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Author: Debera and Mark Clark

Night Night Hapatoni for 2019 – 1st August 2019

Night Night Hapatoni for 2019 – 1st August 2019

036 - 2019 Summer - Preveza 002aAnother sailing season comes to an end. Following 2 nights on the town quay in Preveza, we motored over to Cleopatra marina on Tuesday 29th at 9:00 am, ready for our scheduled 10 am lift. The lifting team are very efficient, we were swiftly out, jet washed and parked once more in Row K (We always seem to end up in this row), but this time with a familiar neighbour, two boats down was Roger and Sisca’s yacht, Waterval.

036 - 2019 Summer - Preveza 001aHad to show you this “yacht” a few boats down from us, they created their own fake garden – weird.

We were lucky with the weather that day, the heavens open just as Hapatoni was in the cradle, so we were able to stay undercover and keep dry. Originally I was concerned it would be too hot to work and sleep on the boat on the hard for two days, so we booked a hotel with air conditioning. In fact, there was a lovely breeze mixed with clouds and sun while we finished preparing Hapatoni for her lonely eight months out of the water.  Very handy, as Mark did not stop all day, which gave us Wednesday as a free day with hopefully a lie in (enjoying the cool air in our hotel room).Tasks completed two hot and sweaty bodies and one lazy dog retired to our hotel for a cooling shower before we headed out for a cool beer and early supper.

On Wednesday evening Mark flew to Athens on the 10.30 pm flight from Preveza, to collect a car from Athens airport and then drove the 4.5 hours back to us in Preveza, arriving back at the hotel at 3.30 am. Only to be woken up at 5.30am to drive all the way back to Athens for our 1.30 pm flight to Heathrow. We go through this palava every year because a one way car hire from the Ionian is very, very expensive and a car is the only way to get Hudson to the airport. Mark got some sleep on route, a number of red bulls were consumed and we made it to the cargo bay in time to drop poor Hudson off at 10.30am. He always howls when we leave him in his cage at the cargo hanger, it’s heart breaking, but it is a small price to pay for four months enjoying life in the Mediterranean.

Looking back on this year, our travels covered 1137 miles. We started earlier than usual to avoid any potential Brexit issues, flying out on 29th March and staying in a little apartment in Lefkas whilst we got the boat ready to launch on the 9th April. Because of the unsettled weather in that month, we parked Hapatoni in Vonitsa (a new find for us, a more rustic traditional Greek town), then moved on to one of our favourites, Gaios on the Island of Paxos. Even though it was wet and cold, we enjoyed April, finding new bars and catching up with our friends Christine and Peter before they headed south to the Aegean.

When the weather improved, we set sail on 30th April for the boot of Italy, staying there longer than we planned due to the weather, the Crotone bay is quite a wind and rain trap. Finally, we moved up through the very windy Messina Straits (well it was on the day we sailed through, it totally lived up to its reputation), with 40 knots of wind on the beam and very bumpy seas.

This part of the Italian coastline is very poor, not pretty and unfortunately, very dirty.

We finally arrived at the volcanic Aeolian Islands and visited most of them. We based ourselves out of Lipari for a while, took a tripper boat to Stromboli which obliged with a few lava eruptions. The island of Vulcano was interesting, we climbed its volcano which is also active, rotten egg, sulphurous fumes were all around us when we reached the crater. It is quite something to stand on the edge of an active volcano and even though we enjoyed the Aeolian Islands, Italy is expensive, touristy with limited anchorages, we will not be back. That is why we decided to cut short our Italian adventure and head back to Greece and the pretty little villages of the Ionian.

Our return to Greece was timed with an improvement in the weather, the sun finally came out to stay. June’s weather was very pleasant, we enjoyed ourselves Island hopping, relaxing in our favourite spots – Lakka, Kastos, Iris, Sivota and a few new anchorages. Friends, Keith and Tracey joined us in late June for a week, with Chris and Mary arriving shortly after. It was a fantastic 3-weeks, although our livers needed a rest after there departure, nonetheless, we hope they will all join us again next year. The weather reached the late 30’s at the end of June before a spectacular thunder and lighting display cleared the air. However, by the end of July the temperatures were in the 40’s, we were all struggling, the only way to keep cool is in the water.

We knew it was time to leave at the end of July, the Italians had started to arrive and we all know what that means … absolute chaos. Plus with the weather now so hot, we were looking forward to returning home to a more reasonable, sunny Hamble, to see family, friends and our home again. So, night night Hapatoni and hello The Lookout.

