Thursday, 8 July 2010

In search of the giant prawns

Thirsty work this flying.

Thursday 10th. June

We wake to see the Oyster getting ready to leave. The ‘crew‘ is on the foredeck and is hosing down the anchor chain as it comes on board. Now that really is showing off.

We get under way soon after and head north towards a small fishing harbour called Petriti. There’s no wind. Not even the slightest zephyr and so we embark on a motorboat trip. The sea is like glass. We make 5.5 knots at less than 2000 revs.

We reach Petritis after 20miles and there, at anchor, is our friend the 57 foot Oyster. The harbour is full and so we anchor again. It’s a bit choppy but we hope that as evening arrives the seas will calm.

The plan is to go ashore this evening and select a taverna to grace with our presence. They’ve got a pretty fine corned beef hash to beat.

Friday 11th. June

Time to move on and this time we cross back to the Greek mainland in search of a taverna at Sayiadha which serves, we are told, the finest prawns to come out of the sea. These are monster prawns - more langoustine than prawn. Jo plots the course. We arrive at a tiny harbour. When I say tiny I mean tiny. Half a dozen boats fills it up and the depth...well, put it like this the echo sounded read 'ZERO' when we moored up and another boat which arrived swears he dug a groove in the mud with his keel on entering. Taking up pole position on the jetty is a Welshman who clearly 'lives' there and said he'd see us when we return in September. He's not going anywhere then.

Sayiadha is interesting. It's on a sliver of land no more than half a mile wide and ten miles long. It separates Albania from the sea - which must annoy the near-coastal Albanians a lot. There's a heavy police and army presence as the hills overlooking the area are Albania and in the past there have been reports of pirate activity and looting. All seems quiet now and such illegal activities seem a thing of the past however we did spot one tree adorned with bottles and a noose. We interpret this as meaning "steal my wine and you'll end up in the noose." Maybe we have a vivid imagination?

We spot a small bird, the twitchers among you will be able to identify it, 'drinking' from a dripping stand pipe while two Greek love-birds get all romantic on the jetty.

There's a small fishing fleet based here, hence the monster prawn speciality, and the local kids use the fishing boats as diving platforms.

We book ourselves in to the taverna and can report that the prawns are every bit as good as their reputation.

This is the end of our Ionian adventure. We've had a great time, seen some amazing places ranging from deserted villages ruined by an earthquake to other villages ruined by being grockle-infested. We've had some great sails, motored more than we'd have liked, had some character-building experiences with an anchor windlass and seen some of the clearest waters and skies ever.

We're back in September but now it's time to return this boat to Gouvia and we fly home tomorrrow.

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us.

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The Crew

The Crew
On board at Lymington