38:57.20N 20:45.31E Preveza
Thursday 21st July, 2011.
We left Paxos island to make for Preveza on the mainland. We travelled 38.59 miles in 7 hours with a NW wind gusting up to 30 to 35 knots as we neared Preveza as the entrance appears to be in a corner and the sea was piling into the corner. Jim decided it was too dangerous to try to make for the entrance and thought about bearing away to Lefkada but due to the wind strength but we were going to add at least another 25 miles to our journey. We had taken down the genoa miles back and we had reefed down to a very small sail. There was no alternative, turn the boat into the wind and get the sail down. Luckily, all the hatches were secure and the companion way was shut as the huge waves hit the front of Ariel. Geoff volunteered to get up on the deck to secure the main sheet so the sail didn’t decide to launch itself again. Geoff’s feet were lifted off the deck a couple of times but he managed to do the job before we turned and headed for the entrance.
We were all on alert for the leading buoys into the channel which unfortunately they don’t seem to have painted in a few years and took a lot of spotting. We managed safely to locate the buoys and the closer we got to the entrance the land started to give us some cover and the wind dropped a little. We were very thankful to find a very nice piece of harbour wall and safely tie up. The weather forecast was 3 to 4 possibly 5 not 7 or 8. Geoff at one point thought we were in the south Atlantic with the big waves.
Preveza is a lovely little seaside town with lots of holidaymakers at this time of year. The quay stretches for miles and it is wall to wall restaurants and ice-cream bars all along the strip. I love to people watch and everyone seems to come out at 9 or 10 o’clock and parade up and down the quay in their best outfits. Not so keen on the all night partying but hi-ho it is holiday time.
Jim and I went for a swim at the beach around the corner from the quay and found forty or fifty pensioners all swimming and chattering on the beach. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and we can imagine in summer they probably meet up most days. The beach provides straw umbrellas, a shower and a changing area and lovely warm water.
In the evening after dinner we heard a strange flapping noise and suddenly sardines were jumping over the harbour wall pavement and into people’s dinghy’s and Greek fishermen on the wall were gathering them up as quick as possible into their plastic carrier bags. It was amazing to watch and a first for us. It happened again later in the evening when we were strolling along the promenade for a walk. We can only think that bigger fish like small tuna were pushing the sardines up and frightening them and to escape they jumped out of the water. The local stray cats were trying to join in especially once it got dark and the whole process happened again.