 

 

 

Iris Pontoon Nidri – 22nd to 28th July 2019

Iris Pontoon Nidri – 22nd to 28th July 2019

035 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 000We now have only just over a week to go and all three of us are looking forward to going home, hoping for cooler weather and to see family, friends and our home and garden. The diary for August is now filling up with family visits and social events.

035 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 001aThe boys enjoying an Ice Cream, well Hudson’s hoping.

The weather is exceptionally hot again, up in the late 30’s and early 40’s. Walking through Nidri on Tuesday whilst on route to my pedicure, (standards have to be kept up) the thermostat on one of the shops was showing 41 degrees and even at 10 pm in the evening it still showed 34 degrees below decks. We have started to spend the afternoons in the shade by the Hotel Iris pool, it’s definitely the coolest place and you can dip into the pool to stop yourself being baked alive.

035 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 003aNidri Town quay – The tripper boats getting ready for the off

Boat tasks are proceeding well, the sails are washed, the mainsail is off and stowed below, the ropes are washed and smelling sweet of washing powder and everything that can be flat packed has been. The final jobs will be done when we get to Preveza just before we are lifted, so now we can just relax and not move too much.

On Wednesday 24th we met up with the old gang, Tina and Tim drove over and Alice with her two friends Joe and Katie were moored overnight in Tranquil bay.  They were competing at the quiz night in the Tea Tree bar. Mark and I decided not to join the quiz, it’s not our cup of tea really. Nonetheless it was a very pleasant evening catching up, and the guys surprised themselves by not coming last in the quiz, so they were happy.

The rest of the week passed in a haze of heat, swimming and socialising with Justin and Joanne and their little doggie Teddie, whom we met a few years ago in Vathi on the Peloponnese. They work for Sailing holidays during the winter in Corfu and also help out in the summer, so they often pop into the Iris. We also met Karen and Dave from yacht Astraea, who have been at the Iris for our last few visits, so we have got to know them quite well. We all meet at the pool bar about 5pm for beer O’clock.

035 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 004aWith our time in Greece now coming to an end, we are ready to move onto Preveza tomorrow Sunday 28th. We have 2 nights on the quay then Hapatoni will be lifted early on the 30th July. We plan to spend our last 2 nights (well more like one and a half as we must leave early for the airport) in a hotel in Preveza with air conditioning as the boatyard will be just too hot and its easier with Hudson.

Hiding from the Italians In Sivota – 13th to 22nd July 2019

Hiding from the Italians In Sivota – 13th to 22nd July 2019

034 - 2019 Summer - Sivota 000In anticipation of the mass arrival of the Italians, usually from mid-July till the third week of August, we pre-booked a space on the Italian pontoon in Sivota – Yes, I know, it makes no sense … but actually it does. We decided to stay for 9 days and agreed a discount price as we are now regulars. It is well worth paying to be on a lazy line at this time of year, away from all the crossed and pulled up anchor shenanigans and protected from any weather issues, with power and water included – no stress, hurrah.

It also gave us the opportunity to start preparing the boat for the end of our season, washing ropes, sails and everything down below. We could get it done at our own pace as we still had 2 weeks to go.

Early in the afternoon on Sunday 14th July, the weather (as per forecast) was gusting to 36 knots from the NE, causing the Sivota washing machine effect in the anchorage in the centre of the bay. Anchors pulled up and there was the usual chaos as boats drifted around out of control.

The town quay outside Liotrivi’s can be equally chaotic, as the wind hits the boats side on. One particular French boat entertained us for two hours as his anchor was obviously not dug in and he refused to go out and reset it before the wind started howling across his beam. Instead he opted for a spiders web of ropes attached to the boat next to him, who also had a similar spiders web attached to our pontoon and to the quay – what a mess. I just hope they don’t have to leave in a hurry. Although these restraints helped, they did not stop the Frenchman from banging his stern against the quay. An attempt to reset his anchor with the wind at its peak strength resulted in the inevitable, yet another limp and useless anchor.

The Frenchman despaired and obviously decided “out of sight out of mind”, so he went for a beer and turned his back on his boat and the mess on the quay.

The lesson is simple, if your anchor is not set, reset it and make sure it is well dug in and do it before the wind gets too strong.

By 4:00 pm the wind had died down, so entertainment over, we headed off to Yannis for an evening drink before dinner back on board.

The next few days the weather was a lot cooler and a bit overcast with rain threatening, at least the winds had calmed. Hudson was loving the new temperature and it was nice not getting out of the shower and dripping with sweat before you were even dressed.

