Mike and Jo for their last evening. Had a quiet meal (and lovely cold shower) at their hotel.
Set off for Lefkas at 0915, motored in calm weather for 2 1/2 hours then sailed the whole rest of the way, anchoring in “the pool” after a ten hour 30 mile trip.
Caught the 0900 bridge opening and moored nose to on the town harbour with lots of jobs to do – buying equipment for the improvements to our electrical system, taking laundry, getting gas and food supplies after the gang had left us virtually empty. Very very hot.
Sailed to one Tree Bay, losing one boat hook en route. The sheet from a flapping genoa caught it as I was pulling up the main sail. Stayed in the same mooring for three nights, playing several bridge sessions each day with Dave and Viola and sharing meals with them. Took the genoa down to find out why it wasn’t unfurling every time and discovered the foil which it slides in had a kink near the masthead so booked in to have it fixed.
Sailed all the way to Lefkas but the stern anchor failed to grip 3 times so we moored stern to, getting the hot, hot sun. Kink can be fixed and will be done tomorrow but the furling device is so old parts are now unavailable.
Walked to the marina and showered before picking up an alternator booster from a supplier. Waypoint arrived exactly on time and sorted out our furling problem for minimal cost so we set off from Lefkas. Then disaster, no water. I thought I must have left the shower running as the bilges were full of our water supplies. I later discovered that a joint to a recently installed hot water cylinder had come apart. It was very inaccessible but the two of us managed to reconnect it. We anchored in One Tree Bay after sailing most of the way and Dave and Viola soon joined us so we swam over to them- they had water. Two bridge sessions and shared meals. Up early to motor to Nidri to our appointment with Mike Ruffles who is improving our charging system. He spent all day on the job and still has more to do. We’ve improved the charging from the alternator and from the solar panels and hopefully can turn the fridge down a bit and charge up our electronic gadgets. Ate at Ola Kala. Attacked by mozzies as screen not fitted properly.
Set off motoring for the bay christened Big Anchor and had it to ourselves for a bit. Tested out our new electronics and managed to charge up everything easily even before the new solar panel has been fitted. I did a few jobs, rewired the float switch, riveted a window hinge and did further repairs to the mozzie screen. Dave and Viola arrived exhausted at 2100 and we shared a meal with them and played some bridge.
Up early with cows and their bells for company and fed the fish and enjoyed watching them. Scrambled egg for breakfast – a treat – then motored to Nidri for 1000. Mike took most of the day doing our electrics and we went ashore and did some time on the Internet and bought some supplies. Then we sailed to BAB and ate and played bridge with D & V
The new charging system works a treat and we’re able to charge up all our gadgets and turn the fridge up enough to make ice. Set off for Polis on Ithica after coffee and bridge with D & V and lunch. Motored up the Meganissi Channel and put up the sails just before the end then had a wonderful sail across in winds of 16-22 knots. Sue helmed all the way beating into the wind and we only had to make one tack. Arrived 1800 but had to re anchor because the nearest boat had 50 metres of chain out. Meal and bridge with D & V who followed us here.
Walked up the hill to Stavros village with fabulous views over Polis to Cephalonia on one side and to Frikes on the other. Enjoyed frappe coffee and caught up on my correspondence. D & V sailed over to Fiskado to pick up a friend, Tony, who is staying with them for a few days. So 5 for dinner, as always a combination of our dishes and Violas. Then we walked up the other side of the valley to Stavros for a sorbet. The place was buzzing. On the way down we used the Starwalk ap on my IPad to identify Scorpio.
I did a few jobs, emptying the bilges and putting a lip on the shelf in our cabin to stop our effects dropping onto the engine when the panel below was removed. Tony, a Greek man who has spent most of his adult life in the States, came over for tea and was joined by D&V shortly after. A lively discussion putting the world to rights. After lunch we sailed with a following wind to Antisami Bay on Kephalonia, arriving 1800. We all ate on Lover.
Woke up to another problem – our new photo electrics were not working. Depressing. Ran the engine for half an hour to enable the fridge to be switched on. Dave and Viola came over and eventually found the problem – a bad connection. Set off towards Vathi on Ithica but very little wind until we got into the bay when we had a 20 knot headwind. Stayed in a bay to cool down and eat then motored to Vathi where we went ashore for ice cream and coffee.
