samedi 17 août 2019

Syvota Islands

We sailed from Gouvia across to the Greek Albanian mainland and then along the coast littered with fish farms. Arrived at the 2nd bay we found a nice quiet creek to anchor. Except after a while a queen wasp decided that the boat would be a nice nest. A bit of a wasp invasion.

Next day we visited the village in the bay, not very interesting and went on to the Syvota islands. A group of islands separated by small canals with many creeks. A bit full of boats, but we go back there in September when its quiet.

samedi 3 août 2019

Paksos & Anti-Paksos

We sailed from Gouvia to Paksos an island just south of Corfu. Very beautiful with nice bays and deep calanques. Click the map below. Picturesque town and blue transparent water. Wind mostly took us there and back with a strong S wind of 20 kn.
We'll go back out of season and might meet some dolphins and maybe sea turtles.

vendredi 28 juin 2019

The last run to Gouvià Corfu

We left the island of Orthonoi early morning, the wind was blowing hard, 20-22 kn towards Corfu. It was another window not to miss, we did not want to be stuck at the island.
Finally after 900 miles we met three dolphins, Hélène happy.
Off we went on half genua doing a good 4 kn. After 2 hours the wind dropped and back on engine to the first bay, anchor down, swim and have lunch.
At 2 the wind came back again from the W this time and we sailed all the way past Kassiope and anchor in the bay.

In the morning we left for Kassiopei for some shopping, anchored just outside the port and Helene went on her own to get some stuff.
Then off we went around the bend. After a while we moored in a small bay with a couple of restaurants and a little shop. 
The night was loud with music and wavy with taxiboats going full speed through the mooring. After a while we relocated our mooring to have a little peace.
The morning we moved along the coast to find another spot and finally settled for a empty space. Only 20 min later another 4 boats moored around us.
In late afternoon we motored to the bay of Gouvià and moored for the night. Next morning we were getting ou reserved place in the Marina of Gouvia. Then off to do the paperwork.
After 82 days and 980 Nm we arrived at our destination.

There was the paperwork to be done, first pay the remainder for the port and the 24% VAT and then pay the Tepai the monthly tax for pleasure vessels and than the DEKPA the paper to authorise to sail in Greek waters.
he Tepai has to be done online, I did it all and then the site went bonkers, so I had to use an agent in Corfu, rent a bike, pay the agent 50eu, then with the papers go to the bank and pay cash to the gov 49eu for 3 months, to be redone in October.
With the proof to the marina office pay for the DEKPA 50eu and with the receipt to the Port police. Wait in line for an hour and then they did a 4 page document for another 15eu to sail in Greek waters for a year and then renew.
We got it all done in 2 days!

We got a berth in Gouvia marina... for July and then get lost till mid September, since the port is over full. So in August we`ll go for a sail about.
However after a bit of emailing, they approved a contract for 12 months, which we readily accepted.

Sailing the Med for a mere 1000 miles, we sadly had to discover that the sea is DEAD.
Here an there some small fish, but the seabed is dead. Even here in Corfu. 
Which makes one think how long can we still live...

Still have some water coming into the engine and still have to solve this problem. Gas is difficult, all you can get id Camping gaz bottles, but they are not original, Camping gaz is not in Greece. So they fill up old bottles for a very reasonable price. Difficult though to get your hands on a 2nd bottle.
We are nearly organised and soon can sail to discover other parts of the island and more south also. 

Corfu Town

jeudi 27 juin 2019

La route pour la Grece

Enfin on est parti de Marina di Leuca à 6 heures le matin pile.
Le moteur démarrait instantanément.
En passant le cap le vent nous propulsait vers la Grèce, malheureusement pas pour longtemps, donc on a ajouté le moteur et depuis nous avons fait du motor sailing.
Vers mi chemin nous avons rencontrés une floppé de voiliers allant vers l`Italie.
Une grosse houle de côté faisait le passage moins agréable, mais on était en route pour la Grèce quandmême.
Après une bonne 10 heures (en plus nous avons perdus une heure Grèque) arrivés à l`île de Othonoi, nord de Corfu et en plus trouvé une place au ponton en bois du petit port.
Lessivés et chauds on à commencé par un bain de mer dans l`eau transparente ensuite un boisson alcoholisé.
Demain route pour le nord de Coru avec le vent en poupe.

Dernier vue de Marina di Leuca

Notre premier port en Grèce

Le petit port attaché au ponton bois, parti le matin à 9h

lundi 17 juin 2019

St Maria di Leuca

We sailed from Gallipoli with a nice breeze at 90 degree. We had to do max sailing and minimal engine. Before leaving 1 l of cooling fluid had disappeared and I found 30cl of water in the oil pan. Clear indication of a leak in the head joint.
We still had to do another 3 hours of engine before we lanes in the marina st maria de Leuce.
Next day find a mecano to take the engine apart.

