My Adventure Story
Summer Holiday 2010 aboard 'Cariad' our Benetteau Oceanis 390.
Ian. Beverley, Matthew, Jennifer and a friend Melissa aboard.
Some places we hope to get to.Sami
- The Cave of MelissaniMessolonghi
- to check out the marina, especially their cradles.Day 1: Home to Preveza and settling in.
Taxi arrived at five to three this morning, and took us to Gatwick. Gatwick at four to be greeted by Nick, or at least it looked like him. Recovered from shock and went to queue. Squeezyjet queues went quickly and we were boarding by 5:30am. Two and a half hours in utter discomfort we arrived in Corfu at 10:50am local time.
Taxi transfer to the port, two taxis €15 each, ferry to Igo €45 for the five of us.
Sun is shining, waters blue, cool breeze. Perfect. Bring on the rest of the holiday.
Bundled onto the bus at 2pm that would take us to Preveza, most of us fell asleep, and two hours later we arrived at the Bus Station. We finally got to the boat at about half 4 in the afternoon and sorted out suitcases and things before going out to dinner.
Whilst the men went out to fix the car, the girls are sitting downstairs
chilling with music in the background. Car - relay 30 repair - unsuccesfull. Hmm. Oh well another time perhaps. Not going to drop the fuel tank to replace the pump this holiday unless absolutely necessary!
Dinner at the Kleopatra Taverna. Yes we know that it's tantamount to treason to not frequent Panos's but it was excellent. Food was good ( Jenni was blown away by the pasta ) service good and the bill reasonable.
The stainless tray that dad made to add worksurface over the cooker is a FAIL and does not fit. Such is the way when working 2000 km from the boat! May be able to get it modified in Levkas but its not the end of the world.
Plan for tomorrow - boat into the water, and then who knows!
Till tomorrow xDay2: Launch and Provisioning
Dad up at 5:30 am. A beatifull sunrise. Charging the car battery and going over preperations for the day. Engine seacock opened. others test. Lots to do!
Quick panic to get the boat sorted and ready for the boat to be put into the water at 11am. They arrived and started attatching the hydrolic trailor before we'd even got off the boat...must've been in some sort of hurry - unusual for the usual laid-back attitude, as it also only took all of ten minutes to put us into the water.
Spent the next hour swimming and sunbathing and then cleaned the decks, discovered Melissa is a bit of a clean freak!!''It'll do, you can stop now.'''' NO! Pass the hose - we missed a bit!'' :D
Wandered back down to Cleopatra's taverna following Jenni's persistant grovelling for a 'proper' greek salad, and enjoyed a nice lunch.
After the family putting down bets on the whereabouts of any food landing on my shirt would be today - managed to come away clean, same can't be said for Matt though who managed to spill on his shirt - proudly showing off how much bigger it was than the night before's.
The greeks have the right idea of a siesta in the middle of the day. Lying down to the sound of the waves lapping against the boat is a nice way to spend the afternoon. Day 3 - Lets get a wiggle on!
( Ian ) I have a business conference call at 12:30 today so we need to be near high speed internet for that. Waiting for the office to open to see if we need to move, if not then we'll stay here until then. If we need to move then its either anchor off - need to inflate the dinghy and get some petrol for it or across to Preveza quay. Of course the quay is what the girls want but this morning it looks pretty full so it might be a med mooring effort. Rather exciting with our first time crew !
We went all the way over to Preveza! We moored up and went for a wonder around the town desperately trying to find a food store. We came back an hour later with a loaf of bread and 4 cinamon rolls much to Ian's disgust - not exactly the weeks worth of shopping he was expecting. Jenni and I went to bum around town, we managed to get lost during the 2 hours because of Jenni!!
'No I was a scout i know what i'm doing!'
'we need to go this way back to the sea!'
'I know what im doing just follow me!'
When we finally got back we decided to cool off by getting some ice cream, and picked an authentic 'Gelatiaria' and then discovered that the lady behind the counter did not speak a word of English. Jenni tried her luck asking for Rum and Raisin a request which was to be followed by a vacant stare.
