El Capitano 1st October 2009
When last seen we had just arrived in Greece(Levkas) at the beginning of July. I could give a day-by-day account of our movements but basically we spoofed around the Ionian and only covered 200 miles in the months of July and August. We met up with Brian Cavenett and Alex Strachan on their own boats and had lots of cheap (free) berthing on town quays.
In the southern Ionian we particularly liked Meganisi , Vathi and Fiskardho.We went down to Sivota where we accidentally met up with Jean Langlois whom we had previously met in Sardinia.
We rented a moped in Vathi and went into the mountains. The moped was designed for shopping in Malaysia and the 100cc engine found it hard going in the hills. It took its terrible revenge on a particularly tight downhill hairpin with lots of sandy gravel on the surface. We came off at about 1mph and fell in a heap. Only our pride and my right thigh were bruised.
We took the boat out of the water for a week to clean the bottom and renew the antifouling. We now have genuine Greek antifouling so we will see if the beasties notice any difference. We hauled out at the ACTIO yard at Prevesa ( strongly recommended) and stayed on shore for a week to get the work done. We then resumed sailing and met up with Alex and explored the nearby inland sea (Amvrakikos Kolpos since you ask).There were no specific highlights in Ionian Greece. The problem is that it's so easy and pleasant. Sail a few miles anchor ,swim, have lunch, sail a few more miles berth up at a town quay, have a drink, have a stroll, have a nice meal and so to bed. It's almost like being on holiday!!!At the end of August we were able to use my cousin Richard' credit at Gouvia marina and stay there for a week. From there we could explore Corfu town, which is interesting, and generally chill out. On the 26th August we started to head back to Sardinia but we had a final rendezvous with Alex and Ruby in Stefanos where we had a BBQ.We subsequently went to the island of Limi Erikousa where we had a windy night and set off next morning for the Italian mainland and Roccella Ionica some 175miles away. Roccella is a strange place: it looks like a marina with pontoons, pedestals for water and electricity, firefighting stations etc but……nothing works and its free. The story is that the developer took huge government and EC loans to build the place but if it starts to run as a commercial marina the monies will have to be paid back. So, while its incomplete, it's free. This was just as well as the starter motor, which had become slightly hesitant,burnt out. The Mercedes engine has always started instantly or even sooner!!!! When I took the motor off I was very surprised to find that it was a 12Volt motor but was been driven with 24Volts. Will the guilty person hold up their hand!!!! Anyway all I could get was a replacement12V motor which with an ingenious switching system I now have running off 12V.
Anyway it took a week to sort this out and we then left at midnight to catch the morning tide in the Messina Straits which then took us up to Tropea (117miles). Very nice hilltop town reached by 200 steps from sea level.We then set off on a bit of a grind up the Italian coast to Cetraro (sorry we meant to pay), Camerota (nice traditional concert and our first rain since the end of June!), Agropoli and so on to Ischia. At Ischia our friends Franco and Jos had somehow made us the guests of the local Lega Navale. We had a prime berth on the pontoon , were treated to great hospitality and paid our respects to the local Presidenza. We toured the local Castella, had wonderful food and met up with our Swedish friend Inga. Altogether it was a great couple of days and then we were off to Ventotene in time for the local festival. Unfortunately strong winds curtailed much of the celebrations but the fireworks finale was spectacular particularly as we were moored about 100metres from the launch point,Relentlessly onwards to Sardinia via an overnight anchor in Ponza( we were the only boat there!) and then 165 miles across to Cannigione in 27hrs. Then Cannigione to Stintino and Stintino to Alghero and here we are!!!!!In all we covered 2,057miles of which 788miles were involved in coming from Greece back to Sardinia and only 196miles in cruising the Ionian. We had a small fuel leak and a burnt out starter motor but no other problems. We did a lot of motoring and the fuel costs were a bit of a killer at €1.50 per litre totalling over €1,500for the whole summer. Overall it was a very good cruise on which we met lots of interesting people which I will list in no particular order to let you know we are thinking of you.
Karel and PhilTehani-li(heading for Turkey), Ute and JohnAllegra(now in Tunisia), Walter and Joan Diamond Days, Barbara Eidos, Bob and Liz Birvidik, Alex and Nick,Jane and Trevor Summer Breeze, Steve,Matt and Will Berenice, Maureen and GeorgePenguin, Derek and Aline(good luck in Brindisi), Mac McDiarmid Morwenna, (heading for Greece),John, Linda and Broccoli, Also heading for Greece,Yanni at Actio Marine,Joyce and Mike Singer(heading for Spain), Bob Ewing from Gourock, Sabine and WilfriedWisa, William and Natalie(+ Hamish and Calum)Callish of Clyde, Jean Langlois and Marie-Danielle RobergeNobilis