mercredi 9 septembre 2020

Corfu to Lefkas and the Lefkada Islands

   This trip over two weeks took us from Gouvia to Lefkas ; 120km and then through the Lefkas canal to the islands lying behind.
An amazing area of multiple islands featuring white beaches and fjords. In total there are only 3 villages; Nydri, Vathi (pronounce Bathy) and Bathy (pronounce Vathy)😀
The islands include Sparti, Madouri, Panaghia, Scorpidi, Scorpios (ex Onassis), Meganisi hosting many fjords, Kythros, Arkoudi, Ithaki, Kastos, Kalamos and a number of tiny blobs.
This sea is open to the Ionian and the water is deep turquois and transparent.

Gouvia-Lefkas and back 350 km at 8 km/h

First off to Syvota however stopping a bit later in a narrow fjord with a bit of roly poly. The next morning we took the dog to the beach for his bowel movements and found ourselves at a wild camping under the trees. We were not very welcome. Strange thing the campers did not build a latrine, but were doing their shitting just all over the place. Thus Pacos followed suit.

We moved on to a very nice bay; Scala Beach only 3 hours from our overnight. It featured 3 beaches, of which one filled with Greek holiday makers and one small beach only accessible from the sea and a most amazing grotto created by nature and like a huge church dome.

Next on to Lefkas where we arrived before the turn bridge at 10 min to 5 and it opened at 5! Managed to get some 50l diesel at Lefkas port and on we went though the canal to the Islands. Speed limit 5kn, but the motorboats were competing between 10 and 20 kn.
Had a swim and went on direction Nydri, where we got some gas for the outboard and some water.
Around Nydri many foreign boats are anchored and some on an annual basis. Very busy, so we went past Scorpio island to a fjord at Meganisi island.

I did not read the gps precisely and we banged on the hidden rocks, luckily with the 30hp engine full power reverse and we were off. Settled to anchor in front of a little beach. A lot of mountain goats were living here and we found some strange kind of ritual fire places with goat skulls. Pacos the dog did not really like the place. Next door was a church and a fallen down monastry.

Next day we went off to Ithaki island and anchored in the bay of Vathy. Pronounce Bathy 😄
Barely there and a lot of boats came in as well as some Greek mega yachts attaching to the quays. We had dinner on the quays but could not eat half of what was served, too much. 
In the morning we found a real super market and got quite a bit of stuff to eat and drink. Then at the bakery they had some real nice brown bread. The town when arriving looked like completely dead, however it was full of all kinds of shops behind the waterfront.

Vathy quays

Dirty water in the port, thus we went to find a nice beach on the other side of Ithaki, anchored in a good spot next to some really big boats. But the beach was really long and nice. Pacos loved it, he could walk in the shade. In the evening the beach was taken over by goat families. Mehhhh

at the beach we had some tiny neighbors

Off we went to Kastos a narrow island to the east a good wind of 20kn at 90º took us there in a couple of hours. We anchored right inside the little port and had the best place. A very nice little town.
As from 4:00  boats came swarming in and attaching to the quays with long lines all very busy, crossing each other lines and anchor chains, hollering and gesturing,  quite a spectacle we were watching from the terrace of the pub with an ice cold beer in the hand. TV on! 😱
Evening a nice dinner in a local restaurant and back to the boat. 
We stayed another day, walked to a small beach and decided to go to the island next door.

Little port of Kastos, with pub in perfect contemplating position

We sailed to a secluded beach on the island of Kalamos. We were nicely anchored in front of  a small beach. Behind the beach were a watering pit for the goats and lots of ritual fireplaces. Carcasses lying about, skins hanging in trees and some skulls planted on stones. Pacos did not like it.
The spectacle of the day: an Austrian boat that kept on anchoring from 12 noon till 8 at night, they did not seem to get it right, quite hilarious and in the end they left in the evening. 
The wind came up from the wrong corner and we were a bit bobbing about for the night.

