A Month of Sisters

August 19, 2015

Our attempts at regular updates to this blog have failed utterly this summer as we have been even more preoccupied with visitors than usual. Although all of our guests have been quite prepared to amuse themselves, it is nigh impossible to remove oneself for 2 – 3 hours or more which is, realistically, the minimum time it takes to write the text, select photos, proof read, gain management approval, rewrite and finally publish a post. 

Cocktails on Kastos

And please do not imagine that the title of the post is a figure of speech; when we say a month we mean exactly that. From a logistical point of view it has worked well: we were able to “come to an arrangement’ with the charming family who run the Avis car rentals in Sami, enabling us to have a car for an evening in order to drop off one set of guests and collect another. Our guests too, have been most co-operative in this regard, dovetailing their arrival and departure times at Kefalonia airport, thus enabling us to make the minimum number of trips across the island to Argostoli.  
Changing bed linen, visits to the laundry and food shops and re supplies of water have been managed with the minimum of fuss or wasted time. For whilst Sami is not a horrid place, indeed we’ve grown quite fond of it, who wants to be in a town harbour when the temperatures are up in the high 30s? To my huge relief, I did realise that it us possible to swim on the far side of the quay here, thus avoiding a hot walk to the utterly unremarkable beaches either end of the town. Nevertheless, despite this compensating factor, the aim has been to leave Sami with all possible speed in favour of lovelier locations.


The quay at Kioni

We have not tried to go too far afield, so our itineraries have largely been repeated with each visit, taking in most of our favourite places: Port Leone (Kalamos,) Kastos, Abelike (Meganisi,) Sivota (Levkada) and Kioni (Ithaca). We have also been obliged to make visits to Big Vathi on Ithaca and the infamous Nidri on Levkada, neither of which can be described as our favourites, but are useful places for chandlery and Internet top ups.  


Maggie not snorkeling!

There has been lots of snorkelling followed by long discussions about what we have seen. It’s been interesting to see that whilst some species of fish are ubiquitous, some seem to favour particular places, eg flat fish on sandy sea beds and clams among the sea grass. Starfish seem to come out en masse at certain times of day but then have vanished utterly when you return for another swim. Some fish like to be fed on stale bread and arrived mob handed to devour our offerings while others scorn such blandishments. Some ignore our presence utterly and go about their business as if we were not there whilst others instantly flee to nooks and crevasses as we approach. Our two unique finds have been a huge, spiny, green starfish and a solitary jellyfish – both one-offs spotted in Port Leone with my very dear friend and fellow snorkelling enthusiast, Mags.


Helen and Mark on the foredeck as we leave Sami

Aside from all the swimming, what else have we been up to? Well, there was a walk from Port Leone to Kalamos village with Mark and Helen – something I’ve wanted to do for a while. D brought Rampage up round the coast to join us for breakfast before we carried on to our next anchorage. Helen was possibly disappointed not to walk back but I think Mark and I were both quietly relieved as it was starting to get pretty hot and Mark, in particular, didn’t have the right shoes with him. Jinny, Mags and Susie all tried sleeping up in the cockpit as the aft cabin is pretty hot and stuffy in the height of summer. Jin, especially, embraced this al fresco sleeping and sometimes I joined her although the noise of the water and the chill at dawn both kept me awake rather. Only once did the Skipper try sleeping on deck when he slung our hammock between the mast and the forestay. All went well until some time after midnight when the people from the next boat returned after a jolly evening shore and decided to run their engines because their battery alarm was going. We shall draw a veil over what ensued; suffice to say that eventually they got the message that this was socially unacceptable.


The Skipper trying out the hamock for size.

Mostly, we have survived the crowds of high season and the onslaught of the Italians remarkably well, although there was a shirty exchange between ourselves and a couple of young men who forced their small yacht into the inadequate gap between us and the next boat. Having spent some considerable time repairing the damaged done to the gel coat after a similar incident last summer, we were unimpressed.


Drinks at Cafe Piccolo in Kioni with Jinny

Needless to say, there have been frappes and cocktails, mezes and pita gyros as well as several lovely meals out. Helen was winched up the mast and had spectacular success waterskiing whilst Susie managed to bag several geocaches on visits to the Drogerati and Melisani caves, and the sink holes near Argostoli. She was also thrilled and delighted by the rock formations on Kastos, having studied geology at university. Oh, and we also managed to do some sailing in between times.

So as I come to the end of this post I realised that I have only clarified half the title. It just so happened that Helen and her partner Mark, were followed by her sister Mags and she in turn was followed, first by Duncan’s sister, Jin and last but by no means least, by his younger sister, Susie.
We now have less than two weeks left out here so we plan to head back towards the Gulf of Amvakikos where we will begin the preparations for lift out. This is earlier than usual as I have to be back in Falmouth by mid September to begin a new chapter in my life, learning to be a degenerate student.



  1. Dear Julia and Duncan,

    We wish you a lovely last month of sun and fair winds. Are you considering any blogging between Sept and next spring/summer, so we keep abreast of the degenerate student lifestyle? If not, will you have a snail mail address for holiday cards, etc? We still hope to entice you to come over ‘the big pond’ for another visit… Much love, Ruth and David

  2. Hi guys. Fast response! J is considering a blog about life as a mature student but wants to see what time pressures are like…… We’ll send an email to you with snail mail addresses shortly. The idea of a pond crossing is attractive we will have to see how things work out. Stay in touch.

  3. Thank you so much for my holiday. So glad I’ve got a few days back here before work next week to savour the experience!

  4. love the blog not been not been out this year boat still on the hard in Cleos .Dave S/Y Diros

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