After having spent almost one month on the Italian coast, between very expensive marinas and restaurants where the price to pay isn’t always the one indicated in the menu, sailing in Greece is a real pleasure. There are a lot a sailing boat using their sails. Marinas are considered as a public service. And all the islands are very close to each other. All that is very comfortable but murphy laws is always near, ready to manifest itself. And during 10 days spent in Greece it will be there almost every day. It is a kind of paradox to accumulate so many technical problems and being in the same time in such a beautiful place…
Well arrived in Argostoli, after 60h of sailing through thunderstorms, we move the boat to fill the water’s tank, to take a shower and to wash our clothes. Here the mooring is a little bit different than what we’ve seen until now. We always use the anchor, even in the marina. The boat is perpendicular to the dock, the anchor in front of the boat and two ropes behind attached to the dock. But perpendicular… It depends. Sometimes, another boat put his anchor above the chain of another boat, and then it becomes problematic. That is exactly what happened to us: a ferry put his anchor on our chain. We then had to dive during 2 hours and with 2 fenders to get our anchor out of the ground.
Then we head to Lixouri, a small city close to Argostoli where we are all alone. But unfortunately the shelter is not as good as we thought: winds and waves are very uncomfortable for the boat. If the anchor moves, the back of the boat will touch the dock without letting us the time to react. Then a policeman tells us that it is forbidden to stay here. He advices us to move to another dock where it is more sheltered. We enjoy there a very calm night, far from the noise of the city.
The day after, we sail to Fiskardo, a city at the north of Cehalonia. We go all along its west coast where we can see beautiful white sand’s beaches and colorful cliffs.
Once in Fiskardo, we get another mooring exercise. The docks are full and we have to moor near a road on the other side of the city. We still have to put our anchor in front of the boat and two ropes behind. The ropes need to be tied on the ground before with the dinghy because the boat has to be moored 20 meters from the coast (because of the depths). It is our first time and we do it without any problem. Being five aboard is a real advantage!
Unfortunately, our neighbor come one hour after us and, one more time, put his anchor above ours. The day after, when we want to leave, we have to dive again. Water is clear and his anchor is light, it is much more convenient and 10 minutes after we are ready to leave but… Our engine doesn’t want to start, because of the electrical starter! Ok, let’s repair it!
In the same time, Olivier repairs the rail of the mainsail on the mast. Since the beginning of the trip it has been seriously damaged. But two climbs to the top of the mast, some new screws and it will last 20 more years.
But the starter isn’t so easy to repair. During two days we try but without any result and no one can help us in Fiskardo. We have to move. In Levkas (the island at the north of Cephalonia) there are shipshandlers and mechanics, we decide to sail there. Hopefully we had expected it could happen and we had brought a hand crank starter. It is physical and easier to do when the sea is calm.
Wind helps us to go quickly to Nidri (the city in Levkas). There we are lucky because we find an electrician without difficulty and he has the missing piece. We want to buy it but he refuses, he wants to repair it himself. It is more expensive but we have no choice and we let him the starter. We come back the day after to take it back, he has done a very good job, the starter works perfectly!
Once again we have some difficulty with our neighbor’s anchor. But this time we were still sleeping… A good way to wake up quickly! But the guy is cool, after having literally fished our anchor, he put it back at its place.
Technical problems are resolved. We can enjoy the 5 last days in Greece. After that we will have to head to Sicilia. But today we are going to Meganisi, we make a sampling of plankton and some surf with the dinghy behind the boat.
In the bee bay, the mooring is similar to Fiskardo. The only difference is that the rope is attached on a tree. But the depth where we put the anchor is important, we have to put all our chain. Maybe a little too much: we lost the anchor with all the chain. At the end of the chain, there is a rope but, apparently, the knot wasn’t well done. So everything felt at the bottom of the sea. Hopefully, we have a second anchor that we used while we are taking back the first.
One hour later, the boat is closer to the coast. The anchor seems to be slipping. We can’t sleep here so we leave to the next bay. Hopefully the next one is much better, we put the anchor with 5 meters deep without any rope attached to the coast. The night is excellent, Karukera alone under the stars.
We leave the day after to Frikes, a city in Ithaca. The wind is strong, the boat go fast, close to the wind on a flat sea. Frikes is located in a valley where the wind is very strong. Even with the engine, it is hard to go again
nce in the city we can enjoy a shower at 3€. Moreover, temperature are decreasing and that is very appreciable no to sweat 20 minutes after the shower.
Weather forecast allows us to leave on the next day. We fulfill the tanks in Ithaca, it is the only city around where we can have diesel (we still have to walk 1km with the tanks to have it) and after we move to Fiskardo. There we will be able to buy cheaper food and it is a good location to leave to Sicilia.
Once we have bought food and some souvenirs from Greece, we leave to Sicilia. We have just left Fiskardo and we put the mainsail. But the rope of the reef is blocked in the GPS, we don’t see it and it breaks our GPS. We decide to go back to Fiskardo to try to repair it. While Adrien and Alix were working on the GPS, Olivier was repairing the fairleads that have suffered in Ithaca.
Unfortunately, nothing works on the GPS and the only shipshlandler doesn’t have any. He can order some GPS and it is very expensive and it will arrive only in 4 days…we are not interested. We decide to make the crossing only with our GPS phone. The day after, early in the morning, we leave Fiskardo for the third time. The sea is rough, the wind is strong and it comes from where we are heading : the 24 first hours will be hard!