Elixir of New Zealand

Elixir NZ The Northern Ionion

31 July 2011


Father figure sent to the foredeck.. I really didn't think what I said was that bad!

Helm taken over by the aspiring!

After lunch we have a rather boisterous sail for 25 miles to Vathi on Nisos Ithaca.

A reef in both the main and the headsail. Notice that the horizon has gained a rather distinct heel!

We found a small anchorage amongst a handful of other yachts wherein we could wait out the windstorm.

Which way to go around the roundabout? No road markings here! and fast closing the lea shore, very, very fast.

Yachts started arriving in dribs and drabs and small flotillas of 3 or 4 and the anchorage soon filled up to bursting point. Wind gusting up to 35 knots and a rough sea around the rest of the bay caused challenges for all as boats jockeyed for whatever shelter could be had. There were cross words being exchanged as those that thought they owned the bay tried to tell others to go away. They of course had no where else to go. We were at the front of the bay with our anchor just off the shore so there was absolutely no room for boats to get between us and the shore, that however, did not stop a large catamaran right on nightfall trying anchor right on top of our anchor-line. He got the message in basic Kiwi and moved to the back!

Day dawned on 25/07/11 and with it an easing of the wind so we move out and make our way around the north end of Ithaca and on to Fiskardho a beautiful little settlement on the North Eastern tip of Nisos Cephalonia.

Sun kissing the shore.. Just a bit more of what we came for..Sigh...

Entrance to Fiskardo. Ancient lookout and signal station.

Back into the side with a zillion other yachts and put up our sun shades.

Jenny and Elizabeth were delivered to the shops by Chris in the rubber ducky while David did his walking thing. After a sleepless night previous I decided that top priority was checking out the inside of my eyelids.

David, Chris and Elizabeth escape the heat of the midday sun and fill in a bit of time while Jenny hits the shops.

It certainly is quaint and one can easily understand its international attraction.

I had warned all that we would not be staying the night and to back at the Yacht by 14:00 due to the chaotic nature of the place and my assumption that were there were so many young tourist about there was bound to be a disco in the finest tradition of Greek idyllic anchorages. A fair wind ensued as we made our way North West to Nisos Kastos and the main anchorage thereon of Kastos itself for the night.

Gin Palace took a real close look at us and spilt our martinis! Darn!

Once again we are welcomed to the land of flotilla charter groups and this tiny little anchorage of Kastos was acting host to 70 Yachts.

David and Elizabeth on Kastos

The charterers completely overrun the four available tavernas so we had our dinner on board again and contented ourselves with being shuttled back and forth in the rubber ducky to the throngs.

26/07/11 06:30 and we are off again. First we sail north to clear both Kastos and Nisos Kalamos then west.

I swear I felt some rain I tell you!

We pass several Island including Meganisi then Skorpios (the Onasis Island so Jenny put on her Jacky-O sunglasess and on to Nidri on Lefkas.

On arrival and while trying to pick an anchorage for the night we motored down the inland lagoon of Ormos Vlikho. We named this bay the Bay of broken dreams as everywhere there were yachts and motor launches in various states of decay some half sunk against the shore and indeed some with just masts showing. We did not like the feeling in there so returned to a Bay that we had seen on the Port side of the entrance and just a 100 metres across to the town. Chris check out bus timetables as he was due to leave the yacht next day and needed to find a way up to Corfu for his flight back to the UK. He discovered that the right bus was leaving at noon the next day. We spent the night and had a team meal out at the generous offering of Chris before, sadly,waving him goodbye next day on the 27th July. As Jenny had discovered a Laundry all our washing had been done by days end so we grabbed a Gyros each and hit the sea again. This time just 3 miles to the bottom end of Scorpios where we have just spent a beautiful peaceful night in company of just one other yacht. As network reception was 100% I made all booking arrangements for Jenny and I to fly home from Athens to which we will have to Bus (5 hrs). More on that all later.
We did manage to score a lovely anchorage just off Nidri.

We have our last meal with Chris before he gets the bus which will take him up the coast about 4hrs from where he will jump on a ferry to Corfu and then fly back to the UK.

27th July 20:30 hrs we had enough of the busy port lifestyle and moved about 20 minutes sail away to the picturesque Island of Scorpious for the night. On arrival the other yachts were just leaving and we had the bay to ourselves and one other late arrival. Still as can be and as peaceful as one could wish.

Jacki Onasis main beach home in the background gave this anchorage a sad touch.

Next morning Jenny David and Elizabeth went for a circumnavigation of the island in the rubber ducky before we slip away to visit Meganisi and the famous caves.

Apparently according to local storys the Greeks hid a submarine in here during the latter part of the 2nd World War.

Sometimes I just get the feeling I am being left behind!

We move around to the top of the Island where the local wasp inhabitants had planned a welcome for us. Jenny fought back by using citronella candles and sprinkling cinnamon on them ( the candles!). Much to our surprise it worked a treat! Whenever she made her poison they disappeared! I had suggested that we start by sprinkling the wasps on the candles first but nobody thought that was a good idea at all.

David and I had just caught sight of Jennys patented rat preventers! We pride ourselves in that are always ready to give positive encouragement to the lower deck hands!

See Cathy! I can look trendy with new togs in pink!

Outdoor dining under the stars at its finest on a hot balmy night in Meganisi. Lots of other boaties enjoying the same so was a very social occasion.

The access to this restaurant is by water so everyone gets a wet bum both on the way there and on the way back! Not to worry as in this heat one dries very quickly insitu - so to speak.

We spend two days in these little anchorages and then move up to Levkas. Lavkas is an Island with its town of the same name and a small canal controlling all comings and goings. There is a bridge over the canal for road traffic.

An ancient fort overlooks the entrance to the canal area and would have had quite an influence on traffic way back in the middle ages.
The bridge is opened on the hour ever hour of the day to allow for boat traffic to pass by.

Well we approached Levkas just as the bridge had opened and we were met by a rugby scrum of flotilla yachts heading our way on the 20meter wide water way. Depths at the edge of the canal were such that seagulls could walk along without getting their knees wet and in the middle it was just 5.5 metres deep. No room for any sort of drifting off and one had to keep eyes fixed on transits to save from any red faced mistakes.

No it was not deliberate that I backed Elixir up to the town mole just in front of the best Pita Gyroses in Town!

Vessel Name: Elixir NZ
Vessel Make/Model: Dufour 45 Classic
Hailing Port: Tauranga, New Zealand
Crew: Ted & Jenny Peacocke
Blog of the cruises of Elixir a Dufour 45 Classic bought by New Zealand couple Ted and Jenny Peacocke in June 2007 taking delivery in Kinsale, Ireland. [...]
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Created 10 July 2010