Monday, 18 July 2016

Argostoli - Pilos, Navarinon Bay 9 - 19 July 2016.

Engine Problems 9 July 2016.

      We decided to leave Argostoli early on 9 July so quietly slipped our lines so as not to wake our neighbours, pulled out on the anchor windlass and when ready tried to switch on the engine. Horror of horrors, it would not start! Not a sound, completely dead! We still had the anchor down so Guy tried various things but still nothing. We launched the dingy, put on the outboard and after much manoeuvring squeezed our way back onto the quay without help and still not waking the neighbours up. Guy tested the battery which still had 12.7 Volts so tried again. Dead. He then disconnected the starter battery and took it to a taverna to try and get charged up but could not find his charger so banged the engine in several places with his Lewmar winch handle, especially the starter motor, turned the flywheel around which was a bit loose and then reconnected the battery. While staring at the engine for divine intervention, he asked Ginny to try and start. Vroooooom it went much to Guys joy as though nothing had been wrong all along. Don't you just love them or was it the woman's touch on the key. We still don't know, but have had no problems since although Guy has tightened the fan belt a bit. Nothing like an Infantry mechanic to sort it out!!! So instead of leaving at 0700 hrs, we left at 1000 Hrs!

Rock Formations

     Ginny spends much of her time looking at the coastline or clouds dreaming up images of what they look like, especially animals. These two particularly caught her imagination on the way down the coast of Zakinthos. Most of the rocks get given the name of Ginnys imagination thereafter. The first has many options, but ‘Prawn Rock’ was noted and the second is obvious. Zakinthos island coastline was a collection of cliffs, caves, arches and inlets.

What Did Ginny Decide This Was.
Answers To!

This Is Obvious! Ahhhhh.
Shipwreck Bay

     We approached the world famous ‘Shipwreck Bay’ which features in nearly every Greek Guide book later than hoped at 1415 hrs. It is an amazing bay with spectacular cliffs, clear blue turquoise water, white sand and of course the rusting hulk of a shipwreck on it. Unfortunately, there was also an armada of tourist boats, gullets, 2 large Gin palaces and a beach full of human ants crawling all over it. Despite that, it was amazing but we decided to move on and considered it as an overnight anchorage in the future.

Approaching Shipwreck Bay.

Shipwreck Bay & Day Trippers.

Shipwreck Bay. Found It!

Lagana Bay (Turtle Bay) 9 July 2016.

    We sailed on from Shipwreck Bay with just the genoa as the wind was behind us all the way to the south west corner of Zakinthos Island and then motored into Lagana Bay and anchored off Port Keri amongst several yachts. It is a lovely very tourist orientated bay with a large area cordoned off from all boats and people as a turtle breeding ground. We did not see a turtle but enjoyed several refreshing swims.

Coastal Scenery On Zakinthos.

Chillaxing On The Calm Sea.

Departing Lagana Bay

Sea Birds Take Off.

Swim Time In The Middle Of Nowhere.

Strofades Islands 10 July 2016.

     A calm wind was forecast for the whole day and night so Guy decided to head off to two small islands 25 NM south of Zakinthos. It was a long motor sail across and we eventually anchored off the small islands at 1830 hrs amongst rocks and little sand. The wind picked up as usual and we had to let out more chain as we had clearly caught a rock resulting in Kisti Two jarring badly. The monastery, built like a fortress to ward off pirates and armies of old, is now un-inhabited as it suffered earthquake damage. Been there and done that now.

   We again tried to depart early, but this time were thwarted by the anchor jamming on a rock. Guy went into the water with snorkel and mask and gave orders to Ginny on where to steer, let out more chain, pull in chain etc. After a trying 1 1/2 hours, ( Ginny is not good with her left or rights, port or starboards ) the anchor eventually came up having moved a particularly large rock!! Should have put a trip line on!! Lesson learnt.

Monastry On Strofadhes Islands.

Anchor Checking At Sunset.
Anchor Chain On The Rocky Sea Floor.

View From Anchorage.

Departing Strofadhes Islands.

Voidhokoilia Bay ( Cow Bay ) 11 - 12 July 2016.

     Anchor up eventually at 0820 hours, we headed off motor-sailing to Marathos and Nisos Proti where we scooted through between the two and continued down south. We then turned into a small horseshoe shaped bay and anchored at 1430 hours beside ‘Southern Accent’ with Geoff and Pauline, Australian friends from Licata. The bay is just amazing as you can see from the pictures so we anchored for 2 most wonderful days in crystal clear water and stunning scenery. No charter boats or stink boats, just 4 yachts.

Cow Stomach Bay.

View Of Cow Bay. Wheres Ginny?

Guy Taking A Plunge.

Ginny Cooling Off.

Geoff & Pauline On 'Southern Accent'.

Kisti Two In Cow Bay.

Ginny Chilaxing

Kisti Two, Third From Right Anchored In Cow Bay.

