Arrivederce Italy, Geia sas Greece

Our stay in Sicily had come to an end and it was time to head off to Greece for our third season.  We’d had a great time in Licata, met more people and had a lot of fun, some we would see on our travels around Greece and winter with us in Turkey, our next winter destination and some were going in the opposite direction.

We left Licata early, it was only just light, at 6.00am with the intention of anchoring at the tip of Sicily, the wind was in our favour and so we decided to keep going and headed to Syracuse on the East Coast.  Arriving here with our Mahe Mates on Copy Cat, Karen and Ronnie, we found two other boats who had left Licata earlier in the month than us.  So there was nothing for it other than to invite them all on board for Gin and Tonics!

The forecast was better for us to wait a day before leaving Sicily to start making our way across to the foot of Italy.  So, at a not too terribly early time of 9.20am we left Syracuse.  Sarah and David on Wandering Star were also headed in the same direction but as they are early birds they left before us.  We were going to be on an “overnighter” which is not my preferred option but hey it knocks the miles off.  We saw our first turtle swim by, hopefully we will see more of them once we get to Greece.  So, at 10 o’clock that night Ian asks me if I’d like to go and get my head down, “Really” not easy trying to go to sleep at that time.  Which means I got the 1am to 4am watch, lucky me!

We arrived in Crotone, 165 miles later, and anchored in the small commercial harbour to the sound of fireworks going off, how nice, a warm welcome.  It didn’t last, just got the kettle on, as the first thing Ian says about anything is “put the kettle on let’s have a cup of tea”. The harbour police came along and told us that we could not anchor there.  They watched while we moved out the harbour and found another spot.  It transpired that the day before that there had been an incident and so now no one could anchor in the harbour, which normally wasn’t a problem.

The following morning and we were off, another overnighter, two so close together, at least once we arrived in Greece, it would only be short hops.  Our destination was Kassiopi, Corfu.  The sea was like a mirror.  Six hours later and the wind was better and up went the pink, yes I know pink, spinnaker.  This time I didn’t have to go to bed so early, I was on watch until 11pm, and it was very dark, no moonlight which is horrible when sailing at night.  Back on watch at 2.30 and the moon had appeared, thankfully.  We arrived in Kassiopi at 11.00am and anchored in the adjacent bay to the harbour. 

I flew home for a week and left Ian here and took the weather with me.  He had rain and clouds whilst Sunny Canvey Island was just that, with a mini heatwave.  We moved onto Corfu Old Town and stayed a couple of nights in Mandraki Marine, which has the most fantastic views and sits under the old Fortress.  You can see us and Copycat in the marina in the photo below.  Also in the grounds of the fortress is the Church of St George, which looks like a Greek temple.  It was built by the British in 1840 for the local Anglican Community but is now Orthodox and holds just two services a year and some concerts, which they were setting up for when we visited. 

Old Corfu Town has lots of little narrow streets to wander around and we came across a small parade headed by the priest and people following along singing.

We left Corfu, at least for the time being, as we would be back and headed down to Lakka on the Island of Paxi (Paxos).  Already there was CopyCat and Wandering Star, you can’t go far without bumping into someone.  This was our first time where we tied a rope to the a rock on the shore, when I say we, I mean Ian, that is definitely his job to jump in the water and take the rope ashore!  This was a very busy anchorage. 

From here we crossed over to the mainland to Parga.  Now when Ian said that we would anchor on the beach I didn’t realise he meant literally.  So we went “bow to” (that’s the front of the boat for non yachties) onto the beach and dropped our stern anchor off the back.  Then we dropped our main anchor down into the water which Ian then promptly picked up and dug it into the sand.  The depth of water at the bow was knee deep but half way down the boat it was too deep for me to stand up in.

Where we were, I was going to say anchored but I think it’s more a case of beached, there was a water taxi that would take you round to the town of Parga, so we took this.  It was very hot but along with Karen and Ronnie, Copy Cat, we did walk up to the Castle. 

Obviously after that long walk we had to take in some refreshments and we couldn’t resist the Guest Beer “only two bloody euros me old China”. 

July 2019

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