18th 20th June

Rob and Jacky Black
Fri 20 Jun 2014 07:56
39 31.3 N 20 11.0 E
18th 20th June
Prevesa Marina and Valtou Bay
Having said our final farewells to everyone and collected the last laundry we set off from Lefkas heading north at 1030. We decided to stop at Prevesa and called ahead to reserve a place alongside in the old marina where we have been before. Next morning we were up at 0530 and away by 0550 heading originally for Paxos. The day was clear and there was a light westerly breeze but not enough to warrant a sail so we gave the engine a good run to push us through the rather sloppy sea coming in from the SW. On route we decided to forget a stop at Paxos as we were making good progress with a favourable north going current at times getting 7 knots. We made for one of our favourite anchorages in Valtou bay north of Igoumenitsa (pet name ‘jumping fish bay’, as we knew the weather was due to deteriorate later. Gradually the skies darkened ahead and to the east of us and we could here thunder and see lightning over the hills to the east; the wind strengthened and veered to the north. At about 1200 a rather strange black funnel shaped cloud started to form reaching lower and lower from the clouds ahead down towards the sea and on the surface what looked like mist was forming. Rob decided it was the start of a water spout so we made a rapid alteration of course heading west fast to get out of its path! Several other boats nearby followed suit and it was just as well as this did form a huge spout and it swept south right across where we would have been! The wind veered again and continued to do so as the spout passed to the east of us by about a mile. We managed to stay dry and watched in amazement as it spun itself south and finally after about 20 minutes dissipated. In fact within an hour we had blue skies again! An amazing spectacle which we were pleased to witness and glad to be away from!

Later we anchored in Valtou and were joined by 4 other boats no doubt seeking a safe anchorage with the impending poor forecast. Around 1600 the weather again took a turn for the worse with big black thunder clouds building to the north east over the mountains accompanied by swirling winds casing us to dance round our anchor for several hours. However this calmed down and we went off to bed only to be awoken by loud claps of thunder and torrential rain after midnight. By 0200 all was calm and we had a peaceful rest of the night and awoke to a lovely warm clear day on Friday morning rather later than usual – after 0900!