adventures aboard Ciaron

Our Trips around the Ionian sea islands

05 September 2013
05 September 2013
18 August 2013
13 August 2013
11 August 2013
11 August 2013

It's all Greek to me

05 September 2013
We went into one of the many gift shops, the usual tat but in the back the tee shirts, Tree spotted the perfect one, Across the front in big bold letters " It's all Greek to me!" under , a list of words in English and then the Greek translation. ( although we were informed that some of the translations were not exactly correct ) they at least gave us a few words such as " hello" , " good morning " and " I Love You" the Greek being " Seh agahpo" which tree pronounced,( and in fact we still do) "saggy Poo ",much to our hilarity, and as luck would have it ( as there was no price tag ) " how much". Armed with this new found knowledge Tree waved to the shopkeeper "POSO" ( how much ), he gave us the price, little expensive but hey, were are on holiday, and I was sure that the phrases and words printed upon it would prove useful.
Unfortunately, a tee shirt, especially white, not really much good to wear for more than a day so when Tree decided to let me loose in the town on my own to get the essentials, bread being one, I asked her to write out onto a pad what was printed on the tee shirt, (minus the " I love You" and a couple others not required for the shopping ), and off I went.
Armed with my pad of Greek essential words and phrases, first stop , the bakers, by this time we had been in a few times, served by the same woman each time, nervously I read from my pad " Kalimehra" One finger held up ( unfortunately no numbers printed on the tee shirt) " psomi" (Bread), The Look on her face!!! Not sure if it was pure shock, utter horror or pure amusement, or even down and out pity for this poor English man trying his best to speak Greek , she just smiled at me, pointed to my pad, " Your Wife, she wrote this for you", I held my head in shame and nodded!!
She smiled sweetly as we exchanged money for bread I smiled took my purchase and legged it out the shop as quick as my lilly white legs could carry me!!!.


05 September 2013
Our first port of call on our Greek adventure was Nydri, from the sea, it looked a bustling vibrant place, people milling around, an abundant choice of restaurants
and eateries to choose and as we tied up against the harbour wall, it became apparent that it was exactly that! Tourist orientated ( but you would expect that),
But what did surprise me, was just how amazingly friendly everybody was. That said, unfortunately, due to our choice of mooring points, it was next to a coast guard restricted area, after only a few minutes of being tied up, a rather tall but young uninformed, and armed man, came over to us, and demanded we move, " this area restricted ", he barked pointing to the almost invisible black and yellow painted markers on the wall, and the big sign that said, " no mooring" ( or words to that effect), John, being an old sea dog just looked at the uniform and grunted something that sounded very much like " f&$@ &&f " to me, but as luck would have it, not to the guy in the uniform and a gun! Anyhow we did politely point out that the sign and the markings, were not in fact directly behind so we were tied
Into a correct mooring. I think he was a little peeved at this, showing it by snapping to remove the Jolly Roger flag flying, to which once again John repeated his request the guy " go forth and multiply ", or at least words to that effect!.

Walk up and down the waterfront, enjoy the restaurants , the various blends of English, Greek and Italian cuisine and a few others I'm sure, Romanian, Turkish etc, the smells eminating along the front were amazing, but look for the alleyways, shortcuts, through to a propper Greek holiday destination high street.

Nic Nac shops, the usual and not so usual gift shops but also just about everything else, several mini supermarkets, bakeries, kebab shops tobbacconist, Car and motorcycle hire and my personal favourite, fishing tackle shops.

Very quickly, tree discovered her favourite, a kebab house that sells " f$$$$$g amazingly good " chocolate ice cream cone ( least that was her first reaction, and, In fact I had to agree, although I had to buy my own to find out for myself! ( Well you know women and chocolate!)).

baby steps

18 August 2013
Once all the preparations were done, and tree at the bow ready for her
first job, anchor maid ( although she thought we were just messing about with her ) she did not realize how important the job of anchor maid
was but really enjoyed it, and although I did get to do it once or twice
during our two weeks, tree decided that it was her roll on-board and frowned upon anyone else doing the job.
A perfect launch, with tree at the bow and John in control, we set off up the channel towards Nydri and the open waters.
Under motor and off we went, Tree and I just sat and took in the view, John pointing out the local points of interest as we came to them, the village Geni on the other side of the bay, the fabulous houses , boat yards etc. then out into the open water, well may be not so much the ocean, but what looked like a huge lake, surrounded by mountains, In truth the islands, and even the mainland some many miles away , just made it look that way, we were out, in the open sea, for Tree and I for the very first time.

