A Grecian Summer – 2011

17 Jul

Our passage from Malta to Greece took us via Portopalo in Sicily (compulsory dinghy ride ashore – gotta have some Italian ice-cream :-)), Siracusa (huge thumbs up for the fantastic market, just love it! Thumbs down to the lousy thieves who nicked the petrol cap from our outboard :-() & Taormina (very rolly anchorage, unfortunately didn’t make it up to the town :-(), then a long overnight hop of 220nm to Santa Maria de Leuca on the heel of Italy. (We arrived at the harbour in a rising wind with substantial vibration coming from the prop; underwater investigations subsequently revealed 4 different types of fishing net wrapped round the prop. Goodness knows how the poor engine managed to keep going!)

Nothing beats Italian ice-cream!

On 1 June 2011 it was a long day sail into Greek waters. We made landfall on Erikousa and the next day we checked into Greece and got our cruising log (or DEKPA) at Gouvia Marina. Then we were off meandering slowly south and finally feeling that the proper cruising could begin, with less emphasis on deadlines and more on relaxing and going where the mood might take us.

When choosing where to go we found that we like a variety, with a good mix of town quays, quiet or even deserted bays and anchoring off but with habitation nearby if required. We also discovered that we tend to prefer to play it safe and generally plan to reach our planned overnight stop fairly early in the afternoon, unless we’ve got a Plan B formulated. Turning up somewhere at sunset not knowing if there will be space available is not conducive to relaxed cruising in my book, but then I’m just a scaredy cat! 😛

Our equipment woes were not quite at an end once we reached Greece. 2 additional batteries and a new battery charger were necessary purchases but, once they were fitted, our power supply isses seemed to be behind us, at least for a while….

The summer was spent cruising the Ionian, with a brief foray into the Gulfs of Patras & Corinth to avoid the crowds in August. And we even managed a brief trip to Albania, though not aboard Two Choices. We had visits from Berni & Barb in July, Elaine & Gordon joined us for the Southern Ionian Rally in Septmber, and Matthew & Sarah came aboard for a week in October.

We developed our skills at mooring stern-to, at anchoring and the elusive art of taking a line ashore (this one’s definitely still in progress… but we ARE making progress!) We had our harbour mishaps… but not too many; we watched other people’s mishaps (silently giving thanks that, at least this time, it wasn’t us providing the afternoon entertainment!) We made many new friends all along the way and spent long hours over a drink or two enjoying hearing about the myriad of different ways that other people manage their cruising lives. And we slowly, slowly, little by little adjusted to our new life. We had moments of trauma and anxiety…Are we going to find somewhere safe to hole-up when bad weather is on the way? Will the anchor hold? Are we managing the finances ok? What’s going to break on the boat next? Can we really live together 24/7 in such a small space after spending half of our married life apart (due to PT’s oil worker shift pattern)? These themes still crop up, even now, but, overall by the end of the summer, we had more or less settled down to the liveaboard life and, with the next adventure of winter aboard still ahead of us, we started to make cruising plans for 2012.

SUMMER PHOTO BLOG 2011

Making landfall in Greece – 1 June 2011


Rain – a rarity in our Grecian summer



Spartokhori



“Whadya mean, it’s not in the dictionary?!!”


Loggos, Paxos


Fun & games with anchor crochet….


Storm gathering over Aktio – June 2011


Walking on Paxos


Revolting communists in Corfu


Just us….in Igoumenitsa Creek (aka Ormos Valtou)


The girls are back in town……


Lakka; a little busy but still a favourite.

Albania, worth the visit. Next time we’ll go there on Two Choices.


The only thing we managed to catch all summer!



Kalamos



Southern Ionian Rally – Desimi Bay, Lefkada



Matthew, Lu & Sarah


Our expert rally crew… Elaine & Gordon


In the Gulf of Patras (courtesy of ‘Windswept’)

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2 Responses to “A Grecian Summer – 2011”

  1. Bibo Gatt July 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Sounds idyllic Lu!!! Maybe one day….

    • peteandlu July 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Hope you’ll get to come & visit, Bi xx

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