Wednesday, 29 September 2010

It's a Wrap

Now, you may not be able to tell from the photograph but it's tipping down. No, I'm wrong, it's not tipping down, it is a continuous, torrential, cats 'n dogs deluge. Six inches fell in a few hours, we know that because that's how much there was in the dinghy. Thunder and lightning added to the drama which sounds even more threatening from the inside of a small boat. Luckily we had warning of the storm (gold star for the forecasters) and so decided to stay on the berth. The alternative plan was to sail close to the Albanian coast (it's less than a mile away in places) so the 'play safe' option proved to be a smart move. We had just one day to go before returning home so a bit disappointing that our last day should be so damp but we can not complain having had one very wet and one dampish day out of three weeks. The rest of the time it was sunny and hot.

Mrs. T made full use of her new toy, an e-book which means she can now carry the entire contents of the Bodleian in her handbag.

We enjoyed out three weeks back in the Ionian. We discovered some new bays, new harbours, new anchorages and some new tavernas - although the boring, predictability of Greek food does leave a bit to be desired. Greek cuisine has yet to discover sauces so there's a fortune to be made by the first person to import creme fraiche.

We returned to the Ionian not sure if we wanted to buy a catamaran or monohull. Our three weeks helped us to decide. it's a cat we are after. But we have also discovered you can't tell a boat from a quick look and test sail; you need to live on board for a week or so. So, to that end, we now plan to charter a Fontaine Pajot (French cat for the non sailors) either in the Caribbean or Thailand - which is where you have to go in the winter to get some sun.

Pass the charts and pilots - time to plan the next trip.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Platerias is located at the end of a west-facing bay which provides some stunning sunsets. Our boat is thr fifth mast from the left - the small one. our next door neighbours are some jolly Russins with a 53 foot Beneteau - which they almost parked on the jetty in an unconventional moooring move.

The town was quiet, lots of tavernas and bars but most empty. It's the end of the season. It was here we incurred our only mooring fee in three weeks - 3 Euro, and another 3 Euro for water. You can't tie up in Cowes for an hour for that! Our plan now is to to head north towards Gouvia in preparation for our return. The destination will be dictated by the weather - as ever - but with storms in the forecast we may curtail our last day sailing and go straight for the berth.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What's a Grecian urn?

Oh the old ones are the best....but there's a twist.

With the Greek economy in tatters, Europe, or more specifically Germany, bailing them out you'd expect gloom and doom to dominate. But not a bit of it, or to be more precise, not a lot.

We have spotted a few trends. Fisrtly there are lots of Germans here no doubt trying to work out where their money has gone and also trying to get some of it back, if not in Euros then in kind.

We also reckon that one of the least employable skills in Greece is accountancy. As far as we can detect no one keeps records, receipts are non-existent and credit cards are a figment of the imagination, they clearly do not exist - cash is king.

We were told by a Canadian investment banker that 48% of Greeks in work are employed by the state in one form or another. That leaves 52% supporting the 48% and if what we were told is true, and that is Greeks are as keen to pay taxes as is a sprat to lure a mackerel, then it's no surprise the Greek economy is in a mess. The black market thrives, those in work dodge paying taxes, and half the country works for the state.

No wonder they don't look quite so glum..... what's a Grecian earn? Who knows - certainly not the Greek taxman.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Eastenders in Greece

We tied up in Sivota anticipating the famous annual regatta and found ourselves moored next to the cast of Eastenders - without the television programme's sophistication and elegance. The racing boats arrived during the afternoon and evening and gradually the harbour filled up. The band struck up and two skinheads struck eachother, resulting in blood on the quayside. Cowes was not like this. However despite the unpleasant behaviour of the youths and the casulty of a girl sprawlwd across the jetty thanks to an excess of alcohol it was a pleasant and entertaing evening. We met up with Tony and Gill of Note Bene who we met in June.Nice meal, excellent company and an entertaining time. We are off to Meganissi now - a quiet anchorage.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Anchor Delights

We have had a couple of days of anchoring adventures. Here we are tucked into a quiet bay at Poros on Lefkada. We had it to ourselves until a super yacht complete with flunkies anchored mid-bay overnight. The following morning the guests (owners?) were escorted by two ribs. Either they were very poor swimmers or filthy rich and needed protecting from kidnap. Yesterday we tried the same routine and identified a small bay, One House Bay, on a rock (Nisos Arkoudhi) midway between Ithaca and Meganissi. We were not the only ones to have that thought and when we turned up the bay was home to twenty or more yachts...mainly a Sunsail flotilla. Thankfully as we arived they left. Delighted at the new found quiet we anchored...not once but four times. No matter what we tried we could not get the anchor to stick. It slid, it skated, it danced, it bounced but at no time did the damn thing dig in. We did harvest several tons of weed in the process and the sandy bottom had clearly been mixed with cement because it was not going to yield to our anchor. We gave up and set sail for Poros, around 12miles away. Good sail, 5+ knots under reefed jib. Slightly more heel than Mrs. T. would have liked but I kept reminding her she always wanted a well heeled skipper. We are now about to leave this little haven and head around the corner to Sivota where the famous annual regatta is held. There are live bands, festivities, much visiting of bars and other boats. We are meeting up with friends. Tomorrow may be hazy....and we are not talking weather forecasts.

Monday, 13 September 2010


Currently at anchor in Eufimia on east coast of Kefalonia. It's very windy and too dodgy to try mooring on the quay so we are riding to anchor until the wind drops. However, as I type a gain Sunsail charter boat is going to have a go. Those of us at anchor are watching with interest. May have to dig out the video camera if it gets 'interesting'. Had a good saildown from Fiskadho today, 6 knots under jib...bliss.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Ionian Revisited

Well, we are back in the Ionian but for some quirky reason this blog won't let me copy and paste text from Word and so the several paragraphs I have crafted will forever remain locked in Word. Suffice it to say all's well. The main domestic batteries failed on Day 1 but were replaced on Day 2. We now have volts to spare. Currently at anchor off Poros in Rouda Bay, Lefkas. It's raining and the thunder echos around the hills. Good wifi connection thanks to new Javelin X20 and kindly cafe which has not protected it's wifi hot spot.

Will update as we proceed.

The Crew

The Crew
On board at Lymington