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Renewing old acquaintances

July 16, 2015
The lamp hanging in the saloon.

The lamp hanging in the saloon.

As the title of this post suggests, the past 10 days or so have been a flurry of social activity. We headed south through the Levkas canal, pausing briefly to top up the fuel tanks and replace a gas cylinder as per our stated aim in the previous post of being “ever ready” like those batteries!

We wanted to go to Nidri, principally in order to buy a lamp – not just any lamp you understand, but a beautiful brass anchor lamp, such as we have lusted for ever since we saw one on board the boat of some Danish friends some five years ago. We had seen them in one of the chandleries in Nidri but had agonised about spending the money. In the end we had decided to hang the expense! It is not, you see, something we needed, merely something frivolous for which we hankered. It turned out to be more than we had thought but by then we were committed to the idea, so after a brief debate we caved in. D has since fitted a hook in the saloon from which it hangs but the main object was to create a soft light in the cockpit at night as we sit drinking martinis and putting the world to rights…

The Skipper takes out the kedge anchor in Fiskado

The Skipper takes out the kedge anchor in Fiskado

In view of the fact that we planned to go into Nidri, we thought we would go a mile or so further, into Vliho Bay and catch up with Nicky and Paul aboard Carmel. We found them lolling in the afternoon heat, attempting to keep cool, so we dropped ancbor nearby and went over to plague them. It was a more sober affair than is our usual habit when we get together since Paul has been ill and is currently off the booze. It was great to see them, nevertheless, and doubtless we will catch up again before the end of the summer.

Our next rendez vous was to be with the crew of Mr Whiskers in Abelike Bay, Meganissy the following day. First however, we decided to go ashore for some supper since, like old Mother Hubbard, the cupboard was rather bare and a pack of crispbread, some sundried tomatoes and a tin of baked beans just wasn’t doing it for the Skipper. Vliho Bay is fairly large and we were anchored somewhere in the middle so it wasn’t until we’d almost reached the eastern shore when we suddenly spotted Mr Whiskers, anchored not far from our chosen taverna.  As a result Ruth and Clive came over to join us later for coffee and brandy and we had a splendid evening together. We carried on the motion over the next couple of days in Abelike. It was great to see them again and, as always, we had a lot of laughs.

Mexico, ships dog on Tantrum.

Jex, ship’s dog on Tantrum.

Our next stop was a return to Sivota where we have not been for a couple of years. The visit was a bit disappointing really: D could not source the flexible water carriers he had hoped to find there and the shop which until now has supplied most of my favourite summer tops is no longer doing business with that particular supplier – shame! When you take this in conjunction with the fact that there were all sorts of high jinx with people catching other boats’ anchor chains (the number 1 favourite activity in these parts through July and August,) I regret to report that the Kipper became decidedly brassed off! Twice he was obliged to leap into the dinghy armed with a piece of rope, to go and sort out the muddle because clearly no-one else had a clue what to do!

Fiskardo, unfortunately did not help his peace of mind. It started well. We had a cracking sail from Sivota and as we approached the harbour we were circled by Kevin who took some fabulous photos of Rampage four years ago. This time he was also taking video footage, so we were very happy to be filmed and planned to go to view the dvd that evening. As usual we anchored with lines ashore on the right as you enter the harbour, using our tried and tested method which went brilliantly. Just as well, thought we, since we were closely observed by the French people in the boat upwind of us. Indeed we were rather pleased with ourselves, and as they say: pride goes before a fall…
Suffice to say that as the afternoon wind built, our anchor, (the normally infallible Rocna,) popped and when we tried to reset it, it refused to bite so we had to set it a third time. We also deployed the kedge as the wind was hard on our beam and this was the belt and braces tactic. Now all would be well … er, no actually because the next boat in managed to disrupt our anchors… We shall draw a veil.

Leaving Fiskardo with some relief, we made our way to Kastos to meet up with Steven and Linda aboard Tantrum. More fun and games ensued there with strong afternoon winds, popping anchors and much excitement. At one point a Swiss boat managed to get itself athwart the anchor chains of no less than four boats where it was then totally stuck. It was eventually hauled off by someone in a rib with a hefty outboard. Tantrum and ourselves wound up tucked in the corner of the harbour with lines to a massive orange buoy that is there and from that point on we all felt fairly secure so we could relax and enjoy one another’s company. We had a brilliant two days: swimming, catching up with news and meeting their adorable little ship’s dog, a Latse called Jex. We ate out together one night and barbecued on the quayside the other. It was a brilliant reunion!

The quayside at Sami

The quayside at Sami

Now we are in Sami, where to my delight I have discovered steps enabling me to swim from the quay, (not in the harbour but the other side of the quay. This is fantastic as it is VERY HOT just now so we can throw ourselves in the water whenever the mood takes us. We are currently preparing to repel boarders – er – welcome guests who arrive into Kefalonia airport this evening. I must therefore stop here in order to get this published.

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