How to "P" off the Locals!!!

13 August 2013
By now I was joined on deck by tree and a fresh coffee, a local fella came with a bucket and a chair and sat himself down near the edge of the marina wall where a boat had been moored but had already departed, as I watched he lay out all the bits and bobs for his mornings fishing. To my surprise not a fishing rod or reel in sight but instead a yellow plastic hand line and some bread.
As I watched he baited the hook and cast out maybe only 20 feet sat on the chair and motioned his fingers to make the bait move in the water and patiently waited for a bite.

Now as a keen fisherman ( and indeed I had brought along my new travelling rod ) I was quite keen to see what he would catch, however after a few attempts still I saw no fish as he pulled in his line. Then I remembered that I had seen a hand line in the mini market across the road so off i went and bought one probably only 2 or 3 euros and a can of sweetcorn. ( bread in Greece although very nice, has to be fresh that day and at that point I didn't know where the bakers shop was ( as it happens only 3 or 4 hundred yards up the road towards Nydri).

I sat down on the edge of the marina wall just off to the side of the boat and looked into the water, it was alive with small fish, so I baited up the hook with sweetcorn and threw it in. well... within seconds I felt a tug on the line and I pulled it in quick, a small but perfectly formed saddled seabream, excited by my catch I called to tree to check out my new found fishing skills. As I held up my fish, the local guy having by now been there for well over an hour, heard all the fuss I was making and saw me show my 3" prize with great pride to my partner tree. I'm sure it was with disgust, that I then saw him literally throw all his bits n pieces into his bucket and leave!! I thought to myself that if I am going to be on holiday in Greece for the next to weeks its probably not a good idea to "P" off the locals but hey I don't care coz i caught a fish!!!!.

Vliho home port

13 August 2013
Well the first day, hell of a time just getting there but I am not gonna share because once on board all the argro of the last 14 hours just faded away as we stepped aboard " Ciaron" . We stood stunned, the boat was beautiful the weather was beautiful and so was the view, across the bay and up the hills the water looked inviting, although we were advised probably not the best place for a swim!. John already on board chilling out glass in hand.

Anyhow supplies first on the TO-DO list, food, water and a couple of beers ( Just to help get us accustomed to the heat of course).

Just the other side of the road no more than 50 yards from the boat, a Mini-Market, so off we all trotted.

Not the best stocked, but had the essentials, fresh veg, milk butter etc bottled water and beer, and also the shop keeper.

I have to say that this old guy is def a character, very friendly and pretty good english, but compared to my greek ( at this point I had never heard anyone even speak Greek), very easy to understand although a few words I had to think for a moment, then tried to ply us with the local hooch he called "blondi" least that what it sounded like. he handed us all a plastic cup, and poured a good measure in each, I must admit it was very nice but I decided that as we still unsure if we were going to be seasick for the next two weeks ,I was not going to press our luck and get drunk and sea sick!!. As for John, he and the old fella were already firm friends from previous visits to Vliho and the mini-mart, and John had come prepared with an empty water bottle which the old fella took out to the back to fill, and apparently, very cheap hooch.

The following morning I awoke as early as usual 6am, ( but of course 8am Greek time ), but it may as well been 6am, not a sound from the marina, the road or even the local cockrel! even he didn't make a sound till almost 9:30 I guessed that Greece really is the holiday islands.

I enjoyed my first cup of coffee in silence stunned by the view from the boat.

Meet John

11 August 2013
At this point i feel I must introduce my very good friend and lucky for us, the owner and captain Mr John Pettit, and although I have known him for about 25 years we have only met once until this trip but have kept in contact over the years by many means mail, phone, text ,email and over the last few years Skype.

For many years he had been telling me that one day he would buy a boat and sail her, that it was his dream. Well only a couple of years ago his dream came true when he had the good fortune to be able to buy the yacht, and as good to his word he offered us the chance to spend time with him on the boat,. Although I have never been a great saver of money I worked hard and saved harder to give us the opportunity to go.

At this point I will say a HUGE "Thank you" once again to John we had an amazing time and cant wait to be there again.
Vessel Name: Ciaron
Vessel Make/Model: BRAVARIA 37
Hailing Port: VLIKHO
Crew: Philip Gough and Theresa Butler
About: We are a couple from Basingstoke Hants and untill last year had never been aboard a yacht let alone sail one.!!!
Extra: I must add that all this could only be possible because of my very good mate and proud owner of "Ciaron" Mr John Pettit

we the crew

Who: Philip Gough and Theresa Butler