We had lunch and waited for the evening to commence. Tonight we were going out for Gyros <---- YUMMY! then Jenni and I roamed the streets to see what the night life was all about in Preveza. First the Ferris Wheel for Jenni as she had never been on one before. However the ride did not stop for another 20 minutes after we got on and by this time Jenni was almost crying to get off
'Stop rocking the cage!!'
As we were walking back from the ferris wheel we began to be followed by some strange boy on a BMX, he circled us a few time and we thought nothing of it, untill he made another pass at us making the strangest noise much like that of a snake 'Sssssssssss' Me and Jenni looked at eachother and laughed before i shouted
'What the hell is that is that some kind of mating call, what do you think whats your number is woof woof!'
We were then in fits of laughter all the way to the doughnut stand where we had doughnuts steeped in melted chocolate and honey. We sat down watching the night sky and the orange lit moon, before heading for the bars. Strolling back to the boat was very adventurous as we decided to speak in a Essex, Welsh, Irish, Wolverhapton, Scottish mixed accent.
'I do like a laugh in the bath, How about we dunk our duck in the bath, then maybe a barbeque or a buffet i think a barbeque, so we gonna put some pork on our fork, and a bit of chicken on the side just because we like it.'
This conversation was then repeated as the night went on even when we were lying in the cockpit ready for bed. Matthew was not a happy bunny however we enjoyed ourselves. One word to describe this day and that was EPIC!Day Four: "Sloppy Bay"
7:30am and Dad single-handedly dropped mooring, in order to make a start on the sailing. We were all asleep while this was happening and it has to be said that the look on Melissa's face when she woke up in a different place was somewhat amusing.
We made a move for Leftkas, hoping to get to the canal before the gates closed, as we didn't want to be waiting around for an hour or two waiting for the next one. We got to the canal just in time and managed to sneak in just before the bell rung signalling the gates closure.
We stopped off in the marina, and let down the anchor so Mom and Dad could get supplies from the town.
When they got back Dad showed Melissa how to pull in the anchor (after which, she decided it would then be her job!) and we motored down the Canal.
I showed Melissa, that the best place to be is right up the front when a wake arrives, and we had great fun being thrown about at the front.
We decided to jump off the boat for a swim when we came to the end of the canal, deciding to rather have one person on board at any one time instead of bothering to anchor, and we got into the water. Afterwards we decided to try our own version of water skiing, and Dad made a handle out of hosepipe and rope. Melissa was first up to try it. She got on the body board and held onto the rope, as Dad turned on the engine and motored about a bit. Melissa was laughing so much, but didn't fall off once.
Then it was Mom's go who managed to stay on for a while but then started screaming STOP! STOP! STOP!! at the top of her lungs when she fell off!
Melissa and I decided to sit in the dinghy for the rest of the journey and Melissa was first in. A big wake was heading towards the dinghy so I warned Melissa, who started laughing and then shouting as the wave drenched her! I then got in, and Dad motored/sailed the rest of the journey as Melissa and I sunbathed in the dinghy, which splashed us occasionally with cool water. Lovely.
We were on the way to Castos but then turned back to head towards Episkopi Bay, where Robyn and co. were. When we arrived and anchored, Dad dived into the water and swam over to Robyn's boat, followed by Matt, Melissa and I. We sat aboard their boat chatting for an hour or so but then decided to head back to Mom. Melissa was first in the water and pretty much swam so fast back we couldn't keep up, all the while shouting; "It's the sea weed! There may be Octopus!"
We had dinner aboard, a joint effort by Melissa and I, and we made Chilli Con Carne and Rice. The night was rough, and Mom was up all night not having any of it.
Dad offered to up anchor and move but she then told him we would NOT be sailing at night, let alone re-anchoring. Day Five: Desimou
A slow start to the day, as we sat downstairs trying to decide where we were heading, for ages. I was set on Castos, but nobody was listening to me, which everyone found hilarious. The day before we'd decided on a lazy day sailing because Melissa and I had gotten burnt. But Dad, being Dad, wasn't having any of it and wanted to go on some epic voyage half way to Italy most probably. We eventually decided to leave the book and just see where we ended up.
