We left Exotica in her berth in Lefkas Marina on July 24th. Julie, with her Australian passport, is only allowed ninety days in a one hundred and eighty period in the Schengen area, so we returned to England for the month of August. We also hoped to avoid the particularly hot weather and the crowds of Italians, Germans and French who all take their holidays at the same time and swamp the Ionian Sea.
We made good use of our time visiting friends in the south of England who took us to the church we were married in nearly 40 years ago. It is exactly the same as it was then, but since it is a Norman construction, what is 40 years?
We stayed in Richmond and went to a Prom and an opera at Holland Park. We watched polo at the Ham Polo Club as guests of our friend James.
Then to Marlborough College, Terry’s old school, where we spent a week at the Summer School there. We both joined the singing class. In the morning we sang ‘The Armed Man’ – a modern mass in traditional musical style and in the afternoon Music for Pleasure, to Terry’s horror, it was jazz, Elton John, the Lion King and Danny Boy! He wanted to quit after the first session and do ‘Liberal Democracy Since the War’ but Julie suggested he use this opportunity to do something completely alien to him and swing with the rest of the group, and he did!
Then to the Edinburgh Festival where we had concerts and more opera. The weather in Scotland was dire, cold and wet so we really did escape the heat of the Mediterranean.
Back to Buckinghamshire and Terry’s sister Margaret who had all her family at home including those who live in Mexico, so it was a great reunion. Here we watched Terry’s niece’s husband play cricket at Blenheim Palace on a perfect sunny day.
Two glorious days at Glyndebourne where it was at its very best. Splendid opera productions of The Magic Flute and Rinaldo, magnificent weather and great company made these truly memorable occasions. Just about the most civilised place in the world.
Filling in time before the afternoon Glyndebourne performance, a visit to the seaside, British style.
We always look forward to time with our dear friends in Brede, East Sussex. We all travelled up to London for the theatre, bought Cob nuts, Kent version of hazelnuts, in the local farmers market and a day in Rye.
A last summers evening with the Jones clan.
On Wednesday August 24th. we met our friends Deborah, Bruce and James at Heathrow and took the flight to Preveza and re-joined Exotica in Lefkas. We were pleased to see that the work on the boat that we had organised with a company at the Marina had been done satisfactorily in marked contradistinction to the over-winter boatyard whose workmanship was universally dreadful.
We were thus able to set off the next day and motored to Goat Bay, one of our favourites, to anchor overnight. The water is clear and warm and just perfect for a late night swim.
The next day we had a grand sail to the island of Kalamos and anchored again for the night.
The weather was perfect as we motored out of Spartachori north towards Lefkas and the canal to the north. Suddenly there was a loud bang and the boat shook violently. Two more bangs and then silence. We had hit a rock right in the middle of open water. Looking more closely, it was well marked on the chart but there is no navigational marker which really is pretty bad. We called into Lefkas and had a diver go down and inspect the damage as well as an engineer to have a look at the keel bolts but Exotica is built very soundly and there was no significant damage except to our amour propre.
We continued north the same day and after 33nm we anchored in Mongonisis at the south east tip of Paxos. A small bay popular with flotillas who line the shallow village wall.
Antipaxos has a famous bay of emerald water, Agrapidia, visited daily by hordes of tourist boats with one hour slots to allow their 200 passengers to swim in the idyllic sea. There is enough room for sailing boats as well, but the day was overcast and not at it’s best so we anchored for lunch then motored to our favourite Paxos anchorage at Lakka.
There are always many boats here but somehow everyone manages to fit in. We took the dinghy across to the town which is charming in a touristy way. The ladies discovered some very fine dress shops, serious retail therapy.
We dropped our guests off in the picturesque marina Mandraki under the walls of the castle at Corfu Town. By no means the world’s best marina where the electricity was dodgy, the wi-fi unreliable and the fresh tap water, with which Terry filled the tanks, distinctly brown. He had to empty the tanks completely, flush and refill at next marina to get clean water. Worst of all our washing machine packed up….tragic. Nonetheless it was a pretty place and had a surprisingly excellent taverna.
Two days later Anna and Tim joined us in Corfu for the return journey to Lefkas and the end of our seventh season. We are currently back in Lakka, which is even busier with yachts but still just as beautiful.