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Cruising on Seren Mor
Journey to Katakolon
09/05/2012, Katakolon


We got out of Killini about 8am. The wind out at sea had been about a force 5 during the night but hadn't really touched us in the harbour. However, it wasn't the glassy water I like to see before leaving port. In fact, once outside, the swell from the last night's wind soon became uncomfortable. The wake from both the Kefalonia and the Zakinthos ferries was no worse.

I kept telling myself that this sea was nothing compared to the big Atlantic rollers we'd sailed in a couple of years ago. Yes, they were definitely much worse. But then I started yawning, felt uncomfortably hot and then that unsettled feeling in the gut that isn't quite what you'd call nausea. The threat of seeing my breakfast again had me heading into the cabin. Forget about watching the horizon. The only real solution for me is to lie down, eyes closed and be grateful that Neil was totally unaffected. I heard him moving about and playing with the sails so knew he was happy enough.

An hour or so later the swell had almost completely disappeared. I was back in the cockpit doing my bit (tidying the ropes, mostly) as the sails went in, out, in, out.....

Entering Katakolon we were faced with the immediately recognisable sister ship to the Costa Concordia berthed near the entrance and the fact that the harbour looked nothing like the diagram in the pilot guide. Come on Imray - isn't it about time you pulled Rod out of the Caribbean and back in Greece?

Arriving in Killini
08/05/2012, Killini


Others we know have been to Killini before us. I'm sure they must have told us all about it but I only remember that they didn't like it very much. We followed the pilot guide and went to moor stern-to behind the breakwater as it directed us. As soon as we got close we knew it wasn't right. The area is clearly prepared for something very big to come in and cranes wait on the shore.

Our other alternative was to anchor off the beach but as there was a mast visible over what is described as the fishing harbour it seemed sensible to have a look. Our cruise-past coincided with the arrival of a fishing boat going much quicker than Seren Môr. He was waving frantically as suddenly the water under us disappeared and we touched the bottom. The fisherman's comment was, as I recall, "Inside is good, go inside!" We took his advice.

Leaving Messolonghi
08/05/2012, Killini


I think it's fair to say that I didn't want to leave Messolonghi today. It's also fair to say that I never like to leave a nice safe berth unless the weather is perfect. Today it was forecast to be, shall we say, borderline - in my opinion anyway. Also say that Neil felt if we didn't go today we probably never would. In fact, I think he used those exact words. But he left it up to me to make the final decision.

So we're now on the quay in Killini after a perfectly adequate journey. Not much wind at all. Not enough to keep the Genny flying. Of course, here in Killini it's blowing but we're side-to and it feels secure. I'm happy.

Messolonghi Marina
07/05/2012, Messolonghi


Reading the pilot guide would leave you with the wrong impression of Messolonghi. The town has obviously had money spent on it since Rod Heikell was here and this, along with the rapidly developing marina may just be the saving of the town. The Greeks are proud of its history, officially making it a "sacred" town because of the role it played in the War of Independence. It was here that Lord Byron died.

But it is the people themselves who make the town. Welcoming without being pushy, a simple meal in a taverna becomes an all night affair as extras are laid before us. And it is not just to make the restaurant look busy, attracting other customers, as we first thought. Even though they were putting out more tables for the ever increasing demand they still seemed reluctant to let us pay the bill and leave.

There's also a sizable live-aboard community still in the marina. We've met up again with Michele and Dave on Alhambra from our winter in Almerimar. Having spent the last winter here they were a positive mine of information about the place and invited us to the barbeque yesterday afternoon where we met a lot of other Brits. In actual fact the marina is like a league of nations. Just from where I'm sitting I can see French, Dutch, Italian and German flags as well as the Red Ensign and, of course, the blue and white of the Greek. We've booked for next winter. So, seemingly, has everybody else.

05/05/2012, Messolonghi


It was a longer sail than we've done for a while from Kastos to Messolongi. The weather didn't look promising when we set out but improved as the day wore on, the wind strengthening but still not very helpful. By the time we entered the basin at Messolonghi and dropped the anchor the sun was shining but the wind was whistling through the rigging and we ducked behind the spray hood.

First impressions were not that favourable, to be honest. We had taken a turn around the quay before anchoring but hadn't found anywhere suitable. It all seemed a long way from the actual town, too. However, we were both shattered so an early night after a meal on board seemed like a good idea. The wind dropped overnight and, as we ate breakfast in the cockpit, we watched the birds diving into the glassy water and the head of a turtle pop up now and then. The area looked a lot more favourable.

When the nearby marina office opened at nine we chose to head into a berth. This is where we are considering over-wintering come the end of season so it seemed like a good idea to spend some time here. Now with new shower and toilet blocks and a bar/cafeteria it certainly seems like a possibility. We recognised a couple of boats including Curly Sue and Sea Dragon but no sign of their crew.

After all the usual paperwork was sorted and sufficient euros handed over (extra for water and electricity, 50 cents for a shower) it was time to see what the town had to offer. Again we were pleasantly surprised. Although it's quite a long, dusty walk in the heat of the day, especially if loaded up with shopping, part of the centre of this small town is pedestrianised and the rather chic coffee bars spill outside. On a Saturday morning these were filled with locals rather than tourists and seem to be a meeting place. Naturally we joined them (the only ones in shorts and t-shirts) and pounced on the little doughnuts, sprinkled with icing sugar and filled with chocolate sauce, which came with our drinks. The Greeks didn't seem to bother with them at all - I wish I'd had the courage to take ask if I could take theirs as well - Yum!

Kastos Windmill
03/05/2012, Kastos

The windmill at Kastos looks very different in the spring, too.

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Seren Mor
Who: Cathy and Neil Lamputt
Port: Plymouth
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