The blogging over the summer has not really been going well, sorry!
We left Marina di Ragusa in early June. Unfortunately we only got as far as Crotone (on the sole of Italy) before we had to stop for a month to repair Wanda (see Stephens blog on the propeller shaft repair). We had hoped to do more testing on the prop shaft repair, however a good weather window appeared for going to Greece and we decided to do our final tests on the way.
We made the passage to Preveza in good time(in 30 hours) and were happy things were going well with Wanda. Well that was until we approached the channel into Preveza. We tried to turn off the autopilot (James) but he wouldn't let go. We had a feeling of de ja vue (exactly the same thing happened last year, in exactly the same place) at least we knew what to do this time. We think we know what the problem is, but the fix will have to wait until the winter. Which means we will have to hand steer round Greece again.
After a couple of days at anchor, we went into the Marina in Preveza to catch up on cleaning the inside and outside of Wanda. We then set of South, through the Lefkas canal.
We met up with friends in one of the lovely anchorages just through the canal. We spent a few nights there, enjoying swimming and trying out our new kayak.
Selfie in the Kayak
Better view of the Kayak – thank you Nichola.
After a few nights we decided to move on to Spartichori. We went to one of the tavernas there. The nice thing about Spartichori is the water in the bay is so clear we can swim even though we are tied to land.
Wandering Dragon is one of the boats on the far shore middle of the picture.
There are amazing views from the town of Spartichori.
We then decided it was time to try somewhere new. So we set off for Kalamos.
Wandering Dragon is the far boat in the bay just outside Kalamos.
We anchored just outside the town. Anne went ashore and explored a bit of the town, while Stephen stayed on the boat. By the time Anne got back, Stephen had had enough of a very rolly anchorage. We decide to move on. We went to Mikitas on the mainland. Although the anchorage looked quite exposed for the time we were there it was very sheltered. The bottom of the bay is very sticky, gloopy mud, so the anchor was well held.
After a few days in Mikitas we moved down the coast to Petalas. He we anchored behind the island of Petalas. Again the holding was good. We had a bbq on board Emerald with Nichola and Colin to celebrate Stephens birthday. The day after Anne & Nichola went off for a kayak adventure. They spotted some large birds at the bottom end of the bay and went off to explore. They found a flock of Pelicans swimming and wading. Anne found that photographing wildlife from a moving Kayak is quite hard. But did manage to get some shots of the Pelicans along of some of empty sky.
Pelicans in Patalas
The next morning we set off for Killini, the south side of the Gulf of Patras. Unfortunately the wind had other ideas, so we changed course for Cephalonia. As we approached Cephalonia we saw a thunderstorm engulf the island, so decide to turn again and head for Ithaca instead.
We arrived in Vathi, Ithaca about 3 pm. The bay was fairly empty, so we had a choice of spots. We had a quiet afternoon. At 6 pm the place started filling up. The evening was spent keeping an eye on other boats around us trying to find somewhere to anchor, and politely telling the ones that got too close, that they were too close. During the evening thunderstorms were all around us. Luckily we didn't get one very close.
Vathi, Ithaca. In the afternoon while it was quiet ….. later in the evening the anchorage and town quay had filled up
We had a close encounter when this motor yacht was dropping his anchor past us so he could tie up to the fuel pontoon for the night.
We have spent a lovely few days in Ithaca. The bay empties out each day, then fills up again overnight. The town is rather nice, there is a good supermarket and we saw a turtle swimming around the boat.