Crew1 present and accounted for
07 June 2017
Chris and Francis
It is Wednesday 31 May and after spending the morning doing some last minute cleaning and Galley Princess Chris baking an orange yoghurt cake, our crew arrived on Preveza, all the way from Australia. We welcome grandson Alex, his mother Sarah, and her partner Rob on board. We spent the afternoon then doing more shopping and putting the Crew through the intro to Clio and the safety briefing before heading off to a very economical (but not so good) gyros dinner.
After a lovely morning walk on Thursday 1 June we haul in the gang plank and after another brief stop at that marina across the way for Francis to again visit his favorite chandlery (and buying what he did not set out to get) we were on the move. We made our (long) way down the west side of Lefkada Island in the hope the predicted West wind would arrive and help us a bit. It did not happen. Contrary to most islands in Greece, the island’s exposed side (to prevailing NW winds) had many strips of beach and the long rows of parasols and lazy-chairs and many new resort developments indicate a very lively tourist industry. We stopped somewhere halfway at a deserted (or so we thought) beach with beautiful blue water for a swim and lunch stop. After lunch we noticed a couple of young men on a beach further down frantically waving and whistling at us. So we upped anchor and moved in closer to see what the problem was. One of the guys swam out to us to tell us that their dinghy had sprung a leak and they needed a lift back to the next inhabited beach, back to where we came from. We bought them both on board along with their spear guns and the spoils of their fishing, under the unsettled gaze of our new Crew members. So turning around we headed back to the beach and deposited our rescued divers who were very grateful and insisted that we keep their catch, so we’re gonna have fish for dinner, and grandson Alex was going to clean it.
We then made our way down the island’s coast for a well-sheltered bay to the prevailing winds. The problem was that by the time we got there, the winds did not want to be prevailing and decided to turn to the South, completely shattering that good plan. An alternative next bay turned out to be too deep to anchor so we turned to Syvota, a very touristy but also very well sheltered bay we visited and reported on last year. When entering the bay there were others that had had the same idea…. many others! You could almost walk over the boats from one side of the bay to the other. We squeezed in under the not-so-friendly gaze of others, but it worked, no boats were hurt in the maneuver and we settled in for a good night's sleep, it has been a long day.
Friday 2 June and after the boys rowed ashore this morning for a walk around and a couple of coffees, Rob’s lifeline in the mornings, we headed across the Steno (Straight of) Kefallinias to Fiskardo, another touristy but interesting village on the North end of Kefallonia. We knew from previous visits that we had to be there around 11 in the morning to get a good spot on the town’s quay, so we left Syvota in time to get there. There was no wind so we motored all the way and of course just before we the got there the wind picked up, too late as usual.
Once we arrived our Crew headed off to rent a car so that they could explore the island for the rest of the day. The car rental came up with the same ‘scam’ as the one in Sami town (also on Kefallonia) tried to pull last year: you hire the car for the day, not 24 hours. You have to bring the car back before 9 at night, independent of which time you pick it up. Last year that resulted in the exiting scooter ride from Sami to the airport of Argostolion when Chris picked up her sister Rhonda.
With the Crew exploring the island, Chris and Francis spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing. Also enjoying an ice cream from the gelato shop just 10 metres away from Clio. When the Crew returned in the evening after a very interesting survey of the island, we took in the sights that the Fiscardo tourist industry had created and ended up near the entrance to the harbour at the Panormos (‘whole-bay’) restaurant, overlooking the bay for a delicious dinner of all sorts of culinary delights. This was quite a treat as many Greek the restaurants have a not very innovative menus and stick to Greek traditional cuisine, both in content and ways of preparation.
This morning, Saturday 3 June, we walked out to the point at Fiscardo to explore the 16th century Venetian lighthouse and remains of the Byzantine basilica Fiscardo was the main export port for the whole region for produce such as wine, olive oil etc.. The lighthouse was replaced by a British-built one which stands just a little distance away. Getting to the point, we enjoyed the amazing panoramic views over the Ionian Sea, Kefallonia and the nearby island of Ithaka.
Back at Clio, we did a bit more last-moment shopping and it was ‘all aboard’ for our next stop on the island of Kastos. To get from Kefallonia to Kastos, you pass by the island of Atokos quite closely, so we stopped at One House bay, the beautiful bay that we’ve visited a couple of times now, the one with the stratified cliffs. We had lunch and a swim in the slightly invigorating water. We then put on the head sail and got in a great sail around to our anchorage at the town of Kastos, about halfway on the East coast of the island. Skipper ferried the crew ashore in the dinghy to do some exploring, while Chris prepared spanakopita for dinner that night.
Sunday 4 June: after a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, thanks Rob and Sarah, we made way to our anchorage for the night, but stopped to have another snorkel in a beautiful cove at the South of the island. Chris had a surprise meeting with a ‘Venus girdle’ (Cestum veneris), a ribbon-shaped comb jelly fish, which made Francis very jealous as he has never seen a live one ‘in the wild’.
As we left the Kastos cove the wind picked up to 16 knots abeam (= on the side) and Clio was soon hooning under full sail. We enjoyed cruising along at a good 7 knots for the next couple of hours till we reached a deserted bay on the south east side of Meganisi (where the tail of the island attaches to the body) and settled in for the rest of the day. Rob and Sarah rowed Cloe ashore to climb the hill and check out the goats, while Francis enjoyed snorkelling along the rocky shore.
After swimming and napping the afternoon away we enjoyed a yummy dinner of sweet potato shepherds pie, thanks Sarah.
Monday 5 June
We woke up this morning in this little piece of paradise for more swimming and relaxing. When we were ready to head out again, a fisherman came over and in his very broken English was saying something about breaking his fishing nets. We thought he was asking if we had broken his net and tried hard to reassure him that we had not been near them. However, when we motored out we realised that nets were strung from the shore across the entrance and we needed to take a very wide berth to avoid getting them caught in our propeller, so we think he may have been warning us to avoid his nets.
We motored to the north of Meganisi and rounded the point to tie onto the catwalk pontoon at Karnagio Taverna. This is a great spot with easy access to the Vathi village just over the hill. The crew went ashore and after wandering around town and tasting some of the culinary delights, they hired bicycles and set off to cycle the hills. Alex decided after one hill too many to retreat back to Clio and a swim off the nearby beach. We are able to get our laundry done and Chris indulged in a long hot shower costing an extortionist €3.00, but worth every penny. Tonight we eat at the Taverna which is the price to pay for tying up here, good food and not expensive.
Tuesday 6 June, and sadly today we have to make our way back to Preveza as the crews holiday with us comes to an end too soon. On the way we had a swim stop at Scorpio Island as mentioned in a previous blog that did belong to Aristotle Onassis and is now owned by the daughter of a very rich Russian. While there we had a drone go overhead and a security person sat out in a motorboat keeping an eye on us. There are very strict limits to the access on and around the island.
After our dip, we then motored the length of the Lefkadas channel to sit and wait an hour for the floating bridge to open and let us through. Alex and Rob by now have become very capable at securing lines ashore and letting lines go. Sarah has also mastered the task of raising and lowering fenders, many hands do make light work.
Once back in Preveza we secured a spot on the quay and the crew went ashore to enjoy their last day swimming and shopping. Dinner on board tonight yummy chicken potato bake.
A very early start today, Wednesday 7 June, as the crew have to get a taxi to the bus station at 6.00 a.m, as they head back to Athens to begin the rest of their Greek adventure. Nana Chris very much enjoyed having her oldest grandson Alex share our Clio experience along with his mum Sarah and her partner Rob. Thanks guys you have been a great crew, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your travels in Greece.