Lizzie takes some Leisure

August 27, 2013

I wouldn’t want you to think that any of our visitors lead idle lives – indeed when compared to ourselves, they are all feverishly busy.  My sister, Liz, however, simply never stops and it was for this reason that I was keen that she should take a few days out, to rest and recharge her batteries.  We will never be sure whether or not it was latent Catholic guilt that induced her to walk the plank to atone for such flagrant inactivity – but more of that later.


J and Lizzie enjoying a drink in a cafe in Lakka

J and Lizzie enjoying a drink in a cafe in Lakka

Most of our guests this summer have flown into Corfu, this being apparently, the best bet cost-wise and so it was that last Wednesday, (14th) Rampage was anchored once again under the citadel of Corfu town.  Since Liz was due to arrive in the cool of the evening, we decided to walk to the airport and discovered in the process, that it really wasn’t very far at all.  There had been mild concern a day earlier when Liz commented in an email that her holiday would start on Thursday.  Did we have the day wrong?  Double checked previous emails which all seemed to indicate Wednesday so we texted and emailed on Tuesday, only to get a panicked response from Liz who seemed to think we were on the point of going to the airport at that very moment.  Overwork can lead to confused thinking and confirmed for me her urgent need for a holiday!

Anchoring off Corfu, as mentioned in previous blogs, is a picturesque, not to say romantic start to a stay aboard Rampage.  It does mean however, that you have to run the gauntlet of the Minimal Dinghy from Day One.  In order to convey the three of us, plus Lizzie’s case, across to the boat, D made two trips but unfortunately the little torch we rig on a short pole for dinghy travel in the dark threw itself into the depths on trip one.  However, Liz is nothing if not courageous and gamely clambered into a rather damp and unlit dinghy and off we went.  On arrival out at the boat, we realised that the torch was still alight and glowing at us tantalisingly from the seabed so the Skipper threw caution to the winds, donned his swim shorts and fins and dived the three or four metres to retrieve it.  I would like to report that it is none the worse for it’s salty dip and it does seem to work still but I don’t think the switch mechanism will survive for long.

Next morning, Liz and I went ashore for last minute provisions, and Liz made her first attempt to follow the example of the torch and hurl herself into the briny.  A passing gentleman was having none of it however, and firmly gripped the dinghy and helped her ashore.  It was only when we reached the shops that it occurred to us that 15th August is a religious feast day and most of them were shut.


On the quayside in Lakka

On the quayside in Lakka

We went initially to Plataria and Thursday passed largely without incident, swimming, drinking cocktails in a little bar as the sun went down and an enforced meal out that evening, since we’d been unable to buy any supper that morning.  I wasn’t terribly hopeful about the quality of meal we’d find in Plataria and since my sister and her partner have a Michelin rated gastro pub in Faversham, she is a fairly discerning critic.  However, as it turned out the Greek salad, lamb cutlets and tzatiki turned out to be very passable.  There is a reason why Greek wine isn’t much exported but you do get used to the local house wine pretty quickly so it was a good evening.

The next day was spent in a similar way but for some reason, Lizzie’s partner John was underwhelmed by news of sunsets and barbecues as he slaved over a hot stove in Faversham!  Even the news that she had taken an unexpected leap off the gangplank left him unmoved.  Thankfully, due to the flooded condition of the pontoon at Plataria, she landed, waist-deep and unharmed, on a flight of underwater steps and was able to climb out without further loss of dignity.  Sadly her mobile did not enjoy the dip and despite all Duncan’s careful ministrations, it refused to work thereafter, although luckily Liz was able to transfer her SIM card to one of our phones and thus able to continue to regale John with stories of her adventures.

In the meantime, Duncan had spent a happy few hours installing a Sterling Alternator to Battery regulator between the engine alternator and the battery bank.  This summer, we have struggled to keep pace with the power demands of the fridge: partly this is due to the hot weather but the other element is that the engine doesn’t kick out as much power as might be expected.  The Sterling is an expensive box of electronic whizbangery which ups the output of the alternator.  We were hopeful that this would solve the power supply problem.


