The Dolphin Cruise 31st July to 5th August, 2011.
The Dolphin Cruise 31st July to 5th August, 2011.
During this week we have been entertaining Lizzie and her friend to a few days sailing around Corfu island and over to the mainland. Vicky arrived from the UK at lunch time on Sunday and Lizzie arrived from Crete in the evening. Due to the taxi strike for two weeks throughout Greece we had to walk into Corfu town with Vicky to find a restaurant for lunch. We took our time over lunch as Vicky’s case had suffered damage to one of the wheels and so after lunch we did not want to wander to far so we walked a little further into town and passed time at the ice-cream parlour until we needed to go to the airport. Vicky and I met Lizzie from her flight and managed to catch one of the very few buses running into town to meet up with Jim in order to catch our next bus to Gouvia marina. Usually there is no Sunday service at all to the airport. We have noticed lots of shops close early Saturday afternoon and don’t open again until Monday whereas in Italy they seem to be open seven days a week. They were both pleased with Ariel’s position below the very expensive villas which overlook the bay to Corfu town and the Albanian mountains in the north.
The next day the girls went to the swimming pool in the marina while I did some food shopping and in the afternoon we motor sailed over to Corfu town to anchor by the old fortress. As it was still a lovely sunny afternoon we went window shopping in the little alleys around the old town, eating ice-creams and sightseeing. The music from the disco at the marina rocked us to sleep.
39:24.43N 20:13.97E Mourtos – Sivota Islands
On Tuesday after a very calm night Jim decided we would make for Mourtos on the mainland and anchor off one of the three Sivota islands. On our way we saw 10 dolphins to Lizzie and Vicky’s surprise and one had a baby bringing up the rear. We swam, read our books and after dinner ventured into Mourtos village for ice-creams and drinks at a hotel overlooking the bay and watching the sunset. We were surprised at the amount of restaurants and people in this small village with many having English voices. It is obviously a very popular place but so much nicer and quieter from Ariel.
Wednesday morning, bright and sunny as usual we left Mourtos and headed over to Paxos Island and into Lakka Bay. We saw one lonely dolphin on our crossing. The girls were amazed at the colour of the beautiful pale blue water in the bay. It makes swimming such a pleasure especially as it is so salty and floating is so easy. We took the dinghy to the beach in the late afternoon for ice-creams. Jim was not seated long when he noticed an Italian family on a Nimad going in and out with their anchor down trying to put lines to the rocks next to us. (This is where we had met Witch Doctor). Off he went and helped the family as he couldn’t watch any longer as they were struggling. A very grateful man came along side later in his dinghy with a very nice bottle of Sardinian white wine as a thank you. After sampling the wine we went off to find a restaurant for dinner which we had noticed the week before. When it became very busy the two waiters plus a little older gentleman who was their runner going for ice, vegetables and anything else they needed started to run between tables. It was a little bit like watching “Faulty Towers” but the food was good and we enjoyed it very much.
On Thursday we left Lakka Bay early and sailed with the breeze in our favour across the stretch of water to Corfu. The threat of the spinnock was on us but the wind dropped to nothing and we just had to motor. Shame! We came across a family of 4 dolphins as we motored up past Kavos. Kavos is suppose to be Corfu’s answer for a hot spot for the young. To us from the water it looked a quiet sleepy little town! We continued up to Kalami Bay for the night in order to celebrate Jim’s birthday at the White House the next day. To surprise Lizzie we had arranged balloons, birthday candles and a small present all wrapped up in 21st Birthday paper to celebrate her birthday early.
We awake to a cloudy morning and to find we were covered in ash from the fires burning the other side of the island. The ash was being blown out to sea but the wind changed and blew it back in again. They believe people are deliberately starting the fires which they can only put out by water planes and a helicopter using a bucket filled with water. We were treated to displays of wonderful piloting as the planes dropped down to the water to collect water and then fly off again. The helicopter although not carrying such a vast amount as the planes would drop to fill the large bucket and then fly off again. We know a little boy who would have loved so see it as Fireman Sam does it on TV.
We had a marvellous lunch and Lizzie was very surprised and pleased. Afterwards we had a swim and then we motor sailed over to Corfu town managing to see 1 more dolphin on our way. The girls had a swim and then went off to present buy before we headed for the airport. Luckily the taxis are back working again and we stopped one just by the marina for the five minute journey to the airport. We had an amazing six days and tried to show Lizzie and Vicky as much as possible in the short time we had.