We arrived in Desimou bay later that afternoon, which we'd been to last year. Desimou is a beautiful bay with a cave at one side, and lots of quiet patches of private beaches and coves, and a busy public beach with a pretty Taverna looking out on the bay.
When we anchored we got into the water to get used to the cold, before getting back on board and getting Dad to take a picture of Melissa and I jumping off the side of the boat. I slipped on the edge of the boat, and hit the water faster than Melissa, so we decided to try again...this time off the back of the boat! We got ready, held hands and jumped, this time holding our noses. And dad managed to get a good picture.
Then we decided to go looking for the snorkelling stuff and Melissa and I got in the water again this time looking out for fish.Afterwards Melissa decided to go and do a photoshoot so Dad put the motor on the dinghy and we set off for a small island by the cave. We were there for about an hour as Melissa made me sit very awkwardly on many different rocks. She then made me lay in the water which i was not ammused at, at all as the waves were crashing above my face she somehow seemed to find this histerical. When we had finished Dad picked us up and we went for another swim, after this Melissa and I decided to wash her hair using the shower on the back of the boat we probably killed a couple of fish the amount of shampoo we were using!
In the evening we took the dinghy to get across to the Taverna in which we joined Robin and co. for dinner. I had Pistachio which was delicious and i was determined to finish it all in which i did however Melissa's spagetti bolegnaise was a little to big for her stomach and when the waiter came to collect the dishes at the end was not impressed that she didn't eat it all.
'You don't like my food, why you not eat it!' Day 6: Possibly the BEST day ever!
Me and Jenni spent most of the day recovering from sunburn downstairs listening to music on full volume, dancing along quite embarrassingly i think i made Jenni almost wet herself laughing at one point, i think it's safe to say we can give Beyonce a run for her money now. We were interupted by Beverley shouting at Jenni to come upstairs, i asked Jenni what was going on. Jenni turned around to me rolling her eyes in the process 'Nothing... we just have to come and see how AMAZING Nyderi is'i then laughed and followed her upstairs just as we passed the water sports Jetty. We both looked at one another and smiled as we filled with excitment at the thought of which would be Jenni's 18th birthday present. We all went ashore and spilt up as Jenni and I walked along the beech to the water sports jetty to find out the price of parasailing, we must have seen about 6 women topless a sight i am now scared for as Jenni kept pointing each individual out to me. When we got there we looked on the board of prices expecting to see priced of 100€+ we were quite excited to see that a singal parasailer was only 45€ but starngly the price for a double was not on the board we walked over to their floating office thing and asked the man on board;
'how much for a double'
'once around Ekopios, then we circle around the beech ... 15 minutes'
we both smiled said thank you and goodbye and left. The entire walk back to the meeting point consisted of me and Jenni arguing about whether her had said 15 minutes or 50. We sat down at the meeting point when we were approached by what Jenni was convinced was a GREEK paedophile. As we were sitting down this man said hello, and we politely said hello back, he then began to carry on the convosation by asking us where we came from and our names. He then walked over to his van and began to stare at us from his win mirror. He then came back and asked us if we liked music in which we replyed yes he then put on rock music which sounded more like someone continually screaming into a microphone for 5 minutes. Luckily he didn't stay for long but still managed to say goodbye to us in which Jenni angrily huffed ' yeah thats right get in your van and jog right on!'
We then saw Beverley approaching us whilst i made Jenni's hair look like a garden we waited for Matthew and Ian to come back.
When everyone was back together we went and found a little café with a swimming pool and drank piná coladas and swam for a couple of hours. Then we decided to head for the parasailing!!!