Cow Bay With Navarino Bay In The Background.

Just Glorious Cow Bay.

  Sunset Drinks.

     Geoff & Pauline invited us over for sunset drinks and ended up providing a meal as well. We met Anthony and Verity from the yacht next to Geoff and Pauline, who are powered hang glider experts and who were to provide us with the most amazing birds eye view pictures of the bay and Kisti Two which you can see below. The sunsets were amazing and we had great fun exploring the sand dunes between us and Navarinon Bay, our next destination. There was also a Venetian Fort at the entrance to the bay and an enormous cavernous cave. A WOW place and anchorage. 

Pauline & Ginny, Sunset Drinks.

Sunset From 'Southern Acce

Sunset From Cow Bay.

'Southern Accent' Departing Cow Bay.

Anthony Flying Over Cow Bay.

Departing Cow Bay.

Navarinon Bay And Pilos Town 13 - 18 July 2016.

    We motored round the 3 NM to the entrance of Navarinon Bay and what a spectacular entrance and bay it is. We were to spend a most enjoyable week here due to the scenery, the culture, the lovely town of Pilos and the strong winds that blew through for 4 days. We entered the bay passing an enormous cave with thousands of noisy swifts and between a large rocky outcrop with its very Norman like arch. You then see see an enormous castle ahead of you dominating the entrance and as you turn north, you view this enormous but wonderful bay ahead of you. 

The Venetian Fort Outside Cow Bay.

The Gap To Navarinon Bay,
But Not Passabl.

Cave Full Of Swallows.

Navarinon Bay Entry Rocks.

Pilos Castle.

  Navarinon Bay Battle

      Navarinon Bay was the scene of a most horrendous naval battle. The British, French and Russian Navies led by Admiral Codrington displayed Mission Command at its best by defeating a combined Turkish and Egyptian Navy who outgunned them enormously in 1827. The success of this naval victory led to the Independence of Greece from Turkey so yet again, we have a lot to thank the armed forces as we enjoy carefree sailing in Greece. It is amazing that such a battle of enormous destruction took place in this stunning bay.

The Western Cliffs Of Navarinon Bay.

Pilos Town.

   Happy Lazy Crazy Days.

     We went in and anchored off the NW corner of the Bay not far from Cow Bay and enjoyed another 2 wonderful days just lazing about, swimming, exploring and testing the anchorage. The gap that leads out to the sea is less than a meter so we could not pass through. 

Navarinon Bay Unpassable Gap NW Corner.

Selfie Time.

Navarinon Bay Anchorage.

The New Shower. Wonderful.

Anchorage At NW Corner Of Navarinon Bay.

  Sheltering from The Wind.

     The wind was about to blow up for several days and as rations were low, we decided to go into Pilos Marina. It is not your normal marina, but something out of a Mad Max film. Still, it was made of solid concrete, had high walls and was free so we went in and found an ideal spot alongside to wait out the strong winds, enjoy Greek hospitality, refuel, resupply and do the culture bit!

Lunch In Pilos.

All Less Than £15 Including The Wine!

Pilos With Visiting French Navy.


    We enjoyed an early morning, long visit to the castle at the entrance to the bay. The scenery was fantastic, the size of the castle enormous and the Greek Church, which was once a mosque now restored all very beautiful. It was a very hot day, over 34C, so were glad of a few beers in Pilos at the end under the plane trees which was to become a regular ‘watering hole! The village church was also very interesting and had also quite clearly been a mosque.

Castle Mosque Now A Greek Church.

View From Church.

Guy On Duty!

The Greek Church.

Pilos & Marina From The Castle.

Navarinon Bay.

Castle And Navarinon Bay Entrance.

Castle, Church And Navarinon Bay.

Castle And Navarinon Bay Entrance.

The Rocks Of Navarinon Bay Entrance.

Ginny On The Ramparts.

Pilos Greek Church.

Pilos Dome.

Pilos Church, Once A Mosque.

The Memorial To The 3 Admirals Of Navarinon Bay Battle

   Delightful Pilos.

    Pilos is a wonderful town un-spoilt by tourism but with lovely seafront Tavernas. It has a very French colonial feel about it with the colonial buildings, a central square full of Plane trees and monument to the Admirals of the Battle Of Navarinon . We were given a delicious Banoffee Pie made by one of the Taverna waiters mother as we frequented them so much while the winds blew and blew for 3 days! The pictures of the white horses show the strength despite the protection of the bay. One of the great pluses of the bay was a total lack of charter boats. Pilos, the friendly Greeks and the scenery were a wonderful surprise to us. We will never forget its charm and will certainly be back.


Guy Enjoying Another Beer Under The Plane Tree.

Pilos restaurants At Night.

The Remains Of Banoffee Pie.

Kisti Two Hiding From The Storm.

The Wind Blows Through Navarinon Bay.

Not So Calm Out There!!

F6/7 Winds Blow Through Navarinon Bay.