Greece Season 4 (Blog 2)
13 September 2021 | Mandraki
Martyn Morris (Veronica ed.) | Sun peeping through after 2 days of cloud and rain
From Sivota we headed north to Meganisi and spent three pleasant nights, one in Karnegio in Little Vathy, and two nights with lines to the shore in the Ormos Kapali. We hadn’t been here before and were pleasantly surprised as it’s a small bay, close to Little Vathy, but peaceful with nothing on the immediate shore. We met Robert and Clare and had them over for a few drinks on the first night, and did the 3 km cycle along a potholed road into town the second night. Forgetting to take lights with us and since the moon hadn’t risen yet, the ride back was interesting. About halfway back we looked down on a brightly-lit super yacht moored stern-to. It looked pretty spectacular with blue underwater lights to boot. That said, the opulence and the diesel burn to achieve that, niggle at my conscience.
Leaving Meganisi, we spent a night on one of our favourite beach anchorages, Kefali (Varko) on the mainland, and then headed through the Lefkas canal for Preveza to do some laundry, provisioning and chandlery missions. The canal was chaotic as some nutter, with a broad north-English accent, was racing up our arse and chirping bombastically. There was an orderly queue for the bridge opening in difficult conditions, as everyone was getting blown down on the bridge and trying to hold station in a narrow channel is tricky. Mr. Bombastic, incredibly overtook two boats jumping the queue and making the concertina worse. Needless to say, we all escaped unscathed through the choke point at the end.
From Preveza, we headed up to Two Rock Bay, where we hooked up with Tim and crew, who we had met in Preveza. It is a stunning anchorage with a white sandy bottom and excellent holding, topped off with a little ramshackle bar perched on the cliff above the beach. It also rates as one of our favourite anchorages! The first night the wind came up out of the south, stronger than the models had predicted and we had a lumpy and bouncy interrupted sleep, whilst hanging off a lee shore. Nevertheless we stayed two nights with the second being fantasticly calm. We met Loftus and Melinda, who came over for a braai with us. No prizes for guessing their country of origin. They are a very nice and interesting couple in their early 40s. They had both come over to the UK as chartered accountants and interestingly had bought a spot in Austria, similar to us, and had also bought a shack in Ithaca and a small boat in Greece. We drank, just a bit, of bulk wine, that we had both bought from restaurants.
Parga on the mainland is still a place that we have never spent the night or been to for that matter, so with no wind, we did a drive by and then hung a left just as the wind filled in. We had a fantastic reach over to Gaios (a.k.a. Chaos). Tim and his Cat Crew were there but we couldn’t find a place and with the wind building we bailed for Mongonisi. We initially free anchored but there was not enough room to get enough chain down and as I put up the windchute, we dragged. So, we re-anchored and took a line ashore with about 40m of chain down. It was a peaceful night in a lovely setting, only slightly marred by Theodore’s restaurant seeming a little expensive this time, but hey, we were mooring for free. There was a small fishing boat next to us, which amusingly just had a small domestic freezer strapped onto the bow, totally exposed. They went out twice during the night. The next morning, after a cycle/run into Gaios, we saw the fishermen return. I asked if we could buy some fish from them. They said most of their fish were destined for the restaurant but they could sell us some skate. Thank goodness they cleaned and prepared it, as watching them, it seemed a mission of note, needing to tear the skin of using pliers. I was sceptical but it turned out to be delicious and very easy to separate from the bone.
We then headed over to Sivota on the mainland, the closest place to the famous battle that took place in 433BC between the Corinthians and the Corcyraeans (the guys from Corfu). It was fought in 150 and 120 boats respectively and was a brutal and crude affair. Although there were some javelin throwers and archers, it was essentially a land battle at sea in which they boarded each others’ boats and hacked at each other. The Corinthians were more successful on the first day and the guys from Corfu retreated to their island. The Corinthians pursued them but the Athenian allies sent 20 more ships and the battle ended in a stalemate with both sides claiming victory. It was the pre-cursor to the Peloponnese wars.
We anchored with stern lines to shore and then the next day noticed that the guy in the multi-coloured dingy was ushering people into the floating jetty at the Kavorna restaurant and villas. Amazingly it was free and friendly, even no charge for water. Great food and a pleasant night.
The next day we headed for Mosquito Bay (actually Ormos Garitas) withing walking distance of the airport. We picked up Mike Fitz the next morning and we will pick up on that in Blog 3 for this season. Until then………