We had to strip down to our bikinis and head for the speed boat before getting into our parasailing gear!We sped about in the boat whilst the HOT instructors sorted out our PINK parasail. Then they strapped us in me in front and Jenni behind we had to sit on the floor of the boat while we gained speed and then off we went! Both of us screaming at the top of our lungs, whilst Matthew videod us and Ian took pictures.We were about 400 feet in the sky and we were overlooking the entire island the views were amazing. Without us knowing Ian had, had a word with the instructors and asked them to dip us into the water however when this came about it was a little more than a dip, our legs flew sideways with the current and we were drenched in sea water from head to toe. After the drenching we were pulled back onto the boat both of us were shaking all over in excitement, we sat down grinning from ear to ear. Once we got off the boat we had our pictures taken with the instructors i mean who wouldn't they were HOT!
We then skipped down the beach excitedly telling the story over and over again inbetween laughs we then stopped for lunch (Gyros again) and managed to buy the captain hats we were looking for.Once back on the boat again Jenni made dinner (Pork and rice) and we all settled down for the night.
THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE EVER!!!!Day 7: Tacked our way to Aktakos
(woke up to Melissa shouting in her sleep last night. "Get off my face, or I will SLAP you!". Violent child. Strangely didn't sound like sleep mumbling but actually like she was awake happily having a conversation with the world.)
Ian decided to do a epic voyage today much to everyones dismay. I got to be captain today (apparently stealing Jenni's job) and sailed for at least a couple of hours. Even managed to tack and wound Beverley up by getting closer to the island each time.
Lunch time swung by and Jenni was asked to prepare the food, not an easy task on a boat rocking back and forth violently, she got everything done with a slight argument over tuna mayonaise, then was asked for the bread board, disaster stuck when she was flung into the staircase and hit her spine, she emerged from the galley in floods of tears and then had to put up with all the food being launched at her from the rocking of the boat. It was not her hour.
Afer that Jenni and I lay on the deck chatting and passing the time by playing 'Consequences' which also seemed to take our minds off the motion sickness we were both feeling at this stage. We dangled our feet off the edge of the boat trying to get our feet wet because of the angle of the boat, however this did not really work unless we threw our bodies forward in which we then succeeded.
We then fell asleep in the cockpit, i managed to steal Jenni's shady spot as she was downstairs at the time (SUCCESS) and made her curl up at the bottom of my feet like a cat. I was woken up up to a worried Beverley panicking because i was in the sun and Ian laughing at me, i asked why and was told that apparently i was doing some very strange foot gestures whilst i was sleeping, Jenni later told me that she caught it on camera (Lucky me).
We are now safely anchored SOMEWHERE in Greece seeing as no-one can tell us exactly where we are (slightly worrying). Dinner plans for this evening are chicken in white sauce and pasta. Yum. Internet still isn't working, it's now day four of not having internet.
** Just thought i might add as she just used the word (much to my disgust) that i have allowed Jenni to say the word (LOL) only two times a day because she uses it far too much in her day to day language. I'm allowed to slap her if she goes over and it has to be said she takes great pleasure in saying it to my face and then shouting
"NO! That was my first time today, you CAN'T slap me!!" Day 8: Swimming at Onassis' Bay
Castos to Onassis' Bay today, whilst Melissa and Jenni slept the morning through. Then on to Mytikas, where the girls became more interested when they heard there was a fresh water shower onshore. To which they both scrambled to get their things together and swam 150 metres in order to get to it!
Beverley and I went to the butcher and bought 800g of freshly minced beef, which Jenni used half of to make (delicious may I add) spaghetti bolognaise.
Melissa, Jenni and Matt stayed up cackling for most of the night, and Matt used the many Asian students in his school to his advantage when playing the Alphabet Game!Day 9: Early Morning Venture to Leftkas
Arrived in Leftkas at 11am, whilst Matt and Melissa were still asleep!!
Mum and Dad went ashore whilst Melissa and I worked on our tans. They came back with many-a-bargain and INTERNET AT LAST!
Mum excitedly returned announcing;
"We found TWO table cloths for a whole TWO EUROS, can you believe it!! And 800g of calamari for €3.80!!"
Jenni used the rest of the mince to make spaghetti and meatballs for lunch
and then a sneaky first attempt at stern-to mooring whilst Mum was unavailable to panic. SUCCESS.