The strong winds had shown our pontoon’s owners a potential issue, so, with the wind calm once more, they attached an extra heavy-duty chain to the end of the pontoon.

The rain finally arrived on Monday, keeping everyone either below decks or in one of the bars. It was a relief because it was cooler and it cleared the muggy air. The net result was Sivota was a lot quieter, the family Bar which was rammed on the previous night with the Wimbledon finals, was almost empty on the Monday.

Nine days passed very quickly and comfortably. Mark and I alternate morning dog walks and he is sanding and varnishing his woodwork, keeping him busy. Mark is also working on his book, which is nearly finished. I am washing up anything not in use and flat packing it away, but we still have plenty of time for our leisure activities.

We have probably stayed in Sivota a bit too long as we are getting a bit ratty with each other and even a little bored, so we left Sivota on Monday 22nd July and headed north to the Iris pontoon in Nidri, arriving at 11am. We were too early, as the Sailing holiday flotilla had not left yet, so we anchored just off the pontoon and waited until Effie (The wife of the owner, Christo) gave us the all clear to moor up at 1pm.

Chris & Mary – 5th to 12th July 2019

Chris & Mary – 5th to 12th July 2019

033 - 2019 Summer - Sami 000Welcome back Chris and Mary, braving Hapatoni for their second year afloat in Greece. The Ryan Air flight from Stanstead landed on-time and after a 45-minute taxi ride, they joined us in  Sami at 21:30 for a beer on the back of the boat. We planned to show them three beautiful villages that they had not seen last year, in addition to our absolute favourite, Sivota … four different islands. The map shows our passage at the end of the week.

Kioni – 6th July028 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 001a

Pretty Kioni

028 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 006aIn our favourite bar on the first floor of El Plo, overlooking the bay. It’s always entertaining watching the charter boats messing up their mooring.

028 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 004aA pretty little pebble beach, a few kilometres outside Kioni and at the end of Hudson’s dog walk. The graveyard provides your dearly departed with a wonderful view of the ocean.

Kastos – 7th to 9th July029 - 2019 Summer - One House Bay 003a

Chris and Mary cooling off in One-House Bay en route to Kastos.029 - 2019 Summer - One House Bay 001a

Debs also taking a dip in One-House Bay. Bet you can’t guess how it got its name.029 - 2019 Summer - One House Bay 004a

Hudson thinks its all too much activity for this time of day030 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 001The windmill bar in Kastos

Iris Hotel in Nidri – 9th to 11th July

031 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 004The only place to be when it is 38 degrees

031 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 003Ready for a night out in party central, Nidri

031 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 001aGyros for four in Nidri, no expense spared. Total bill, less than 20 euros for all of us (Including wine and beer).

031 - 2019 Summer - Iris Hotel 005The boys after a few beers.

Sivota – 11th July

028 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 002aMark serenading the neighbourhood. Funny how everyone seems to have deserted the pontoon !!

Sami – 12th July027 - 2019 Summer - Sami 001a

After a lovely week with great weather, visiting all our favourite places, we say goodbye to Chris and Mary.

On Route to Sami – 4th to 5th July 2019

On Route to Sami – 4th to 5th July 2019

027 - 2019 Summer - Sami 000Following the departure of Keith and Tracy on Wednesday evening, Mark and I retired to the bar for a quiet drink and to reflect on a fabulous week with our friends although our livers will need some rehab, but no rest for the wicked, we have 2-days to prepare for the arrival of Chris and Mary on Friday evening.

027 - 2019 Summer - Sami 002aThursday was an early start from the Iris pontoon heading south to Sivota for a day of cleaning and washing before we head to Sami at the bottom of Cephalonia on Friday 5th July ready for Chris and Mary’s arrival at 21:30.

Keith & Tracy in the Ionian – 26th June to 3rd July 2019

Keith & Tracy in the Ionian – 26th June to 3rd July 2019

As we will be re-visiting places that we have already described in great detail earlier in the blog, we have decided to present our friends Keith and Tracy visit as a picture album for a change.

Sivota 26th – 28th June

021 - 2019 Summer - Sivota 001aThe gang at the 12 Gods bar for Happy Hour. Keith has had his pain relief injection for his back, so we are all smiles.

Kastos 28th to 30th June

022 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 001a

The view from Alex’s Bar – a heavy night ahead.

022 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 003aMark helping out “boring” Mike (He wouldn’t stop talking about himself …. on and on and on and on), a  single-handed sailor, having trouble getting his ropes ashore to long-line.

