Tuesday, 6 October 2015

John and Lorraine's Visit And Relaxing In Gouvia, Corfu, 14 September To 5 October 2015.

Preveza To Gouvia, Corfu.

     After a few days in Preveza recovering from John's visit and the storm, we headed back up towards Corfu to meet the next set of guests. There was little wind throughout the week and even with the cruising chute we made little progress. While we were heading to Petriti a fleet of Charter boats were spied homing in on the anchorage. Luckily there was plenty of space and the 'fleet' tied up against each other closer in to the shore well out of our way. As we approached Garitsas, Corfu, we saw the motor boat which had been washed ashore by the earlier storm and a tug boat was tied up on the NAOK yacht club jetty ready to assist recovery. Six other boats had been damaged or washed up  during the storm which we had weathered in Vonitsa. We anchored in Gouvia Bay then went into the Marina the following day to resupply and pick up our guests who arrived before sunrise!

A Charter Fleet Approaching, Take Cover! 
Silken Sea, Not Enough Wind Even For A Cruising Chute.
Motor Yacht Washed Up On The Yacht Club Beach After Storm. 
Calm Morning View From Our Anchorage In The Bay At Gouvia. 
The Holiday Crew. 

      John and Lorraine from Malta joined us for a weeks cruise. Lorraine, keen to help became the pirouetting galley slave. She graced the decks and cockpit and was constantly looking after the Skipper. John soon became a competent crewman and schooled by Guy was soon tacking the wheel to steer us when we had wind to play with. Ginny assumed duties of the 'Admiral' while Guy kept a watchful view on all - especially Lorraine.

The 'Galley Slave' As Pretty As A Picture!
'The Admiral' !
The 'Gondolier Crewman' 

The 'Skipper' At Ease.
Gouvia To Ay Stephanos.

     An early start to the day meant we achieved a great deal and gave John and Lorraine a full day of firsts. We sailed north into the Corfu channel and looked into all the beautiful bays and finally settled in Ay Stephanos after seeing dolphins off Kassiopi. The sun was setting and we had an evening swim off the back of the boat and created shower spray and saw the phosphorescence sparks in the dark sea.  We then went ashore for a meal in one of the waterfront restaurants. A few crumbs of bread brought the fish alongside the table to provide entertainment while we sipped our drinks and awaited the delightful meal. The ailing binoculars which had a lens falling off lost the end of the lens so became one eyed instrument but were still of use! The monoculars!!

The Happy Crew!!
A View Into Kassiopi With It's Venetian Castle.

Using The Monocular! 
Evening Light In Ay Stefanos, The View From Kisti Two.
Sunset Looking Out To Sea From Ay Stefanos.

Lorraine Creating Artistic Waves, Sunset Swim. 
Supper Spot On The Waterfront At Ay Stefanos.

Ay Stephanos To Parga.

    The next day dawned sunny but with little wind and breakfast was taken while motoring south. On our way back towards Corfu, we saw a boat with a shirt being waved at us and approached to find David on his yacht with no engine (and no wind). He asked for a tow to Corfu New Harbour where he could anchor and get an engineer to help. We took him in tow and dropped him off at midday and continued on our way south. With no wind again we stopped mid channel for a swim in the blue, blue sea in over a 100 metres of water. With Lunch and sunbathing to occupy us, we headed for Mourtos and the Sivota Islands. We anchored in Monastery Bay and swam again in turquoise sea. A noisy Greek wedding seemed to be starting up on the beach so we decided to move off rather than have our nights sleep disturbed. After exploring the other anchoring spots we set off in the fading light for a night sail to Parga and a quiet nights sleep.

Breakfast 'En Route'
Towing Stranded Yottie Into Corfu Old Harbour.
Corfu Town, View of the Old Fort.
Mid Ocean Swim
Contented Skipper On The Foredeck Sunbed!
Crew Hard At Work.
Looking For An Anchorage At Mourtos And The Sivota Islands.
Sunset Over Paxos.
Parga To Lakka.

       We had intended to take John and Lorraine for an exploration of Parga and the Venetian Castle but having waited for the Water Taxi until 11.00 we decided to make our way over to Paxos and a place in Lakka before the evening rush. We went round to the town side of Parga and its rocks and islands in Kisti Two to give them a view of the town and fort. We then headed out to Paxos. We intended to have a relaxing couple of days in Lakka to ride out a storm and tied up astern to the rocks. We had our own private swimming pool and snorkeling opportunities. The fish came to us providing lots of scope for photographs in the amazing clear waters. We explored ashore and I took Lorraine to the Balinese shop where there was an end of season sale! The boys waited in the bar next door while Ginny tried on garments and provided a fashion show from around the corner! Lorraine purchased a large laughing Buddha as well as two smaller models. We had a relaxed meal aboard and an early night. The following morning brought the forecasts cloudy weather and we went ashore, back to the Balinese shop and had a lazy late but outstanding lunch at the Akis restaurant on the waterfront and in the refreshing rain. The overnight rain and a full moon had raised the level of the water along the quay which meant a little paddling. That night we introduced John and Lorraine to 'Pass The Pigs'.