Unfortunately our boat, usually quite a large looking vessel, is now sandwiched between a catamaran and a superyacht, and now makes us look quite piddly in comparison. ( The superyacht is a 100' + Baglietto, sand coloured hull and white superstructure so well polished that you can see your reflection in it ) Further down the quay there is
Gyros for dinner...once again...yummy! And then a night-time wander round the town and pancakes!Day 10 - Northwards.
Up through Levkas bridge today. Moored up alongside the jetty outside Aktio Marina for showers and refuelling. Had pasta and fresh bread for lunch - onto Vonitzia for the evening
Arrived in Vonitzia in the evening , and picked up some chicken from the butcher, but when we got back to the boat Mum was having none of the rocking and it was decided we'd go round the corner to a quieter bay.
We had calamari, tomotoes and olives with pasta whilst melissa had the same but the chicken version as she isn't a fan of seafood.
We later found out that the water was as still as glass and Mum was happy for the rest of the evening. We sat around the campfire (a small mosquito candle) and listened to lots of Dad's; 'When I was about Matt's age....' stories which I LOVE, whilst watching Melissa's eye's widen after every story, as Dad went through the classics, throwing sodium into the river at school, blowing gun powder into his finger, driving into the side of the train. All the best ones!Day 11 - Vaseliki - Windsurfer's paradise, Mum's nightmare
Woke up this morning to Mum's frantic shouting;
"GET UP... DOLPHINS!"
To which Melissa and I jumped up and got up onto the foredeck with a video camera and cameras in a matter of seconds.
It only took a minute to find the large pod of dolphins feeding on fish about 5 boat lengths infront of us, and we quietly watched them from afar.
10 minutes later we had four dolphins swimming the bow waves and Melissa and I shouting in awe at how big they were, and how cute they looked.
We spent about an hour with these dolphins and managed to get a lot of video and pictures of them. Lots of close up shots of them riding the bow waves, and then when they started showing off and jumping in the air.
After a while they went back to feeding and we decided to make a move.
WORST JOURNEY EVER, and we're talking about being up against the taxi/plane/ferry/land rover journey that it took to get us here in the first place. I have never been so motion sick in my life. It was horrific. Melissa on the other hand managed two hours sailing before she felt sick and went to lie in the sun on the forepeak. She even managed to overtake some nutter in a classy yacht. SUCCESS!
The end of the journey meant 32 knot winds, we're talking GALE FORCE winds here, with the boat up at 45 degrees, water splashing over the sides, the whole nine yards. I've never seen Mum's knuckles so white from holding onto the bars in my life! Whilst my accomplishment for the day was definately being able to stop myself throwing up over the side!
Slight panic when we tried to get the sails down - which seemed to refuse to come down, and the winch handle decided it wasn't coming out for anything or anyone - probably holding on for it's life aswell.
When we FINALLY managed to pull the sails down, we headed for Vaseliki, and all of a sudden Melissa and I forgot our motion sickness, as we had far more important things to focus on....Rate the Windsurfers was definately a game on the cards for the two of us. One guy came right past us and managed to wave.....then SPLASH. Followed by Melissa and I howling with laughter. Epic fail on his part, trying to show off to us really!!
We anchored (after about 3 attempts and a boatful of young italians laughing at our efforts) and watched the windsurfers bombing along, whilst laughing at the ones who fell off.
Curry and rice for dinner, although the Korma Melissa and I had was a bit disapointing. Still nice. Followed by the After Eight game that we changed to the Biscuit Game. The object of which is to place a piece of biscuit on your forehead and use your facial muscles to transfer the biscuit into your mouth without using your hands, which ended in a few laughs.
This was followed by Melissa, Matt and I all going onto the foredeck for Melissa's class re-enactment of Little Red Riding Hood, which of course had Matt and I laughing so hard, we almost wet ourselves. Day 12 - Ended up in Nydri for some reason?!
