Sami – 21st to 22nd July 2018

Sami – 21st to 22nd July 2018

014 - 2018 - Sami - 000Keen to move on, but also a little sad to leave, we left Kioni at 7:50am, sailing the 16 miles south to Sami on the island of Cephalonia. Sami is the main ferry port and a favourite pickup/drop-off point for the airport in Cephalonia.  As we came in to park, we were greeted on the town quay by a chubby Greek insisting we couldn’t park where we were pointed, Mark was having none of it and explained to him that this is a town quay and we’ll park where we want to. To which our chubby little Greek shouted that he was the Harbour Master and we had better do what he said. A little sheepishly we moved to the place he indicated and all was calm once more. The quay was 16 euros per night including water.

Sami is set in a wide bay, under the setting of a high wooded ridge. The town is entirely modern built (with the help of the British) after the 1953 earthquake, so it is neat rows of concrete houses, bars and restaurants with none of the normal quaint Greek architecture, it feels a little souless. The pilot book describes wonderful walks around the bay, but we did not get that far as it was very hot.

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We walked Hudson, re-stocked our supplies and retired to Hapatoni for a quiet night, following an extremely hot day. As we were settling down for the evening, there was a knock on the transom, and low and behold it’s David whom we had last seen in Giaos a few weeks ago, having dinner with his partner Moria and his son in the restaurant directly behind our boat. We are now 100% sure he’s a stalker. We were on a no-alcohol night and very tired so said our brief hello’s (and goodbye’s) and retired, ready to continue our journey south to Ay Nikolaos on the next Island Zakinthos.… Read more

Kioni – 15th to 21st July 2018

Kioni – 15th to 21st July 2018

013 - 2018 - Kioni - 001We left Sivota at 8am, the challenge with Kioni is getting there at the right time for a space on the town quay which only holds about 20 boats. The other option is to long-line around the west side of the bay, dropping your anchor and securing yourself with lines to rocks or trees on the shoreline. As we approached the entrance to the bay, a Canadian boat was ahead of us, he took what we thought was the last space, but happily the space turned out to be big enough for 2 boats.

It was nice to finally return to pretty Kioni on the Island of Ithica, 15 miles south of Sivota, it is one of our favourite places in the Ionian and we didn’t get to pop in last year on our way back from the Aegean.

 

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Kioni has not really changed in the last 2 years, with only one new restaurant bar at the start of the town quay. It has retained its beauty and charm, although in mid-July it is a busy place. The volume of boats and dog-leg shape of the quay means that it is deservedly living up to its reputation as the “crossed anchor” capital of the Ionian. The high winds of the last few days have made this even worse, as new arrivals drop their anchors upwind, increasing even further the number of anchors they cross, I think we had four over ours at one point – lucky we weren’t in a hurry to leave.

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The days developed into a simple routine, much the same as Sivota; wake, swim, walk the dog, swim, eat, hobbies (I read Mark does his stuff), cards & beer, eat, sleep.

013 - 2018 - Kioni - 009My new transport with room for Hudson too……

The sea is still a little “fresh”, a bit cooler than it was last year, but I still managed to have a couple of dips on the first day. Our early evening walk ended at the En Pol roof top bar which has the perfect view of the bay. Ideal for keeping an eye on the charter boats as they flood in to take the last spots. After supper and what was supposed to be a “quiet night”, we got chatting to our Canadian neighbours, Gary and Linda, who we invited on board and together had a very pleasant evening. Gary brought a bottle of single malt with him, so Mark was a happy bunny.

013 - 2018 - Kioni - 003On Monday we were expecting the charter boats to arrive, for some unknown reason they did not turn up. Our Canadian neighbours left in the morning, so we had the “joy” of waiting to see how much sailing experience our new neighbours would have … if any. All day, I have been looking forward to returning to the Avra restaurant on the water’s edge, for their fantastic Lamb and Pork Spit Roast. The restaurant is in the centre of the village on the water’s edge, overlooking the bay, you could smell the joints roasting all afternoon. Mark and I both had the pork spit roast with Greek roasted potatoes and salad, we were not disappointed, (although I don’t think the Greek roast potatoes go with not having a gall bladder).