Fuelled and watered at Vathi and set off in light winds for our appointment with Mike. Jealous of D & V who stopped over at Arcudie and we had to motor. Two large dolphins spent a few minutes under our bow which was quite exciting. When we arrived we read a text from Mike and one from D & V saying he was going back to Nidri/ Vliho as Bay was too crowded. We were furious as we’d spent days planning this rendezvous. Mike through a wobbly and said he wouldn’t come back and finish the job. We both got depressed. In the evening D&V arrived with Fi and her brothers family.
Bad nights sleep worrying about Mike. D&V spoke to him but he refused to finish the job. Nice sail to Nidri to get our washing done. Another great sail to the Lefkas canal with winds generally around 18 knots. It did get up briefly and we reefed the main. An attempt to put a further reef failed as the line jammed (with the zip cord we later found out) but fortunately the wind abated. Made the 1800 bridge lift and D&V were waiting by the pool the other side and came aboard for a meal and bridge.
Up early and set off at 0702 with a good easterly and 1m swell. Had to motor at times (total 2 hours) but sailed most of the way. Anchored in two rock bay, lunched, swam, slept and read in the afternoon. Swam to the beach and walked up to the little cafe but with no cash.
Up early again for the second leg of our trip north. Gentle winds on and off with frustration and spells of motoring but finally we had a good hours sailing to Petriti, our favourite place on Corfu. Back to Taverna Stomatis, our favourite for seafood – they have a big fishing fleet here.
Went ashore for a shower and then paid a chap who had supplied us with some LED bulbs for our navigation lights. Sailed for a bit then motored to Lidl spotting some dolphins and a flying fish on the way. Bought supplies, not as many as Sue wanted but as much as we could carry. Put the goods in the tender and swam it back. After a tea we sailed most of the way to the anchorage close to Corfu airport where we had arranged to meet Trish and Dave. A highlight of that sail was coming across four dolphins, two adults each with a pup swimming in unison and playing. Very hot in Corfu.
Spent the morning in the town which unfortunately was shut for a religious holiday then motored and sailed north with our latest guests anchoring in Kalami Bay.
Walked over to the next bay, had a swim and coffee and The White House before setting off for Sagiyada. Unfortunately the winch didn’t appreciate having to pull up 45 metres of chain so we had to pull the last 20 metres by hand.
had a great sail there with winds of up to 25 knots so reefed both sails. When we came to the harbour the winds increased to galeforce so Sue had to drive through the narrow entrance at speed. Because of the failing bow winch we had planned to moor bow to using the stern anchor. Unfortunately there was no one to collect our ropes and before we could get a rope to the quay we blew off. Sue went into reverse so we didn’t hit the quay and the engine cut. We blew right across the harbour until the bow hit a fishing boat and Dave did his best to minimise the damage. I pulled at the chain and found it loose so dived in to investigate – chain round the prop. What to do? I launched the dinghy and just about managed to take a rope in the terrifying winds across the entrance to some people who had run over to help and they pulled the bow round until we were in a reasonably secure position. Phew! A small scratch only on the hull. We’ve still got to get the chain off the prop shaft and try to fix the bow winch.
ay we blew off. Sue went into reverse so we didn’t hit the quay and the engine cut. We blew right across the harbour until the bow hit a fishing boat and Dave did his best to minimise the damage. I pulled at the chain and found it loose so dived in to investigate – chain round the prop. What to do? I launched the dinghy and just about managed to take a rope in the terrifying winds across the entrance to some people who had run over to help and they pulled the bow round until we were in a reasonably secure position. Phew! A small scratch only on the hull. We’ve still got to get the chain off the prop shaft and try to fix the bow winch.
