Paxos and Levkas, Greece
16 May 2012 | Paxos, Greece
Paxos and Levkas Greece
The conditions were perfect for a beautiful sail to Paxos. At one point we were sailing at eight knots. The threat of rain ahead in the distance faded as we got closer to the island. Don and I anchored on the back part of the island. The water was deep and the bottom was rocky, which are less than ideal conditions for a secure anchorage. After the usual sanity checks for ensuring the anchor was holding, we decided the holding was good enough for us to make a quick dinghy run into town to check in with the port captain. We went through the exercise of lowering the dinghy from the forward deck and into the water, got the dinghy engine mounted, and headed into town. However, the port captain's office was closed. Before returning to the boat, we walked along the waterfront and chatted briefly with other sailors who were docked at the quay. With available space at the quay, we decided we would bring the boat around and dock there for the night.
Another dinghy ride we were back in the anchorage to find the wind had increased, shifted from another direction, and Koinonia II was slowly leaving without us. We got on board and found that she was in 125 feet of water, which meant the anchor was not holding, but still touching bottom enough to slow her attempt to relocate. She was heading in the direction of much deeper water where the anchor would no longer be on the bottom. It was a good thing we returned to the boat when we did.
We enjoyed being on the quay that evening, which was in the heart of the town's activity. Our stern faced a line of shops and outdoor eateries. We shopped at the market and enjoyed conversations with fellow sailors along the quay. I inquired about a self service laundry facility and was informed that the owner of one of the restaurants had a washing machine and would permit us to wash our clothes for five Euros. With a backpack of laundry, we went to the eatery where we were able to wash our clothes and have a delicious dinner. Apparently this combination of eating and washing clothes was not that unheard of here. We were grateful to have been able to do both, especially the laundry.
The weather forecast called for high winds for a two day stretch. The next morning, we left the charming island for the protection of an anchorage further south. This passage took us through Lefkas Canal which had a swing bridge. After a three hour sail, we arrived fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled opening. We were joined by several other sailboats, queued in the small channel awaiting the opening. Each captain took care in the narrow area to avoid all of the other boats and the shallows which flanked the channel. At the top of the hour, a small section of each end of the bridge raised freeing the bridge from the roadway. Then the entire bridge structure swung away to one side of the channel, allowing all of the boat traffic to pass. It was quite an impressive site.
We arrived at our next anchorage off Levkas island, where we waited two days for the rain and high winds to stop. We were on the boat for the duration of that anchorage. The opportunity for a shore excursion would have to wait until the next anchorage.