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Cruising with HappyCat
Sail: Lefkas to Siracusa, Sicily

Weather was forecast to give us a good run, so we went for it!
Always sad to leave a country you have become fond of. Last minute stock up on Lefkas salami, Greek fresh ground beef and fresh sausage, (they do know how to make sausages here,) & honey, followed by an easy check out. We exited through the bridge at 14:00.
Slow start leaving the Greek waters, but in a few hours we were well on our way.
Had our first real nice 24 hour run of 163 n.m. Moving average of 6.8. Max. speed 10.1! It took us 48:30hrs. of which we sailed 42:15, not bad!
It feels nice to be back in Italy, everything immediately seams just a little more organized.

Port Athina, Meganisi

We tried the West bay's of Itaca, Ay Koutaria, they were full of tripper boats, and we were not keen on overnighting here, so we headed North.
Great sail, as we tacked our way up to Meganisi.
We anchored just South East of the reef that is in the middle of bay. The bay was full.
Great spot, surrounded by a nice walk all around the bay, or up to the village of Katomeri. Beautiful clear waters.
Met up with Sandra and Chris whom we met last fall in Vathi. Nice to see them again They are full time cruisers, and always an inspiration.

Vathi, Ithaca

At sunrise we take off, the Golf was a beautiful calm. No wind, so motored gently along. After Mesalonghi, we attempted to tack our way through, but it was getting us no where.
15hrs. later we arrive at Vathi. It was dusk, and the bay was being whipped around by strong winds. We ditched the idea to go ashore to our favorite taverna, and stayed safe on board.
Not the best place for shelter in the summer, we have discovered!


We are really beginning our journey West now.
Thought we would shave off some miles in the Golf, and head for Trizonia. Unfortunately the wind was still whipping up in the mid 20's and on our nose. Amazing how choppy the sea can get with such little wind!
The little bay was packed, but we managed to anchor nicely.
-Early morning motoring out through the Golf of Corinth-


A combination of sailing and motoring, with a finale of a good sail for Daniel, brought us into Galaxydia. Still blowing quite strong, but we managed to get a spot at the town quey. Tried to rent a car from a local, to drive Daniel back via Delphi, but at 150 Euros, we thought it a bit steep!

Corinth, via Athens

Yes, we had to go back to Zea, who were kind enough to let us moor up for a couple of hours for free, to sort out a tax on our travel log, which had expired. Everything went smoothly, and 220Euros and 2 hours later, we headed WEST to Corinth canal.
The sail up to Zea from Poros was wonderful, tight reach 20 knots of T wind, averaging 7-8 knots for ~5 hours.
Had to motor the 30 miles W to the canal. Arrived just before 18:00, tieing off on the large wharf. Paid our 220 Euros, and within 5 min. we started heading through the canal! Once through, we headed straight for the Corinth harbor, the wind in the golf had been fierce all day, and was still gusting in the harbor pushing us on to the concrete wharf. We were well prepared with lots of fenders, but not so for 2 other boats that came in! We were there to help them with our fenders!


Strong NW predicted, so back to Poros which is such a wonderful safe water way. Had one of those nice gentle slow, slow sails.
A bit of grilled octopus and ouzo, before heading up to Karavolos for dinner


The winds were favorable to sail us the 39nm to Hydra, still one of my favorite. What a change, now that summer was full on. Certainly attracting more of the 'beautiful' people of Athens. More galleries open and shops. Nice to see for a change. (For a quick visit).
Anchored in Mandraki, which had plenty of room.

Zea Marina, Athens

We checked in and gave HC a good long wash. The ancient walls that make up the basin of the harbor still remain. It was a better experience than we anticipated, surrounded by apartment blocks, and bustling city life.
Found our that our tranxit log tax, called a Recipricol Tax, had expired 2 weeks ago. It needs renewing every 3 months. This was news to us! Of course, tax office was shut on Fridays, so we had to do it on Monday. And we were not to go any where until we paid! Well James did a very good job in pleading for an exception, since his son was visiting for the first time, just for 4 days! The officer was kind to let us go, as long as we returned on Monday!
Met Daniel, who had flown in from Madrid, at the bus station, past midnight.