David Hayman, one of our guests, volunteered to attempt to remove the chain from our propshaft and after breakfast managed this with only a few dives. The wind had dropped and there was no pressure on the chain which made it easier. Then we turned our attention to the bow winch whilst the ladies walked up to the village. The above deck part was covered in black gritty grease but came apart quite readily. Below deck the motor and gearbox, where I suspected the problem was, was quite inaccessible. We had to demolish the majority of the cabin lining and even then it was hard. We found we could not separate the two halves so after lunch set off in light winds for Gouvia Marina on Corfu for professional help. Had to motor about half the distance but had quite a decent crossing and went out for a meal together after mooring up.
Had a frustrating day. The mechanics who had said would be there at 1000 arrived at 1130 only to take a brief inspection and say an electrician was required. We waited till 1530 before phoning them and two arrived at 1600. First they went off for a short spanner and came back half an hour later, then a puller which took over an hour. Then two of them set to and really struggled to separate some of the parts from the shaft. Eventually they left at 2000 saying they’d be back at 1030 in the morning. We tried a different and equally as good taverna, who gave us free watermelon, free cakes and free grappa and limoncello after we’d paid the bill. Don’t get that in the UK!
Our guests, David and Trish, left rather hurriedly to join his twin sister, Linda, and her husband. The mechanics arrived about an hour late and said they’d be back and have it fixed for 1600. We did a few jobs, paid the marina fees and restocked the boat and were greeted by the mechanics saying “we have big, big problem”. They showed us the gearbox which was completely rusted up. They took me to a marina where a very efficient Irishman located the last identical replacement gearbox left in Greece (so he said). Although very expensive I ordered it as I didn’t feel there was much option. And a new winch will be one less thing to worry about! Sue and I then had a cup of tea, a swim, a beer, a meal aboard and then went to an Internet cafe for a lovely cold lemon sorbet.
Even more frustrating if that’s possible! The mechanics came this morning and said the new winch wouldn’t fit so should they get a GRP specialist to look. A couple of much more confidence inspiring men turned up and we discussed the job we had considered doing in the winter. Estimate 2-3 weeks, €3,000 to do the job! I said how about just fitting the winch we had ordered but modifying the space to fit. Klaus went and brought the new winch and said he could fit it without modification. He also suggested the old unit could have been repaired. As things stand he’s trying to marry up the old above deck unit which was ok to the new gearbox/motor and fitting them in the morning. Meanwhile I have written to the marina saying how unhappy we are with the service we have received, waiting around for our problems to be sorted, worried that they won’t be. Sat on deck in the evening watching an impressive electrical storm. Still no rain!
Since we weren’t expecting Klaus to appear before 1200 we were able to leave the boat for a couple of hours and go and check out two friends boats that are moored in the marina and have a leisurely coffee. Had a poor nights sleep worrying about the winch and how much we should pay the people who failed to fix the problem. When we got back to the boat the reconditioned above deck section of the winch was waiting for us. I went and paid for the new below deck portion – electric motor and gearbox. Then it was all fixed, tested and working and our worries were over. We restored the bow cabin to its former glory, went for a swim and are meeting friends for a meal after a large beer. The first mechanics only asked for the amount I was prepared to pay them and the marina are to replayed to my email after talking to the mechanics. Had a very large meal and enjoyed the company of Phil and Fi and their friends.
Off for a swim before breakfast. Went to get provisions, see the port police and the marina manager, who defended his troops but obviously could see we had a genuine complaint so let us off two days mooring fees and sent us two bottles of wine. Sailed in light then strong winds to Fish Barbeque Bay which we had to ourselves. Sue played and sang in the evening
A lazy day, spent reading, swimming, solving crosswords, practicing bridge and yoga and listening to the frolicking of two trip boats, one of which did BBQ. In the evening we watched Cotton Club on Sue’s computer.
Up early, mopped the deck with the dew. Set off for Ericousa, a 20 mile trip, before breakfast. A gentle following wind took us half way there then a stronger SW allowed us to beat at 5-6 knots the rest of the way. Not the best wind for shelter so we tried the little harbour, hoping to anchor and put a line ashore. We didn’t go about it correctly. Worries about the depth and coordinating the anchor, the helm and the line ashore. Ended up with the keel one side of a rock and the anchor the other side. I jumped in and pushed us sideways so Sue could pull the anchor chain. Off. Next problem the anchor was jammed between rocks but the engine pulled it out. Departed from the little harbour vowing never to try it again and anchored in sand, putting up with the ups and downs caused by the swells. Another minor adventure, no damage.
