Summer 2022

Back in the Ionian

Having cruised around the Ionian many times before (and written about), our plan this year was to continue south through the familiar islands and then head east to explore some other parts of Greece.

Of course we couldn’t pass through without stopping at a couple of our favourite places.

With all of our check-in paperwork now completed we left Lefkas, there was no wind and the water was again mirror like.

This was obviously the calm before the storm, strong winds were forecast over the next few days so we went to Vlicho bay just a few miles down the east coast of Lefkas island. The bay is surrounded by high mountains to shelter us from the imminent stormy weather, with a seabed which has very good holding. We dropped our anchor in 5m depth and let out 60m of chain to be sure, just before the black clouds descended upon us.

Some friends we had met during the winter in Sicily last year were anchored nearby, also making the most of the protection of Vlicho bay. It was nice to catch up with them and share sailing stories over some homemade food, there may also have been a few drinks involved.

We have walked up the waterfalls in the town a couple of times before, but the girls decided that it was time to get off the boat in between the storms, so we left the boys behind to look after the boats should an unexpected squall arrive. I learnt lots of new skills foraging from the many wild fruit trees and bushes along the way.

Eventually we arrived at the foot of the trail up to the falls and this is the sign at the bottom promising views of a spectacular waterfall.

As expected, it didn’t quite look like this! Despite the recent storms there was no water in the riverbed and only a small trickle coming down the fall at the top, I’ve yet to see it gushing.

As we returned back to the town we stopped at one of the hotels for a well earned drink and it was nice to be able to cool down in the hotel swimming pool.

After a few days the storms passed and we took a short trip over to Spartahori on the north coast of Meganisi island. Here the bay is surrounded by pine trees, it has lovely clear water, a beach and a traditional seafront taverna. It was becoming a great week of socialising when some more friends cruising Greece came to meet us. Thank you to Chris and Sue for taking the feature photo this week.

The following day we continued south for one more visit to Fiskardo, another favourite of ours on the north coast of Cephalonia. There was a good sailing wind but unfortunately it was coming from directly ahead, so it meant lots of tacking as we ‘zigzagged’ our way across the water.

There is a small harbour here which is generally full but with plenty of space on the north side of the bay to anchor with long lines ashore. When we arrived early afternoon it was already filling up, but conveniently our usual preferred spot was free and we were quickly anchored and tied up.

Boats continued to arrive all afternoon looking for a space to squeeze into and by the evening there were over 50 boats moored along the coast. It’s always entertaining watching people trying to moor, particularly when large ferries and trip boats also frequently come and go into the bay.

You cannot go to Fiskardo without visiting the great cocktail bar with a balcony overlooking the harbour and then on to the best Thai restaurant, so we did!

Our plan was to leave the following morning but many other boats around us were also trying to leave, with a stiff breeze blowing there were several crossed anchors (thankfully not ours). So we had our breakfast while we waited. Once they had untangled themselves we had plenty of space to lift our anchor and head east towards the small island of Petalás.

As we passed around the top of Ithaca the wind picked up further and we were enjoying a good sail but slightly in the wrong direction, so we changed course to go around the top of Nsis Átokos putting a couple of miles on the journey but avoiding another day of ‘zigzagging’. There were lots of dolphins around but unfortunately not close enough for photos.

After 33 nm we arrived at the uninhabited island of Petalás and anchored in the large bay between the island and the mainland. The contrast between here and Fiskardo could not have been greater.

With only one other boat there we watched the sunset over the hills followed by the bright moon rising. We enjoyed a restful night here and wondered if this is what the rest of Greece will be like.

3 replies on “Back in the Ionian”

Glad the photo was ok, it was great to meet up despite our less than warm welcome! He was a bit happier the next day. We’ve been following your progress on Sues’ AIS app and you have definitely made good progress, hope it continues for you.
We’ve just spent 4 nights in Fiskardo and had Thai on three of them! A week of sandwiches now to make up for it.
Happy travels and fair winds,
Chris and Sue

Liked by 1 person

The feature photo is very nice and I am glad it got the paddle board in! 😳 The cocktail bar and Thai restaurant sounds lovely and the view is gorgeous. Can’t believe the dolphins stayed far enough away so you couldn’t see them properly – I always love a dolphin photo! Xxx

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s