Sail away with Paul Chopin.
A blog highlighting the steps taken to purchase a yacht, getting out to sail her and the adventures, not to mention the cost(!) in putting her to sea.
September to October 2017
Week 8 - final report.
We departed Kioni this morning, just after 10:00, leaving behind a stunning island and friendly people. I did have to ask the fisherman to move his float indicating whe r his anchor chain was. It had drifted over my chain and I was concerned that it might get caught up in my keel or prop as I passed over it. He was very pleasant about it, no grumbles, and no sooner had he moved it we were off for Sivota, a short passage of 12nm. During the crossing the head sail was taken out but the winds were very light it was furled back up. The quay in Sivota had only one yacht moored up to it so plenty of room. Unlike last time, we secured the anchor at the first attempt, cutting through the bed of weed. There were people on the quay ready to assist with our mooring lines, but when it came to lowering the passerelle we had come back too far so had to go forward by a foot or so (to avoid the table and chairs positioned right by the waters edge!). We haven't connected with shore power yet but I'm sure the owner of the taverna will be as agreeable as the last time we were here. Obviously we will have to dine there and take the odd Mythos or two.
Well, you can tell it's getting to the end of the sailing season when the taverna we were going to eat at last night closed early! We thought we'd eat between 18:30 and 19:00, only to find when we came up on deck that it was all locked up. Had to frequent another bar for a drink. There 'happy you'd ran from 16:00 to 19:00 so the beer was cheaper. This morning we took a stroll round to the other side of the bay with a view to swimming there. Not sure if it's worth it, so no swimming today. Decided that we would have an early supper so stepped off the yacht and sat down at the table inches (or should that be cm's) from the passerelle. Had to go this early to make sure they remained open. As it was they closed just after 17:00!
Penultimate full day in the water today so we're heading off to find a bay to anchor in. All the other times this holiday we have been in a harbour or marina so it will make a change. Before setting off I thanked the owner of the taverna for her generosity in allowing us to plug in to get power from the taverna. Although we have eaten in the taverna most nights, we have never been charged to use the power, and the food / drink prices are very reasonable with large portion sizes. We shall return next season. With a southerly wind maybe this would be an ideal time to try out the parasailor. Unfortunately not, as for most of the passage it was less than 5 kts. We did have the main and head sail out, the engine off and speeds approaching 2 kt! There were two suggested bays to moor on according to the Greek Waters Pilot guide. The first, Tranquil bay, was limited in size and not ideal. We continued to Vlikho, a much larger bay at the southern end, past Nidhri. The setting reminded Helen of a graveyard where boats of all shape and size are laid to rest. As I sit typing this I can see at least 11 boats in the water rusting away. Others are on shore beyond repair. The colour of the water is pea green, probably the result of all the weed on the sea bed, and the water is infested with jellyfish, some the size of (small) dustbin lids. So no swimming either. Not the prettiest of places for the last night to remind us of our holiday.Helen
A very quiet night, save for the dogs barking and the cocks crowing at 04:00 this morning! It was very damp when I got up on deck, the morning dew very heavy. Everything was saturated, the seats, bimini and storm cover the cockpit and deck. I just hope the sun rises very quickly to begin drying it all before we set off. Our final destination is Preveza, 16nm further north, but we need to get the timing just right to make it to the bridge at Lefkas on the hour. We set off at 09:45 and managed to arrive at Lefkas with 10 minutes before the bridge opened at 12:00. A couple of circles in the channel and a very slow crawl, we made it to within a couple of hundred metres when the warning siren (indicating that the bridge was about to open) went off. Once through it was up to the channel to enter the bay for Preveza. Instead of going straight to the town quay Helen wanted a bit of a jaunt further into the gulf of Amvrakia. It appears that quite a lot of fish farms are in the gulf, maybe the reason for the high number of dolphins generally seen here. Needless to say we never saw any. Moored up at the quay I checked that the car was still there / okay, as I had left it in a public car park unattended for two weeks. Everything fine. Back on the boat it was time to remove items stored on deck ready for hauling out tomorrow. Parasailor, never used, tender, never used, kayak, used. All the blocks, shackles and sheets for the parasailor, never used, have now been removed and stored in one of the aft cabins. Still plenty to do; deep cleaning - deck, chrome and down below, oil all the teak in the cockpit, remove, wash, dry and store the sails, remove as many sheets and halyards as possible and store or cover, put covers over all of the hatches and or cover the deck with a tarpaulin. Get some diesel and fill up the tank - to avoid any contamination over winter, remove the gas bottle and switch off all power. Plenty to do in the remaining few days before heading home.
Can't wait until next year. Season begins in May in the Ionian before heading westwards, visiting Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Spain and Gibraltar. Will spend at least a month here getting the yacht kitted out to take on the Atlantic crossing in November. If any of you good folk would like to spend some time cruising in the Ionian mid May through to the end of June or fancy taking on a longer passage anywhere between Greece and Gibraltar let me know and we can see what can be arranged. Until next year then........
Well that’s the end of another season’s sailing. The last two months have seen us leave the Peloponnesus and venture into the Ionian. A new experience for Helen traversing the Corinth canal and the gulf before stopping over in Patras for four nights. This gave us the chance to go back to Kilada to pick up my car. Now we had the car Helen had to island hop by car ferry whilst I sailed to the next island (solo) to meet her. Only visited five islands this trip, Kefalonia, Ithaca (reputed to be the home of Homer’s Odysseus), Kastos, Meganisi and Lefkas. Several places visited more than once - Kioni, stunning, Argostoli, catching up with Helen’s family and in laws and Preveza, ideal spot to leave my car, Sivota, beautiful bay and lovely hostess at the ‘Family Cafe, Lixouri, only yacht here the second time and Eufimia, very helpful marineros. Places to avoid next time; Little Vathi, dirty and Vlikho, only time at anchor, pea green water and infested with jellyfish.Yacht thoroughly cleaned top to bottom, work booked to be done over winter. Only thing to do now is book the flights out for next May...... and earn lots of money to pay for the Atlantic crossing upgrades. Oh dear, I thought I was retired!!!!
Passing through the Corinth Canal, Helen taking in the views.
Moored in Ithaca, lovely long passerelle!!!
The beautiful island of Kioni. Simply stunning.