After an uncomfortably windy night in Vonitsa we decided to head back south to the islands in the hope that the summer hordes would be thinning out with the start of September looming.
We had 2 knots of current with us that wizzed us out past Preveza and for quite a way through the entrance buoys. This gave us a bit of time in hand to let us sail down to the bridge under genny and a F4 off the land. It was such a great feeling to be sailing again, its been far too long. It was short but sweet, as the wind eased we had to turn on Victor again to get us to the bridge in time. We made it through the shallows bang on the hour; the bridge openers weren’t so punctual and we had an anxious few minutes wait trying not to be blown too far sideways in the entrance pool.
The journey south through the Lefkas channel was slow, the first boat bimbling along at under 4kts, a line of 10 or so behind jostling to overtake like a bunch of cars stuck behind a tractor on a country road. Once at the buoyed section the line sped up and at the channel entrance we all scattered in every direction like water being spurted out of a hose. We were heading to Vlicho for diesel and a few more chandlery bits for winter jobs.
Back in our usual spot in Vlicho bay we noticed lots of tiny baby jellyfish bobbing around us, it seems Vlicho is the fried egg jellyfish nursery!
Vlicho certainly lived up to its name of Velcro Bay for us; we have spent nearly 2 months there on and off over the summer. It was time well spent as we got the decks painted and it was a good place for Colin to stay while I went back to the UK.
Friends had recommended we visit Bill’s bar up in Paleokatuna, on the hill above Nidri. We had tried to visit at the start of the summer but were too early for opening time and felt we couldn’t leave before checking it out. The half hour slog up the hill was tough in the last of the day’s heat, but it made the first beer all the more enjoyable. As soon as we walked into the shady bar we felt we had found the local bar we’d always been looking for. Slightly shabby with random nicknacks scattered around, a bunch of welcoming people and a dark beer on tap, it felt pretty much perfect. Even better was what was outside – a stage, complete with lighting that gave Colin all sorts of musical ideas!
We ended up there the next night too, invited for a game of skittles. Such a shame we only found the place as we were leaving this area. Oh well, there is always next summer for a return visit.
I’d heard a lot of positive things about Sivota but had put off previous visits thinking it would be too busy. As we approached the entrance an exodus of boats was on their way out and once inside the dogleg channel we could see a good amount of space and our friends on Lazy Tern. We found ourselves a good spot to anchor and settled down to enjoy the afternoon. Plenty of boats came in and filled up the walls and then the anchorage began to fill. We had to call out to a boat that was moving backwards towards us seemingly unknowingly to the people on board. They took some kind of offence at this and later on in the afternoon moved from what looked like a perfectly good spot, to anchor right in front of us so that they were less than 10m off our bow. They thought it was funny and despite Colin going over to ask them politely to move they continued to insist it was all fine. Perhaps they have an amazing sense of optimism that nothing would go wrong, but I can’t imagine they would anchor so close off a lee shore in strong, gusty winds. If they had dragged they wouldn’t have even realised before they had hit our boat. They were the same nationality as the boat we had the anchoring too close issues with earlier in the summer which propels that nation to the top of our list of inconsiderate sailors.
It’s a shame to say it but they soured our time at Sivota. The place also wasn’t really our cup of tea – it came across as very touristy, the walk along the harbour front being taverna after taverna. I found a track along the east side of the bay but someone had also decided to use the track as a toilet. Not nice. So after one night, we admitted defeat and left for a return visit to Vathi on Ithaka. As a balm to our souls we were rewarded with a few hours of sailing on the way south.
30th August: Vonitsa to Vlicho: Light easterly winds, increasing to F4, decreasing south of Lefkas: 26nm travelled (3nm sailed): 38 41.43’N 20 42.196’E (blue)
3rd September: Vlicho to Sivota: light, variable winds, increased from west as rounded south of Lefkas island: 9nm travelled: 38 37.4’N 20 40.996’E (green)
4th September: Sivota to Vathi, Ithaka: Light westerly winds, increasing to F4: 16nm Travelled (5nm sailed): 38 22.2’N 20 43.03’E (red)
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