2 clueless day skippers with Patience

What a week - what a crew

23 August 2022
Donna Smith
We had the most amazing week with Lydie (my gorgeous niece - AKA Galley Wench) and Liv (Lydie's equally beautiful friend - AKA Deck Swab)

Our new crew flew in to Aktio Airport in Preveza on 11th August and from the moment they stepped foot on Patience we knew we were in for a fun time. Ricky was certainly not going to hold back on his constant quips and was going to have a ball winding the girls up. Thank goodness Lydie had the for-sight to warn Liv of just how much a wind up merchant her Uncle Ricky could be!

We spent the first night on Preveza town Quay as it had been a long day for the girls and we wanted them to get accustomed to the boat. So ... Boat Safety rules explained, life jackets issued, allocation of bunks, quick lunch and we were heading off to the supermarket to stock up the boat. I must say I thought the girls very conservative on their choice of food and lack of alcohol in the trolly. We chose just one bottle of fruity gin, a dozen beers and 2 small bottles of local wine ( mainly because the actual bottles were cute. We found a fab pizzeria for dinner (Plenty of time for Greek cuisine later!)

The following morning we headed through the Lefkas canal, stopping for a swim and lunch in the pretty bay at Varko, known to sailors as One Tree Bay - weirdly named, as it has loads of trees! That's sailors for you.

After lunch we headed to the safety of Vliho bay, affectionately named (by sailors again ) as 'Velcro' Bay - I believe because of the thick mud bottom that sucks in your anchor rather than the Eagles Hotel California where "You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave." A storm was brewing, the wind was up and both girls took to helming like ducks to water. They even succeeded in several tacks, ( where you have to cross the wind) which can be daunting in strong wind and swelly seas , as easy to lose steerage. In fact they were both 'bloody brilliant! Not quite so good at winching in the sail , but that really takes some upper body strength to do it quickly enough for Captain Ricky.
We only just got into Vliho in time - minutes before the heavens opened .. "showers on deck girls?"

As the weather was still a bit 'iffy' we decided to stay in the bay - Dinghy lessons
- tick - again both passed with flying colours despite Ricky casting them adrift twice as they arrived back at Patience after a day chilling at the pool in Tree Bar on the seafront! He is so wicked and they were just too trusting !!

We headed off for the neighbouring island of Meganisi, which sits to the South West of Lefkada just below the tiny privately owned islands of Skorpios and Sparti. Meganisi has managed to keep a lot of its traditions and charm and is popular with it's tranquil bays, shared by local fishermen and yachties. The bay of Abilakia, is one such bay, the bay we chose for a swim and lunch.

Having proved their competence on the helm and dingy sailing their next discovery was the joy of sunbathing on the bow. If we had teak decks I think they would have left body shape shadows behind, as the sun bleached the deck around them! As it was Lydia found a relaxing position with her toe on the pulpit and was left with a white patch on her chest ( big toe shaped ) where her big toe cast a shadow across her. We thought it was Hillarious when we finally discovered what the white mark was, especially Ricky as it was a perfect opportunity for Him to tease! We ended up anchoring and staying the night at Mitikas a lovely tranquil spot between the island of Kalamos and the mainland. It was a beautiful starry night .

We headed back through the canal as we promised we would try to find some dolphins and turtles. Very little wind on our trip to Lefkas Quay, but it meant we could jump off the back of the boat and swim as we drifted slowly along. More sunbathing on the bow, a night cap in the the Irish Bar ( as you do when in Greece?)
and a fairly early night in readiness for seeking out those dolphins and turtles tomorrow!

Again very little wind . The only difference this time was that when the girls and I were having fun trying to do synchronised swimming off the back of boat Ricky thought it would be a laugh to turn the motor on and drive off! As he left us in his wake he shouted to the girls challenging them to catch up to prove their parents hadn't wasted all that money on swimming lessons! I was not amused - to be fair the girls are strong swimmers so it was only me left flagging - Thank you Ricky!

I couldn't stay cross for long though because as we entered The Ambraki Gulf (an inland sea) hawk eyes Ricky was soon spotting turtles to the excitement of us girls. We chose a lovely bay called Markou Bay to stay the night and anchored next to the beach. The bay is just North of Vonitsa, a place we have stayed before while sailing the gulf. An English couple told us that Dolphins had actually swam into the bay a few days before, so we were optimistic. Our optimism paid off as late afternoon 3 dolphins actually swam into the bay past our boat and courtesy of Lydie we had our catch phrase for the holiday "Oh my God, I've got it on camera!"

Up bright and early we had a whole gulf to explore. We now knew there was at least one pod swimming around - just needed to know where. It was not long before hawk eyes Gibson spotted a pod in the distance . They were jumping high, appeared to be playing, so Ricky headed towards them hoping we could join in. Sure enough they were game and began heading towards us. They swam in our bow wave , diving under and around the boat. No matter how often this happens it is still magical and to be able to share the moment with Lydie and Liv made it all the more special. What a great way to finish the sailing holiday! But all good things come to an end. One last sail back to Prevezza Quay for the night so that the girls could fly home tomorrow, after one last pizza of course, back where we started our adventure together .

Sadly we waved the girls off to the airport in a taxi. The boat felt really empty .
It was a fab week girls. You introduced me to gin and lemonade, there was dancing around the mast to Mama Mia soundtrack. We played 80's music, you played guitar Lydie and we all played 'Around The World. You survived the Captain's constant Micky taking and Liv you actually got to finish your book!

Thankyou for coming on board Patience - we had a ball - See you again next year ?
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
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