013 - 2018 - Kioni - 007Over the next few days we had strong NW winds blowing on the beam, so anyone arriving or leaving has a challenging mooring. A Croatian boat coming in next to us messed up several times, bashed us on the front the third time, luckily there was no damage to either boat and then succeeded in parking on the fourth attempt. Apologies followed, together with an offer of a bottle of scotch for bashing our boat, which Mark amazingly declined, but it was nice of him to offer.

The wind continued to gust down the valley at 30 knots all the next day (Wednesday), so we decided to delay our departure one more day. On Thursday, Hudson and I tried to walk to the three disused windmills at the entrance to the bay, but we could not find the route to them, even after braving the goat path and several steep hills. 013 - 2018 - Kioni - 014So, for a change of scenery, the three of us did a 5k hike to the next village called Frikes, our timing was not great, it was very hot. Frikes is a very small village, not nearly as pretty as Kioni and more exposed to the winds blowing off the mountains, it seems to be popular with the Flotillas, I’m not sure why. The quay is small but no longer the rickety pontoon described in the pilot book. I was glad we went for a look, but it’s not a place we will visit in Hapatoni.013 - 2018 - Kioni - 011

 

With the Italians now starting to arrive en-masse, it is time to move south … however we once more delayed the move, because Kioni was having a festival with food, Greek dancing and lots of drinking in the centre of the village. The spit roasts were roasting in every restaurant all afternoon, extra chairs and tables were brought in and an additional bar was set up in the centre. The music and dancing got started about 10 pm and continued until 5am (so ear plugs were definitely a must). All the restaurants did a simple set menu of spit roast, chips and salad, with beer in a can and wine. The restaurants took advantage, putting up the price and the food was not of their usual standard, we were very disappointed. 013 - 2018 - Kioni - 012Read more

Relaxed in Sivota – 6th to 15th July 2018

Relaxed in Sivota – 6th to 15th July 2018

012 - 2018 - Sivota - 000It is hard to believe we have stayed in Sivota so long, when we first arrive we thought we would stay a few days do the washing, stock up, swim and watch the football at The Family Café, then head off south.012 - 2018 - Sivota - 001

Nine days later ……

We were lucky when we arrived, the pontoon outside Liovitri bar was available and so we tied up side on, safe as houses, with no need for an anchor for the charter boats to try and pull up. The first few afternoons we had some strong NW winds gusting through the bay, so the boats trying to moor up had a challenging time, but interesting to watch none the less. As usual several of those anchored in the centre of the bay lost their holding and started to drift as the wind strengthened but fortunately, no damage done.012 - 2018 - Sivota - 008

Mark was a bit concerned on day 2 as the winds were blowing all afternoon and we still did not have a neighbour on our port side and the football was due to start at 5pm – we do like to have someone parked both sides, then you can relax knowing no harm can come to your boat … such a dilemma. None the less, Mark left early for the Family Café to ensure a good table and Hudson and I followed at a more leisurely pace. The bar was full of English yachties, the atmosphere was great with lots of singing and chanting and surprise surprise, we won 2-1 against Sweden. So, Mark decided we now had to stay until after the semi-final against Croatia.012 - 2018 - Sivota - 004

When Wednesday 11th July came around, off we went once more, to The Family Café. It is the only place to watch England play (in English), again the bar was full. Mark had his spot reserved and we went early to have dinner first, Bernie and his wife Barbara from their yacht Ioannis joined us at our table.

Bernie is quite a character; he and his wife Barbara have been coming to Sivota for many years, he seems to know most of the residents of the village as well as all the regular yachties visiting. Bernie likes to help everyone with their mooring, whether they need it or not, admittedly some are in very dire need. He is very informative about the Ionian and always keen to offer advice or assistance to all ….  which is surprisingly & unusually, very useful.

The days passed in a tranquil blur. Christine and Peter (friends from Hamble) arrived on Thursday 12th July on their boat Ouija (I hope I have spelt that correctly). After they had settled in we joined them for a cup of tea and a brief catch up, as we were chatting away a yacht came into moor next to Ouija, Mark being the helpful person he is, went to help. Unfortunately, as this is only the second time Peter has deployed his paserelle, it does a bit of a back flip if you stand on the very end and on this occasion, it had also moved away from the shore. So, to everyone’ surprise, but to Peter and Christine’s horror the paserelle folded in half and Mark dropped into the water. Luckily no harm done other than an early wash for Mark. Peter then spent the afternoon fixing the issue before our return for happy hour later than evening.012 - 2018 - Sivota - 010

On Friday the four of us went to the 12 Gods for dinner, the best restaurant in Sivota for fresh fish, we love their Red Snapper and mixed vegetable side dish. The fish was grilled, very simple but delicious, washed down with too much of the local wine and finished off with a night cap at The Family Cafe on the way home, (not that we needed more), a very pleasant evening.