Skipper and Able Seaman Leaving After
Cruise Round To Parga  Town Quay.
View Of Parga With Venetian Castle.
Parga, Rocks And Island In The Approach.
Pencil Fish And Others In Lakka
Skipper Posing In Lakka Bay
Lunch Nibbles.

Evening Light In Lakka.
An Empty Lakka Bay!
Evening Drinks From A Balcony Bar.

Rain To Cool A Lunchtime Spread.

Prepared For A Gourmet Meal.
Delicious Meal In 'Akis' Restaurant
A Squid Creation! 
Super Moon And Rain Causes Waterfront To Flood
'Pass The Pigs' Inspection For Scoring.
Lakka To Petriti. 

     We departed Lakka and first headed round the north of Paxos island to view the caves before heading north to Petriti once more. It was a lovely day and we were able to do a little sailing again before the wind disappeared. We enjoyed a pleasant meal on board again while listening to the charterers celebrate on land singing and dancing to Greek tunes.

Caves On Western Coast Of Paxos.
Picturesque View Of Caves And Turquoise Water.
Lorraine Under Instruction.
Seagulls At Petriti, Waiting For The Fishing Fleet.
Petriti Harbour From Kisti Two At Anchor.
Petriti To Garitsas.

     We sailed back to Corfu and were able to introduce John and Lorraine to the fun of a cruising chute until the wind completely stopped again. We anchored in Garitsas and went ashore to enjoy the charm of Corfu once again wandering around the narrow streets and the now inevitable meal at Marinas Taverna who as always provided us with an excellent and memorable meal. We awoke to thickening clouds and a large swell so up anchored early to headed off to Gouvia Marina.

Sailing Back Towards Corfu Town.
Cruising Chute Unfurling.
Quiet Spot At Anchor In Garitsas Bay, Corfu.
The Girls Off To Town!
The NAOK Yacht Club Basin.
The Gang Off To Town.
The Old Fortress.
The Full Crew.
Another Meal At Marina's Taverna.
Morning Clouds Gathering Over Garitsas Anchorage.
Garitsas To Gouvia.

      There was plenty of wind so Guy gave John a chance for some exciting sailing. We had just put up the sails when a few dolphins joined us again. So elegant and such fun. The sail also involved going with the wind while Guy stood behind John ready to prevent an unexpected gybe. John was safe and after a couple of hours fun we entered the marina and tied up to escape the rain which shortly appeared. John and Lorrain departed early morning after a wonderful fun and eventful weeks sailing. We hope they can join us next year.
John At The Helm.

Lunch Aboard In Gouvia Marina.
And The Rain Came Down!
Recovery Sail To Petriti, Parga And Paxos.

     After completing the usual admin, we took the opportunity to head out for a gentle and quiet sail. We enjoyed a few days in Petriti exploring on foot north and south of the small port and came across two very pleasant Tavernas. Panorama Taverna to the South and Spiros to the North. both in wonderful settings. We explored Parga at night again and found a great place to eat at the top by the castle entrance overlooking the bay. We also returned to Lakka once again so that Ginny could attend the final summer closing down sale while Guy sat at the 'husband creche next door. Our final night was somewhat spoiled by a Russian Charter group who partied all night with loud music blasting over the bay. Not a pleasant experience for our last night in Lakka. 
Petriti, From The Beach.
Flowers In The Grass Above The Beach.
Panorama Taverna and Tropical Gardens.
Contented Cats At The Panorama Taverna.
View From The Balcony Over The Tropical Gardens.
The Lovely Spot For Lunch At The Other Kalami.
Olives On A Roadside Walk From Petriti.
Parga From Rooftop Restaurant.
Lakka Once Again.
Gouvia Marina.

      We returned to Gouvia Marina on 1 Oct when the price drops to winter rates at €18 a night to watch the Rugby, service the engine, repair the alternator and generally prepare for Louise to join us. It has once again been a busy period. Watching England loose to Wales and Australia in the 'Beer Bucket' was not fun. However Guy found an excellent baklava bakery and we enjoyed a party near Kassiopi on Friday so morale was restored. The engine is now fixed, Louise has arrived and we hope to pop out for a few days to trial it all. We are looking at a weather window to head across the pond to Sicily and there is no clear gap at present. Predict wind have forecast gusts of F10 at Preveza so watch this space for the next blog to see how we do!!