Ayia Marina, Aegina

Nice bay with beautiful clear water, and sandy areas. But what a sad sight ashore. Apparently since they opened the new airport, these sort of areas really suffered. The big charter flights find it too expensive. A whole block of retail space, was shut, and empty houses, half built buildings were everywere. The huge hotel/flat unfinished block South side of bay, is another story. Political issues in the '70's!
Worth the walk up to the Temple of Aphaia.

Ormos Varis, East of Athens

Lagoon had requested we bring HC to a service agent to change over a tube in the fuel tank. Alimos Marina took care of this, and within a few hours we were free to go. Since Daniel, James's son was arriving in a few days we headed here. Interesting to see the Eastern coastline of Athens.
Big sandy bay, with lots of very flash beach umbrellas.
-A pistachio tree-


Came back to Poros, a place we know and like, with plenty of good anchorage options, or plenty of wharf space, if you prefer.
Delicious meal at Karavolos taverna, back alley behind cinema.


Anchored in front of beach, great setting. Enjoyed walking around craft and food stalls selling local goods.
Met Penny and John from NZ. Coincidentally, Penny's mum, Jeanne bought one of James's apartments in Havelock North! Small world...
-Rumpus at sunrise-

Neas Epidhavros,
32 degrees, Water 24

Anchored off beach. Amazing new little harbor very well set up with flash steel rings, and rubber wharf protectors. Beach side town, at end of valley of orange grove. Walked up to ruins of Byzantine castle on top of hill, through what seamed to be peoples patio's towards the top! Great views.

Aigina, GR

Buoy weather proved to be the most accurate in terms of sea and wind! Once again another pounding of 1-2mt. seas and sporadic gusting between 15-35 kts! James learnt a huge amount about sailing HC, these last 3 sails, constantly trimming the sails, and me constantly squealing from fright sitting in the back!
Aigina, is lovely sea side town, with an old world charm about it. Lots of beautiful, although declining sadly relics from the past. Good tavernas, on water front, near church. Grilled sardines, now in season. They grow pistachios of this island too, really good.
Best supermarket I have come across in Greece, on Southern side of town, just starting on the road to Marina. 300mts walk

Ormos Kavia, Kia

Could not believe how, once again the sea was so rough and sloppy! 1.5-2 mts. at 4 sec. and all over the place, at least from behind. Winds force 6-7. Kavia is a sheltered bay from sea, not so much from wind. Drop anchor near Northern swimming markers, where there is plenty of sand, good holding. No provisions ashore

Karistos, Evia

We knew it was still blowing beyond our sheltered bay, but we had to get beyond the South of Evia, for this mistral was to last all week. So out we went, and the seas we more on our beam this time. Big sloppy stuff considering the wind average of 17-35. Rounding the point was the softest, and unusually beyond that was the worst. Arrived 8 housrs later at big South facing bay, with a small port city. Lovely rolling hills, with scattered homes. Great anchorage just below hotel Apollis. Went ashore, found authentic taverna in alley called Cavo D'Oro.
Very gusty night and morning. Up to 35knots. Decided to keep going South.
-Gust within the hour-

Petries, Evia

Our move South and West begins. Slow start as forecasted, but then, it all happened. From Gennekar and full main, we went down to 2 reefs in main and jib, with seas 1.5 mts, building from behind. Max. 35 kts. SOG 12.5. 10 hours later we pull into the very calm protected bay of Petries. Great little sandy beach, and fishing harbor, good for families. Friendly local on a canoe steered us to a good holding spot, when he saw we were not getting hooked, and welcomed us. No tourist, just locals. Nice looking tavernas right on the beach. Basic provisions

Ormos Stafilo, Skopelos

This is a lovely bay at Southern end of Skopelos. Clear waters, surrounded by pines gripping to the rock face, and a little sandy beach. Quiet good anchorage

Loutraki, Skopelos

Sadly absolutely no winds. The sea is like glass. Motored back here so Christine could catch a ferry to Skiathos tomorrow. So sad to see her go...
-Best place to see the sunset!-

Aug/07/2011 | trevor joll
Happy Birthday jim for the 9th August and hope this finds you both well. Mum and dad seem very happy about having a visit with you later on and hope that will work out. We keep well. Will try and skype you soon. Love Trevor

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Who: James Joll & Marina Jackson
Port: Napier, New Zealand
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