4 June, 2015 Corfu Town - 39:37.199N 019:55.549E
2 June, 2015 – Off Gouvia, Corfu.
Today we are anchored off Gouvia. The debate as to whether we go in and take a marina berth for a night is still open.
We have spend the last 6 days anchored in Ay Stefanos – I can’t get my head around the spelling of some of these places. It is also known as Agios Stefanos and spelt with either an “f” or a “ph”! Anyway, however the spelling goes, it is a delightful spot once we had the anchor trained to stay where we wanted it to be. Most of the sea bed in the bay is covered with sea grass which provides indifferent to poor holding and the anchor drags if it comes on to blow. There are a range of tavernas around the head of the bay– one good, one bad and one indifferent, as well as two well stocked but we suspect expensive supermarkets. We were able to buy Cheddar Cheese. The hunt for Roses Lime Cordial continues.
On Sunday, we walked out of the bay to the south but found only a succession of increasingly steep hills winding past olive groves and holiday-let villas. Eventually we gave up and returned to the boat. Our expedition to the north on Monday was more fruitful. After an initial steep climb out of the village, the road out wound out by the coast where we came across a sign indicating a footpath “to the beach”. The designated path is clearly not in regular use as we made our way through head-high bracken and vegetation at times but blissfully it was all down-hill as it was hot and hard-going in the mid-day sunshine. The path did indeed lead down to the coast and to several deserted shingle coves, with a warm turquoise sea and a shore lined with sun-bleached tree branches and trunks. We had the place to ourselves apart from one hiker who strode by without a word! The walk back along the coast was beautiful and made all the better by a welcome ice-cream when we returned to Ay Stefanos.
The sea is now officially warm and Charlie has resumed his morning swim.
We are just about self sufficient on power and can stay out of port for longish periods. Our freezer is power hungry and is a heavy demand on the batteries at night; during the day we manage ok with wind and solar power but there is no surplus while we are making water for the FW tank. The washing machine complicates matters as it does not like the output from the inverter so we have to run our little Honda when Maggie has the urge to wash clothes!
The trip down from Ay Stefanos to Gouvia is only about 8 miles. With no ind we motored slowly south in a flat calm sea to the anchorage admiring some really beautiful villas and waterside properties.
The debate about Gouvia marina was resolved when we went ashore to submit to the formalities for entering Greece. These are a bit daunting:
· There is a cruising tax which was supposed to be introduced in April, 2013. That tax would cost us approximately €980 for 12 months sailing. For reasons that are not clear the tax has never been collected and there is (touch wood) no sign the it will be implemented this year either. I know Greece is short of readies but long may the status quo remain.
· There is then a cruising permit or Traffic Document known as a DEKPA. We bought ours in Gouvia paying € 29.35 tax and a €15 fee. The foolscap sized document has to be endorsed by the port police annually.
· We have to carry and produce on demand an authorised crew list. The book says the port police will retain a copy, our man in Gouvia had a nice white uniform and was not in the least interested but did give us a blank copy!
These requirements and the associated fees are reputed to change from port to port and even from officer to officer. As far as I can tell we are now legal.
While ashore we learnt that Gouvia Marina wanted €66/day. No thanks. We remained at anchor and did our shopping from there. It is a very nice marina with 100’s of boats, bars, restaurants, s/markets, swimming pools etc. I am sure some folk would think that essential.
Thursday 4 June
We moved into the fuel dock to fill our clean tanks with fresh gas oil this morning and then moved on to NOAK marina, a yacht club located against the citadel walls just south of the town. Yesterday was washing day and having used a lot of water Charlie found out too late that the watermaker was not working. The situation was resolved, eventually, after much head scratching, by changing the filter. The latter are supposed to last 200hrs but we only got 60 hours out of the last one! More filters were ordered at ordered!
The (€40) marina gave us the opportunity to fill the FW tank and other important matters like a hairdresser for Maggie and the all important data SIM card. We will also go ashore this evening for dinner.
The voyage continues