We set off for Petriti on Corfu, soon raising the gennaker. Once out of the bay we set all the other sails and took it down. The wind was kind until we reached the tip of Corfu and then kept dying and changing direction. Finally at about 4 pm it settled down and we entered Petriti under sail. The harbour wall was full so we dropped anchor and had a swim to cool down.
Then we went ashore had a look at the substantial fishing fleet, inspected a few menus and finally chose a taverna for our meal. I had the best grilled calamares I’ve had, Mel had fresh sardines and Sue and Di shared a red mullet selected from the cooler.
Sue and Bill swam ashore with shampoo and shower gel and had their first proper shower since arriving on the beach. Mel came over in the tender with some water containers which we filled. Then we had breakfast and I wrote up this blog. Mel and I took the tender for a sail in the afternoon, then Di took my place and they struggled to sail back as Sue and I laughed at their efforts.
We then went ashore with the intention that I would have a beer in an internet café whilst the others bought food for the meal. No internet in the village so we all stopped for a beer after shopping. It was too tempting and we decided to eat where we were.
Bucking all the trends we decided to stay for a third night at Petriti and it was cloudy. We decided to walk to the old village, which was high up in the hills.
An amazing place from another era but in a terrible state with many of the properties just ruins.
We climbed to the top of the church tower – the church and graveyard were immaculate in contrast with the rest of the place.
I thought I’d lost my water bottle and climbed up the tower again. The others chatted up an old man who grabbed Sue’s breast and Di’s bottom. We asked some German men if the place they were drinking was a bar and amazingly it was. Our 4 drinks cost only €4!!
In the afternoon I continued my efforts to clean the bottom of the boat. We went back to the same taverna and had a feast – a plate of Mediterranean prawns to share to start and fish from the fridge to follow – washed down with beer and copious quantities of wine – the owner gave us a free litre. 4th July Another shower on the beach then a long sail back to Gavia, near Curfu. We tried hard to sail but were becalmed for ages and even after lowering the sails for a swim and lunch we were still only a short way from Petriti. So I decided to motor and 15 minutes later a reasonable wind came up. This took us most of the way but we had to motor the last two hours. By the time we anchored at 9 pm I was shattered. Sue managed to Skype Jo who at last has internet at home.
Our first changeover day. This included shopping at Lidl , washing all the sheets and getting the cabin ready for the next occupants and motoring to NAOK yacht club. Di and Mel disembarked at about 5.30 and Sylvia and David are due at about 1 tomorrow morning. We purchased another mosquito net in case people want to sleep separately a new paint scraper to attack the hull with and some seat cushions to fit the folding deck chairs. We lunched at NAOK and then said goodbye to Di and Mel. A few hours with just the two of us. An early night.
Woke up and located Dave and Sylvia in the bar. Settled them in and explained about the “poo loo” and the “wee loo” before back to bed. Up early and set off for Sayiadha with the motor. After about 15 mins able to sail and managed to sail all the way, stopping during a calm period for a swim and lunch.
Horrors a huge barge with a crane in our lovely harbour.
Worse as I put the engine in reverse it cut out with a rope wrapped round it. We dropped anchor while we sorted it out. Disaster – the housing of the Z-drive (that transfers the power from the engine to the propeller) had sheared. We rescued most of the unit but got covered in gearbox oil and managed to moor alongside the quay without further mishap. The harbour policeman then shouted to tell us we couldn’t stay here so we went to explain that we couldn’t move in the strong wind. After much toing and froing he took the ships papers and said we MUST stay where we were. We cleaned up the boat and ourselves, showered on the quay with the hose and had a nice meal.
Up at dawn to see if I could find a missing shaft with the sea searcher magnet before the dredger started work. No joy. Plan to clean off tender, inspect the electric outboard, get our papers back and sail back to Corfu to get the boat repaired. Went to get our papers from the harbour police. He asked me to sit down and said there was a problem. Two others arrived, none of whom spoke much English. Then a lovely girl from the supermarket who acted as interpreter. Because we hadn’t had the ship’s papers stamped since 2009 we either had to be impounded and wait for a higher official from a larger port or sign a document saying the accident happened outside Sayiadha. This took some time. Then a captain inspected our boat to make sure it was seaworthy and we were offered a tow. They cast of our mooring lines before we’d had a chance to get ready and a man from the dredger’s boat who hadn’t a clue towed us out at high speed.
