Sunday, 13 September 2015

Chillaxing And Visit From Jon Eaves. 24th August - 13th September.

Departing Vliho (Flea Pit Or Swamp). 25 August.

   We stayed an extra night in Vliho Bay and took the opportunity to join John & Lynne from Tumbleweed and cross over the bay to Geni by dinghy and enjoy an excellent Greek Dish of Kleftico (Lamb Shanks oven baked). It was a wonderful meal in a glorious setting. The next morning we departed early leaving Tumbleweed all calm and serene floating on the mirror flat water.

Supper With John And Lynne, Geni, Vliho Bay.
Guy And John Tucking Into Kleftico, Lamb Shanks!
Tumbleweed Anchored In Vliho.
Leaving Calm Vliho Bay.

Meganisi. 25 - 28 August.

    It was a short trip to Meganisi Island where we arrived early to find an excellent spot in Abelike Bay to drop the anchor and reverse to the shore where we could tie up safely to a tree and some rocks. We decided to spend 3 nights here and have a good rest as we had been on the move all summer. Apart from the usual swimming, reading and relaxing, we took the opportunity to walk over the hill to the next bay and pay a visit to Vathi on a couple of occasions for lunch and an evening meal. It is a lovely spot with a laid back atmosphere and just the place to enjoy a slow pint or two!

Sailing In The Ionian.
Anchored And Tied Back To Rocks, Abelike Bay.
Guy On Holiday, Beer After The Walk Over To Vathi.
Where Is Shirley Valentine?

Port Leone. 28 - 31 August.

   The next 3 nights were to be spent in Port Leone on Kalamos Island. This town was ruined in the 1953 earthquake which stopped the water supply from flowing so has never been re-inhabited. The church has however been restored but the ruined settlement and mills are all in much the same state as 1953. It was a wonderful bay to relax again for 3 nights where we enjoyed excellent viewings of the ‘Super Moon’. It is not an easy place to anchor or tie up so enjoyed ourselves watching various charter boats make the simple job of anchoring look very complex. The water is lovely and clear with an abundance of fish, a bit like living in an aquarium when underwater with snorkel and mask.

Tied To Shore At Port Leone.
Local Fishing Boat Anchored Below Ruined Village.
Port Leone Bay From Above The Village.
The Church At Port Leone.
Kisti Two Through The Window Of One Of The Ruined Houses.
"Super" Moon Rising Over Ruined Windmills.
Anchor Ball And "Super" Moon.
Ginny Moon Bathing!
Port Leone Aquarium.
Leaving Port Leone.
Preveza. 31 August - 2 September.

     Fully re-charged we departed Port Leone and headed back to Preveza to get ready for our friend’s arrival. We had an interesting trip up the Levkas Canal where Guy had to hold Kisti Two fairly static in the canal for about 15 minutes in F6 winds across the bow made harder by other less experienced skippers moving around at speed. Such fun. We anchored off Preveza the first night then refuelled in Cleopatra Marina before going across to Preveza Marina for a night to water up and shop. Preveza slowly grows on you the more time you spend wandering the back streets. Jon Eaves arrived at about mid-day 2 Sep, so we immediately cast off to use the wind to sail to Parga.

Papa Nicolis Cave With Tripper Boat Emerging!
Preveza Waterfront.

Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay. 2 September.

      We were enjoying a thoroughly good sail towards Parga when about 5 nm off, Guy heard a worried voice on the VHF radio from the saloon. He switched on the cockpit speaker and heard someone asking for a position. The yacht skipper replied that he was on yacht Eva, sinking, evacuating the yacht and was about 4 nm NE off an island called Antipaxos. A quick look at the chart revealed the position as being a good 10 nm from Kisti Two. Nothing further was heard while we scanned the horizon with our binos. Guy then sent out a ‘Mayday Relay’ while Ginny spotted a yacht on the horizon bare poled (strange) and not moving. After relaying the Mayday call to the coastguard, we decided to go to the bare poled yacht and just check all was well despite it being in a position 4 nm SE of Anti-Paxos. We dropped sails quickly and under engine motored at 7 knots towards the yacht about 3 nm away. As we approached Jon spotted an object about 400m metres from the yacht which we turned to. We soon had 4 relieved extra passengers on board, 2 adults and 2 children rescued from a small dinghy in swim suits. We informed the coastguard that all passengers were safe. He then told us the charter owner was on his way in a rib having being alerted by Falmouth Coastguard as the skipper had switched on his EPIRB, a satellite mayday alert system. We stayed to monitor the boat which was clearly bobbing around badly in the swell but did not look like it would sink. Bob the owner arrived about an hour later and immediately boarded to try and stop the water leak on the shaft caused by a rope around the prop. Kisti Two’s engine meanwhile overheated and Guy had to go and make repairs to the sea water engine inflow system having found a worrying leak. He appeared form the engine room 1/2 an hour later covered in sweat due to the heat! A Coastguard vessel eventually arrived and we were relieved of our duties. We agreed to take the passengers to Lakka but en-route were directed to report to Gaios, an interesting night entry. We were met by the Port Police who required statements from Guy and Yacht Eva's skipper. Eventually at about 0100 hrs, we were tied up in a safe place within Port Gaios. It had been a long 8 hours. We were later to hear that the yacht sank! Both coastguard boats water pumping equipment failed to operate effectively. The RNLI I’m sure would have saved the boat. We have since rehearsed and talked through our evacuation plans again from Kisti Two!!