The head off, 3rd piston a bit eaten

The exhaust water exchange destroyed
The pro mechano took the engine head off, however the joint was ok.
Mistery. Later his boss came to show me the exhaust exchange which was "eaten" away between cooling water and exhaust. A big mess and needs replacement.
The cost? 2200€ and 5 days waiting for the spare parts. Stuck in a rut.
Abide time shop and swim and wait.
And now some photos of Marina di Leuca.

This town has tons of private villas and only 3 small supermarkets.

Finally Tuesday 25th at noon the mechanics arrived with the replacement parts and around 2:30 the engine was running beautifully. Paid 2000 eu and now we can plan to leave for Corfu.
Today and tomorrow its blowing at 27kn, but we see an opening for Thursday.

samedi 15 juin 2019

The route to Gallipoli

We left Taranto at 9, after filling up on diesel and set off to Marrugio campo some 19 nm. First on engine negotiating the many fish farms (abandoned or not) and set the sails being pushed by a nice breeze from the west.
Getting to maruggio it did not seem to be suitable for our dept, so we decided to continue to Porto Cesario, a sort of Laguna. Thus another 15 nm. The wind changed to east and with full sail we carried on at 5kn.
Around 7 (after 10h) we got to the Laguna. Moored and later remoored at a buoy and we had bad tempers flying. Buoys always a drag. At night till 3am we were immersed in the worst Italian music from to bars, Italian rap of the worst kind. Amazing how Italy has lost its sens of music, its only crap now.

Been there for a while, having a long rest....

Next morning early we set off to Gallipoli a medieval town on the water, we were informed by a Swiss guy on the way. "An amazing experience you walk in the early morning and you are transported back to the middle ages, no cars nothing modern."
We got there after a nice swim, after some muck up with berths we got a correct one. All formalities done we went of to this miraculous medieval town with full expectations.
First we had a nice pizza, before attacking the miracle.
Then we proceeded.
Buss loads of tourist from everywhere, restaurant or bar every  10 meters, cars all over the place, maybe 3 old buildings Greco Romano. At least most of the "old" streets had tarmac, good for my scooter.
Pity they destoyed a pitturesque town and even managed to build monstuous high rises next to it.

The old fortress

A facade of a church, actually about 70 cm thick, behind concrete!

The one an only beach for a major tourist town

Another imposing church front.

Probably the most idyllic place...

Very, very medieval tower, probably from 1200bc?

Nice cosy new Italian family house...
Entre modernité et ancien, entre Italie et Grèce, entre pauvreté et richesse... nous sommes pas loin de notre but.
Les gens sont toujours aussi gentils et rient souvent en voyant Roy se balader sur sa trotinette. Cela permet de faire un peu de conversation avec nos quelques mots d'italien. plus on va vers le sud, moins les italiens parlent anglais, et nous mieux italien...

mercredi 12 juin 2019

En route pour Taranto

On est parti en bonne mine pour le prochain mouillage ou port. Arrivés à une belle plage, on s'est baigné, nous avons mangé et continué en propulsion spi, peu de vent mais quand mème 3,5 kn. 8 Nm plus loin il y avait porto Argonauti, mais la profondeur d`entrée et ce qui suivait était très douteux. Personne ne répondait au VHF, donc on a mis l`ancre à coté de l`entrée. Le soir fut agréable, mais la nuit fut une horreur totale.
Pas une houle soutenue, mais un chaos de clapots avec régulièrement trois grosses vagues. Vous avez compris on n`a pas dormi du tout.
Le matin tôt on s'est sauvé vers Taranto en moteur bien sûr, vent dans le nez. Le moteur qui apparemment, avec toutes les sécousses de la nuit, n'avait pas apprécié et a demandé beaucoup de coups de manivelle pour démarrer. Roy à la douche...
Un peu de grand voile tenue à négatif augmentait la vitesse avec un demi kn.

En s`approchant de Taranto le vent s'est levé et c'est devenu trop serré pour la grand voile. Donc enroulé la voile en force et se battre en moteur contre les vagues, c'est souvent le cas dans un golf.
Un gros sousmarin nous passe devant le nez (facile, il n`y a pas des voiles).
On avait réperé un petit port au chantier du Sud et trouvé une approche à travers un petit trou dans une longue digue. Amarés à une bonne place avec électricite et eau, je vais voir un responsable, vite trouvé et qui était tout a fait aimable; " vous pouvez rester là, pas de inscription, non rien à payer. On aime bien les ètrangers.
On est là attendant meilleurs vents.
Port millitaro-industriel, Taranto n'offre pas un bon acceuil visuel. En plus, nous sommes infestés de petites mouches très enervantes...après les moustiques... En espérant pouvoir dormir cette nuit.

