38 21.6 N 21 25.0 E
Monday 13th - Saturday 18th May
We left Trezonia really early - 0545 and had the main up before we were out of the bay - it certainly helps to have extra crew on board to get these things done quickly! We had a reasonable passage from Trezonia with 2 reefs in the main and the jib half furled. tacking across the gulf to get to the Rion bridge the seas were flattish and so we made good time. We had to furl the jib and motor sailed through the northern span of the bridge and thence hoped to get better conditions for a proper sail but this didn't happen as the wind just kept heading us and before we got to the approaches of the canal into Messolonghi increased to 16 - 18 knots on the nose! However once in the canal all seemed fine and with the sails packed away and fenders at the ready we called the VHF as per instructions but there was no reply. It then started to pour with rain (almost like a tropical storm!), wind gusting around 25 knots or more and the visibility reduced almost to zero. We eventually spotted a marinero who had emerged from a boat already along side the outer pontoon and he came out in his rib to inform us that we could go alongside and wait for calmer conditions. We duly did this with all of us getting incredibly wet and then settled down for some lunch and then a well earned siesta.
Later we moved to a good position on P1 with strong mooring lines and easy access to water and electricity. This place has come on in leaps and bounds since our last visit in 2009! We visited the office procured our access card for all the electrical and water facilities and then arranged to meet with the manager Jo the following day to discuss our outstanding 300 euro deposit paid in august 2009 and never refunded! The marina has expanded hugely and there are loads of boats out of the water plus 2 long pontoons either side of which are laid mooring lines. there are also lines to the existing original concrete quay that runs west - east. The other quay is used for alongside berthing prior to lifting and launching. The original office and shower block at the SW corner of the site is now a very pleasant cafe/ taverna; there are two new toilet/shower blocks and a large office block which houses the laundry,( 4 euros for a wash - using the card system) a shop and in the future probably a chandlers on the ground floor and the main offices upstairs. during our second day here we witnessed several very large catamarans being launched carefully and successfully which eased our minds about the possibility of staying here for the winter.
After a quiet night Wiz and Watson headed off on the bikes to explore, Jacky filled 2 washing machines with laundry and Rob met with Jo. As a result of the latter we now have a reservation for this winter here and the deposit is to be deducted from the new quote with no additions to be paid.
The town hasn't changed much although we did note that several shops were empty including the nice supermarket that used to deliver to the marina. After doing some investigations we chose a good restaurant for our last meal out with W and W. It proved to be lovely and we even had a taxi back for only 3.5 E to save the 20 minute walk. W and W left on Tuesday at 1100 having ordered a taxi to the bus station (tickets already booked through the marina) and Rob went with them so he could then take the taxi on to Lidl for a re-stock of the beer and booze locker plus some other bulky essentials. In the meantime Jacky went off by bike in search of the gas shop for a refill. this proved to be a bit of a disaster as she didn't take the map! After cycling for 25 minutes without any sign of the turning for the bus station a short cut through a rough track and another 20 minutes passing the Carfor shop, a military barracks and goodness knows all what she eventually found someone who spoke a bit of English and arrived at the gas shop opposite the bus station at 1145. Low and behold W and W were still there waiting for the bus which was late! So after another hello and goodbye she got the gas and cycled back through town to the boat!
That evening we went to the bar and found some old friends sitting with glasses of wine. we had last seen them in Cyprus in July 2010.
We had planned to leave the following morning but the forecast deteriorated and so we decided to stay put to allow the gales to the north and west of us to pass through. all being well we will head out for Lefkas on Saturday morning.