?Corfu, Greece Friday 28 April – Wed 3 May 2017
Published 11:26 on 2 Jun 2017
The Spring bank holiday cruise was skippered by Martin Richmond Coggan and Rod Eames, with 7 of us on each boat, the trusty Bavaria 41's Kalypso and Ariti.
Having taken the Easyjet early morning flight it was great to find the charter company got us quickly on our way. We motored around the headland to moor for the night next to Corfu citadel marina. This was an excellent spot from which to explore Corfu old town and for both boats to have the first Al Fresco dinner together.
Howard had applied his planning skills to good effect and set us an ambitious itinerary sailing the 35 mile full length of Corfu and down to Paxos on Day 1, then across to the Greek mainland for a more relaxing series of legs back northwards for the subsequent 3 days.
However, it was a case of the best laid plans, when Kalypso's engine refused to start the following morning. We lost half a day while we waited for the Volvo technicians to replace the control box. However, with diligent use of the throttle we made it to Lakka-a beautiful horseshoe bay- for a late lunch and swim. The temperature was bracing so some stayed in longer than others.
In the afternoon we followed the beautiful coastline down to Gaios, which was a charming port spread along the waterfront. Plenty of reversing practice ensued while we tried to get the anchors to bite on a reed-covered bottom. We were warmly welcomed by the locals, who found us a place to shower, sold us newly created olive oil and of course plied us with beverages, which made things interesting when we put on a new line against the stronger breeze.
Squeezing out of Gaios on Day 2 with only centimetres beneath the keel, we had a brisk and highly enjoyable sail across to Parga on the Greek mainland. This was the only time we put a reef in, when we encountered the mixed blessing of in-mast reefing. It was great to be the only sailing boats on the sea in such beautiful sailing conditions.
Parga proved not to be yacht-friendly, the marina looking like a dumping ground for retired boats and the harbour wall looking barely long enough for 2 yachts. We hastily revised our plans and motored dead up wind to the tranquil and beautiful town of Mourtos, again treading gingerly in over the sand bar. We had a great local dinner with plenty of retsina and even some mataxa back on the boat.
Day 3 we navigated up the Greek mainland coast, finding a great swimming bay for lunch and then crossing back over to Corfu to the small fishing village of Petreti. Yes we were offered fresh fish from the fishing boats, but we found a gorgeous restaurant inches from the sea from which to watch the sun go down.
On Day 4 we bemused the locals by doing some reversing practice just outside the harbour before chasing the ripples to try to pick up some wind for the final leg back north. We found a very pleasant spot for lunch-with yes even some warm water for swimming-and then surprising tourists on their sun-loungers ashore as we paddled in on the dinghy in search of ice creams.
Late afternoon the wind came up perfectly and we had a brilliant sail back up to Gouvia marina which we had left 4.5 days previously. Altogether a very fitting end to a relaxing and civilised sailing holiday in beautiful and boat-free waters. With thanks to Howard the organiser and both crews who made it such a fun few days.
Last updated 15:25 on 22 February 2018