The next day Mark took Hudson for an early morning walk. Hudson now likes to paddle in the sea, he goes in freely but only up to his belly, great progress for a dog who does not like water … but it does help to cool him down.  Whilst on the beach, Mark came across a bizarre scene, a “boat” (not sure if that’s the right description) with four rather large half-dressed Swiss men on board. Being curious, Mark got talking to them and it seems they purchased their “boat” yesterday for their 2-week holiday in the Ionian. They slept onboard last night in sleeping bags on the deck, washed in the sea this morning and the rest they will make up as they go on. The question is, how far will it go, as it does look like one wave will send it to a very watery grave. Ignorance is bliss …..012 - 2018 - Sivota - 006

Christine and Peter decided to stay another night and join us for the final England football game at the Family Café on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, we lost, but I guess we exceeded all expectation, so no complaints from the boys – although there were some very noisy Belgiums in the bar who were determined to celebrate.

The next day, Christine and Peter went north while we went south. We’ll meet up again back in “sunny” Hamble in late September.  We finally left Sivota on the Sunday (15th July) and moved onto Kioni, as we very slowly head to the Peloponnese.… Read more

Lefkas – 4th to 6th July 2018

Lefkas – 4th to 6th July 2018

001 - 2018 - Lefkas - 001Reluctantly we returned south, sailing the 39 miles to Lefkas for Poleros to complete the final few repairs to Hapatoni. We left Gaios early at 7am so we could moor up on the town quay at Lefkas before the afternoon breeze made my stern mooring a challenge. None the less, the afternoon breeze had started to blow when we arrived, but even if I say so myself (self-praise I know – bad form) it was a pretty good stern mooring.

Two-weeks after my operation, Tim has had to be rushed to Lefkas hospital for his appendix to be removed following a few days of stomach pains. He said the hospital surgeons and staff were excellent but the hospital itself was a bit run down and the food was like school dinners. Tim is now recovering on his boat but will be out of action for a few weeks.

We settled in opposite the Margareta bar and restaurant, Mark notified Robert at Poleros where we were parked, so he could start work on the final bits that needed doing.

Hudson and I left early the next morning, with the objective of staying out the way and having a very long walk, which ended up as two and a half hours. We did our usual route up to the Lefkas swing bridge, round the lake, through the town, picking up some bread and a new basil plant (they always seem to die on me). We then stopped in to see how Tim was doing and drop of a copy of Chapter 1 of Mark’s book for Tim’s to read and review whilst he is resting. Then finished off with a hot walk to the boat yard to see Alice and how she was getting on, antifouling her boat.

Hot and bothered we returned to Hapatoni, to find most of the jobs completed by Poleros, although a couple of small jobs still left but not important enough to keep us in Lefkas. Everything surprisingly went to plan and even more surprisingly on-time.

So, with the boat sorted we went to visit Tim and Tina on Shiraz, who are now almost permanently based out of Lefkas on the town quay, whilst Tim is getting work. We had planned to leave as soon as the work was done, but we agreed to join Tim, Tina and Alice for supper at the “Coloured Chairs” taverna as it would be the last time we would see them now until we returned north early in September to pick up my parents.… Read more

Gaios on the Island of Paxos – 2nd to 4th July 2018

Gaios on the Island of Paxos – 2nd to 4th July 2018

010 - 2018 - Gaios - 000Timing is everything in getting the perfect spot in Gaios. We like to moor up just off the main square but out of the reach of the tripper boats anchors, a nice quiet spot in the evening but still lots to see. Luck was on our side and our usual space was free, in fact the town quay was quite empty for 10.30 am, but we were not ones to complain.

