Idling in the Ionian on IDA, May 2010

N 39° 07' E 20° 15'

Around the tip

May 25, 2010

Give the reef at the end of the island a wide berth and turm north up the eastern side.

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N 39° 09' E 20° 18'

Good sailing

May 25, 2010

Hold on the wind is playing games again, turning more northerly. We are going to have to beat again. We do a long closehauled port tack NW and then need to decide when to go W again.

We dont want to go to far as there is a risk of our starbord tack course intersecting with that monster…

 

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N 39° 11' E 20° 11'

Gaios

May 25, 2010

OK tack when we should be able to hold a line for the north end of Anti Paxos.  We can actually go a bit more north than that we can hold a line for Mongonissi..  BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, off goes the prox alarm again but this time we are just skirting the edge of the circle so no problem.

Time to get the boat ready for mooring up as we approach the southern entrance to Gaios.

Oops looks busy here tonight, THREE sailing holidays lead boats, must be a lead crew get together going on. Yep there are three flotillas in here tonight, still it is long quay so no problem.

Oh good we can get in at the southern quay, pizza at the Blue Coast tonight.

A 361 coming in alongside us, it is Thallassa, which we last saw under tow at Frikes after her engine failed. A quick word with her crew and they only started their trip on Sunday 23rd, but were told that she had just had a new engine fitted.

Under tow off Ithica on the 20th, engine changed and ready to go out again in Plataria on the 23rd. I like the amount of support that Sailing Holidays have available for you if anything does go wrong!

On our starboard side we have one of the Jaguar 27’s but what is that tied on her bow. A rigid dinghy, with a mast step? It turns out that they have bought some little sailing dinghies to tow behind the Jaguars. Rigid GRP but with inflated buoyancy at the gunwales and a simple sailing rig. It seems that they are bouyant enough to qualify as a life-raft so no need for the life-raft in its bag taking up a lot of the Jaguar’s cockpit locker. Sailing characteristics are supposed to be similar to the Optimist so they could be fun for any families that come out on a Jag.

 

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N 39° 13' E 20° 10'

Heading for Lakka

May 26, 2010

Another short trip today, up to Lakka at the northern end of Paxos.

Ida’s plan is to go straight up to Lakka and anchor until the wind gets up after lunch and then possibly to go out and have a play around.

Motor out through the north exit at Gaios, passing a Greek navy minesweeper at the ferry berth and head north aiming away from the coast to avoid another little reef off Longos.

Ifaloy Paxoi is a rock that is just a couple of feet under the surface about 1 Km (0.6 Miles) due east of Longos. Remember that we are in Greece, so it is unmarked! (one of the Jaguars is said to have hit it later in the week, and if a boat with a draft of 1 metre can do it anybody else can as well, so stay away from it.)

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N 39° 14' E 20° 07'

Lunchtime at Lakka

May 26, 2010

Into Lakka Bay and it is crowded, lots of boats anchored in the bay today.

We go for a spot just inside the headlands and drop the hook.

I deploy the tender and go ashore to get a few photos of the bay.

We then slip over to the village in the tender for a mooch around before returning to Ida as the breeze is picking up.

There are a couple of trip boats with yards in the bay. Strange rig though as the sails appear to slide in and out on the yards rather than have the clews pulled up to the yard to furl them.

As we head back we see a yacht coming in flying a large Jolly Roger. That may cause the skipper some grief out here as the Port Police sometimes take offence to it!

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N 39° 19' E 20° 05'

A good thrash to windward

May 26, 2010

The breeze is picking up so we are off for an afternoon playing with the sails.  Unlike many of the other crews we don’t have our own boat at home and these trips are the only chance we normally get to sail.

As we go to up-anchor we see that Nerita, one of the 361’s has apparently had the same idea and they are leaving ahead of us.

We pass one of the square rigged boats setting their sails, presumably intending to run downwind (I don’t think that they would get them very close to the wind).

Then we are out and it is time to decide where to play. Well that is Nerita over there why don’t we see if we can catch her?

Breeze is from the NW and its a port tack close-hauled up towards the tip of Corfu.  Ida goes to windward like a witch and we find ourselves pointing higher than the 361 and still catching them. They can go faster if they come off the wind a bit but after about 5 miles we are eventually about 1/4 mile up wind of them and 1/4 mile ahead.

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N 39° 14' E 20° 08'

Lakka

May 26, 2010

Time to turn onto a broad reach back to Lakka, and I just can’t get Ida to feel right at that point of sailing. I must be doing something wrong with the sail trim… Fiddle a bit with the sheets and the outhaul and get her a bit better but am still left thinking that I just haven’t got it quit right…

Still it has been a good afternoon’s blast!

Coming back into the bay we were thinking about lying at anchor tonight but the anchorage area is already looking very crowded and there are still boats coming in.  I have had nights worrying about swinging into neighbouring boats before and we decide to opt for a berth on the quay instead.