022 - 2019 Summer - One House Bay 002aStopped for a swim at One-House Bay, named One-House bay as there is only one house and a little church on the Island.

Kioni 30th June

023 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 002 (1)a

The Quay at Kioni – its getting busier

019 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 001aThe boys cooling off

Kioni DC1 aCoffee break

023 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 002 (2)aHappy Birthday Tracy

Meganissi 1st July  

024 - 2019 Summer - Meganisi 001a

Hudson’s Taxi ride … I hope Tracy realises he can’t pay and will definitely do a runner.

025 - 2019 Summer - Stenon Meganisiou 001aStenon Beach – Breakfast stop on the way to Nidri

Iris Hotel pontoon Nidri 2nd – 3rd July

026 - 2019 Summer - Vlikho 001a

Splashing about in the pool, trying to keep cool

A fantastic week, Bye Bye Keith and Tracy

 

Eufemia – 24th to 26th June 2019

Eufemia – 24th to 26th June 2019

020 - 2019 Summer - Eufimia 000After a relaxing few days in Kioni, we left early at 7:45am travelling the 16 miles south to the windy village of Eufemia on the south east coast of Cephalonia. I was keen to get parked on the town quay early as the village is popular with the flotillas. We also wanted to avoid the strong afternoon breeze which blows down the valley off the mountains, making mooring a real challenge.

The harbour master is always very vocal, he directs you to your spot and likes to shout directions. He is not impressed if you do not follow his instructions … as the boat two doors down found out when he tried to re-set his anchor late in the afternoon, with 25 knots blowing on his beam, nearly taking out his next two neighbours anchors.

020 - 2019 Summer - Eufimia 004aFortunately, there was plenty of space on the town quay. We decided to get there the day before Keith and Tracy were due so that I could do the washing and we could clean the boat.  With our tasks completed, we took Hudson for a walk and retired to the boat for supper on-board and a quiet night, the calm before the storm.

020 - 2019 Summer - Eufimia 001aKeith and Tracy’s flight landed on-time and they were with us by 12:15, in-time for lunch. The afternoon passed quickly with lots of beer, shopping and a cooling swim, the weather was the opposite to yesterday, with no wind … very very hot. Unfortunately, Keith had done something to his back and was in severe pain, so, a visit to the doctor was needed. The doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory/pain relief injection and suggested that, as we were not staying in Eufemia, Tracy should administer it for the next few days. Within an hour and with two mojitos downed, Keith started to feel better but not wanting to aggravate Keith’s condition, we adjusted our route to go to Sivota for a couple of days, avoiding the use of the dinghy while Keith recovered.

Kioni – 20th to 24th June 2019

Kioni – 20th to 24th June 2019

019 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 000We have a few days to pass before the arrival of our friends Keith and Tracy on the 25th June, they have just sold their own boat, a 50 ft Beneteau called Ammoniate.

The temperature is hot, in the mid-30’s and we have chosen to relax in Kioni, one of our favourite places. We arrived at about 10:30 and were able to get our preferred mooring spot at the end of the quay near the Calypso restaurant.  We spent the next four days relaxing and swimming (a lot) in order to cool down. There is also a very pleasant and much needed afternoon breeze which blows over the hills and down the bay.

019 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 006aSpit roast was being served in our favourite restaurant, so guess where we ate two out of the four nights that we stayed here?

019 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 002aBecause of the shape of the town quay, you always have a few crossed anchors, which is why we like to be at the end of the row. However, this time we had an obnoxious Rhodesian captain with two English passengers in a run-down boat, who decided to squeeze into a space two boats down. He rammed himself in with no regard to his neighbours’ boats. He then continued to moan for the rest of the day. Our English neighbour was concerned his anchor was not dug in, so whilst pulling his own anchor chain in (as is his right) he got a mouthful of abuse from the Rhodesian. I have never met such an unpleasant man.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALater that day the Rhodesian had to reset his anchor and what a disaster. Firstly, with strong winds blowing on his beam he caught next doors chain under his rudder, the Rhodesian had no clue what to do so just stood around shouting, whilst their boat started heading towards our anchor chain. Mark saw that no one was doing anything, so he jumped into the water and pulled the chain from their rudder … only for their anchor to then hook on their neighbour’s chain. Again, Mark had to save the day, borrowing a neighbour’s dinghy and rowing over to set them free.  The hero of the day. Thankfully they took the hint that they were not welcome and disappeared over the horizon.

019 - 2019 Summer - Kioni 005aSunday 23rd June – Happy Birthday to my Dad.