Despite our best laid plans however, one of the tripper boats did pull our anchor up and then dragged it across a neighbour’s anchor. We had to go out and reset ours, trying not to disturb our neighbours too much. I don’t think we succeeded, so we informed them and let them decide if they were going to do the same as us. They didn’t, lucky there was no wind that night.

010 - 2018 - Gaios - 004The Pilot book describes Gaios as chaos in the summer and in July and August it is, with the tripper and ferry boats from Corfu taking up a large section of the quay from 10:00 to 16:30. After that time their reserved spaces are available for yachts and motor boats to fight over. And with the Italians starting to arrive in large numbers, that is exactly what they do. Chaos!

Anchors get crossed on a regular basis and many an angry word is shouted across the bow of a boat, most are polite, but quite a few are also unprintable. As long as they stay away from our anchor, we are happy to be entertained by the antics.

The contrast to the early part of the season is amazing, when Gaios is a relaxing peaceful little village, but even now with all the activity and frantic boat movements, it still has an undefinable charm.

010 - 2018 - Gaios - 005Today is domestic day, getting the washing and shopping done and a visit to the best butcher for a 100 miles, which is quite close by. Night one, we planned to leave Hudson at home and eat at Taverna Taka Taka where they have their mouth-watering,  deliciously juicy, heavenly flavoursome pork spit roast.

010 - 2018 - Gaios - 002Mark is back into his hobbies, learning French, playing the guitar and doing his yoga on the front of the boat. To this he has added writing a book “The Legacy of Cato”, which seems to be taking over all waking moments. If you are the only person on planet Earth that has not heard that Mark is writing a book, then I won’t spoil the story line and you can place your orders for a volume later in the year.

Night two was football, so most of the English yachties headed to the Blue Lagoon bar just down from us to watch the game, although the commentary was in Greek, the atmosphere was tense as the game went into penalties, with England finally victorious. With England through to the next stage we retired for the night, ready for our early start tomorrow morning to Lefkas.

010 - 2018 - Gaios - 001Read more

Lakka on the Island of Paxos – 30th June to 2nd July 2018

Lakka on the Island of Paxos – 30th June to 2nd July 2018

009 - 2018 - Lakka - 001Lakka is on the northernmost tip of the Island of Paxos, 46 miles north of Preveza. We had hoped to sail there, but as we started the journey at 7:00 am, there was surprise surprise, no wind. As the day progressed it did build to a respectable afternoon breeze of 20 knots, but unfortunately it was on the nose, so to Mark’s disappointment, no white flappy things were unfurled.

The island of Paxos is 7 miles south of Corfu and is only 5 miles long by 2.5 miles wide. It has a tiny permanent population of 2,000, but this dramatically increases during the summer as the number of tripper boats and ferries flood in from Corfu, carrying thousands of tourists daily, to visit the pretty little bay of Lakka and the main town of Gaios.

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We had heard that Lakka was busy with yachts from a friend of ours, David, who had just been there. We keep bumping into David, first meeting him and his partner Moira in Corsica several years ago. He compared it to an “NCP carpark”. Paxos is best visited in May or early June, when it is quiet, but as that didn’t happen this year, I am still keen to visit this gorgeous island.

On the positive side we timed our arrival at the weekend when the Charter boats are back in their home ports on Corfu. We were lucky, no NCP carpark yet, we found our spot and with calm weather, dropped our anchor and long-lined ashore.  As soon as the ropes were secure, Mark jumped in for a swim and I slowly lowered myself down the ladder (wimp I know, but surprisingly the water was a little chilly). As we planned to stay for a couple of days Mark blew up my floating armchair, together with its built-in beer holder, so I could top up my tan.

As we were sitting on the back of the boat relaxing, we were interrupted by a tender popping its nose around the back and amazingly it was our good friends, Christine and Peter from Hamble. They had seen our Royal Southern Club burgee and were keen to say hello to fellow members. I think they were as surprised as we were. Hudson greeted them with barks of joy and after a quick hello we agreed to meet for dinner later that evening and catch up.

009 - 2018 - Lakka - 003At 6.30pm our convoy of dinghies with Hudson at the bow, motored to shore and tied up outside the Harbour Lights bar which has the best view out over the bay. G&T’s swiftly followed as we caught up on our sailing adventures so far this season. For dinner, we took Christine and Peter to our favourite little fish restaurant called Arriva, on the town quay on the southern edge of the village.