Rough night in the southerly winds and no change in the morning. So after much deliberation we went into the little harbour to escape the swells. This time we were well prepared, agreed where to drop the anchor (with a buoy attached in case it jammed in the rocks), and prepared a long line to tie onto the rocks of the mole. Sue reversed in, I dropped the anchor and let out enough chain before diving in with shoes on to swim to the mole. Everything went like clockwork so hopefully our shattered confidence will be restored. Came ashore, after trying to help a French yachtsman tie up, and a nice lunch in the hotel overlooking the blue sea the other side of the dunes.
I didn’t feel 100% most of the day, suffering from a tummy upset. Not bad as first minor health problem since we arrived. So after a late lunch we stayed aboard. An Italian yacht long lined beside us and by an amazing coincidence was skippered Erzio, who assisted us in Sami 3 years ago getting our damaged genoa down. We had our photo taken and a promise to have it sent to us.
The wind turned easterly in the night causing one of our mooring lines to make a creaking noise. I got up three times before finally curing it.
A cloudy windy day. Glad we sought shelter. Had a walk round part of the island before stopping for a coffee and Internet session. Excitement in the afternoon. A ketch motor sailor arrived and tried to go next to us. They dropped anchor with a pitiful amount of chain so it didn’t hold and got the mooring rope round their propellor. So they were blown across towards the quay which is protected with rocks. We went across in our tender with a snorkel and took some long lines to pull them off the rocks. Then about 10 local fishermen arrived shouting conflicting instructions. We went back to our boat. A fishing boat then towed them but with no clear plan and our boat was threatened several times. Eventually they sorted themselves out but I think if we hadn’t tried to take control things could have been a lot worse. Went ashore for a meal.
A sleepless night as the wind developed to a strong easterly, threatening to blow the ketch onto us. In fact a 0700 we received a call from them as their anchor was slipping again and they were being blown onto us. We leaped into action, discarding our long lines and re anchoring in the bay. We then went back in the tender to collect our lines and after breakfast set off for Corfu. The winds were variable but we made good progress until a storm developed with winds gusting at 40 knots. So because it was so gusty we took the sails in and motored to the calm of Fish BBQ Bay.
Chilled out the whole day. Tried a new system for sailing with the dinghy, hoisting onto the stern with pulleys attached to the gantry housing the photoelectric cells. Also mains Greek socket.
Got up after a windy night blowing onshore with quite a chop. But as soon as the sails were set the wind died so we motored to Gouvia to fill up with fuel and water. I went inside to get my wallet and found the fresh water joint had burst again. Tried to fix it but they wanted us off the fuel pontoon. So radioed the marina and they gave us a free berth for two hours. Fixed straight away when no pressure. Off to Lidl to provision but after we’d discovered our bed and clothes in the locker beneath were wet. So put these to dry. When we returned very heavily laden, a strong wind had got up and we struggled to paddle back against it. Set off as soon as we could and Sue unpacked while I sailed single handed. After mooring up we continued mopping up and drying and exhausted made a meal at about 2100.
Up at 0315 to meet Alisa and Richard at the airport. Up again at 0830 for swim and breakfast before going ashore for bread and a coffee. Set off before lunch for Petriti and arrived there having sailed all the way at 1630. A & R took the tender ashore. We had a meal ashore but there wasn’t much atmosphere and it was lumpy all night.
Met a couple on the boat next to us who invited us over for coffee. Went ashore and walked up to the old semi-deserted village in the hills. Motored all the way to Sivota where we found difficulty getting a space to anchor. The boat next to us seemed to be in a different wind to us and we kept swinging close to each other. The couple, Pete and Teresa, joined us for drinks and food and we had a good social night. I didn’t sleep well as I kept waking up and checking we weren’t near our neighbour.
Teresa turned out to be a hairdresser so we both had a hair cut aboard their boat while R & A went ashore. We joined them, bought gas and had a coffee.
Set off for Paxos at lunchtime and had a brilliant sail all the way, close hauled with two reefs in both sails most of the way. Anchored in Lakka, a beautiful large bay and Richard treated us to a meal.