Breakfast en route

Breakfast en route

We got a little bit of rain in Platerias and we all bolted under cover in the cockpit.  Then we had a ‘should have gone to SpecSavers moment’;  Lizzie stared puzzled out across the bay and then commented on the dedication of the fisherman, sitting stoically in the rain.  We had to point out to her that her fisherman was in fact a rubbish bin…..  More on Lizzie’s need for new specs later in the blog.

On Saturday (17th), we left Platerias and headed off for the anchorage at Lakka on the island of Paxos.  We struck lucky with the wind and managed to sail for a fair bit of the way, arriving in Lakka after 4 hours.  The anchorage was, as usual, very crowded but we found a spot and dropped anchor for the night.  The girls went ashore for an explore before a supper cooked, for once, on the stove.  All went well until about 4 am, when a truly nasty swell entered the anchorage, scattering unstowed stuff all over the place and alarming Lizzie considerably.  Nothing was broken except our sleep: it was almost certainly the wash from a passing cruise ship which bounced its way round and round the enclosed anchorage making it feel much worse than if we’d been in a more open location.

After that disturbed night, we decided to move down to Gaios for our next stop.  The one hour run down there put a smile on Duncan’s face, as the new whizzbangery worked to expectation, putting a good charge into the battery bank.  That evening, we went ashore for supper finding a nice if expensive place in the town square.  We chose it because there was a ‘circus boat’ moored there and the show took place from 9.30pm onwards; not that we saw much due to the number of kids and parents crammed on to the quayside.


Gaios from the island castle

Gaios from the island castle

We moved on to the quayside the following morning, as the number of passing boats, especially high powered tenders belonging to super yachts anchored offshore, made the anchorage uncomfortable.  Unfortunately we couldn’t hook up to the electricity supply, so the batteries got a good test.  It was becoming obvious that the domestic bank wasn’t holding the charge properly.  Despite the new box putting a good charge into them, the charge was dropping much more rapidly than it should have.  The decision was made that we should replace the domestic batteries if we could find a reasonable set of replacements in Corfu.

On Tuesday, we planned to leave for Petriti on Corfu.  After a shopping exped into the town, we returned to the quayside where J cut Duncan’s hair, much to the amusement of sundry passers by, including the water man who remarked several times that he had just paid €10 for a haircut.  Duncan then got a free shower from the water man – piping hot water from the truck, as the hose full of water had been lying on the top of the tank in the full sun.  The trip to Petriti was without incident and we enjoyed a lovely quiet night in the anchorage after the hustle and bustle of Gaios.  J and Lizzie went ashore to find a post box whilst I prepared a curry; they returned late, having been chatted up by an elderly expat in a bar.  Lizzie succeeded in misplacing her sunglasses for a second SpecSavers moment; despite a prolonged hunt we failed to find them and, having heard nothing from Lizzie on her return, we must assume they fell into the oggin.


The isolated barbeque operative....

The isolated barbeque operative….

We arrived off Corfu town the following afternoon after a short trip from Petriti.  In the early evening, we went ashore into the town.  I found a pleasant little bar overlooking the anchorage and left Lizzie and J to explore the place.  They rejoined me after an hour or so and we had supper in a small restaurant that we’ve been to several time before; a nice family run place in the back streets.


Post shower skipper!

Post shower skipper!

Thursday 22nd was the day Lizzie was due to fly back to UK, so we took her to the airport and walked back to the boat for a bit before catching the bus to Gouvia to pick up the laundry from Glynis at Spiti Prifiti, where was also had lunch.  Once back on board, we took things easy until the cool of the evening before heading into town to get cash and stroll round the place.  Our next visitor is Andy Mills, who arrives on 23rd August for a couple of weeks; more on that and replacing batteries in the next blog.

Lizzie in Corfu town

Lizzie in Corfu town


One comment

  1. I think that you need to interview the “elderly expat” from the bar in Petriti to find the sunglasses!!

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