The day started off with another early wake up call from Mum telling us
how important it was to see the sea before it got windy (which was just
in time) we trampled upstairs and had a look, groaned something about
it's beauty and went back to sleep. (The water was 3 metres deep, and
you could see each link of the chain lying in a big curve to the anchor,
and a big sandy bottom, fish and all. Of course Dad made his
contribution to the wildlife by recycling last night's curry. GRIM)
Only to be woken up again for breakfast orders.
"SPAM, SAUSAGES & EGG!!!!" were the demands. ( greek bacon is almost
non existant )
After breakfast was done and dusted, Melissa and I had a quick swim,
quick because it was so cold!!
We then decided to go around the corner to the next bay, which was
called Syvota. BAD MOVE.
To begin with we thought Jackpot, nice calm water, beautiful little bay,
the smell of nice food coming from several tavernas, if a little
crowded. The whole quayside was full of (quite expensive looking)
stern-to moored yachts, and the bay itself was quite full.
We found a spot and anchored, Dad went for a quick swim, all seemed
fine. Then the breeze started to pick up...and up...and up. A mistral
funneling down off the hills and into the bay. At about 20 knots we
dragged slightly, Dad let some more chain out and the anchor bit and we
About 5 boat lengths off a row of yachts moored stern-to and at 45
degrees to them. All was well.....for about an hour.
Dad went onto the foredeck for something and suddenly realised that the
anchor was dragging....completely dragging. Dad rushed back to the
cockpit to start the engine, and turned the key. Nothing happened. Flew
downstairs to turn on the circuit breaker, and started calling the
somewhat chilled crew for help.
At the time I'm sitting in the cockpit, thinking;
"So we're dragging, it's happened before. Pull it up and do the anchor
Obviously realising something is wrong when Dad is shouting at me to get
Melissa, who is busy exfoliating her face in the galley sink. The
conversation was to follow;
"MELISSA, you need to get up here and do the anchor!"
"Erm okay just coming" she says continuing her face.
"NO, ABOUT NOW. WE'RE ABOUT TO HIT BOATS. GET UP HERE."
The realisation is clear on her face and she bounds up the stairs rather
quickly, running up to the foredeck. Anchor girl desperately yelling
for the remote control.
In hindsight if we'd had the video camera running we could've paid for
next year's mooring fees with the next 20 minutes footage.
Mum's hit massive panic mode so much so she's not fussed that she's in
her swimming costume, something she only saves for the family and is
trying to direct operations. Dad's in the cockpit trying to keep the
boat off the moored yachts so can't help up the front.
The wind is now gusting 30 knots, Melissa is desperately recovering
chain and we've begun to attract the attention of a united nations of
crews on the moored yachts. And much like the U.N. they all have a
different opinion on how to solve the problem. Naturally the (big fat)
Italian on an Amel is the most vocal. Dad doesn't understand Italian and
doesn't respond well to being yelled at.
By this time Melissa is in trouble because we have picked up at least
one other anchor chain, which was falling down behind us straining
against the stem of the boat. At this point she's crying to me telling
me how she can't do it, and wants to resign her position as chief winch
To which I reply, Dad is not taking resignations right now or something
to that effect.
Dad rather uncharacteristically directed the F-word to the big fat
Italian. A New Zealander arrives on the scene in his dinghy and calmly
tries to help us out. Let's call him Neil. He's desperately trying to
save Mum going off the deep end, she's already pleaded total ignorance
of this sailing lark to which he told her very calmly; "It'll be fine."
Melissa has now winched one of the moored boats' anchors to the surface,
so Neil asks for a rope, sending me running back to Dad, shouting at
him for one, to which he tells me it's up the front in the anchor
locker. I run back up and shout to Melissa it's right by her foot, and
Mum passes it to Neil who proceeds to disentangle the two anchors.
