The winter of our great content (apologies to Shakespeare & Steinbeck)

18 Jul

In the run up to our winter hibernation in 2011, we put a great deal of thought into where we wanted to be and what criteria were important to us. In the previous 2 years we’d booked into marinas ‘sight unseen’ and had had some regrets. We were in no hurry to repeat this and so we really took our time deciding. Top of the list was good shelter. Joint second came the presence of a community with which to integrate and proximity to shops and services. Price, although a significant factor, came further down the list.

Some hardy souls overwinter at anchor, I take my hat off to them…however, for us it was always going to be a winter tucked up in a marina with a few home comforts that are rare over the summer monthes, like shore power and unlimited water. On our short list were Gouvia (Corfu), Marina de Ragusa (Sicily), Mesolongi (Gulf of Patras) and Lefkas. We hadn’t visited Marina de Ragusa but because it is developing a good reputation and an expanding community of winter liveaboards we seriously considered it. The price was also very attractive. On the downside, it seems that the marina is a long way from town and, for us, would have involved a long passage from Greece back to Sicily. As neither of us really felt like undertaking a 350+ mile passage in October we crossed Ragusa off the list for now.

We had visited Gouvia when we arrived in Greece and it seemed like a ok marina but not only did it feel way too far from Corfu Town, for us it was only ok, so that also got the heave ho.

We’d come across very mixed reports of Mesolongi. Rather like Marmite, you either love it or loathe it. We had checked it out in August when we cruised down that way and, although we certainly didn’t hate it, neither did it tick enough boxes for us so, by a process of elimination, we opted for Lefkas.

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