39:27.12N 20:16.51E Platarias
23rd to 30th September, 2011.
During the last week we had family members to stay for a week. We met up in Gouvia Marina on Friday evening after their safe journey from Cornwall via Bristol airport. They very kindly brought the Cornish flag with them so we could fly it next to our Cruising Association one. The weather after the storm has been back to its usual sunny start and cloudless skies which we hoped would stay for at least another week while our visitors were with us. We could not have asked for better weather as we were able to spend a night in Kalami Bay and have dinner at the White House. Margaret was not too sure of the dinghy trip but we managed beautifully. Next morning we were able to swim after breakfast before we set off for Platarias on the mainland which we spotted from the car when we picked Graham up from Igoumenitsa. On the way we stopped for lunch and swam again as the day was very hot.
Platarias is a popular detour for yachts heading up and down from Corfu to Preveza and the Levkas canal. The improved harbour and little village make it a very wonderful place to stop. There is a very small sandy beach with shallow water for swimming. The tavernas and summer shops are around the quay. One of the charter companies uses the quay as a turnaround base.
We left Platarias and sailed across to Lakka for the roast lamb! The next day we walked up and down hills to Longos which is between Lakka and Gaios. The smell of the countryside was wonderful and hardly any cars passed us on the way. Longos is a small harbour and yachts are not permitted to berth inside where all the space is reserved for local and tripper boats. We had lunch on the quay before catching the bus to Gaios for an afternoon stroll and ice-creams. The quay at Gaios is now quiet and only a few boats were pulling up on the quay. The atmosphere is now less frantic and many of the shops have closed for the winter.
The next day we crossed back to the mainland and pulled into one of the bays around Mourtis where we were able to swim in pale blue water and have lunch before moving to the town and to our surprise we were able to choose a space on the harbour wall. When we were here last it was alive with people and we had trouble walking along the quay. The walk to the beach is very pleasant and the view around the quay and town is very pretty.
We left the following afternoon after lunch and sailed up to Corfu town where we anchored near the marina. After a lovely dinner we took the dinghy back to Ariel. Although it was very late now Jim decided it would be better to move to Gouvia Bay as he did not think our guests would enjoy the night swell from the ferries. We finally set the anchor around one o’clock and although we had enjoyed the night journey and the lights of the Corfu town and the forts lit up it was time for bed. We had hoped to see the “World” cruise liner as it is due in Corfu any time but it was a no show.
The next day Margaret, Angie and Nicki were happy to swim, sun bathe and enjoy the beautiful scenery looking across to Corfu town before they had to head off to the airport for the late evening flight. We had seen dolphins, King Fishers and millions of tiny fish on our journey this week. The weather has been perfect and we have managed to sail over 100 miles and use the motor occasionally.
The next morning was sunshine as usual and we had to make some miles in order to meet Frank and Sue in Preveza on Sunday evening. We stopped at Lakka as it is beginning to become one our favourite places. The bay was nearly empty and the quay only had four boats tied up. We had a lovely dinner at a new taverna to us and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
Jim went for fresh bread the next morning before we set off for Preveza. We managed to sail most of the 38 miles in light winds until we were 10 miles from Preveza when thunder and lightning was causing the wind to blow and the sea to churn up. We managed to outrun the storm after we had reefed ready and arrived in Preveza around seven o’clock just ahead of Frank and Sue coming from the airport.