After celebrating Ellen and my birthday and my visit to the dentist in NL, I went back to Greece, to Nydri with two friends. October has still very nice weather although for me a bit chilly at night. Flights to Preveza had become less frequent and we had to use a flight to London first. Only the next day we could leave for Preveza. I had asked Horatio to take care of my boat when I was in Holland and I left it on the quay near his company.
We took a taxi from the airport. I called him, Thomas, from Holland. He appeared to be friends with Nina, the manager of Horatio. He stopped underway for us to do some shopping.
When we arrived though, no boat!
Horatio had taken the boat out. He was very aware of catamarans in comparison to monohuls. They are best managed when on anchor. So he took us in a dinghy to the boat that was on Horatio’s own anchor at the end of the bay. I was very happy with that. Now I could use his solid anchor and we stayed overnight and enjoyed the calmness and a salad.
It is a nice and safe bay, but the water is a bit unclear and there are lots of jellyfish surrounding the boat. So you can’t swim although these jellyfish should not sting.
The next day we went ashore and visited the waterfall. Almost no water of course, but a very nice environment.
My friends are no sailors so I had to plan our trips and be aware not to be too ambitious. That’s hard for me. So, small trips and secluded areas. First we went to Vathi on Meganisi.
Because the season is over, it is quiet everywere. So we could stay on the quay.
It is a touristic but nice little town. We visited the shops and terraces of course. Then we went off to Sivota on the south of Lefkas. Also a bay normally way too busy to visit, but now there where only two boats.
We sailed from Sivota around Meganisi and back to Nydri. Not much wind, but then I could use the spinaker. At the south of Meganisi there is a very small island where we took a swim and did some snorkeling. Not much to see, but still impressive.
A week is a very short time and we had to say goodbye. My plan was to stay here for a week or so. Then sail around Lefkas and go to Preveza on the mainland. I spotted a nice bay on the map near Vonitsa. It’s a long trip, not possible to arrive with daylight, so I decided to stop at Sivota and depart the next day at sunrise. The western shores of the Ionian Islands are very beautiful because this is where the waves hit the islands. Do you spot the clear blue water? That is where the water is shallow and this is incredible blue.
I arrived at Preveza and went in to Amvrakikos Kikos which is more a lake. I could see on the map that the waters near the entrance are very shallow. I saw a buoy as marking of the canal. Well, I noticed soon after that these buoys are not always reliably situated. I hit the ground damn! Happily it was all sand, so I could get out easily, but stayed very alert on buoys, fishing rods, etc. Finally I arrived at the bay I planned to go to. It was exactly what I hoped for. Secluded, quiet and with a village nearby.
Now and then I went to town for some food and did some work on the boat. I really love these moments where everything surrounding is quiet and I can do some work in my own pace. The weather was nice but getting colder and when it rains it is with really heavy thunders all around you. My new anchor did a very fine job. It withstands thunderstorms easily. Later I discovered what really happened. I scheduled a lifting of the boat at the 15th of November at Aktio near Preveza at 10:00 in the morning. So I wanted to raise my anchor very early, but it stuck. I tried everything. Finally I used my windlass, but it broke off the mast. It had picked up something big and heavy. Diving was no option. It was at a depth of 15 meter in cloudy water. In the end I decided to cut the chain. So my brand new anchor and chain where lost. Shit, shit, shit.
Well, don’t look back, just go on, chin up. Found the marina easily and it turned out I was the last boat they lifted. I rented an apartment in Preveza, which I thought was nearby the marina. That was certainly the case, but there was a tunnel located in between with no bicycles allowed. Hmmm. So I rented a car which turned out to be a good choice. Now I could make some trips and order a new anchor and chain in Nydri.
The apartment had a washing machine, but in Greece. . . .
I tried to learn the language a bit, words are totally different and hard to remember, but the alphabet, that’s a thing in itself.
Preveza is a little town which thrives on tourism like all little Greek villages and the food is almost all fast food.
After two weeks I left Preveza and went to Athens by bus. The airport near Preveza is closed from November to April. Well, that’s a six hours drive then. Luckily a woman sat next to me and we had a very nice talk about the Greek culture, European Union and the language. So time flew by. In Athens we shared a taxi.
The apartment was gorgeous. A large three room apartment with two terraces with view on the Acropolis and last but not least the food. I went to very tasty restaurants. I had to catch up after all the souvlakis, mousakas and pitta’s. Mainly it is from a microwave.
There are also less rainy days. The Plaka area is the best of Athens and the apartment was in the middle of this. A very good way to say goodbye to Greece.
Until next year!