At this point the big fat loud Italian arrives in his dinghy since he
believes we can't hear him shouting from his boat, and decides he knows
best. Neil translates his babbled shouts to release some chain. Because
of the load on the chain and the Italian's added encouragement (his fat
flabby hands grabbing at the chain) the chains hops...rather leaps off
the windlass and 100 metres of 10mm chain makes a desperate dash for the
bottom of the sea. Dad dashes forward to help get it back on the
windlass following Melissa's desperate screams for assistance. I end up
in the cockpit slowly becoming more panicked at our distance from the
boats, on asking Dad what I should do I'm told to, "GO ASTERN"
Now I'm sorry but, when you're in a panic situation ASTERN, doesn't mean
anything! So I'm standing there in the cockpit and only just start to
put the engine into gear when Dad swoops in to take control, whilst I'm
left holding back tears and wishing we'd gone on a resort holiday.
Mum is still hanging on loyally to the piece of rope.
We have disentangled ourselves from the moored boats' anchor and just as
everyone is getting into a state of calm and Melissa is retrieving
chain, we discover that the 50 odd metres of chain that has just been
dumped on the bottom has now grabbed another anchor line, which we now
winch to the surface. You should see the big fat Italian's face at this
point; hopefully he's not assosiated with the Mafia.
We are now somewhat more experienced, so the second repitition runs more
smoothly and with somewhat less shouting, except for the United
Nations, ranked on their foredecks behind us, still yelling useless
advice. Using the rope again we finally cleared the anchor line and
backed off to a safe distance in the middle of the bay. We offered to
buy Neil a beer to thank him for his efforts, but he then decided that
being seen with us might have somewhat shortened his life expectancy a
bit and made a hasty retreat.
We decided to go and anchor somewhere else.
You may be wondering where Matt was during all of this, first son is
fast ASLEEP, completely oblivious to all the shouting, swearing,
winching, running, banging and crunching.
We went to the second Savota bay but it was k tvery deserted and very
windy, so we decided to go baco Desimou, our 'favourite' place.
On arrival we discovered that the bay was full and 18 metres of water
was the shallowest which is a pain to anchor in and the state of the
anchor chain after the earlier escapade meant it was out of the question
for the moment. So we headed for Nydri, where we are now anchored; not
on top of anyone else I should add.
The local Taverna has started a Greek kareoke evening, and we're
wondering whether it would've been better to stay in Syvota alongside
the angry mob rather than be subjected to this suicidal drone.
We're promising ourselves a quiet couple of days after today.
Day 13 - Stern to the Rocks
This morning we decided to move on from Nydri and find a quiet bay to spend our last sailing day in, we went from Nydri to Vathy, but it was a bit full and Mum didn't want to go stern-to on the quay. We then found a quiet little bay called Makria.
We decided to go stern-to in the bay and run a line a shore, can I just explain that this is a simple way of anchoring that regular sailing families could most likely manage. Not us.
I decided I'd try swimming ashore with a rope to tie onto the rocks...bearing in mind, being quite scared of water itself this was unnaturally brave for me.
Anyway, Dad is getting Melissa to put the anchor down and is asking me if I'm ready to go.
Rope in one hand, flip flops in the other, I nervously nod and wait for him to tell me to go.
Mum tells me that I should leave my flip flops onboard as I couldn't possibly swim with them in my hand.
Okay - so dropping the bright orange flip flops onto the deck, I jump into the water, with the rope in my hand and start to swim ashore. As I get half way across I notice that the rocky sea floor is dotted with sea urchins. Oh dear...no way can I put my feet down now. Turning around I shout about the sea urchins and tell them I need my flip flops. Of course I have to turn around and swim back to get them.
At this point I should add....this process is suposed to be done in quick succession of the anchor being put down so the boat doesnt drift back onto the rocks. I should also add that the rope I'm swimming with is large and heavy and thus dragging me downwards as I swim, slowing me down.
Half way across Dad can see I'm exhausted and tells me to come back and get in the dinghy and row across, so I do...I scramble into the dinghy and start rowing, by this time I'm so exhuasted it's a real effort for me to row. I get half way across and I just can't make it any further so instead I grab the dinghy rope, the rope I'm to carry across and figure it's probably easier to swim rather than row. I have to go back to the boat first to deliver the dinghy and get my flip flops and when I arrive, Dad's telling me I'm too tired and to get out, Melissa and my Mum have appeared in swimming costumes ready to take over....but I'm determined....I'm going to get across and I'm going to do it myself.
