Njord's Adventures

22 September 2019 | Marina di Ragusa
22 September 2019 | Corfu to Marina di Ragusa
23 August 2019 | Gouvia Marina Yard
23 August 2019 | Telesilla Hotel, Gouvia Marina
23 August 2019 | Tellesilla Hotel, Gouvia
06 August 2019 | Ionian
22 July 2019 | Cleopatra Marina, Preveza
22 July 2019 | Ormos Varko, Mainland Greece
22 July 2019 | Palairos, Mainland Greece
14 July 2019 | Vlikho Bay, Nidri, N. Lefkas
11 July 2019 | Sivota Bakery
11 July 2019
11 July 2019 | Abelike Bay, Meganisi
11 July 2019 | Sivota, Nisos Lefkas
11 July 2019 | Sivota, Nisos Lefkas
09 July 2019 | Vassiliki Bay, Lefkada
09 July 2019 | Vassiliki Bay, Lefkada
08 July 2019 | Foki Beach, Cepalonia
08 July 2019 | Kalo Limeni, Cephalonia
06 July 2019 | Andisami, Cephalonia

Celebration in Marina di Ragusa for the"End of Summer"

22 September 2019 | Marina di Ragusa
Clare
It is still very warm, but Saturday 21 September at midnight marked the end of summer in the town of Marina di Ragusa with a musical concert in the porto touristico square at 22.00 and a firework competition at 00.30 over the breakwater.

Njord had a ring side seat. It was a beautiful display lasting an hour.

Corfu, Greece to Marina di Ragusa, Sicily

22 September 2019 | Corfu to Marina di Ragusa
Clare
It's time to start making our way back to Sicily and Marina di Ragusa for Njord's winter berth. We spent a very happy month in Gouvia Marina; it was very hot but as September came you could see the weather forecasts changing over mainland Italy with some lows coming in and bringing high winds and rain.

We decided to make our first passage for the return journey from Gouvia in the northeast of Corfu straight across to Crotone on the heel of Italy. It was an overnighter but went according to plan and we came safely into the old harbour and took the same berth as in our outward journey back in May. We knew the next day would not be a good day to move on so we stayed two nights. The rain came and then cleared and we were able to make the next hop to Rocelle Jonica.

We only stayed for a brief stop in Rocelle Jonica this time as there was a short window before the next rain was due. So at 06.30 just as the sun was rising (see this photo) we left the toe of Italy and set off towards Riposto, Sicily. Another long day at sea. All was well until about 2 hours off the Sicilian coast and the heavens opened. It was like the tropical rain you get in Singapore. We came in drenched like water rats, but safe and sound. The marina at Riposto is eye-wateringly expensive, but you do get a CA duscount so that pays for an ice-cream and a beer each! We do like Riposto though, it is a working fishing town mostly for the locals and has everything nearby for provisioning. Several fish shops, the fish market, a great fruit and veg market, a good nearby supermarket and nice restaurants, all with a wonderful backdrop view of Etna.

It rained for two days and then next up was Siracusa, a favourite anchorage in everyone's book: gluey mud to hold you fast and a charming old town to wander around.

We went went to Marzememi, the tuna canning centre and an upmatket holiday resort for the Italians. The harbours are run by the yacht clubs and they will always find room for a visitor. The only one you can go to is the first however if you draw more than 2 metres. We had 4 metres under our keel and some very large super sailing yachts were in there for the night too. Next was the anchorage in Porto Palo where the tuna is brought in and all the substantial fishing boats go in and out from here.

The final stop, our winter base for Njord, Marina di Ragusa. Over the summer the marina has worked hard to dredge the entrance as it was silting up in April and May in the storms when we were all ready to leave. We called up on VHF ch. 74 and were given a very warm welcome by the marina. Our friends Caroline & Bruce were on the pontoon to welcome us home too and invite us for a delicious and chatty supper on board Flirtie. A great welcome home!

Njord in the travel hoist

23 August 2019 | Gouvia Marina Yard
Clare
Njord on her way to be re-launched.

This year we had to change the antifoul paint as the Hempel Hard Racing Blue is no longer produced. Hempel has a new compatible product and they confirmed it was ok to use on top of our existing antifoul. It is important to have a compatible product unless you go back to the gelcoat. The yard in Lagos explained all this to us and infact did a test for us (not on Njord). Usually the chandleries in Europe sell a different brand - International Antifoul Paint, but we can get Hempel easily, we just have to order it. And of course it is more expensive. But at least we know it hasn't been sitting around on a shelf and is fresh paint. Our new brand is Stoppani NoaNoa Endurance, Marine Blue which uses Hempel technology.

Njord went super fast once she was launched and we got at least an extra knot & a half from her on our way back to Sicily from Corfu.

