Kefallonia and Georgia on Board at Last

Thu 24 Aug 2017 15:09

Argostoli is a large, shallow bay with good holding once you get the hook through the weed. We don’t’ seem to have a problem doing this with our forty kilo Rocna anchor but we have seen others struggle. With this in mind combined with the forecast hefty blow we had set our hook with a bright orange anchor buoy and laid out fifty metres of chain in the five metres of water Pamarzi swam in. Although pretty well sheltered the north westerlies, the prevailing wind here, can set up a significant chop. More uncomfortable than dangerous but it does make ingress and egress to and from the tender tricky and very risky for Lynn at the moment with her still healing knee. We used my new laser range finder to check our distance from the anchor buoy and to take fixes on three disparate landmarks. Thus satisfied with our preparations we resigned ourselves to two or three days on board whilst we rode out the blow and kept a weather eye out for boats attempting to moor too close to us or unfortunate souls with anchors dragging. And sure enough in the course of those two days we had both! Despite the size of the bay and the fact that we were at the time the only boat at anchor, one yacht decided that he would anchor just twenty metres abeam of us in the dark. An unpleasant shouting match ensued as he would not listen to reason but he eventually changed his position. A professionally crewed seventy foot motor yacht whose hook would not hold spent twenty four hours plus with motor running and successfully mowed down our anchor buoy despite our yelled warnings.

These irritations apart we were comfortable enough and as the wind eased on the Monday our excitement rose at the prospect of the arrival of Georgia, Finlay, Robyn and Angus drew.  Sadly this excitement was acutely tempered that afternoon when shortly after Lynn had spoken comforting words to her mother on the telephone, Joan’s life peacefully ended. We have rearranged sailing plans with Rob and Liliane and Sam and Florencia and will now fly home on the 3rd September for the funeral on the 6th leaving Pamarzi at Lefkas Marina.

A call from the airport next morning had me hot foot to the tender and heading for the town quay. Where I arrived at the same time as Georgia and the children alighted from their taxi, little Angus bouncing with excitement despite his early hours start and desperate to see the turtles that reside in this bay. Two were spotted on the way back to Pamarzi but he was always looking in the wrong direction!

Having settled them in to their state rooms and demonstrated the mysteries of vacuum marine loos and shower pumps and talked through the nautical house rules we lunched and discussed plans for the week. The afternoon was spent giving them all tender driving lessons which they enjoyed, Georgia really putting the ‘pedal to the metal’. That evening we dined at the Portside restaurant, introducing our family to the ever friendly owner and her daughter. The wind picked up again as we ate and it was quite a wild ride back to Pamarzi and a bit fraught getting Lynn back aboard but it was accomplished and with the tender hoisted and secured on the davits we were ready for an early morning start next day.

We left a little later than planned as it was still blowing quite hard but by 08.00 we were on our way, with children still asleep to Ayia Eufimia on the eastern side of the island in the northern corner of the bay of Sami. Arriving early afternoon we med. moored to the town quay with the help of George the ever helpful Harbour Master who had a place reserved for us. Lunch was consumed at a rate of knots and the children were off to the local beach with masks and snorkels and bucket and spade for Angus.

Lynn wanted a day to herself  on Thursday so leaving her aboard  we all piled into the tender and with Bob’s and Finlay taking turns driving headed north up the coast to a little sheltered cove, complete with its own cave I remembered from last year. We had the place to ourselves for much of the time and they all had a great time playing in the crystal clear water.

Onwards next day to the mythical island of Ithaca where we moored stern to in its capital popularly known as Vathy but confusingly also called Ithaca. Another beach day for the children ensued followed by supper at Knikos our favourite restaurant in this little port where again (as last year)we relished the walnut flavoured skordalia and notably Finlay managed to eat his way through a huge rib steak on the bone. Vathi or Vathy or Ithaca is a lively little place with numerous jewellery and ‘objet daft’ shops. Inevitably next day the girls all wanted to go shopping. So off they all tootled leaving me to get on with some boat jobs particularly a problem with the tender which was refusing to select gears and had left me with a mile and a half row the previous day. After a suitable amount of cussing as I tried to trace the problem whilst the boat bobbed up and down in the wake created by harbour traffic I found the culprit to be a linkage fitting deep inside the engine. I had not got that spare so more damaged knuckles as I jury rigged it with cable ties but a certain amount of satisfaction that it worked and hopefully will hold out till I return with a spare part from the U.K.  . Much to Angus’s delight it was good enough to get them to the beach that afternoon.

Rather than repeat (reversing the outward journey) the five/six hour sail back to Argostoli we decided to return to Ayia Eufimia and organise a taxi to take them back across the island to the airport. So Monday saw us departing Vathi and returning to Ayia Eufimia where the kids had a last afternoon on the beach.  Although it has to be said that it was very nice to have Finn ask to stay aboard with me for a couple of hours to help wash down the boat. Taking pre-dinner drinks in the cockpit that evening it was amusing to see George the Harbour Master and George (another one!) the Diesel vying for Georgia’s attention as they joined us on the afterdeck. I think she rather enjoyed it!

Gosh, the week has gone so fast but it has been terrific having them all on board and I know they have enjoyed themselves. It has been especially nice to have Georgia aboard for the first time since Pamarzi was launched.

We waved them off on Tuesday (22nd August) morning and returned after a pleasant breakfast ashore to a quiet boat and the prospect of a couple of days of domestic chores in preparation for the arrival of Rob and Liliane on Thursday.