Decided to stay. Coffee ashore then lunch. As forecast the wind really got up in the afternoon and boats were all over the place as their anchors failed to hold. R & A went ashore for a meal but we stayed and watched thankful for our Rochna anchor.
Set off for two rock bay (16 miles) at 1100 and only managed to sail the last third as no wind. R & A cooked for us. Unusually it was rocky all night.
Went ashore for a coffee from the caravan on the top then after lunch set off under sail for Parga. Only took 2 hours. Came in to Castellos for a posh meal.
North again. Back to Petriti by popular request. Unfortunately lots of motoring although the winds were from the south west.
Back to Corfu town via Lidl to stock up. Alisa and Richards last night. Celebrated with bubbly then into the old town for a meal.
There was a power boat race taking place in our normal anchorage but we thought it might have finished so we took our anchor up from near the castle and motored across only to be sent back, making our walk to the airport considerably longer. We said goodbye to A & R, our fifth guest party, and set off South in light southerly winds. About half way on our 34 mile journey the wind picked up and swung to a favourable direction and we were able to sail all the way to Two Rock Bay which was very peaceful with only four other yachts in.
Unfortunately the calm didn’t last and we had a very rocky night. Set off in a brisk southerly wind taking us a bit too far west but as soon as we tacked the direction and speed changed and we spent several hours not going very fast before deciding to turn on the engine. We made Lefkas for 17:30 and waited for the six o’clock bridge. Met up with Phil and Fi who cooked for us and entertained us with tales of rats on board and thefts. We picked their brains regarding winter storage arrangements, very much on our minds at the moment.
Up at sunrise and mopped the decks using the dew. The sea temperature has now dropped to 19.5 degrees from 26. Set off for Nidri to get the laundry done and fill up our water tanks, only topped up by container by Richard since our last top up almost two weeks ago. Half way there a rat appeared just in front of us. My attempts to poke it sent in into the anchor locker. Buckets of water did nothing but we did secure the interior by shutting all hatches. I shut it in the locker and thought when we dropped anchor the chain was bound to kill it but no so I attacked it with a boat hook, not being able to see anything. A little face appeared at the entrance and the terrified beast got off the boat as quickly as he could and dived under when I tried to swipe it with the boat hook.
. We went online and booked f
Ights home on 20th October and winter storage in Preveza. After lunch at Ola Kala we set off for Big Anchor Bay and Pete and Teresa joined us there and provided us with steak for dinner. We provided some wonderful cakes and red wine and they entertained us with non-stop stories.
A day staying put. Up at 7 to swab the decks. Then a swim and a long walk with Teresa and Sue before breakfast. I did a few jobs, checking the engine, bilges, scrubbing the hull, finishing off my pulley system for lifting the dinghy. Alone in the bay. Wonderful. Watched a Hitchcock DVD after a delicious spaghetti.
Had a great sail to Sivota after coffee with lunch underway. Sue did such a good job steering us to our mooring a chap came up and complimented her. I was very impressed as the first space we chose was unavailable so we had to go out, round two boats, and reverse back. Had a nice meal with Dave and Viola and then a few games of bridge.
13th & 14th
Supposedly rained a bit in the night but I haven’t seen any for over three months. Simon came to check out a whining noise that we were concerned with and said he thought the prop might be slightly bent but nothing else to worry about. Set off just ahead of D & V for our little bay and played bridge with them and shared evening meals.
Sue not herself this morning but we set off in a good wind east and ended up on the quay at Kalamos. George, the local taverna owner, was ther to welcome us and take our ropes. We walked to the beach by an old windmill for a swim, then beer in the cockpit after a hot shower and over to George’s for lamb and red wine – heaven!
Weather forecast says stormy so we’ve stayed put and had our first rain. It really was stormy and it poured. Watched a DVD in the evening.
Short motor across to Kastos town to meet up with D & V. Moored on quay. Sue cooked a meal for us all and then we went for cake, ice cream and coffee at the little cafe. The wind got up in the night and I had a bit of a sleepless night.