We had wind most of the day but had to put in quite a few tacks but arrived at Gouvia at 9 pm in style at over 6 knots. A small boat came in to help us moor up and we had a lovely meal aboard in good spirits.
Marcos the mechanic came to look at the damage. Arranged for a welder to weld the broken part. We contacted Mark to see if he was happy with that and for his help in finding spare parts. Dave and I checked over the unit ad gave Sue a list to order from the UK. These were duly dispatched for next day delivery. Dave and I continued to check over the unit and undid some seized up bolts.
We ate at a lovely taverna a short walk away.
Tracking the parcel online we could see it had arrived as far as Athens but it didn’t get here. We all went over to a nearby beach a couple of times for a swim. The noise at our mooring was unbearable at times as we were right next to the fuel pontoon and a tanker was unloading fuel all day and we were also next to the boat hoist which was busy all day.
Sue negotiated a good deal with the manager as the quoted cost would have been about £70/day.
In the evening we went back to same taverna who had kindly given us free bread in the morning.
Waiting for the parts to arrive again. Had a morning scrubbing decks. Checked with DHL – although they guarantee 24 hours delivery that is only to Athens and we really realistically won’t receive the part on Monday as weekend days don’t count. We went for a couple of swims. Dave and Sylvia went for a walk and a boozy lunch. In the evening we met up with Sue’s cousin Linda and her friends Martin and Jane who came here to re-fuel anchored nearby. We all went for a meal to the restaurant Dave had been to for lunch at his recommendation.
No chance of the parts arriving today so Dave and Sylvia went on a boat trip to Benitses for the day.
I did my routine mechanical checks and final preparations for replacing the drive. We adapted the tender davits for lifting it back into place. Sue and I had a lazy day with a couple of swims to cool down. Dave and Sylvia enjoyed their trip and lunch out. We played the train game on the back deck and then had gyros for a late meal.
Spent the morning trying to be patient in case the parts arrived.
The came at about noon and we tried to persuade the director of the marina to let us use the slip. Unfortunately there was a wire accross that the mast would have connected with so we negotiated a deal to get the boat out. We were going well but hit a snag which I had foreseen might be a problem. When Marcos arrived he started to take over and then dropped a bit of a bombshell. There was so much play in all the joints that it would not be wise to just repair the current problem. So the boat was put on blocks and the unit is going to be reconditioned.
We had a session of hull cleaning, Dave and Sylvia gamely joining in. Marcos arrived at about 8 pm and removed the unit. We went out for a meal on their last night and their taxi arrived at11.05 pm.
Woken at 6 by a text from Kim. Sue got up to greet her and I got up shortly afterwards to work on hull cleaning. The ladies went for a swim. Had a chat to Mark who wondered whether we would anti-foul the hull. Sue went off and purchased the paint whilst I continued cleaning the barnicles etc off the boat.
By the end of the day we had finished cleaning the bottom and anti-fouled one side of one hull. The ronditioned parts for the z-drive and promised for tomorrow evening and will be assembled then or the following morning.
Sue got up early and started anti-fouling. I had a lie in. Sue worked all morning and did virtually the whole job by herself. How different Nine Lives looks now. We has a couple of swims to keep cool and I tried to make the boat a bit more ship shape, re-set the davits for the tender etc.
At about 6 the two engineers arrived and fitted the parts. They had had new stainless shafts made and the two major load bearing bits drilled out so there is now no slack in the unit. Of course all this has been expensive but if that’s the only major incident for a 3 and a half month sail acceptable and now the boat is in better shape than it was. Our new galley slave has whipped up a Thai green curry.
Sue up at 6.30 to clean white sides to remove the brown stains. I feel obliged to join in. Then after a swim and breakfast a visit to the office to pay ad to book our lift back in. Anothe swim, coffee and then liftoff.
