Continuing our Way through the Lovely Ionian
24 June 2014 | Cephalonia
Now it was time to continue with our travels; this was a gentle motor sail over to Platarias Harbour, mainland Greece, where we were given another opportunity to practise our stern to mooring. We were not particularly impressed with this town so we moved on the following morning to Monastery Bay just off Mourtos. We enjoyed two lovely days here, sunbathing, swimming, and feeding the fish and a BBQ on a tiny beach. Paul particularly enjoyed the BBQ that evening. Why? Well, we were the only ones on the beach...........except two lovely young women that were sunbathing in the ‘nothings’. Now Paul loves his BBQ duties but on this occasion he found his concentration wandering as the two said ladies wandered casually down to the sea to swim and then they lay leisurely at the shore line as the waves washed over them. Luckily the food was not burnt and we had a lovely time enjoying our tasty BBQ and sipping red wine as the sun went down on us. On the whole a very romantic evening
The next day we sailed over to the beautiful island of Paxos. We had intended to spend several days there but the weather became unfavourable and looked set to stay that way for the next few days so we headed off back to the mainland to Preveza. We had a lovely time there, many great restaurants to choose from and we picked on one where the food was fantastic with very friendly staff. We finished the evening with an open air jazz concert that was on in the town square.
The weather forecast for the next few days was for strong winds so we headed off for the Lefkas canal where we knew we could take shelter. The Lefkas canal in effect separates the island of Lefkas from the mainland. Every hour on the hour the road traffic is stopped and the bridge rotates to open the canal up for boats to pass through. The first time doing this is somewhat nerve racking, as the timing has to be spot on and the prevailing winds force you down onto a lee shore with just the canal entrance to get you out of it! Our scheduling was good and the process went fairly smoothly and we managed to get plenty of photos of the unusual sight of the rotating bridge. Lefkas is a beautiful island, with many spectacular vistas that only nature could create. After reading good reviews of the Nigri Waterfalls just a few kilometres from where we had anchored Paradise, we hauled out our folding bikes and rode into the hills to visit them. We were not disappointed. The falls themselves were breathtaking but so was the bike ride there and back. Down small twisty lanes we admired abundant flowers climbing through trees and bushes and many pretty butterflies flitting from one flower to the next. We were unable to name one orange/yellow beauty and so took photos in the hope that my cousin Susan, a butterfly enthusiast would be able to help us. For me the best part of the day was our encounter with a herd of sheep that came dawdling along the lane with bells around their necks which echo that special ‘mountain goat’ sound.
After leaving Lefkas we had a few days of anchoring here and there along the mainland coast before arriving at Ithaca, a small Ionian island that is the home of King Odysseus according to Homer’s Odyssey. We visited Vathi the island’s ‘capital’ on several occasions, anchoring in one of the world’s largest harbours. On one of these occasions the wind blew so strongly that one of our framed solar panels took off and landed straight into the sea! After we realised what had happened we ran outside and saw Bobby and Sissel from their boat looking in amazement hardly believing what they had just seen. The next morning I put on my snorkelling gear to look for the flyaway panel. The water was clear and fairly shallow. Sissel kindly offered to assist me by rowing their dingy as I looked down into the sea bed with my mask and snorkel. Sadly no luck, it was as Bobby said, “like looking for a needle in a haystack”, so we had to admit defeat. However, Paul has now decided that if that can happen then we will just stay with our stuck on solar panels in the future. Later that day Sissel and Bobby (from Norway) came over and we enjoyed a lovely evening sharing stories and advice over a bottle of wine.