Went for a walk with D & V to look at the little bay on the other side of the island then had our longest and one of our most exciting sails, covering over 20 miles in winds hovering around 20 knots. Went from Kastos south then up the eastern and northern sides of Meganissi to our bay which was very peaceful. Played the train game on D & Vs boat.
Motored to Sivota and met up with D & V, who were entered in the Southern Ionian Yacht Regatta. The start was just after lunch and was very exciting. 152 boats were entered in two classes and we set off 10 minutes after the starting class, tacking up the Meganissi Channel, avoiding competing yachts by very small margins, only able to tack when there was just enough space. The weather and wind were perfect and we finished ahead of most of the competition having had a great sail. Wow!
Set off for Sami in reasonable winds but it died before we got to the channel so we motored. Then we noticed rain and a storm over Sami and the wind got up. Then the storm moved away so we hoisted our sails just in time for the wind to abate. Motored all the rest of the way and found plenty of room on the quay.
Filled up with water and diesel and then Rosie and Peter arrived. After coffee and lunch we set off into a choppy sea but managed to sail all the way to Antisami on port tack in winds gusting up to 25 knots. Dropped anchor there but it was a bit lumpy and Rosie and Peter felt a bit worse for wear.
After a late breakfast we decided to set sail for Vathi on Ithica only to find the main halyard had disappeared. Sue volunteered to go up the mast in the boatswains chair but it was too lumpy so we decided to motor. With the wind coming from the east and a nasty chop we changed our destination to Polis on the east side of Ithica and sailed there on our genoa at a stately 2-3 knots.
After a few games of bridge the storm had passed and we worked out how to use the chair and hoisted Sue to the top of the mast. The halyard was duly retrieved and a new shackle put on it to replace the damaged one that had probably contributed to the loss. We were all full of admiration for Sue and pleased that we had Pete’s strength to haul her up.
To celebrate and because the weather seemed settled we walked up to the village for drinks and a lovely meal. On the way down it started to rain and there were gusts of wind so I became a little concerned. By the time we were all in the dinghy it was pitch dark and pouring with rain. Worse still we couldn’t see our boat. Eventually we spotted our light but right out of position, much further from the beach than we had left her. We passed tow boats one of which informed us that all boats had dragged but that our anchor seemed to have grabbed. So there we were, four of us all inebriated in a tiny tender in a thunder storm with just two paddles chasing our yacht before it disappeared out of the bay. I had put out over 25 m of chain and the depth sounder said 19.5m. We re anchored in the dark and spent the rest of the night wondering if we were secure.
We were uncertain what to do as we were all shattered. We put a line ashore and went for a swim but the onshore wind made us feel insecure so we decided to sail the short distance to Fiskado where we moored on the town quay. This is pretty but commercial.
Set off about 1100 with no definite plan but to take advantage of the north west wind. In communication with D & V and decided to meet up off Arkudi. Had a late lunch and swim and decided to stay the night. The stars and the cards were amazing.
Pete helped fix D & V s new table then we sailed with the wind behind us together to Kastos harbour. They won the race but they do have a bigger boat. We had a fabulous walk followed by a lovely meal on their boat then ice cream, cake, coffee and brandy in the cafe.
Swim in the harbour. Then walk round to collect our dinghy. Sailed and motored to Ithica, missing our lunch stop at Atoko because the bay was full. Anchored in a lovely bay. Swam and then had a meal and cards on Lover with a music quiz to finish.
Sue’s birthday. Up at 0800 for a swim and tea then motored into Vathi for a birthday breakfast feast. A long slow sail, bit of motor then good wind to Sami. So we successfully picked up, entertained and returned our guests. Sue had a two handmade cards.
We stayed in Sami for a second night as we love the place and we needed a rest then we had a long sail to Sivota. A storm was forecast and duly arrived on 30th. We needed to get our laundry done and Sue gave Lover a spring clean while I sawed the washboard in half and put a lovely piece of teak from Pernoll’s old table over the join. I also put two hooks on the saloon side of the bow cabin door. I had wanted to do these jobs but haven’t wanted to destroy the originality of the boat. I think both have been improvements. We didn’t want to move anyway because the weather was still unsettled. In the evening D&V took us to Poros village, up in the hills, for the wonderful spit roast lambs liver.
