Sheltering from the storm! 38:56:028N 020:51.907E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sun 13 Sep 2015 04:26
Ok, well the title is a slight exaggeration! but it did rain on Wednesday and Thursday - quite a novelty - and we have had some splendid thunder and lightning! The weather is changing; we now have daytime temperature of 28 and night temperatures of 21, much more comfortable and easier to sleep. Last night we eat dinner in the saloon and had a film night (Forrest Gump) - the first one for several months!

We are presently on our way north to Paxos to reveal to Ann the delights of Lakka bay and perhaps also Mongonissi.
This week a depression has been sweeping down the Ionian between Italy and Corfu and we've been caught in the edge of it. We knew it was coming and had plenty of time to make sure we were tied up somewhere safe, which is how we came to be in Preveza again last Wednesday. Rain and wind were forecast and we got both over the Wednesday and Thursday nights. The wind continues to blow hard from the North so we have taken cover in the Gulf on Amvrakikos. We will continue our way North on Sunday.

We have been to this anchorage before, when sailing with PYXIS. It is a deep bay on a peninsular just to the north and west of Vonitsa. We are anchored at the top of the bay in good holding and sheltered from the wind by a low tree-covered hill. It’s nice and tranquil with just the occasional squall; this time we are just one of two yachts in the bay, so a peaceful night is in prospect after a barbecue dinner. The girls are both on deck sunbathing and, once I have written this, I shall go for a swim.

Since our last blog entry we have worked our way from Kastos to Sivota, where we met up with John and Di on PYXIS for the last time before they left Greece bound for Sicily. We heard this morning that they had made it safely across although during their last two hours at sea, they had a bad storm with lightning all around - rather them than us!

After leaving Sivota we worked our way up the East coast of Lefkas to Nidri where we finally said farewell to our old No.1 genoa (the repair done by Maggie whilst en route from Spain to Sardinia in 2014 was still holding well). We landed the sail to a chandler who will sell it on commission (we hope). For those of you who remember Lymington of about 10 years ago there was a store there by the toll gate bridge that specialised in second hand yachting equipment - the place was called "Yot Grot". Sadly its place has now been taken by the approach road to some monstrous highly over priced flats, overlooking the upper reaches of Lymington River on a site that used to be occupied by Jeremy Rogers (of Contessa Yachts fame) and then by a chicken processing factory - this all being part of the progress of sanitation and gentrification of Lymington.

Well, Nydri Marine is a sort of super Yot Grot shop, they have shelves full of yachting junk as well as selling very reasonably priced new gear. I’m not really complaining as we had considered dumping the sail in a skip just to be rid of it - What do you do with a tired sail that is 17.5 m x 7.5m and weighs the best part of 90kg (or perhaps more). I needed to replace a nearly new mooring line which was badly chafed during the bad weather at Port Germeno two weeks ago. In all I purchased this new line, another off-cut and two stainless shackles for a discounted price of €50, but the manager wouldn’t take any money, instead opting to give me CREDIT against the sale of our genoa! We hope she succeeds in selling the sail.

The replacement is the boat’s original No.2 genoa, which had spent the last two years under a spare bed at the Cottage by the Green in Lymington, before making its way to the loft at Woodley Gardens. The replacement is now earning its keep out here in Greece. Although smaller than the original No.1 it seems quite big enough for our purposes and was partly responsible for powering the boat during our record breaking run from Trizonia to Meganissi two weeks ago.

Having Ann back on board for a few weeks, means Charlie is excused shopping trips - hooray says he. Hooray say Maggie and Ann, as they can now browse (or have a mooch) without being hassled and can take their time.

The sun has got his hat back on today, comfortable temperature and no humidity, so we shall spend today leisurely at anchor, reading and swimming and eating and maybe enjoy a glass or two of something chilled. “Dolly” (Maggie’s favourite toy on board) is presently busy doing the washing, whilst Charlie’s toy (the generator) sits up on deck supplying the power for Dolly. Maggie spent the first part of this morning in the galley preparing something that smells delicious, a lasagna, to be devoured one evening and the remainder for spag-bol this evening. The downside is that she told us breazzkfast was “diy” - consequently, Ann and I bottled out and just settled for coffee - the galley is Maggie’s domain and who are we to interfere when it’s she who does all the cooking?

With luck all the bad weather has now passed through and we can get in some pleasant trips to the islands and get the sails out again.