Telesilla Hotel

23 August 2019 | Telesilla Hotel, Gouvia Marina
Clare
The lovely swimming pool. We enjoyed a week here whilst Njord was having her annual maintenance work completed.

Njord's antifouling and annual maintenance in August

23 August 2019 | Tellesilla Hotel, Gouvia
Clare
We are booked into Gouvia Marina for a month. That keeps the costs down to a reasonable level and we don't have to worry about crowded places in the height of the season.

During the month Njord came out of the water for a week, just before the Greek holiday fortnight and as we cannot stay on her in the yard we went back to Telesilla, a really nice family run hotel in the village. We were made so welcome by the owner and his son and especially the barman, Tomas, he remembered us well and greeted us like long lost friends; we wonder why!

The Spanish Sailors' Ionian Fortnight

06 August 2019 | Ionian
Clare
We have just spent a wonderful fortnight in the Ionian with our lovely Spanish friends, Carlos and Judith. We planned several different routes and places to visit over the two weeks. This blog entry is going to give you the story and will link into a photo album on Njord's blog called "The Spanish Sailors' Fortnight".

There are so many places to go that our aim was to try and give a feel of every type of mooring and Greek experience the Ionian has to offer. This ranged from idyllic anchorages with turtles popping their heads up whilst buzzing around in Dennis (the dinghy) to a pretty protected key hole village that totally caters (and very efficiently) to the cruising community, to the inland sea and to a marina for a refill, recharge and the best spit roast chicken in the Ionian, with many lovely anchorages in between.

Njord made her way from the Peloponnese to Cleopatra Marina, Preveza to pick up Judith and Carlos. They arrived late in the evening, we had a meal on board, caught up with all our news and looked at the informal passage plan to see if it was what Carlos and Judith were up for.

Preveza, Cleopatra Marina
There are very strong currents in the marina. Expert marineros in their ribs help push you out of the berth and swing you round if required. We each got our instruction from Captain Vic and left the berth in one easy manoeuvre. We navigated down the Preveza channel easily and once in open water popped up the sails, both main and genoa and managed a nice sail to the Lefkas canal to wait for the road bridge to open.

Lefkas Canal
To pass through you need to drop the sails and queue up as the road bridge swings open to let the yachts through. The local tourist guide even mentions to expect traffic jams on the hour every hour up to sunset due to yachts passing through. We passed through the well buoyed and dredged canal and put up the sails again to sail (slowly as there was not much wind) towards Nidri.

Vlikho Bay, Nidri on Nisos Lefkas
Shortly after arriving we safely anchored in the bay which is huge and has plenty of room. We set ourselves up in the middle of the bay so we could reach either side easily. We then whipped up a salad lunch, cold beers and very chilled white wine. It was about 32 degrees, so very hot and much liquid refreshment is going to be needed on this holiday. Carlos and Judith found a lovely swimming pool and we all went across to Geni (the location in the bay) for a swim and a round or two of chilled drinks. See the blog album for the swimming pool. The water is not very clear or clean in the bay to swim and there were jelly fish everywhere, not good for swimming activities.

Sivota, Nisos Lefkas
The next morning, after croissants from the local bakery we raised the anchor and used the iron donkey to take us through the channel between Lefkas and Megannisi. There was no wind at all. The idea was to stop in Rounda Bay for a swim and lunch. It was very busy and as it is deep fairly close to the beach we found it difficult to choose a place to drop the anchor to give us enough swinging room.

Lunch was just ready in the cockpit, when the tourist police came by and told everyone to leave as we were all allegedly less than 300 metres from the beach. That would put us in too deep water to anchor so we decided to carry on to Sivota. Here, Vic and I had pre-booked, which is necessary in high season, a free berth at 12 Gods Taverna. We were the first boat in and had to manoeuvre around a motor yacht to line up. The restaurant has a marinero who helps and he pushed us round with his rib. Sivota is busy with yachts and charters. The water, electricity and berths are free as long as you eat in the Taverna that the pontoon belongs to. The Tavernas and cafes have all been entrepreneurial and set up the yacht facilities with lazy lines and facilities. It is a very pretty place.

Palarios, Mainland Greece
Next on the itinerary was the complete opposite. A large bay with a harbour that has little room unless you are a charter boat, but a quiet anchorage. We got the sails up for a short while and Judith took the helm for most of the day. She did a good job. The mountains tower above the harbour and give a very pretty view from the cockpit.

Here we started on the slippery road to ruin with homemade margueritas.

Lefkas Marina
We have been good with our water consumption so far, but with 4 on board I had planned a marina stop for provisions, Grand Marnier (to perfect the margueritas), and water and give our batteries a shore power boost. As it was a Friday and the start of the charter changeover for the weekend the town was packed.

