Greece 2010 - Ionian
28 May 2010
Iain and I sailed north to Corfu where we spent a few days. We stopped for the first night at Gaios Paxos arriving late in the evening after all the charter and day tripper boats had departed. The town returns to its normal way of life and the real people come out to walk along the quay. We had dinner on board but went for a walk as it got dark. This was Iain's first real cruising experience of seeing the locals. The next day was just a short hop north to a small bay of Lakki. Malua had visited here a number of times so we knew exactly where so drop the anchor. The season had not started so there were relatively few vessel in this evening. We went ashore and had a roast lamb supplemented with two large pieces of pork because the restaurant owner said they had run out of lamb and he wanted to give us value. My view on eating out is there is little value it is more the experience.
Off to Corfu 30nm to the north. We sailed round the eastern cape upon which the old fort is built to have a look at the old and new harbour before returning to anchor on the south side of the fort. The holding is good but it can get very rolly if a southerly comes through. Luckily for us there was no wind. We took the RIB to shore and did a quick tour of the town and its sights then stopped at a bar next to the cricket field to watch the passing parade. We had chosen the in place where the young people of the town gathered so Iain got to see how the locals ticked.
The next day it was up to the market to stock up on fresh veg and other things. I so like the market in Corfu especially the olives and nuts. Then off to the butcher near the bus station to get some good meat and then back to the boat. The freezer was working again after the fellow had regassed it for me. I had not yet fitted the new red controller so it was working. The extra pump had been fitted but connected via another system- not ideal. Unfortunately the southerly had started to rise so we upped anchor and motored over to the southern part of the bay and dropped it just off the small harbour on that side. No roll and a quiet night.
We decided to do a long hop back to Lefkas and made the bridge at 5:30 along with a few other boats. Then med moor to the dock just opposite the channel. Here the charter boats where preparing for the season. I took the torn sail cover to get a new zip which was done by a very nice Romanian couple who had just started their business. They also sewed the other canvas torn in the storm off the Albanian coast. Malua was now almost back to normal. That eveinig g we took a walk around town and the following day sailed down the canal towards Nidri. We ran into the side of the canal as we where both doing something else and not concentrating. Luckily it is mud and thick mud. Got off OK. Enough said.
We had lunch at Nadri and Iain decided to return to Athens to start his summer holiday. I was hoping he would stay longer but that evening I got a call saying he had installed himself in a hostel after taking the bus and was set for his cruise through the Greek islands with some friends.
I sailed south to Sivota, Fiskada and then into Ithica to drop anchor in Vathi bay just as the wind started to rise. It like the history of Ithica because it is where Ulysses came home to find his wife with another man. He had dressed himself in a shepherds cloak. His dog Argos was not deceived and recognized him and almost gave the plot away. The end of the story is he slew the other man a nd returned to dog and wife.... in that order.
Vathi can get a bit rock and rolly so I decided to go stern too at the wharf next to Sea Vixen - John and Cathy's van der stadt Tasman. I hadnt tied up long when the wind rose to more than 25 knots across the beam and the last boat - charter of course dragged its anchor and started to move along the dock. Malua anchor was well in so I did not worry but did not like the situation. Just then while Cathy was ashore Sea Vixan's anchor broke loose. John alone on his 50ft yacht needed help so I jumped aboard and helped him pull up the anchor as he negotiated away from the dock. We got off all right and a kiwi in a RIB came to fetch me and I returned to Malua to also leave the dock. I did that with easy and then John and I were told by the harbour master that we could not anchor in the normal place because a large ferry was coming in and needed the swing room. Off to the top of the bay to come alongside with nose into the wind. Not long after Sea Vixen came along side. By that time Cathy had walked around the bay and joined us for a good cold beer.
That night we and others spill some wine and told lies about our cruising storied. A good time was had by all.
Next day it was off to Little Vathi and to Abelakie bay. It rained that night as I walked over the hill to visit Charlie Girl. I got lost and only just reached Malua before midnight but that is another story ( see www.malua.blogspot.com)
After a few day catching up with friends (Charlie looks good and is as strong as ever) we promised to meet in a few days time when Denny joined the crew. I sailed to the mainland to Astakos which turned out to be a small seaside town. It had a great feel and I purchased some provisions but did not stay but sailed to a small inlet Atherinos. Small but safe. over the hill is a no go area. Some say a ship breakers yard some say a nuclear waste dumping ground but all I can report the perimeter fence is patrolled and is lit all night long.
Off to Lefkas to collect Denny who had spent two days in Athens before getting the bus to Lefkas town. I had planned to leave town as soon as she arrived but decided to check us out of Greece. Easy job for the boat just a few stamps in the log at the Port Police. How do I get a stamp in a passport? Well go to the Police down the road. Great. Who does it..... We will phone the lady to come into the office to stamp the passport. Where are your paper.... here I have just come from the Port Police. You don't have the right papers. The crew list but we have only one crew. Here I will write her name on a piece of paper. No you dont have the right form and stamp. Please go back to Port Police to get Crew list. OK. Hello I have come for a crew list. OK I have the form it has been faxed from the Police. Sign here. Thanks take it to the Police then get them to stamp it and bring it back to us. Fine (he thinks... will the lady at the Police have gone home??) Return to Police. OK where is the passport here. Lets try the stamp on a piece of paper. Oh no the date can't be seen.... Big police man appears stamps the paper. Date can be read. Now the passport. Ready, set, go... stamp...... can you read the date only just but it is good enough because you cant have two stamps in a passport. Back to Port Police. Hello it is me again here is the form. Oh thanks you can now leave town. Two and a half hours later. The sun had almost set and the well planned romantic dinner on board was now in question.
Off we went down the canal, no more right turn into the bank, out into the sea and off to Vlicho Bay. How some people anchor off Nadri I don't know. If it wasn't for the radar and some sixth sense we would have run down two vessel anchored in the fairway without anchor lights.
Drop anchor in the wide open bay of Vlicho and a well earned drink and meal was the order of the day. Wecome on board Denny for the Summer od 2010.
Off south to Kioni. A lovely sail to meet Charlie Girl and have dinner. We again promised to meet next year to have dinner as we have done for the past four years. Lets all hope it will come to pass but I think it will be with Richard and Charlie on Malua in France their vessel wil be in Crete.