Several weeks ago, Christine’s mum had been taken quite seriously ill, or so they thought, so they had to return home for 2-weeks. Luckily, she recovered quickly and they have been able to come back and continue their travels. It was really lovely to see Christine and Peter, so we agreed to meet again, tomorrow afternoon on Hapatoni.

009 - 2018 - Lakka - 004Sunday 1st July – Firstly and most importantly – Happy Birthday to our beautiful daughter in-law Laura, who was away enjoying a family birthday in Paris.

Our day started with fresh orange juice squeezed with our new juicer as our last one was totally useless, you had to peel the oranges before you could squeeze them, so took too much effort and after one attempt Mark threw it in the bin.

Before the weather got too hot we took Hudson exploring to the right side of the bay. We walked along the beach then took a short cut through the beach hotel grounds to the top road (dirt track would be a better description) and what a mistake, it nearly killed us, by the time we reached the top we were all panting and dripping, the road was a so steep, at least 40 degrees.

009 - 2018 - Lakka - 005Peter and Christine were also in an energetic mood, but after an exhausting up and down 5 mile walk to Gaios, (they sensibly decided on a taxi for the return leg). After a quick dip, they joined us on Hapatoni to review our recommendations for the “prettiest places to visit” in the Ionian. We chatted for so long a cup of tea turned into happy hour with a few beers.  We all retired to our own boats for supper and the next day both moved on, Christine and Peter to Preveza then on into the Ionian inner sea and us the short distance to Gaios, the main town on Paxos.… Read more

Farewell Chris and Mary – Preveza 28th – 30th June 2018

Farewell Chris and Mary – Preveza 28th – 30th June 2018

003 - 2018 - Preveza - 011We set off at 9am to motor the 24 miles to Preveza. En-route we passed Lefkas, arriving in time to go through the 11am swing bridge. As we left the canal outside Lefkas, the sea state annoyingly changed, we had a 2-3 metre swell and 15 knots of wind on the nose, so it was rock and roll all the way. We moored up on Preveza town quay, trying to avoid the noisy bars, but failed dismally and ended up outside the newest and most popular (and noisy) bar in town. It was packed at lunch-time, what was this evening going to be like?

Chris and Mary rushed off shopping to buy gifts for their kids before siesta time and Mary requested a BBQ for their last night, as they had so enjoyed our BBQ meals during the week. So, we had the “must have” Greek sausages, homemade chicken kebabs, with jacket potato, Greek salad and corn on the cob from the local street venders who had set up shop just outside the boat. A delicious meal and great way to end Chris and Mary’s week. They left us at 10am on the Friday, ready for their 12.30pm flight back to England. Unfortunately, their flight was delayed and then to top it all, they had terrible traffic jams on the M25 getting home.
We had a fabulous week with Chris and Mary, although possibly too much alcohol (especially Ouzo… if that’s possible). The weather was not at its best for this time of year, but we worked around it and hope they will make their visit to Hapatoni an annual event.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark and I stayed an extra day in Preveza to re-provision and freshen up the boat. The next day we planned to sail north to the Island of Paxos and anchor in the bay of Lakka, spending a few days on the Island.… Read more

Spartakhori – 27th June 2018

Spartakhori – 27th June 2018

008 - 2018 - Spartakhori - 001No matter what the weather, we decided that we were moving on to pastures new today (Wednesday 27th June). However, we did decide to tweak the destination because of the generally unsettled weather in the area over the next two days. We were keen not to have too long a sail back to Preveza, when we took Chris and Mary back to the airport on Thursday, if the weather was bad. We finalised our plans early and called the infamous Babis at Spartakhori to book a space and set off the short distance of 9 miles to the Island of Meganisi. Everyone needs to experience Babis once in their lifetime, he is a legend in the Ionian. He runs this part of the Island as though he owns it all and will tell you in no uncertain terms how to park, even if you have been doing it for the last 30 years.

Spartakhori is a large bay on the NW of Meganisi, it is an enchanting spot with deep cobalt blue water and steep slopes covered with the obligatory pine and olive trees. The actual village is perched high up the steep hill overlooking the bay, looking north to the Islands of the “Inland Sea” and west to the mountains on mainland Greece.  The view is fabulous and well worth the steamy walk up to the village.

