This has been the most amazing summer in Greece. Never have we had such continuous fine weather. Day after day of warm sun with a little breeze in the afternoon and quiet, still nights. We’ve spent most at anchor in bays, some solitary and some, such as Lakka on the island of Paxos, full of at least 50 boats. Although sheltered it’s very shallow there, we anchor in 1.5m under the keel, and I dread to think what it must be like if there is a strong blow.
A night in Lefkas to put the new washing machine into action. Couldn’t get into our favourite tuna taverna so walked along to the end of the pier and found a taverna serving nearly as good tuna and sardines. Next to us was a stage enclosed within the museum walls where began a production. We were fascinated and slipped inside, although there was a full house, and discovered they were performing Aeschylus – Prometheus Bound in ancient Greek. It was very polished and professional. A bit like having the Royal Shakespeare Company performing off the pier at Southend.
As a change from our favourite Goat Bay we anchored in the next bay at the top of Pogoina Bay on the mainland, a long beach along this wide bay, lots of room and good holding in sand, although Julie hadn’t found her turquoise water. We spent two nights, eating at Spiro’s taverna as the food was so good. On Sunday there was heavy music from the shore, but Monday was very peaceful.
We then put into the little harbour of Palairos, a slightly rickety jetty but the fee was only 10 Euros plus 5 for electricity and water. As well as the innumerable Greek restaurants on the harbourfront we had been told there was an excellent Bangladshi one which was highly recommended, so instead of our regular moussaka and calamari we had chicken madras and beef dopiaza, although we asked for the madras to be hot, we should have asked for Vindaloo. Eating curry with the water lapping beside you was a treat.
After a roly night in beautiful Woods Bay on Kalamos, we returned to our base in Lefkas to collect our son
Edward and his wife Charmaine who were joining us for a week. Their first day out we had a grand sail south to the island of Ithaca and returned to Aeton Bay, deep in the heart of the island with the clearest water and a sandy bottom, it is perfect. We could hardly understand why we were almost the only boat anchored there.
During the night there was short squall, and we thought a towel might have gone overboard. There was a flat shape on the seabed and Edward dived down to retrieve it only to discover it was a sheet of black plastic. He shook it out, brought it on board and bagged it for disposal. We were all swimming when Julie let out a scream as an octopus crawled out of the bag and headed along the cockpit towards the saloon. Edward quickly grabbed the fishing net we have for retrieving things that fall overboard and scooped the creature up before transferring it again to the ocean. Perhaps it should have gone on the barbecue.
A storm in Ithaca town cleared in time for us to dinghy ashore and enjoy what we could have caught!
We couldn’t miss sharing a night at anchor in Goat Bay with Ed and Char especially as in high summer there is a beach bar with varying volumes of “duff duff” music, which they assured us was from the 90’s. They swam ashore to savour the atmosphere. The brisk NW afternoon breeze dropped for a perfect full mooned night.
We then made our way north towards Corfu, stopping for two nights in the charming but exceedingly popular Lakka, on the north eastern tip of Paxos. It is hard to find a place to anchor which is not too close to other boats and when you find a spot you are then watching out that someone else doesn’t park too close to you. A bit of anchor rage at times.
From Lakka, we motored 31nm to the huge marina on the island of Corfu at Gouvia where after midnight Terry’s nephew Duncan, wife Nayeli and children Toren and Isla arrived. This is the first time we have had eight on board, luckily the early evening violent storm cleared and the children slept very happily in the cockpit.
Our gentle sail towards Porto Mandraki, a delightful marina at the foot of the fort at Corfu, was threatened by a fast developing black cloud in the north moving quickly towards us so sails down and a very quick entry to our safe harbour. Fortunately, there’s a stony beach which the children loved and reportedly the best taverna in town where we had a delightful family meal.
It’s always a bit sad leaving Mandraki marina but motored to Ipsos bay, north of Corfu town for a swim and lunch on board and were delighted to see a pod of dolphins playing around the boat. The first we have seen this year.
We spent two more nights at anchor with the Mexican family before they left us in a small marina at Benitses south of Corfu so they could explore the town.
From there after a night at anchor in the far south of the island we motor sailed back to base in Lefkas as some rather windy weather is forecast for the next few days. Arriving for the 4pm bridge opening in 20 knots NW on a Friday was a nightmare. At least 30 boats negotiated the channel at snails pace, then caused a bottle neck at the entrance of the marina, waiting to fill up with fuel at the end of their charter. It was chaotic, so we slipped past and anchored at the south end of the channel in good holding and had a quiet night before returning to G25 to clean inside and out and do eight loads of washing!!