I put my flip flops on my feet and grip onto them so they don't float away, and I swim as fast and as hard as my body will allow, until finally my feet are kicking at rocks beneath me and I can stand up. Looking through the (luckily) clear water I pick my way through the sea urchins until I find a suitably huge rock to tie the rope around, and I've done it! I have to sit down for ten minutes and rest, but from the boat Dad shouts for me to catch a second rope and tie that onto another rock, as he throws it I catch it and tie it securely around a second rock.
In hind sight it probably would've been a lot easier had I just swam ashore and caught two ropes...but at the time I'm sitting on a rock completely exhuasted, more worried about how I'm going to manage to make it back to the boat, than this thought.
I decide to play it James Bond style and pull myself along the rope that is quite taught about a ruler's length above the water. Sucess!!
Melissa and I spend the rest of the afternoon snorkelling by the ropes and talking about the different fish in our newly adopted irish/scottish/essex accents that has so often been used this holiday.
Early evening time arrives and Melissa, Matt and I decide to snorkel our way to the nearby beach (which turns out to be a waste of time as it's a bit of a non-existant beach) and on our way back the waves seems to be getting bigger and bigger, I'm talking Matt through swimming back and when I finally get him onboard Dad is telling us we have to move, because it's too rocky for Mum. This is followed by laughter. My laughter. After my hour's attempt of getting two ropes ashore and the sheer exhaustion that followed, you're now telling me I have to retrieve them so we can move?
Yes in basic terms is the answer because I then found myself in the dinghy with Dad, pulling ourselves along the rope to untie one side. Easy!
Next rope is not so easy, and it's up to me to get out the dinghy, avoid the sea urchins, untie the rope and get back in the dinghy. The waves are slapping about the rocks and threatening to push me over. I feel like Little Mermaid in one of the songs where she sings on a rock and the waves crash about her. It's times like these that I wish someone was videoing - I could've made a bit from You've Been Framed.
Anyway I manage to free the rope after about 5 minutes and jump back into the dinghy, Dad motoring away before I've even pulled both legs in, and we make it safely back to the boat.
We then have to look for a more calm anchorage, and as Dessimou is full, we decide to go back to Nydri, around the corner to Fleho actually, because we know it's alwasy calm there.
As we all settle down for the night, Melissa and I spend the next few hours chatting away in our accents, with the added hilarity factor of pretending to be two old woman; Iris and Eileen, causing us both to burst into laughter at various points during the evening.
"I tell you Eileen the youth of today is not what it used to be!"
"I don't know about that, love - haven't you got yourself a toyboy?"
"Oh, did you know....wait - what's your name again?"
"EILEEN - We've been friends over 50 years and you can't remember my name....shame on you!"
"It's going to be my birthday soon.....the big 90"
"I swear you said you were 86 about 5 minutes ago?!"
"Oh so I did me love, well I like to keep 'em guessing y'see!"
"Ahhhh.....well you look good for yer age! Have you had any work done?"
And so the evening continues until one of us fell asleep...Day 14 - Leftkas
After much discussion and debate it was decided we would move on to Leftkas, as it was to be our last night on the water (much to Matt's disgust).
We arrived in Leftkas at about midday, anchored up and Mum and Dad went off on a shopping trip.
We don't do anything for the rest of the afternoon as it is just too hot, and Melissa and Matt and I just spend the afternoon chatting and then I make dinner....spaghetti bolognaise....timed perfectly for the arrival of the old pair.
After dinner Matt wants to go into the town and get souvenirs so Melissa and I take him with us, as we're walking down the street some random chinese man jumps out and pounces on some little boy shouting something in greek....of course this means, Melissa, Matt and I all leg it out of there but the crowds are all cheering so I don't think he was some attacker or anything.
We wondered around, and Melissa and I got our characature done, by a man who drew us in a boat, but we can't tell if we're topless of it's a badly drawn bikini....then Matt got some tribal bracelets and things and we wandered back to the dinghy, and basically crashed to bed!