All Smiles After The Rescue.
The Abandoned Yacht.
Relieved Guy And Skipper Of Yacht Eva.
Gaios To Garitsas, Corfu. 3 September

     We arose a little tired and slipped lines to motor up into Gaios for a quick view. We turned around and then headed out to show Jon Longos and then anchored for lunch in Lakka. We had a quick tour of the town then joined Anne & Dave from ‘Serenity’ for a beer and Greek Salad lunch. A hour later after recounting the rescue, we had a quick swim, up anchored and then headed off to Corfu. It was a long trip under a combination of sail and motor. We quickly anchored into Garitsas anchorage and then went by dingy to the NAOK Yacht Club. We showed Jon around the charms of Corfu and the stopped for a meal, yes you guessed it, at Marinas Taverna where we enjoyed another excellent meal.

Viewing Gaios, Paxos, The Morning After.
Guy And Jon Departing Gaios.

Parga. 4 September.

     Another early start saw us sail and motor towards Mourtos where we anchored for a swim and lunch. As the usual afternoon wind arrived, we raised anchor and sailed to Parga. After a swim and shower, we were on the Taxi Boat into Parga. We enjoyed a lovely drink up high near the castle and overlooking the port, then strolled down to the quay for another good supper.

A Visit To Longos For Jon.
A Tour Of Mourtos And The Sivota Islands For Jon.
Not Another Close Up, Please!
View Of The Venetian Fort At Parga.
Guy And Jon Aboard The Water Taxi.
View Over The Harbour Of Parga From A Hillside Bar.

Meganisi & Kalamos. 5 - 7 September.

      Another early morning start saw us motoring south towards the Levkas Canal which we motored through and then headed on down to Meganisi for another night in Abelike Bay, a walk over to Vathi and supper on the quay. After a few swims, we let off our shore lines, pulled up the anchor and motored west round Meganisi Island visiting Papa Nicolis Cave and then stopping for a swim in the deep blue water off a cliff with a sheer drop of 100 metres underneath. Jon is a tidal diver who enjoys exploring the underwater world. We then sailed on to Port Leone and tied up to shore alongside 2 determined German naturists much to Jon’s delight! Jon had the fun of spotting a large tuna fish swim by while snorkeling off the boat. He wondered why all the small fish deserted him!! We enjoyed a thoroughly good evening BBQ on the boat after Guy nearly blew himself up having too much gas to ignite in the small Weber. Nothing damaged or singed thankfully!

Calm Journey Along The Levkas Canal.
'Jonah' On Rope Duty, When Are We Ready To Go?
Snorkeling In 100+m Off Meganisi Cliffs.
Looking Back To The Swim Location.
More Impressive Rock Formations!
BBQ Supper In Port Leone.
Morning In Port Leone Bay.

Varko Bay 7 September.

     The weather was closing in and we had to be back in Preveza for Jon’s flight back to UK, so we sailed up to Varko Bay on the mainland just before the Levkas Canal. It became very windy and we had to put in a reef but enjoyed a lovely sail to the anchorage were we lay next to a White Ensign from The Royal Yacht Squadron. The ensign was correctly taken down at Sunset denying Guy any chance of reporting them - blast. Our duster is never removed, but these old sailors from the RYS do love tradition!! 

Anchorage In Ormos Varko.
Calm Morning After A Windy Overnight Anchorage.

Vonitsa, Amvrakikos Gulf. 8 - 10 September.

     We had another motor through the Levkas Canal which was made more enjoyable by Ginny spotting and photographing Herons along the way with much cheeky encouragement from Jon as Guys eyes rolled up skyward. We tried to sail towards Preveza but the wind died and then it was a motor all the way to Vonitsa where we anchored for the night and arranged a taxi to pick up Jon the following morning for Preveza airport. We walked into Vonitsa for an excellent meal in the evening. 

   We said our farewells to Jon in the morning and the spent the day resting. The wind picked up in the evening and as we were on a lee shore, Guy decided to pick up the anchor and move to the other side of the bay, which proved a sensible decision and allowed for a better nights sleep. In the morning, we motored off to Preveza for our marina booking. The wind was very strong gusting F7. There was no space so we about turned and headed back to Vonitsa which we knew was safe. We anchored in the middle of the bay. That night, there was an incredible thunderstorm which we watched until it passed over then suddenly all was exceedingly calm! that's Greece for you! 

Entrance To Levkas Canal, Return Journey.
Herons Beside The Canal.
The Boys On The Bridge At Koukounitsa.
Vonitsa Town And Fort, From The Anchorage.
26 Knot Winds And Rain, Shock Horror!!
Wind And Waves.
Skipper Resting !
Storm Brewing!
Stormy Sunset.
Preveza. 11 - 14 September.

     We returned to Preveza early morning where we are spending 3 nights stocking up Kisti Two with water and food, completing all the washing and enjoying some peaceful sleep while the strong winds blow through and the swell subsides. We have also met up with Leor of Club La Costa yachts with whom Kate and Rob worked for a few years. Ginny has had a haircut. We depart on Monday to Corfu where we will meet our next guests. 

The New Haircut. Preveza Marina.