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May You Live in Interesting Times…

July 5, 2015

…Or words to that effect are, supposedly, an ancient Chinese curse and indeed we are doing just that. This is not intended to be a flippant remark; living here in Greece right now we can fully appreciate that historically “interesting” times are may be fascinating in retrospect but can be appalling to those who live through them. Greece is not experiencing war or famine or some natural disaster but rather a crisis brought about by human idiocy, greed, whatever.

Our anchorage in "Goat Bay" near Vonitsa

Our anchorage in “Goat Bay” near Vonitsa

Today, as I write this post, the Greeks are going to the polls but whichever way the vote goes, they face more hardship ahead. I do not intend to turn this post into any sort of political platform – others far more eloquent and better informed than me have already said their piece. Suffice to say that whilst we as foreigners are, for the time being, cushioned from the catastrophe happening here we are nonetheless able to think or talk of little else as is anyone who knows and loves Greece and the Greek people.

We took the dinghy some 20 minutes ride from the anchorage here to the nearby town of Vonitsa this morning. There are no apparent shortages as yet, the locals are as polite and friendly as ever and the cafes are full, although most people seemed to be having a coffee rather than sharing a meal. But the tension and apprehension are palpable everywhere and no-one knows what the next few days and weeks will bring. The only political posters we saw urged voters to say “oxi” or “no” but they were only in a small area of town near to the Syriza Party local headquarters. We intend to stay if we possibly can, not just because we love it here but because one thing all commentators agree upon is that tourism is the only positive thing going for this country at the moment. However, we continue to watch events closely and we are prepared to leave, should it become necessary, (unable to obtain cash or buy basics, fuel etc.)

Duncan to the rescue!

Duncan to the rescue!

So, other than watching the local politics, what have we been up to? The last blog ended with our successful relaunch. We had a night anchored off Preveza, and a couple in an anchorage near Vonitsa, (where we are again now) and where D had the excitement of rescuing a scantily clad German lady and her dinghy which was being swept away . We then set off north, pausing as we went, to top up the fuel tank, before we caught a bit of wind to take us as far as Gaios. Then, after a couple of nights, we motored on to Kalami Bay on Corfu, where we anchored in the early afternoon of 30 June, having been thoroughly entertained en route by the sight of a large and professionally skippered motor yacht being rescued by a couple of tug boats, having gone aground in the notorious shallows off Lefkimi Point.

Oops!  That'll be expensive!

Oops! That’ll be expensive!

So why Kalami? Well nephew Rob, his wife Katie and small son Eric had come to stay in a villa overlooking the bay together with Katie’s parents, Barry and Julie. We spent a lovely afternoon with them at their villa, keeping an eye on Rampage as she swung on her anchor in the bay below. (NB: Kalami is famous as the place where the writer, Lawrence Durrell, lived for several years in the 1930s. His home, “The White House” is now a popular restaurant and J has been inspired to download to her kindle his book on Corfu, “Prospero’s Cell” which, rather to her own surprise, whe rather enjoying!!)

A Small Viking at the helm.

A Small Viking at the helm.

After a somewhat rolly night in Kalami, we picked up our visitors in the dinghy next morning for a day trip to a beach a few miles north. The wind gods did not favour us on our outward trip so we motored all the way, with young Eric spending a good deal of time at the wheel. After a few hours spent swimming, snorkelling and eating, the trip back to Kalami was under sail, as the wind gods had, as usual in this part of the world, woken themselves up by late afternoon.

Katie looking and keeping cool on the bow as we motor.

Katie looking and keeping cool on the bow as we motor.

The following morning we motored down to Petriti where we had another rolly night. Fed up with this we decided to skip Paxos, for much though we like it there, both anchorages at Gaios and Lakka are susceptible to swell. Instead we headed straight for Preveza where we could be reasonably sure of a comfortable night. It was a relatively long and very hot trip of just on eight hours on the motor getting down to Preveza; J availed herself of the recently installed salt water tap on the bow, to cool off a couple of times! The following day we had a short but good sail to Vonitsa where we are still anchored. Tomorrow we plan on heading south to meet up assorted friends before our next visitors arrive in a couple of weeks.

Looking out of the anchorage - the stunning beauty of this country encapsulated.

Looking out of the anchorage – the stunning beauty of this country encapsulated.

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2 comments

  1. John and I were out in early June on a very cheap deal with Sunsail and had a great time. We are regular visitors and it was great to see all our favourite places full of flowers and fresh paint but with few visitors from the usual sailing nations apart from the UK. We booked another 2 weeks as soon as Easyjet decided to fly into Preveza so we are coming out in early in September come what may! We are chartering from Ionian Breeze who based just off the town quay and hope to spend a couple of days revisiting Vonitsa and then go north or south depending on the wind. Out of interest can you forward chart position of Goat Bay so I can over fly it with Google Earth. Yes, I’m a very sad person. Regards Carol & John Hayne


    • Carol, our current lat/long is 38 56 038 N, 020 51 991 E.



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