Messalonghi to Vathi, Kefalonia
Wednesday 28th May
Passage from Messalonghi, mainland Greece, westbound out of the Gulf of Patras to the womblike well protected harbour anchorage of Vathi on the NW of the Ionian island of Itikas ( 39.5nm distant )
Weather: Fine, sunny and clear, wind direction and force: W 1 – 3 Sea State: Calm
Crew: Frank and Jackie
We decide as we are having light, settled weather today rather than the forecasted thunderstorms, that instead of doing a short 18nm passage out of the Gulf of Patras and west and up to a mainland anchorage and overnighting there, we would instead, having turned the corner, carry on in a NW direction straight over to the island of Itikas that lies just to the east of Kefalonia, our ultimate destination, a distance of some forty nautical miles. The forecast indicates westerly winds that will be on the nose but being light, Beaufort 1 to 3 over calm seas. We go for it..
12:40 38:21.68N 21:25.51E Departed Messalonghi town quay and set course of 181 degrees down the 3 nm long Messalonghi canal taking us to the open sea.
13:15 On clearing the canal and approaches, set new course of 216 degrees putting the wind pretty much on our nose with no prospect of a sail for the next few hours until we turn the corner heading in NW direction to our destination.
15:00 hrs. Motor sailing at 7.5kts. Fine afternoon with nothing in the Ionian it seems but us.
17:00 Hrs 38:19.49N 20:56.54E With little wind we take in sail and motor at a speed of around 7kts. CSE 288 degrees
18:15 Hrs 38:22.408N 20:47.47E Motoring; SOG 6.7kts.CSE: 287 degrees. What wind we had has now gone completely, and, as we approach Itikas with some 11.6nm to go to our anchorage we note heavy black cloud over its hills.
After the return of the wind for a while we are once more motor sailing until once again the wind dies. We bring in the genny completely leaving the main hauled in tight midships. Rain arrives. No surprise. It was forecast. Now a miserable evening were it not for the g&t’s that arrived in the nick of time!
19:30 Hrs 38:22.016N 20:43.14E Vathi, Ithaca. FWE after setting the anchor in the Vathi town anchorage under the watchful eyes of the usual waterborn merecats ( whose faces say, not near us please!). First impressions of Vathi is a pretty looking town that surrounds the anchorage on three sides. Its harbourside architecture is spoilt by the large modern ‘Hotel’ building that looks like possibly an aparthotel..,Its architecture contrasts strongly with the attractive local architecture that otherwise surrounds the harbour and which commands the heights above.
There are a dozen or so yachts at anchor here including another British registered Super Maramu like ‘Bootlegger’, called ‘Coriandre’ showing a London registration. Notice a stars and stripes on the yardarm. Otherwise the remainder of the boats in the harbour are mainly charter boats, lying stern to against the quayside.
There is a very nice cooking odour coming from the galley – J has made some meatballs for dinner. Smelling them cook is making me feel really hungry, not having had anything since her Caesar salad at lunchtime. Not being the best of evenings,- the rain has at least stopped some time ago, we are undecided as to where to eat on board. We choose in the end to have our dinner on the cockpit table. The meatballs served with sautéed coriander flavoured potatoes were delicious.
Turns out to be a beautiful still evening with the sounds around the harbour all being clearly heard aboard. We look forward to putting the tender in the water tomorrow and going ashore to explore. In the meantime its bedtime. Its been a long and busy day and we are both tired and neither feeling good with whatever it is we’ve now both got.
Thursday 29 May
Vathi We remain on the town anchorage for the morning from where we go ashore in the tender to take a look around. A very small and pleasangt little town that very much caters to the yachting and walking tourist.with its row of quayside restaurants which were still very empty.
As we had lunch in one such establishment the wind got up and by the time we returned to the tender it was pitching all over the place as it tugged on the painter. Ititially we couldn’t start the engine until we discovered we had not opend the fuel tank vent! We considered we could be excused as this was our first trip out in the tender this year and one forgets ...
Back aboard we decide to move out of the way of the wind funnelling into the harbour from the NW. We move up to the NE corner of the bay where there is a small quay where we tie up alongside three other yachts. A snug,well protected spot. This’ll do for the night as we are off to Fiskardo tomorrow.