After being lowered back in the water I started the engine and gave the reconditioned drive a good test as we maneuvered to the quay so we could tie up and pick up the dinghy. We motored out of the bay, noticing how much faster we now went and hoisted the sails. We’d decided to take Kim to Koulora but the wind was on the nose all the way and annoyingly seemed to change direction by as much as 100 degrees as we tacked against it. When within half a mile we dropped sails and motored into the bay. We had a terrible time anchoring as each time we dropped it it didn’t hold. Kim hadn’t her sea legs and had to lie down most of the time and even had to be relieved of her duties of galley slave for the evening meal.
A very lazy day with Sue and I recovering from the ordeals of the past 9 days and Kim after her first day at sea. Very hot with the need for dips in the sea every hour or so. In the evening we walked along to a small bay and Sue and Kim swam back whilst I carried their shoes etc back.
Later we had a meal at a beautifully situated taverna.
After the normal morning routine, swim, sun salutation, breakfast there was some wind so we weighed anchor and tacked north finding a little uninhabited bay for a lunch stop. Then a short sail back, with the wind behind us for a change, to Agios Stefano. A thunderstorm threatened but we only had a few drops of rain.
Sue had a Skype rendezvous with her parents and friends after their diamond wedding celebration which was reasonably successful. Then we took Kim to ‘the best restaurant in Corfu’ which was as good as we’d hoped.
After breakfast we went ashore, Bill to post this blog, and the girls to go shopping. Then we sailed to the bay we had lunched at yesterday. I decided to take a line ashore but in the evening, after all the other boats had left, a storm blew up and we were pushed too close to the shore for comfort. So we cast the line off pulled up the anchor and re-anchored further out. We were then side on to the swells all night and disturbed also by the throb of an unseen disco boats music until the early hours.
Up early and set off on a busy programme. We had to tack and the wind direction kept changing so we kept crossing and re-crossing our tracks for the first hour. Then we made good progress until lunchtime when we were becalmed. I decided to motor or we wouldn’t have been able to keep our timetable but we hoisted sails again about half an hour before Lidl. We did a monster shop there, all feeling very hot and sweaty, especially compared with all the other customers who’d arrived in air-conditioned cars. We then had a good sail to our meeting place with Si and Elaine, NAOK yacht club and arrived there at the exact ETA to spot them waving from the quay. Kim cooked us all a meal and we chatted till late.
Si took Kim to the airport at 3.30 in his hire car, accompanied by Elaine and Sue. In the morning they took their car back and we set off from NAOK under sail, hoping to get to Platarias. In the event the wind dropped at lunchtime so we had a mid-sea swim and we had to change plans and motor to Vitou, the little bay we’ve been to before near Iguminetsa.
We had a swim then took the tender ashore and walked down the road to the bay the other side where we had some beers under the shade of a big tree by the sandy beach.
Si cooked us a meal.
Set of under sail after our morning routines and sailed out of the bay. The wind held up all day and our destination kept changing from Platerias, to Parga and we eventually ended up at Monganissi on Paxos and 17.30 having had the best sail so far, doing nearly 30 miles in 8 hours. On the way we passed
through a small pod of dolphins but they didn’t show any interest in us.
The harbour was very busy,full of flotilla boats, so we were unable to use the quay. We had a lovely meal, all four of us having pork roasted on a spit. Then there was dancing, Greek followed by disco until we were too tired and retired.
Resaonable wind again so set off for Parga. Unfortunately there was a reef in the way so we had to motor round it and then the wind dropped for a while so we dropped sails and had a midday swim. Simon hadn’t ever swam in water where he couldn’t see the bottom before this holiday and he was amazed by the blueness of the water. We hoisted the gennika as soon as we were aboard as the wind had started to pick up and sailed the rest of the way with the autopilot set to track.
The wind speed increased as we approached port and almost as soon as we’d anchored a storm blew up which caused several boats problems, one nearly being blown onto the mole. When the storm had passed and Sue had given us a meal of rattatouille we went ashore and walked up to the castle. The view over the other bay was magical so we walked down there – into a living hell of commercialism and crowds. So we fought our way back to the top again, bought a few provisions and made our way back to the tender and the boat. One very drunk Swede on a nearby yacht kept everybody awake with his huge shouting display.
