The expected 30-40kt winds came but in the shelter of Vlikho bay we hardly felt it, only a few gusts up to 20kts were able to get around the hills and into the bay.
Vlikho is a large bay approximately half a mile wide and we were anchored on the east side which is a little more peaceful and rural, the village is on the west so we took Ed and Fred for a trip across the bay. Just 50 metres from the shore, Ed had a cough and splutter and gave up. Paul had a fiddle around with the engine but was unable to find the fault so we had to row Fred to shore!
After doing some shopping we decided to stop for lunch, hoping that Ed might miraculously recover after a rest! If not, Paul needed all of his strength to row half a mile back to Ziggy.
Back at the dinghy and there was no chance that Ed would start, looks like it needs a good service (a job for the list). Fortunately, a very nice German couple came over and offered to tow us back to ZigZag. I am not sure that they understood at first that we were anchored on the other side of the bay. However, they happily pulled us slowly all the way back. They came aboard and we repaid them with a few drinks and snacks. The sailing community is so good, everyone is always happy to help each other out.
As we were in the bay for a couple of days waiting for the wind to pass we did a few jobs. The standing rigging was starting to feel a bit loose so Paul checked the tension of all of the shrouds, tightening where necessary. I had the sewing machine out making new mesh sunshades.
With the ongoing stormy weather and more strong winds plus heavy rain forecast, we decided that we would like the extra shelter and convenience of a marina for a couple of days so we treated ourselves and booked into Preveza marina.
On approach to the marina we were told to stay outside of the entrance while they moored another boat. As we waited we were visited by a large turtle, its shell must have been almost one metre diameter. Unfortunately as it swam past the boat I didn’t have my camera at the ready and by the time I got a photo it just looked like a lump of wood in the water (hopefully you can just about make it out)! We didn’t want to distress it by getting too close but it did seem quite happy hanging around the busy entrance to the marina.
As the wind blew and it rained constantly for three days and nights, we were very pleased to be moored in the marina.
At least tied up to the dock we didn’t have to rely on Ed to get us to shore and we could easily step off the boat (with full waterproofs on) to walk around the town. It was unusual to see all of the cafes full inside rather than people sitting at the outside tables which normally fill the promenade and narrow streets.
The procedure for non EU boats in Greece is that you should get your transit log stamped at each major port, so now being on the mainland we visited the Port Authority office. The derelict buildings didn’t look like the right place but continuing around a back alleyway we found the entrance. We produced our documents and thankfully, everything was correct and our transit log was stamped within five minutes!
I don’t think we’ve ever had so much rain, it was even raining inside! We noticed a leak coming in running down behind the galley and into the bilge. The floorboards all had to come up to dry it out and we investigated where the water could be coming in. This proved to be almost impossible to do from the inside without destroying the galley cabinetry so further investigation is required. However, outside we did find some cracks in the teak toe rail which could be the problem and so needs attention. (Another job for the list)
Eventually the rain stopped briefly and the sky cleared so we took the opportunity to leave the marina.
We headed south again towards ‘Little’ Vathi on Meganisi island to wait for the next belt of southerly winds and heavy rain. It seemed that everyone had the same idea as there was no space. We continued around the headland to Spartahori but we were turned away as they had already reserved the space for a flotilla. If all else fails, go back to Vlikho! We anchored along with some friends for another two days of torrential rain. Surely there can’t be much more water in the sky, at least the boat is clean!
At last some nice weather again! Sailing late into the season was always going to produce some changeable weather conditions but we were not expecting quite so much rain. The forecast now shows a more settled week ahead.