Before leaving I went to the spit roast house (up the main street on the lefthand side) to pick up a steaming hot roast chicken for our lunch. We left the berth with too much time for the next road bridge opening so had to manage the current and idle around for a while. Once through the channel, the sails went up and we had a magnificent sail at an average of 5.8 knots up to Preveza. The wind was even right to sail in the channel until the last bend before the harbour.

Vonista, Inland Sea
We all agreed this was the jewel in the crown on our trip. We put the sails up and had a beautiful sail once we had entered into the big expanse of the inland sea to Vonista. We anchored off the town and the beach. The water is shallow so we were quite far off with 4 other boats, but so warm and clear. There were sea urchins on the sea bed so we had to wear our swimming shoes. We chose to stay an extra day here and took Dennis to the little island connected by a causeway for a beautiful walk in the pine forest.

Parga, Mainland Greece
From the best time on the trip to the worse. We needed to start making our way towards Corfu for the end of the trip and the weather forecast was showing stronger winds and higher wave heights in two days time. We wanted to get ahead of the bad weather. So Vic and I set off for Parga at 06.00 leaving Judith & Carlos to snooze. The forecast was a day out and we had a dreadful time with wind on the nose and higher wave heights than forecast on our beam. We tried to zig zag to keep the waves coming at a more comfortable angle but it was a rough ride. The wave height was forecast at 0.7m and we had over 2.5m waves. Parga eventually came into sight and we anchored safely in sand in a busy bay as there are not many bolt holes along this coastline. The night was calm thank goodness and we were all very quiet.

Petriti, Corfu
The next morning we woke up and the sea was flat calm, the bad weather had past and the sun was out. Off we set and got the sails up after an hour or so and had a cracking sail to the south east coast of Corfu. Carlos is a racing sailor and excellent at setting Njord's sails to get the best speed out of her in the wind conditions. We tacked across the bay and had a cracking sail. We anchored past the rocky outcrop further from the fishing village this time opposite the Panorama Taverna. And what a view, do go to the blog album for some more stunning views. This blog's photo is from the taverna at cocktail hour.

Here we swam in the sea, spent the day at a lovely pool and went to the Taverna twice in one day!

Gouvia Marina, Corfu
The last stop was Gouvia Marina for Carlos and Judith to return to Madrid and Njord to come out of the water for her annual "beauty treatments". The berth was tight between two larger yachts but Captain Vic spun her at right angles to the berth to line her up with the bow thrusters and she slid in like a real pro. The crew worked well together as a team too.

The Star of the Season
Dennis was the star of this trip. The last time Carlos sailed with us Dennis' engine misbehaved and Dennis truely earned his name Dennis The Menace. He had been behaving for us, but the first day Carlos took him for a spin the engine wouldn't start once it was hot. He must have been teasing Carlos! After consultation with Crazy Diamond's Dad in Devon and Carlos cleaning the spark plug he started first go every time and went out on some sort of a mission almost everyday. In the last post we showed the glue we used to try and stop his leak. It worked, marvellous stuff!

Now go to the Blog Gallery and look at "The Spanish Sailors' Ionian Fortnight" for more great photos and snipets of our trip.
Vessel Name: Njord of London
Vessel Make/Model: Malo 39 Classic
Crew: Vic Farhi & Clare Harrison
About: Learnt to sail together and the first sailing experience was in Lanzarote in 2005. We then bought Mandarin, a Bavaria 39 and in June 2012 bought Njord, a Malo 39 from the Baltic.
Extra: As attributed to Mark Twain: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Njord of London's Photos - Main
Two weeks of blissful sailing gently around the Ionian in 2019. High season for chartered and family holidays yet we still managed to find some less frequented bays to drop the hook
35 Photos
Created 6 August 2019
11 Photos
Created 6 October 2018
5 Photos
Created 17 June 2018
27 Photos
Created 1 October 2017
37 Photos
Created 8 September 2017
Poros, Monevasia, AK Matelas, Elfonisis, Yithon, Porto Kayio, Kalamata, Methoni, Ormos Navarino, Pilos, Katakolon, Ormos Keri - Zakinthos
31 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
26 Photos
Created 3 June 2017
A pod of dolphins: Mums, Dads and babies were circling in around a shoal of fish diving in and out of the water
29 Photos
Created 28 May 2017
24 Photos
Created 4 December 2016
34 Photos
Created 15 November 2015
In September 2014 we made it to The Algarve.
56 Photos
Created 3 September 2014
This album doesn't just show our sailing activities but also our time with my brother and his family in Lisbon
34 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
The marinas and anchorages on Njord's Adventures
54 Photos
Created 25 July 2014
Our photo album to compliment our blog and our journey from Plymouth, across Biscay and down the Atlantic Coast of Spain & Portugal
90 Photos
Created 7 June 2014
Work done on Njord
22 Photos
Created 16 May 2014
June 2012 - 2013 The Beginning: Germany to The West Country
111 Photos
Created 13 July 2013