Simon helped me do the engine and battery checks and Sue washed a load of towels on the back deck. Then we tacked all the way north to Mourtos and anchored in a strong wind in shallow water, putting out a stern anchor so we wouldn’t swing into the rocks. Sue cooked us cabbage and peanuts for tea.
We used the electric outboard to power the tender across to Mourtos so I could put some pictures on the website.
In the evening it was still very lumpy so we decided to move and moor on the town quay. There was a strong wind and I took several attempts to back the boat successfully. A bit later on another Prout Snowgoose (the make and model of our cat) moored next to us and we compared notes. Hans was waiting for us on the quay and helped to pull us in. He arrived with wine and nuts and we had a good time chatting watching the sun go down. He then offered to take Si and Elaine to the airport next day. We had a meal at Stamatis taverna but the promised Greek dancing wasn’t on because the flotilla boats had chickened out in the strong winds and hadn’t arrived.
Changeover day and out 7th wedding anniversary. We showered, did washing, collected water and Si and Elaine packed and cleaned. Then we had lunch aboard and said our goodbyes. Sue and I on our own for the first time, successfully cast off and sailed away, waving to Si and Elaine until they disappeared. The wind was strong and became very strong just as we hit a shallow patch of water at the southern tip of Corfu. I wanted to reef but was keeping my concentration on the depth too. Whatever will go wrong does!! We successfully negotiated the shallow water and reefed in the genoa as the wind was gusting at 22 knots. We raced across to Lakka on Paxos at speeds of up to 10 knots in quite big seas. The bay was quite crowded and we took care over anchoring only to be shouted at by an old fellow that we were over his anchor. Nice welcome! Bloody English I thought. I decided he was out of order and we stayed where we were. Sue cooked a nice meal and we celebrated our anniversary.
I felt tired and irritable all morning and we did nothing but relax all day, not moving or going ashore and only having 1 swim. It was much cooler.
A lazy morning after our usual swim chatting to James and Rachel and Simon. Set off at about 12 for Ormos Fanari, hoisting the gennaker as soon as we left harbour and sailing with it until the wind speed increased, about 3 miles from our destination. By the time we entered the bay the wind was gusting at 20+ knots. The bay is not well protected from a strong NW wind but we anchored successfully. However we were unable to leave the boat in such conditions and if we had it would have been hard to row the tender back against the wind. So instead we had an early supper and watched a film on computer – Memoirs of a Geisha – and had an early night.
the wind had abated in the night and we awoke to a beautiful, but cool morning. After breakfast we rowed to the entrance to the canalised river but the stream was too strong so instead we beached the tender and walked beside the canal. I had read about some nearby ruins but as they were 4 k away we decided to take a taxi there. The countryside was very different. Instead of mountains clothed with natural vegetation or olive trees it was flat and lush with crops sprayed with fountains of water spreading across the whole large valley. The ruins, Necromanteion of Ephyra, were at a nearby village Mesopotamo and were of a place where Hades was supposed to inhabit. I was struck by the skilled dry stone walling, unlike any I had see before and the vaulted room where Hades was supposed to inhabit was worth seeing. The taxi waited for us and took us back to Ammouthia where we purchased some bread, fruit, yoghurt and vegetables. We swam and pushed the tender back to the boat and relaxed all afternoon.
Up early to catch an easterly wind, sailing off the anchor, which is what we like to do if we can. Hoisted the gennaker and made reasonable progress west, not easy when the prevailing wind is from the north west. The wind dropped so we had a swim then we had a gentle breeze from the west and were able to sail north. Our goal was Platerias but as the winds were so gentle we had to settle for Mourtos which we made at about 1900, having started at 0815. We rowed ashore and had a meal, rowing back in the dark.
Another fairly early start to take advantage of the early east wind. Sailed off anchor and hoisted gennaker again. As we rounded the peninsula and headed to Platerias the wind increased and we sailed there with the genoa reefed finding space on the town quay at that early hour. An hour later the quay was packed with flotilla boats as tomorrow is changeover day.
We had lunch and then had a swim off the beach. On the way back Sue filled a carrier bag with rubbish as an act of good citizenship.