Sue and Viola went for a long walk and Dave and I had a coffee and updated a few apps on our iPads. After lunch of scrambled eggs we set off for our bay, sailing on genoa until the channel and then motoring. Dinner and bridge on Pernol. Next morning we had a before breakfast swim although the water is cooling down and the sun wasn’t up, then a long walk. After lunch we motored to Kapali, just 3 miles away and played more bridge before sharing our cabbage with D & V.
Not much wind so a walk into Vathy where our €20 bought coffees, oranges and lovely cakes. Back for lunch and bridge. I tried to improve my pulley system for the dinghy lift. Dinner and more bridge with D&V. Maybe the last supper with them this season.
Early morning swim is getting more challenging, especially when, like this morning it’s breezy. Had D & V for breakfast then sailed to Nidri because bad weather forecast. D & V changed their plans and sailed there as well so after lunch on Pernoll we walked to the waterfall above Nidri. Mostly road but the final stretch and the gorge and fall made it more than worth while.
Rain in the night. Over to Nidri on the tender for provisions then spent the rest of the day aboard sheltering from the rain.
Back to Nidri to Sylvia and Dave’s hotel to meet up and shower. On the way back with 4 plus luggage on the 2-man tender see Pernol and arrange to follow them to Kapala. Very flukey winds as storms forecast. Anchored near them and invited them for tea and blob (card game). Shared dinner on Lover.
No let up in the weather but the rain held off enough for an early morning swim, coffee on Pernol and then a walk and lunch in Vathi. More rain afternoon and night but nice meal on Pernol.
Early morning swim in the rain but the weather improved and after coffee we set off for Palairos. Had a nice sail with southerly wind into sunshine. Walk, meal for 6 on Lover, cards then a tremendous storm in the night.
Stayed in Paleros for another night as strong winds and huge clouds everywhere else. All four of us managed to swim off the beach before breakfast. Storms in the night and the boat next door had its anchor pulled and was blown onto us. Dave and Sylvia took us out for an amazing meal in the New Mill, a restaurant which has served meals to celebrity chefs. We had about 8 courses, no menu or choice, unlimited wine and water and everything was wonderful. On 11th the winds were still strong but we set off anyway with sails fully reefed and had a great sail to Meganissi doing over six knots. Lunch in. Our bay then another sail to Sivota in really lumpy seas. Lover just rose over them. Meal at Stavros.
Lazy day in Sivota. Highlight was when we were having a drink on the quay Stavros speared an octopus which they then grilled for us.
Lovely day but no wind so we motored to Nidri, stopping off at our bay for coffee, lunch, tea and a swim. Moored on the town quay and met Dave and Cathy and crew and of course Dave and Sylvia too for a meal at Ola Kala.
Shower at Dave and Sylvia’s apartment. Gentle sail and motor to Lefkada where we moored on the town quay. Farewells to Dave and Sylvia, gyros and DVD aboard.
Our last sail to Preveza with only the days of putting the boat to hibernate over winter to come. We’re ready to go home but sad to be leaving this wonderful life. After exploring, having a drink with Internet, dinner and DVD we went to bed.
Woken in the night by a tremendous thunder storm. I dashed out naked to put up the spray hood but there was no one looking. After breakfast we spent a frustrating couple of hours with the Port Police getting our documents stamped then I had a haircut and Sue bought some stuff. We motored to the Ionian Marine for our lift out, which went smoothly but it’s very odd being on a boat that doesn’t move at all.
Marina minibus into town for cleaning stuff bread and a laze in the sun with a coffee and croissant. Then washing cushion covers, lying anchor chain on a pallet, deflating and packing dinghy, packing away ropes, fenders and sorting out inside lockers and cupboards. Meal at local taverna. Exhausted.
Up before dawn on a beautiful calm day and took the mainsail down with the complications of the lazy jacks, reefing lines and boom bag. Also took and packed away the genoa, the Bimini and the spray hood; got out the winter covers, wheel cover, paserelle cover, winch covers. Sue packed up our clothes and washed the mattress covers which came out well.