008 - 2018 - Spartakhori - 003We secured our position and Chris and Mary disappeared very quickly, swimmies in hand, to the beach on the other side of the bay. It’s a really lovely spot with only a few other tourists enjoying the palm thatched beach bar, relaxing full-length bean bag loungers and hammocks suspended on old rusty poles just of the shore line.  Mark and I walked Hudson down to join Chris and Mary for a cool drink, then left them to an afternoon relaxing and returned to Hapatoni. We were lucky with the weather, the sun performed for most of the day.

008 - 2018 - Spartakhori - 002In the late afternoon we walked (slowly, it was quite hot) up the slope to the Village through the pine woods to admire the view and explore the warren of alleys and lanes separating the houses that looked quite old … but it could be just the way stuff is built here in Greece. Business is obviously improving as there were more taverna’s and two more little touristy (tat shops as Mark calls them), plus a mini supermarket. We finished off our walk around the village (only takes about 6 mins) with, you guessed it, a cold beer, admiring the amazing view.

Babis’s taverna was busy and unfortunately, supper was a little bit of a disappointment, as it seems you can now reserve your food in the morning, resulting in all the pre-cooked dishes like Moussaka, Stuffed Peppers, the lovely mixed vegetables and many others had sold out. That left mainly the meat, none the less, we all found something to enjoy.

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 … Read more

Sivota 24th – 27th June 2018

Sivota 24th – 27th June 2018

007 - 2018 - Sivota - 001Over night at our anchorage was incredibly quiet and still, the water as flat as a mill pond, even the crickets had retired early. The only disruption to an otherwise tranquil setting was Mark and Chris singing and playing the guitar. Marks attempt to sing sounded like the usual, out of tune herd of cats while Chris and Mary had a somewhat more melodic tone.

We set off at 9:00am on Sunday, keen to get a good spot in Sivota especially as some winds were forecast in the area for Sunday evening and the guys were keen to have a good seat in the Family Café, to watch the football at 3pm, England were playing Panama.

We weren’t sure how strong the winds were going to be, so we took the safe option and moored up on Stavros’s pontoon, with the security of a lazy line. Following a leisurely lunch on-board, Mark and Chris headed of to the Family Café run by Yanna and her family, to reserve a good table to watch the match. Mary followed shortly behind and I took advantage of the quiet time to have an afternoon nap, joining the gang late in the afternoon after they had already consumed a large number of beers … they didn’t waste any time!!.

The guys had struck up some banter with the crew of the boat two down from us on the pontoon. Mark had helped Steve the skipper earlier with some bolts that he needed for his paserelle.  Steve was so surprised that someone had volunteered to help him, that he promised to carve Mark a three legged turtle made from different coloured bone as a thank you. If you are one of the “rare” people that has not heard Mark’s “I got bitten by a three legged turtle” story, then I’m sure he will be happy to tell you it … I’m not, because everyone else in the world apart from you has heard it.

As the evening progressed Yanna’s Gin and Tonic’s were ordered, with a very weak one for me I might add. The others, on the other hand, got full on, undiluted, brain damaging, 99% gin and a drop of tonic – a Yanna special. At 8:00pm we went to Stavros’s for supper, Mark decided that he should investigate both sides of the pavement, as he zigzagged his way to the restaurant and the pontoon on the way back to the boat.

The strong winds forecast for Sunday never developed, but some weather (winds and possible rain) were still forecast for late on Monday afternoon, so we decided to stay another night in Sivota. In the morning, we moved off Stavros’s pontoon up to the entrance of the bay, near Leonardo’s bar (as I call it, I can never remember it’s actual name). We found a good spot, side-on to one of the pontoons which is safe as houses.  No wind was going to touch us here and there was also no need for an anchor that some first time sailor in a rented boat could “accidentally” pull up. It was very busy, there was also a large number of boats at anchor in the centre of the bay, if the winds did develop the centre becomes like a washing machine, very entertaining for everyone except the owners of those boats.

