Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Malta To Corfu 10 - 16 June 2015


Getting Ready To Leave Malta.

       Waiting a few extra days for the engine parts meant we could monitor the ‘Greek’ situation.   At the Embassy they were obviously sure they were staying in the EU and the two flags flew side by side all the time we were there. All the Embassy's along this strip were housed in lovely old mansions with flowering shrubs and trees at their best. “Whitehall” was the British Embassy plus several other countries all sharing the imposing property.  We met a lovely Maltese couple, John and Lorraine with whom we were able to enjoy a final meal in The Garam Masala mixed spices restaurant. We also bought a wonderful rich fruit cake from Buzy Bee for the long trip, a must for any sailor!!
Greek Embassy Still Flying The EU Flag!
The Vibrant Colour Around The Old Buildings.
Engine Fixed.

       Eventually the new pipe for the sea water cooling system arrived and Guy squeezed himself back into the engine room to replace the damaged one. As you can see he was delighted with the replacement and very soon we were running the engine with no leak from the salt water sea cock. We were then preparing to leave Msida Creek after one last night at the Yacht Club. Guy very pleased with himself had certainly earned that cold Maltese beer. We will certainly be back in Malta, it is a most delightful place.
Nothing Like A Visit To The Royal Malta Yacht Club!
Cisk, Great Maltese Beer.
Job Done At Last. Guy All Smiles.
Off To Greece.

       Having delayed by almost a week we slipped our lines at 0530 hrs on the 10th June and motored out towards the sunrise as a huge cruise ship slipped it’s way into Grand Harbour. We were embarking on our next stage of the summer cruise heading for Greece.
Sunrise Departure From Malta.

The Trip To Greece Via  Syracuse, Sicily, Italy.

      With next to no wind we motored north east over an empty sea. Sunbathing was the order of the day taking turns on the dingy on the foredeck. It was lovely to be out at sea again. After approximately 9hrs we had views of Sicily and with a little ship spotting to keep us entertained we rounded the SE corner and started heading up towards Syracuse. At 1530  hrs, we had enough wind to push us on our way without the engine at last! Not for long, an hour later and we furled the Genoa and lowered the mainsail to proceeded along the coast by engine power. We came in to view Syracuse from the sea and anchored in the large southern bay at 2000hrs after a day doing 91nm. We could see many of the landmarks we had seen on our trip with Zoe and Tom in May.  Evening sunshine gave the city a golden glow but we were early for bed and ready for the off again at 0530 to make the crossing to Greece.
Rounding South East Corner Of Sicily.
Arriving At Syracuse
Syracuse Fort
Syracuse From Our Anchorage.
Guy Trying To Get The Weather Report.
Italy To Greece.

       We raised the anchor at sunrise and quietly left the other boats back in the bay. A little wind began to rise and at 0700 we raised the Mainsail and Genoa and a very happy Guy trimmed the sails. By 0900 we saw a hazy Mount Etna above the clouds and with a small wind we furled the Genoa away and then unfurled the colourful Cruising Chute. What a lovely sight and feeling as we sailed away from Italian waters. An hour or so later we were visited by dolphins who appreciated our leisurely progress through the water. The Cruising Chute was in and out several times during the day with interludes of engine power until 1900. Ginny then cooked supper in the Thermal Pot and left it to cook itself as we moved from day to night watch keeping of 2 hour shifts. Guy saw shooting stars and at 0300 a slice of melon moon rising and later at 0525 with Ginny on watch, a very rapid red sun rose out of the sea.
Cruising Chute Is Up. Whizzing Along.
Dolphins Again.
Main And Cruising Chute Up.
Das Ki Jai!
Sunset Off The Heel Of Italy.

Day 2 Of The Crossing.

      The second day out , 11th June was absolutely windless. Flat deep blue glass like seas and a clear blue sky meant a long day on the metal Genoa (engine) heading north east only interrupted every few hours for refreshing swims in the middle of the ocean with depths of 2000m underneath us and watches spent on the foredeck. This was followed by another quiet evening of 2 hour watches avoiding  few ships.
Another Hard Day In The Office.
Ginny On Watch.
Swim Time.
This Is Loveeeeelyyyyy.
Greek Fog On Arrival At Dawn.
N. Othoni Island Appears Out Of The Fog.
Arrival In Greece, North Othoni Island. 13 June 2015.

        Kisti Two arrived off north Greece in the early hours of the morning of 13 June in thick fog with only 20m visibility. This should not happen in Greece!! However once we looked at the pilot book, we discovered this is normal at the North West end of Corfu Island. We slowly motored towards Ormos (Bay) Ammou of North Othoni Island and dropped the anchor. It had taken us 50 hours to complete the 284nm crossing from Sicily across to Greece below the heel of Italy. After 2 years, we had arrived at Greece. Awesome. We enjoyed a day resting and swimming at the anchorage with a short visit into the town. The water was just wonderful, cool and so clean. 
N. Othoni Anchorage View.
Monster Omelette's
Greece At Last. Smile Says It All.
N. Othoni Island.
Sailing Around The Islands North Of Corfu.

      On Sunday 14 June, we pulled up anchor and spent the day motoring and sailing around the islands off north Corfu notably N Mathraki and finally anchoring off N Erikoussa Island.
White Cliffs Off North Corfu.
N. Erikoussa Island Anchorage.
Sailing Round North East Of Corfu Island To Kalami Bay.

      We upped anchor again on Monday and sailed along the north coast of Corfu exploring all the bays and potential anchorages. The white cliffs were a reminder of the Jurassic Coastline in Dorset. Kassiopi, with its Castle from Hellenic times, was used as a base by the Norman fleet under Robert Guiscard in the 11th century until destroyed by the Venetians; looked like a place to stop but the anchorage was  so small and crowded, we decided to head on round the North East corner. We passed another Bay, Ay Stephanos which looked stunning but again too small so headed round the corner into Kalami Bay. It looked fantastic with tavernas on the beach. This was it, we had really arrived in Greece now. 

Sailing Round N. Mathraki Island.
North Corfu.
Kassiopi Harbour.
Stefanos Coast.

Kalami Bay And The Whitehouse Restaurant.

       We dropped the anchor just of The White House Restaurant,  a house that had previously been owned by Lawrence Durrel, the famous author and brother of Gerald Durrel, the naturalist. It was a stunning bay, with a small group of Tavernas and beach bars. We stayed a couple of nights and enjoyed a most delicious meal in the White House Restaurant. We had arrived!!
The Last Of Busy Bee's Rich Fruit Cake.
Kisti Two Anchored In Kalami Bay.
Dinner At The White House Restaurant.
The White House Restaurant.
Kisti Two With The White House Restaurant.
Kalami Bay.
Kisti Two In Kalami Bay.