There and Back Again – 8th to 20th June 2019

There and Back Again – 8th to 20th June 2019

Kastos – Sivota – Kastos in 12 Days

018 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 000Kastos – We left the Iris Hotel pontoon at the leisurely time (for us) of 8:45 am, the sail to Kastos is only 18 miles which will take about 3 hours. There was very little wind until we reached the bottom of Meganisi, where with some excitement, it increased enough for us to unfurl the sails. We enjoyed the silence with the engine off for a change, but it was short lived as the wind dropped to 6 knots after only 20 minutes. Not to be defeated, Mark thought there may just be enough for the cruising chute, but sadly it also only got a flying visit as the wind gave up any attempt at life and dropped to zero.

015 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 004aWe arrived in Kastos at 12:30 and long-lined ashore, unfortunately it took three attempts to get the anchor to dig into the seabed, too much weed and the 18-knot wind pushing us sideways, also did not help. To our surprise, our arrival was under the watchful eye of the ex-commodore of The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, Karen and her husband, who were holidaying with friends on a Sunsail boat. They had noticed our blue ensign and burgee as we were parking, and shouted hello.

015 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 003aFinally secure, we settled down to lunch. Later in the afternoon we took Hudson for a walk, we detoured to see Karen and her husband just to say hello and then on to the windmill for a cold beer and to enjoy the stunning view towards the mountains on the mainland. As a bonus there was also a very welcoming afternoon breeze.

The evening meal was a bbq onboard, before heading to Alex and Elenor’s bar overlooking the bay.

015 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 005aThe temperature has certainly raised its game now, it is over 30 degrees daily, so I decided to take my first swim of the season, it was still a bit “fresh” when I first dipped my toe in, but as soon as I took the plunge and fully immerse, it was lovely. We passed the next two days, relaxing, dog walking, swimming and catching up with Alex in his bar in the evenings, enjoying his music collection, all Mark’s favourites.

With reluctance we finally left on Tuesday 11th June, heading the 14 miles to Sivota, mine and Hudson’s home for the next few days whilst Mark flies home to England.

016 - 2019 Summer - Sivota 000Sivota – We agreed on a special rate with the owner of the Italian pontoon, which is located between the Liotrivi bar and Christo’s supermarket – 22 euros instead of 35 per night. It has lazy lines and is very secure. We hired a car for the first day so that I could drop Mark at Preveza airport on Wednesday 12th June. On the way back, Hudson and I stopped in Lefkas for lunch. Fortunately, I was also able to get my highlights done, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a hairdresser, Hudson was an angel, he sat quietly for two hours at my feet. We finished off our trip by stocking up on fresh salad and veg for me whilst Mark is away.

Hudson and I soon fell into our routine, firstly a long dog walk before it got too hot, then the usual tidying and cleaning inside of the boat, finishing off with a well-deserved swim. One of my tasks, while Mark was away, was to scrub all 10 fenders, which was hot and hard work, but satisfying when complete – Mark better notice or he will be in big trouble. Most evenings we would walk to Yannis at The Family Café for an early drink, returning to have supper onboard. The four nights passed very quickly and before we knew it, we were picking up Mark from the airport again on the Sunday. We stayed an extra day in Sivota so we could wash the boat and clean the dinghy, as for some reason it had become very sticky. The pontoon had a jet wash for guests to use, saving Mark hours of dinghy scrubbing.

Job’s completed we decided to continue our travels before our friends Keith and Tracy arrive in just over a week.

017 - 2019 Summer - Palairos 000Palairos – We decided to go to Palairos on the mainland, 14 miles north-west from Sivota, as we haven’t been there before. It is a small fishing harbour sitting under the high mountains in the NE in the bay of the same name, Ormos Palairos. As we approached the harbour we were met by a welcome committee of Dolphins. Within the harbour there is a small pontoon owned by one of the flotilla companies which when not in use, can be used by anyone else. It has free electric and water and even though it is a little shallow, is busy with “live-aboards” and yachts out for the whole season.

017 - 2019 Summer - Palairos 001We secured a berth and went for a walk to check out the village and have lunch. The restaurant we chose was very nice, right on the pebbly beach, but unfortunately the main street was having a new brick road laid, so it was dusty and noisy.

paleros-yacht-clubPalairos has some charm and it was rustic, but we felt we would rather go to Kastos, anchor in the bay and enjoy a swim as there was no breeze … we feel it also has a prettier view.