On est parti pour visiter la vieille ville. Expérience spéciale. Totalement bombardée en 1943, il restent des vieilles maisons de moyen age moité détruit et partiellement encore habités! Ou laissées comme ca depuis 80 ans.
Taranto était et est encore une base navale et grande port de pétrole et construction navale. Vous pouvez zoomer sur les photos.

Forteresse Aragonese vieux ville.

Bombarddé en 1943, resté comme tel et partiellement occupée

Hotel de ville splendide renouvée et à coté un maison en ruine depuis 1943

Veille vestige d`Il duce, non touché par les bombardements

En plein ruines une toute nouvelle contruction à acheter.

Comme ca depuis 1943.

Des magasins et restos en bas dans des maisons détruite en haut.

lundi 3 juin 2019

Calabria - Calabria for 200 nm

The Etna  had some eruptions on the left flanc

We left Reggio at 12 after shopping and adding 70l of diesel with a nice wind pushing us through the Messina street.
When we turned East the wind changed and it was engine again.
Looking at the coast one sees a lot of factories closed and abandoned, many houses and buildings never finished and abandoned. It is a sorry sight.
After 25 nm we dropped anchor next to some other boats.
When the sun set we finally saw Etna in eruption not hidden by clouds. Different smoke patterns came out of the left side. During the night the boat started rolling on the swell. Finally at one I got up and dug out the auxiliary anchor (12kg) put the dinghy in the sea, loaded the anchor and chain and dropped it 20 meters down swell, the pulled the boat with the nose in the swell. So we could sleep.

Where we moored on the 3rd of June. Way to go.

Next day we motored onwards to our journey, stopped somewhere afloat to have a swim in ice cold water and some lunch. On we went motor sailing all the way 35 Nm to Marina Roccello Ionica. Very nice port all renovated and a lot of French and Dutch boats. We had a long rectangular pizza at the port restaurant (after I scootered to the town for shopping, only to find that the supermarket was only reachable by car, thus back empty handed).

Pizza 1 m, part Napolitaine part Capriciosa

From Marina di Roccella we set out at 9:30, all the other boats had left apparently long before. There was a good 47 Nm to go to get to the beginning of the high heel curve. We set our sights on a small port that was probably silted in and no access.
After 10 hours of mostly sailing with the wind at 90 deg, we called the marina le castella on the vhf, but no reply. Decided to go in, at the pre port a french boat had attached to a wreck. Not an ideal place. Helene pointed to the narrow port entrance and we carefully moved in. There a guy waved to a mooring, helped us, pointed to the showers, electricity and water and Bob is your uncle. About to visit the village with an old Arragonese fortress, the port owner came by in a small car, wrote a scontrino for 20Eu and we were all set.

The 47Nm sail to le Castella

Fortress Aragonese at Le Castella

Many  houses had started the main work and then abandoned.

From le Castella we left to Crotone, situated at the beginning of the heel, in thick mist and no wind. Around midday the wind pushed us to Crotone. In the bay were 2 oil platforms, pumping Italian oil.
We got good place in the port, did some shopping. In the  morning I sprained my wrist and it is a bit out of action.
Since the wind is not very stable, we decided to take the tour around the bay of the heel, adding 80 nm to the trip. Crossing over directly 57 nm on engine is a drag. So we take a bit longer.

After Crotone we went to the most terrible port of Ciro. The Ciro wine is great their port is a mess. We tied up to a wall and went shopping on roads with holes and bits ad pieces lying everywhere. Shop was far away and messy. Back to the boat, no electricity, no water. At ten probably the worst band of Italy started playing and went on till 2, after that there was another hour of arab music. We also had an invasion of mozzies. So our night was crap.
As soonas we could we left this "port".
Funny though in the supermarket at Ciro the Ciro wine was more expensive than in all the other towns.

From Ciro we set sail (motor) to Cariati Marina a nice trip, flat sea, we stopped underway to have a swim.
Arriving at Cariati no response on the vhf, so we went in the port, while the entrance was just over 2 m depth. No one in sight we moored on a pontoon with tons of empty spaces.
After a while a Swiss flagged Amel arrived and moored and then a German Cata. This was their port. Everything in perfect condition, electricity, water, neat pontoons and room for another 200 boats. After an hour a guy came up and said it was ok where we were and come by the office tomorrow.
Next day after shopping nobody to be found so at around 11 we left.
After this port nothing for 60 Nm. So we anchored after 34 Nm along the shore of Colfari. We now came to the end of Calabria.