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Gouvia Marina, Corfu – 25 September 2018

Today was a prime example of why I don’t understand the weather patterns here in the Med. We had an extraordinarily calm night with not a breath of air.  I was so warm I was unable to sleep very well.  So it was a bit of surprise when at about 9am and we were thinking of leaving the wind started to build.  Eventually it blew up to a Force 6 just as we were pulling up the anchor. When we got out to sea it was still blustery.  Eventually the wind was 17- 22 knots on the beam and we sailed for about an hour on Genoa alone doing about 6 knots.  That seemed good when all of a sudden the wind went round on the nose and dropped to 5 knots.  In all this time there was absolutely no change in the general weather. It was sunny with a bit of cloud and fairly warm in the sun (though the strong breeze when we had it was cool). Richard put the drop in the wind down to coming into the lee of Corfu Island.  But that didn’t explain why as we got closer to the island the wind started to pick up again …

Ftelias – Monday 24 September 2018

We had a slow morning waiting for all the boats to leave.  The restaurant where we had dinner offered to sell us fresh bread in the morning so we went up there at 9am and bought bread and downloaded our newspapers.  We then had a late breakfast and were just hanging around for everyone to leave.  By 11am it was all go.  In fact the four boats in front of us all went at once making our leaving our berth really easy.
Richard had identified a final anchorage for us to stay our last night out.  It was said to nestle just next to the Albanian border. It was only 9 miles away and we therefore arrived at about 1pm having motored all the way in no wind.
It is a strange place. It is another one of these sea inlets in the coastline.  Most of it is taken up by three or four huge fish farms.  At the end there is a bit of a dog leg where we put the anchor down.  It is a muddy bottom and we seem to be stuck in well.  Our wonderful walkie-talkies have run out of battery!  We have more batteries but…

Sayiadha – Sunday 23 September 2018

During the night it was so still that I thought we might have grounded.   But no, it was just completely calm.
We didn’t rush off but left at 10am.  Again there is no wind so we are motoring, but not for long because our destination is only 9 miles away.  It is a little town with a small harbour.  The pilot book says that the depths are less than 2 metres.  It is supposed to be quiet with few boats. With our lifting keel it seemed perfect especially as it was suggested that mooring alongside would be best.
When we got to Sayiadha it was not what was expected.  The outer mole, where it was suggested one could moor alongside was most uninviting especially as we couldn’t see any mooring rings or bollards.  So we went in the very narrow harbour entrance (8 meters it is said) and Richard took up the keel as the depth was reading at 1.8 metres.  When we got in there is a lot of room.  Again the pilot advises not to moor stern to with anchor on the basis that holding is not good.  We have h…

Ormiskos Valtou (Igoumenitsa Creek) – Saturday 22 September 2018

We couldn’t find any tap working so we were unable to top up the water.  We shall just be the great unwashed for a couple of days. We actually have quite a lot of water on board and with a little respect it should last even if we do keep clean!
We were dubious in leaving before the large motor boat in front of us goes.  We don’t think his anchor is over ours, but the boat is so long that it is likely to be over some of our chain.  They did say yesterday they would go at 9am today, but in the end it was more like 9:30 and we didn’t get away until 9:45. When we took up the anchor it was clean, unlike others we saw covered in mud.  So it is likely that our anchor never was properly set.  However we stayed away from the wall all night and had no trouble.
As predicted there was no wind today.  The sea was glassy and the wind from behind was 2-3 knots.  So it was a long 4 hour+ motor to this anchorage Richard found.  On the way we did see a pod of dolphins, but regrettably they were a long…

Gaios, Paxos – Friday 21 September 2018

Up fairly early and we were not quite the first to leave the anchorage.  We put up the main on the way out.  The weather forecast was for 10-14 knots of wind this morning. It didn’t start out that way. The wind was too light to sail, but we motorsailed for about an hour with the wind from behind.  Then the wind did pick up to 9-12 knots on a broad reach and we were able to sail on without engine for about 2 hours.  The only problem was that the sea had developed a rotten swell. By the end the waves were 0.5-1 metre coming from the side and making the boat corkscrew.  I needed to take a pill, which seemed ridiculous in such otherwise benign conditions.
At about 12:30 we arrived at Mongonisi.  The pilot book suggested that we could moor up to a restaurant, a wall or swing on anchor.  But when we got there it was clear that the wall and restaurant were only suitable for ribs, day boats and tenders.  So we decided to anchor.  Now our anchor has been performing very well recently, but tha…

Two Rock Bay –Thursday 20 September 2018

When the alarm went at 7am I baulked at getting up.  Richard wanted to start early because the weather forecast was for halfway decent winds early tapering off in the late morning.  But we did stay in bed a bit later and left at 9am instead of 8.  
The weather forecast was absolutely right.  We had a nice wind of just force 4 mainly on a reach doing nearly 5 knots. But the wind petered away and after about an two hours  we had to turn the engine on.  So we motored into Two Rock Bay just at lunch time.  There were three other boats here.  Richard put us as near to the coast as he could and even took the keel up a bit to accommodate shallow water.  We anchored using our walkie-talkies and the anchor gave a really good tug.  Later R looked at the anchor and said it was well dug in.
This is a pleasant spot with nothing here except a small beach and beach café and a few boats. The water is absolutely clear. In fact we felt guilty doing our washing up.  I hope the waste water dissipates by…

Preveza – Wednesday 19 September 2018

After a poor night's sleep we tried to lie in a bit, but were anxious to get on.  So we left the anchorage at 10:30 to make our way to Preveza.  Richard was determined to sail no matter what and we did have all the time in the world.  So he put the main up at anchor and put out the Genoa when we got out of the bay.  After a night of 15 knot winds it was a bit disappointing to find that the wind was only blowing 7-9 knots, but at least it wasn’t on the nose. It was a bit of a beat for the first half hour, but then we turned away from the wind and it was on the beam. Being so light we were only making 2-3 knots, but at least we were sailing and we only had 9 miles to do.
One hysterical episode.  I had a complete brainstorm when Richard asked me to sheet out the mainsail.  For no good reason I let go the main halyard by mistake!  The main fell about 2 feet before I realised what I had done.  I managed to get about 1 foot back up but we had to go into the wind to get it all back up. …