007 - 2018 - Sivota - 005 Monday was relax day. Chris and Mary took Hudson for a “long” walk but got waylaid on the way back at The Family Café (…. again, becoming a  bit of a habit I think), forcing down a cold beer or two and a disgustingly large waffle covered in a mountain of cream, topped off with a whole load of other extra’s.
In the late afternoon, out of the blue, we from no wind to a strong 35 knot southerly, coming down the entrance of the bay. As I said, Hapatoni was very secure, but our neighbours, the three boats on the opposite side of the pontoon, who were on anchor, had to put their engines on to keep themselves from bashing their bums on the pontoon, but no major issue. The only real drama was the Italian boat (what a surprise that it was Italian, she says sarcastically) moored at the end of the pontoon, taking the wind full on his starboard side, had not put enough anchor chain out, so their it dragged and the port side of their boat started to move rapidly towards the front of our boat and in particular towards our anchor … our anchor would have come off way better than the side of their boat. They were so slow at dropping their mooring lines that Mark was dashing forward, knife in hand to cut them to avoid serious damage to their boat. Fortunately, they released them just in the nick of time. A few boats predictably dragged their anchors in the centre with lots of shouting and people running around fending of other boats, all very interesting for Chris and Mary to watch. With the evening calming again, we settled down to our second BBQ and a few beers, fortunately for the neighbours, there was no singing tonight.

007 - 2018 - Sivota - 003Our plan was to move the next day to Kioni, however the weather still had other ideas, heavy rain was forecast. We decided to stay where we were as (1) We had a good safe mooring, (2) With the heavy rain not many boats would be moving, so space on the Kioni town quay would be limited and (3) Sivota has several nice bars (as Chris and Mary had discovered) and shops to while away a few hours in.

It rained on and off all day, some very heavy rain showers but no thunder or wind. Chris and Mary ducked out during one of these rain showers and surprise surprise, got stuck In the Family café again during a long heavy down poor, couldn’t move for hours, the poor souls. We finished our stay in Sivota having dinner at the Family café for one final time this visist, it seemed a most appropriate end to our visit.… Read more

Meganisi – 23rd June 2018

Meganisi – 23rd June 2018

006 - 2018 - Menganisi - 001We up anchored at Vlikho at a very leisurely 11:00 am, Chris and Mary deserved a lie in after a very early flight the previous day, to get to us. We thought they may be tired, so we deliberately planned a short trip to Meganisi on day 2 of their visit, just 8 miles north east of us. En-route we passed the Island of Skorpios, the long-time retreat of the late Jackie Onassis. It is now owned by a Russian billionairess, Ekaterina Rybolovleva who bought the Island in 2013 and parks her three storey, 250 ft plus “super yacht” in one of the bays – I don’t think it ever moves.

From ancient times right up to the 20th century, Meganisi has been the ideal pirate hangout, with its many sheltered anchorages in its indented coves and bays in the north. Our plan was to long line in one of those sheltered bays called Abelike, opposite a small sandy beach which we like to think of as our own personal territory. To our delight, as we came into park, our space and our beach was empty. So, it’s me at the helm (no physical exertion), Chris on the anchor and Mark instructing. Mark then jumps in the dinghy and rows to shore to attach the long lines to a rock, which Mary then pulls in. It all works like clockwork and Chris and Mary enjoyed being active participates.

006 - 2018 - Menganisi - 002The water here is a stunning turquoise colour, so clear you can easily see to the bottom and the few small fish swimming around. We spent the afternoon relaxing and swimming, Mark blew up my floating armchair with its beer holder, which Chris hijacked and floated away the afternoon being fed with cool refreshing beers.

006 - 2018 - Menganisi - 004In the late afternoon we took the dinghy to the main beach a short ride away and walked over the steep hill into Little Vathi, a small fishing village set around the town quay, filled with taverna’s and a few charming little gift shops, in which both Chris and Mary found something to buy. It was still very hot, so we obviously needed to stop for an ice cold beer in the village before picking up a few supplies for the bbq tonight and ouzo for Chris and Mark.

We had originally planned to bbq on the little beach but as it was in the shade, so Mark decided to bbq on board instead. The Cobb bbq’s housing does not get hot, so it took centre stage on the cockpit table. We had a delicious bbq of homemade chicken kebabs, the traditional Greek sausages, Deb’s special spicy potato salad and the customary Greek salad and dips, a feast. We were so impressed with the bbq, we planned to have another in Sivota, our next stop.… Read more