There have been a few changes here since I was last here two years ago. One of my favourite tavernas is now a supermarket and the Harbour Lights bafe/bar seems to have gone.

A walk around the village and we find that the Harbour Lights has moved into one of the side streets (walk down the quay with the water on your right and turn left at the SW corner of the harbour), but still has the same English owner  and still offers a full english breakfast. (She will even do Cod, Chips and Mushy peas for dinner if you are getting withdrawal symptoms after all this moussaka etc).

Next door is a little old style taverna, the sort where they invite you into the kitchen to smell what they are cooking whilst they explain today’s menu to you.  Spit roasted lamb, Spit roased Pork… it smells heavenly.

Gary is bit in-decisive about the chef’s recommendation of the pork but the wave of a sharp knife and he has bit in his hand to try, right that is one order settled. I go for the kleftiko which I am assured will be ready by the time we have had our starters (watch out the salad portions here are big).

Then its is a stroll back along the quay and sit and watch the sun go down with a beer or two before I go back to the boat. Gary is going to stay out a bit and see what the local club scene is like. (Strange how he always seems to get back on the boat without any help after he has had a night out, even if he wanted help earlier…)

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N 39° 24' E 20° 14'

Slipping into Sivota

May 27, 2010

Up early for once (I can remember when I was always up and nosing around villages before most other crews were awake. Not doing it so much these days, age must be creeping up with me!).

We are on the east side of the harbour and one of the others had said that they had found a road up onto the headland that gave them a good view of the bay.

So I went towards the village and found a road off to the left that I had never explored in any of my visits to Lakka and started to climb.

Well it did go up the hill, but not in the desired direction but I perservered and eventually emerged from Lakka after climbing a hill that I wouldn’t like to try driving up or down. Narrow, steep and tight hairpin bends.

I came back down an followed the quay around towards the school and then found that the road she had meant was the one along the quay itself. It does give some very nice views over the harbour, but I must have somehow got some water on my lens as my shots have “fuzzy” spots on them…

I counted some 30 boats anchored in the bay. And this is only May! What must it be like in the peak season like in August?

Anyway back to the boat and get Gary up so that we can treat ourselves to breakfast at the Harbour Lights and then its off NE to Sivota (Mourtos).

A brief glimpse of dolphins on the way over and a reasonable bit of sailing at times before the wind died again and then we slip into Sivota via the southern channel between the islands. I’ve been through here many times including with a Bavaria 42 and it isn’t difficult as long as you stay in the middle of the channel.

Then it is tie up and over to the Bamboo Place for a beer or two before deciding where to eat tonight. and then watch the sun go down over Corfu.

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N 39° 32' E 20° 03'

Ferry Dodging

May 28, 2010

The lead boat is staying in Sivota tonight and then moving around to the hand over base at Plateria tomorrow.

Ida has other plans, we are going up to Sayada in search of the local prawns.

It is a fairly long trip for us in these waters as the wind is so flukey but we do always have the volvo as backup.

Tho of the other boats decide to do the same so it will a bit of a cruise in company.

Having collected the boat papers from the lead crew we set off on a light wind which gets even lighter as we get off the main ferry port of Igoumenitsa.

The shoreline north of Igoumenitsa is basically the delta of a local river and the shallows form this extend quite far out to sea so we have to do a bit of contour tracking to stay clear.

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N 39° 37' E 20° 10'

Into the land of the prawn

May 28, 2010

The SW breeze has almost died away and even a a drifting, goose-winging battle with two Aloa 27’s also heading for Sayada does little to keep up the enthusiasm for sailing. OK I give in, engine on!

We had seen Nerita astern of us but hadn’t seen anything of the Lipiana which was also coming here. Hold on there is a boat ahead just off the coast. They had taken an inshore route following the 5 metre contour.

Sayada harbour entrance looks quite narrow but you used to be able to use the two lamp posts on either side to help you keep her in the middle as you approached.

These navigation aids have unfortunately gone the same way as most Greek nav aids and have collapsed! Probably got used as mooring points and the strain of the ropes eventually overcame the rust…

The harbour is quite shallow so it is best to go bows-to here and we park up without to much trouble. Mooring rings are few and far between though so you may need fairly long mooring lines (or use a lamp post or two).

Round to the tavern to sample their locally caught prawns (sold by the kilo,  but previous experiences have shown that you need two or three of you to handle a whole kilo…) Gary and I take it easy and have a 1/2 kilo between us. 

Prices in Greece seem to be higher these days, not helped by the falling value of the Pound, going rate for prawns here was 40 euros a kilo, which probably works out a 1 euro per prawn.  Take a look at the photos though, you don’t make a prawn cocktail with these.

 (Not a lot of photos of Sayada this trip, how many times can you take the same shot over the years so for pictures of the harbour etc look at my earlier trips, it hasn’t changed much!)

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