Zakinthos, 30 September, 2015 37:47.087N 020:54.118E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Thu 1 Oct 2015 10:58
All good things come to an end.  Today our crew (Ann) flew home to UK! We had a taxi booked for 09:00.


Ann’s farewell.

She has been a good crew and companion.  This year we even got her to steer the boat and she helmed us from Sivota and from Nidri through the Lefkas canal.  She is fully trained in mooring and has been a dab-hand at handling the stern ropes as we tie up. 

Ann on the wheel leaving port Nidri.

She will be missed, especially by Maggie as she shares the enjoyment of mooching around the shops, and by Charlie who is now expected to do the washing up!  However, she is bemused by our interest in listening to the Archers, but it’s possible she might be hooked now to the Sunday omnibus edition!

The summer weather has really lost its grip and the daily forecasts are much more unstable.  However, daytime temperatures are in the range 25 to 27oC and the evenings are a comfortable 16 to 18.  The sun continues to shine most days.

Following our last post we had a pleasant visit to Kastos Island although it was busier than we had planned.  When we arrived we were one of just three visiting yachts.  

All by ourselves in Kastos - but not for long!

However later that afternoon we were followed in by three flotillas which provided much visual entertainment, thankfully, we were moored out of harms way with lines ashore to the beach. 

We had seen signs in the village advertising “Chef John’s" restaurant which is located on the hillside overlooking the town - a steep climb from the waterfront through the village.  We speculated that if it was that difficult to get to then perhaps the food was what makes the climb worthwhile!  Wrong, the views are spectacular from the restaurant terrace but the food was mediocre to poor and the waitress was totally without a sense of humour.  After informing us that garlic bread was off, along with a few other essential menu choices, together with being told to only sit at a table which was laid for no more than 4 persons, we realised we’d taken a wrong turn - we should have left before we ordered!  Being kind we could only surmise that John was perhaps having a day off ...

With heavy rain forecast we sailed back to Sivota where we knew we could get a berth and be able to get off the boat if and when it rained.  Well the forecast was spot on and it rained and rained and rained.  During our third day/night (while the rain came down) we had an oldies film afternoon/night and watched Shirley Valentine, The Jungle Book and Mama Mia all aided by a superb dinner, courtesy of the resident chef and washed down with much wine - ok, we’re sad, the films are ancient and corny, but we had a fun sing a long and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

With Ann’s departure looming, we felt we should make our way south, so our next port of call was Sami on the east coast of Kefalonia. It was a little disappointing there if I am honest and after our anchor was lifted by a neighbour as he sailed early on Sunday morning, we decided that we should also leave and make our way south to Ay Nikolaos, at the North end of Zhakinthos.  we rather like it there although the facilities are basic.  The port provides shelter from all directions except from the East, there is free berthing and free electricity and water courtesy of Dimitris’ Taverna.

To Ann’s surprise and delight we went on a boat trip on the Monday, taking in Wreck Bay and the blue caves!  It was a good value tour at just €15 pp, and lasted well over three hours.  Wreck bay has the remains of a ship lying in the sand and dating from the 1980’s; the site is a major tourist attraction.  

Wreck bay seen from the cliff top.

The wreck of the single deck general cargo motor vessel PANAGIOTIS - built in Glasgow in 1936.

Having looked carefully around the vessel and observed that the starboard side shell was missing and the bullheads and decks were without exception perforated, Charlie concluded that there was indeed some corrosion and wastage evident and the ship was probably not now seaworthy - to whom does he send his bill for services?

The beach at the wreck site was heaving with tourists and the bay itself was no place to anchor given the density of trip boats milling around.  

The blue caves were blue.  However, it was exciting to watch Nikos manoeuvre his 38ft launch deep into several caves (that didn’t look big enough) then turn the boat round (inside the cave) and steam back out without touching the sides or roof which at times were only millimetres from the sides. 

However, the highlight was a very low cave entrance that extended some 30m into the rock and accessible only to swimmers - you could swim into the mouth of the cave with the top fractionally above your head and then swim deep into the darkness of the cave where the luminescence was just fantastic.  Maggie and Ann both swam in with me, although perhaps Ann’s enjoyment was tempered somewhat by her wearing prescription dark glasses!

The following day (Tuesday) we hired a car and saw some more of the island.  Zhakinthos has a diverse culture with mountains in the north and west and a low lying verdant agricultural land on a plain to the south east.

Wednesday morning we were encouraged to leave early by a severe thunderstorm - we sailed at 07:30, with lightning and thunder crashing all around us, to the capital Zakinthos.  Zakinthos, Zakinthos - is a bit like New York (in) New York (state), if you see what I mean. 

Wednesday saw yet another item checked off Maggie’s bucket list.  We went for a ride on a little train around Zhakinthos! 

The train crew - we were the only passengers this time around.

Now that Ann has left, we decided to spend some time doing a few chores.  Dolly (Maggie’s favourite toy) has been running non stop all morning and now ALL the laundry is done and hanging out to dry in the sunshine.  Several passing tourists have once again been taking photos - is laundry really that interesting?  The fridge has been emptied and cleaned and the freezer defrosted and clean.  

We’ve just heard from Ann that she’s still sitting in the aircraft, on the tarmac - apparently the wick has gone out in the engine! Oh dear.  Hopefully, all will be resolved shortly and she’ll be on her way.  As her plane takes off and flies virtually over the boat, we have promised to stand on deck and wave - we hope we won’t have too much longer to wait before sounding the all clear!  
(Only joking Ann - we missed you as soon as you left us this morning).

Charlie Bevis