14 July 2017 | Corfu Town
12 July 2017 | Lakka, Paxoi
17 June 2017 | Porto Cheli / Athens
26 May 2017 | Livadhiou, Serifos
24 May 2017 | Pharos, Sifnos
22 May 2017 | Naousa, Paros
17 July 2017 | Orthonoi
Unfortunately, not a happy blog - our first disaster for this season! We set off from Corfu under threatening storm clouds following the coast of Albania. Initially the passage plan was to go to Imerolia on N coast of Corfu, with plan B continuing on to another island, Orthonoi if the winds were good. We passed Imerolia about 1030 with fair winds, and I took the decision not to stop as I considered it was a bit early, and we could continue to Orthonoi arriving about 1630 - first mistake. around 1400 the wind picked up and at first we were getting a good sail, but it continued to get stronger and shifted around to the NW - our direction! For about the last hour or so of the passage we had 30 - 35 knot head winds, something I have managed to avoid to date this season. A very uncomfortable passage. We broke one of the reefing blocks, something that I could easily replace later.
The worst, however, was when we arrived at the harbour - it was tiny, so with several boats already there, it was difficult to find a good spot to anchor. I opted for tying up to the town harbour wall where there was barely room for In Tune - second bad decision. Even though the sea in the harbour was sheltered, we were still getting 25 knot winds. I was well positioned off the wall allowing the wind to take us slowly back to the wall. All that is until a big wind gust caught the bow and threw us sideways - right into the end of the rough harbour wall - crunch! So, after the winter carefully fixing the dings a polishing the hulls etc, In Tune suffered several deep gouges and a hole about the size of a shilling.
We spent a day in Orthonoi fixing various things, and putting some fibreglass "bog" over the hole to keep out water, but I'll have to get it properly fixed as soon as the opportunity allows.
This is our farewell from Greece unfortunately, because tomorrow we plan to cross the Ionian to Italy - wish us luck!
Corfu town, Corfu
14 July 2017 | Corfu Town
Arrived about 0930 after a 0630 start, unfortunately having to motor all the way. With morning coffee in town, we were impressed as soon as we set foot ashore. The old town is delightful, perhaps the best in Greece in my opinion. We spent many hours in the heat of the day wandering the streets of the old town and doing our customs and immigration formalities in preparation for leaving Greece. I love the fact that the buildings are still shabby and not all tarted up to look glitzy.
I discovered a small leak in our water cooling on the port engine cause by the hose rubbing on the engine - another repair job - fortunately we are in a town where I can buy the hose and replace it before we leave.
The second day ashore we decided to do the hop on / hop off bus to get around and see more of the island; again a tiring day. The palace of Achilion built in 1889-91 by Catherine, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary was a highlight. Full of ceiling frescos, tapestries, and Catherine artefacts (she was murdered by a loonie).
The "palace" Mon Repos, where prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born was a bit shabby though. One gets a sense of grandure that it once was, however, I guess there is not the money these days to restore or maintain it.
We wandered the old fortifications etc. The walls are still standing and evident, however, there is not much left of the upper fortifications and keep etc. Returning to the boat tired, we did not need our anchor dragging and had to spend time getting re-anchored where we could hold. Thank goodness it didn't happen during the day while we were out. (The bottom is very thick weed and hard to get the anchor dug in.)
Being one of the jewels of the Med there were quite a few "floating palaces" in the harbour (see pix). Corfu is certainly a highlight, and unusual for Greece in that it is very green with thousands of species of exotic plants. Tomorrow we move on...
14 July 2017 | Petriti
Overnight stop. A very hot day, lots of swimming.
12 July 2017 | Lakka, Paxoi
We arrived at lunch time after only about an hour sailing. We passed Guido & partner on Lupa on the way - they left Lakka and heading to Two Rock Bay - we wished each other well as we crossed routes.
Having spent the afternoon as usual swimming, reading, playing guitar and watching the boats come and go, we went to town in the evening. Even though it is busy with boats it is a charming little town, better than Fiskardho in my opinion. The bay bottom is the cleanest, whitest sand I have seen in Greece and Turkey.
Two Rock Bay
12 July 2017
Beautiful anchorage and great snorkelling. Had sundowners (long) with friends Edward and Ina from Gypsy Lady; it had been a year since we last saw them on Kos, in Aegean.
Friends Boyd & Meg visit
10 July 2017
We met friends Boyd & Meg as planned off the bus from Preveza airport at Messolonghi. After doing a big shop-up in the supermarket, and settling them in on the boat, we celebrated arrival by dinner out at a taverna.
There is a big difference, I am discovering between the Greek islands in the Dodecanese where we spent last year, and the Ionian, or even the western Cyclades. In the Dodecanese, we would dine at a taverna run by a family on plastic tables and chairs, with just Greek food and only pay in cash. Over here in the Ionian, things are a lot more up-market and modern.
We left early the next morning because I'd planned a fair travel distance, and didn't want to get caught in the NW head wind. We had short burst of just about every sailing angle and motoring, eventually arriving at the town harbour of Sami, Kefalonia. We had a bit of fun that evening singing "When I'm Sixty Four"with a yound English couple at the taverna near our boat.
Stocking up with coffee and croissants next morning we half sailed half motored up to Fiskardho at the northen tip of Kefolonia. If you arrived at Fiskardho out of season, you would think that it is a quaint harbour town. Unfortunately, we have to accept that we are now in peak season, literally with wall to wall boats. (see pix) The hordes of tourists and boats take the shine off the place. We ate on the boat to avoid the crowded restaurants.
Filling up with water the next morning from the mini tanker proved a fun exercise as I swam with the hose to the boat, then swam ashore to pay. As we left, I counted 30 boats all leaving Fiskardho and heading a similar way. We departed from the crowds who were heading to Levkas, while we went to Meganasi Is. and anchored in a pretty bay, Port Atheni. Even so, there were quite a few boats here. (Gone are our little anchorages where we were only one of a couple of boats.)
Since we had been moving pretty steadily since Boyd & Meg joined us, we decided to stop here for 2 nights and just enjoy a day of swimming etc.
We navigated up the shallow channel Sat 8th and anchored in Lefkarda. We have cruising friends, Tom and Fran from Sydney who are staying here in the marina. All 6 of us went out to dinner to celebrate Boyd & Meg's last night on the boat with us.
We has some amusing moments with Boyd & Meg while they were with us:
Once Boyd learned how to tie a bowline, he proudly raised his hand to swim ashore with the shore lines to tie them. The trouble was, that when we left, he could not swim fast enough to catch the boat. I would have left him, but Meg persuaded me to go back for him.
Meg was convinced that I could not get us all, together with their 4 suitcases, ashore without getting wet. She begged me to go to the marina! However, she had to eat humble pie for breakfast when we got them ashore safely from our anchored position.
Summarising, I think we all had a great time.