018 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 000Kastos – Back again, this time we anchored in the bay for the first time. Being a Tuesday, the quay was full and Sailing holidays had longlined their flotilla in the far corner. After a cooling swim we went ashore, stretching Hudson’s legs and enjoyed a drink at the bar on the beach (another first for us). Again, another lovely setting and you still get to see all the antics as late comers arrive and try to secure their lines. The problem with anchoring outside was that although it was a calm night, at 4 am a large tanker or ferry must have passed along the coast probably miles away, but their wake caused us 30 mins of side to side rolling, waking us up as well as everyone else in the anchorage.

015 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 002aWednesday was another very relaxing day, we stayed in the same place at anchor, the wind increased in the afternoon, with gusts of up to 20 knots and the anchorage was busy, I don’t think many boats wanted to longline to the shore with the high winds. The breeze was lovely and cooling but again we had a night of disrupted sleep so decided it was time to move on, next stop Kioni on the Island of Ithica.

015 - 2019 Summer - Kastos 001a

Nidri The Iris Hotel Pontoon – 5th to 8th June 2019

Nidri The Iris Hotel Pontoon – 5th to 8th June 2019

014 - 2019 Summer - Nidri 000The trip to Nidri, was smooth with no wind and calm seas. Regrettably there was not enough wind to sail, usually we get a favourable breeze blowing off the mountains around Preveza. We made the 12:00 pm Lefkas bridge and continued to Nidri, hoping to find space on the Iris Hotel pontoon, but were prepared to anchor in Vlikho for the night if there was none. A telephone call to Christos at the Iris hotel confirmed we could take the final space … Hurrah. We arrived at 2:00 pm, tidied the boat and headed up to the pool for a cold beer and a swim. The pool was a bit “fresh”, but you soon warmed up lying in the sun.

Christos the owner of the Iris Hotel has a good business going here, the Hotel apartments are fully booked up well in advance and his pontoon is always also full with either Sailing Holidays yachts, as they have a flotilla based from the hotel, or private boats like us who queue up to take any spare spots. His rates are cheap at 15 euros a night although it is expected that you spend some money at the hotel bar or restaurant. I find it so relaxing here, a mini holiday within our sailing holiday, laying on a sunbed around the pool in a stunning setting, ordering food and drinks on a tab … it is like being in an all-Inclusive.

The Hotel is about 30 minutes’ from Nidri so you can walk in and visit but you have none of the noise and distractions of the town. Hudson and I stopping for a nibble halfway through one of our dog walk.

014 - 2019 Summer - Nidri 003a014 - 2019 Summer - Nidri 005bWe hired a car on Thursday 6th June, with several tasks to undertake. The main one being to find and book a secure mooring for me to stay on the boat with Hudson whilst Mark returns to the UK for 5 days. We started the day at the Lefkas lifting bridge to buy two large bags of Oranges from a local seller who bases himself next to the bridge (cheap at 5 euros a bag) and secured fresh orange juice for breakfast for the next few weeks. Then on to get Mark’s haircut, unfortunately his usual barber was busy, so he tried my lady, who gave him a very short, short back and sides.

We popped into Lefkas marina to ask about their availability for a mooring, they had no space for us for the dates we needed, amazing really as it is a large marina. Then the boring task of food shopping, before heading back to the boat to drop off our supplies. Next to Vasiliki, Mark was keen to see if the new marina was open and although it looked finished (and quite spectacular) they weren’t allowing anyone to moor, something to do with the elections was the rumour … what a waste … Greeks. The village is pretty, with restaurants covering every available space on the quay, it is hard to believe they can fill them all up, but I suppose in July and August they must.

Our final stop was Sivota, important as we hoped to get a deal with the Italian pontoon which has lazy lines, water and electric. Following various negotiations with the owner and with help from Christo the owner of the Supermarket (who we know well), we got from 180 euros for 6 nights to 130 euros, cash of course.  With the deal secured, off we went to visit Yanna at the Family Café. It was so nice to see her happy and not stressed, she had been facing the prospect of handling the whole of the front of house on her own, but she had one of her sons back working In the Kitchen and a new waiter called George serving out front with her. On our way home we stopped off to look at the progress of the boat below which has been made from scratch, the workmanship is excelllent.

014 - 2019 Summer - Nidri 002aMy final day on the Iris pontoon was spent relaxing by the pool, leaving Mark in peace to sand down and re-varnish the steps into the main cabin. In the evening Tina and Tim came to the Hotel for drinks and supper, it was so nice to catch up with them, a very boozy and enjoyable evening.