Corfu Town -> Saranda (Albania)
Monday – the morning was spent getting the boat ready for our visitor. Lucy our Niece was visiting us. We walked to the airport and enjoyed waiting for Lucy’s plane in the air conditioning. Luckily there were no delays so we were on our way back to the boat in the early afternoon. We obviously had to stop off at the cake shop on the way to the boat. Stephen tried to get Lucy to drive the dinghy, but not knowing where she was supposed to be going made it rather difficult for her.
We had a quiet afternoon and evening on board (eating cakesJ ) Unfortunately we were inundated with Mosquitoes, which appear to prefer Lucy to anyone else on board.
Our selected cakes
Tuesday – We weighed anchor about 09;30 and headed the 24 nm North to Saranda, Albania.
Lucy helming past Corfu town
We had been in touch with an agent there to ensure we had somewhere to moor and that our checking in to the country should be as easy as possible. We had a very uneventful motor to Saranda. Mooring didn’t go very smoothly though. We were expecting to go along side a wall, however we were informed that we needed to “med style moor with our anchor”. This involves dropping the anchor a few boat lengths away from the quay and letting the chain out then tying the back end of the boat to the quay. We had never done this manoeuvre before.
On our first attempt we dropped the anchor too early and ran out of chain before we were close enough to the quay (we were tantalisingly close though). We raised the anchor chain – unfortunately our anchor locker is quite small and the chain needs to be “organised” and moved so it all fits. Anne was doing this but at one point we had a build up of chain which jammed the windlass. Then the chain came off the windlass and went into “free fall”. Not a good thing – Anne managed to get the chain stopped before we lost it all overboard. Once the chain was back under control we lifted the anchor up only to find we had an old cable wrapped up in the chain. Anne tried lifting it free by hand, but wasn’t able to get into a position to do this. So we tied a rope to the chain so we could release the pressure on the cable and release it. Poor Lucy didn’t know what to do. This is not the kind of thing you want to do to impress your visitors.
On our second attempt, the anchor went down at the right time, set and we were able to reverse back into our space. Not the best of arrivals into a new country, especially when you the agent waiting to get started on your paperwork waiting on the quayside. Anyway, our entry into the country was really easy, we handed our paperwork to Agim and then about half an hour later it came back all duly stamped for entry into Albania.
Checked into Albania – raising the courtesy flag
We had a lazy afternoon – OK we were recovering from the trauma of our arrival. Early evening we went for a walk around town, then went for dinner at one of the local restaurants. We had been told the restaurant did typical Albanian food, we were not sure what to expect, The food was simple but very tasty.
Wandering Dragon (the boat with two masts) moored in Saranda, Albania