Kastos – Sivota – Kastos in 12 Days
Kastos – 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.
We 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.
Finally 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.
The 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.
Sivota – 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.
Palairos – 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.
We 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.
Palairos 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.
Kastos – 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.
Wednesday 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.