Kalamos beaches

In the morning we went to the town on Kalamos to get some water and food. Food was very limited and there was in the whole port one water tap. Luckily the neighbors had multiple hoses to connect together to fill our tanks. 
At arrival the port was filled with rental boats hiding for the night from the wind and by the time we were leaving not a boat left.

Kalamos village

From Kalamos we crossed over to Meghanisi and the fjord with the village of Bathy (pronounce Vathy 😅) where we spend the night had an expensive overcooked Dorade fish dinner and did some shopping. The night was noisy and we left early to cross over to a beach on the mainland. The wind was still strong and on the nose, once arrived it was a calm sea.
Meeting at the church in Bathy

Bathy port

Our trip back announced and we set sail (motor) to Lefkas, where we got a place in the port and since we are on annual contract at Gouvia Marina the port was for free. Bit of lunch, lots of walking and buy some stuff to be the next day before 9 at the turning bridge. 
Lefkas canal

And off to Scala beach again.

Syvota in the distance

And on to Syvota and next to back to port Gouvia Marina.
Corfu Town fortress

Pacos was real happy to get back home on the veranda.


vendredi 26 juin 2020

Kassiopea under ScamDemic

We sailed to Kassiopea June 25 and found an empty port with an empty village, all restaurants closed and empty paradisiac beaches.

 A view towards Albania
Our single boat on the quai

Unspoiled beaches

Only local population going for an evening stroll

Pipitou Beach, Cristal clear waters full of fish

A very crowded beach

Its calm, thus sleep, sleep...

mercredi 4 septembre 2019

Skeletons in Corfu Island

All over the island there are houses that have been started to build and then abandoned for the last 10 to 15 years. It is quite an amazing sight.

a huge hotel construction stopped 10 years ago

Gouvia next to shopping center, wheelbarrows with cement still there since 9 years

dimanche 25 août 2019

Sailing the Northern Islands

The Islands north of Corfu: Erikoussa, Othonoi, Mathraki and down to the bay of Paleokastritsa.

The trip to Erikoussa was almost entirely on engine since as usual the wind was in the nose.
anchored in the smal bay of Erikoussa, swim and went to a fish restaurant, that in the end did not have any fish that was on the menu.

Next morning we sailed all the way to Othonoi island with a nice breeze at 60º, while trying to fish with a drag line. Ofcourse no fish.
We managed to moor at the wooden pontoon with just another 2 places free. All th eother spots were taken by Italian ships on their way back home.
We had a long swim between the rocks littered with any size of fish.
Had a walk in the small village and decided to try another fish restaurant. This time the waiter, George, took us to the kitchen to choos the fish we wanted, we made our choice and it was delivered shortly with vedge and tajiki + 1 l of red wine and ice cubes.
Helene made sure the stray kittens got their share of the fish, which was very nice.
Walking back to the boat we saw the great expanse of the Milky Way, far away from interferring city light. We also met 2 italian kids trying to hike a boat to Italy.

Electric works

Nex morning, nearly all the Italian ships had left very early, we had a swim and mainly motored to Mathraki Island, while fishing and catching zip zero.
At Mathraki we anchored in a blue lagoon.

Early afternoon the wind came up NW and we sailed all the way to Paleokastritsa, where we anchored in a small spot between rocks in a very protected bay, while motorboats were zooming past in front and in the back
Just before turning into the bay we saw a couple of 1m long tuna fish jumping out of the water. Ofcourse impossible to film or photo.
The greek boatsmen know only full speed and stop, nothing in between and fly past at tiny distances from other boats or swimmers. Weaving their way with or without waterskiers or floating mattresses.
Only after 7 the mayhem stops and the water turns flat again.

Next morning we left early to avoid the water racing and the wind in the nose. Only near Kassiopi the NW wind finally came with all its force. So we sailed to a small bay; Kalami.

And the day after back to Gouvia Marina.