Monday 31 May 2021
Yes, it has been a long time since anything appeared here – because we haven’t been sailing, and have filled the time doing things other than bringing the blog up to date. Mate will attempt to rectify this situation over the next few weeks, but meanwhile we are delighted to be able to report – at last – that we are not only back on the water, but actually travelling again!
Having spent a mostly comfortable eight weeks enjoying the hospitality of Preveza town quay, roughly in the middle of the Greek Ionian Sea, we finally let go late on Thursday afternoon to motor around the perimeter wall of the marina to the anchorage just to the North. It was wonderful to feel the boat moving with the will of the water again, turning gently to keep her bow to the wind while at anchor.
We spent Friday and Saturday replacing all the running rigging – the ropes that pull the sails up and control them when they are flying – that Skipper spent the last few weeks soaking and washing in copious amounts of fresh water and clothes washing liquid, and now l’escale smells clean all around her decks from the fabric conditioner he also applied liberally! The foresails went back on the furlers at the bow on Sunday morning, and after lunch we pulled up the anchor and set the genoa for a lovely downwind sail into the Gulf of Amvrakikos.
The summer afternoon sea breezes are well-established here already, and the wind was a good F5 westerly at times, allowing us to skim along at an exhilarating six knots. We made two clean gybes to navigate the curve of the channel, seemingly the only yacht on the water, and tucked into the welcome shelter of the Eastern side of Nisis Koukouvitsa, a pretty wooded islet joined to the shore near Vonitsa by a five-arched stone bridge and a land spit. A tiny chapel nestles among the fragrant pine trees, and we’re already clocking up wildlife sightings: one large dolphin, and several turtles, plus pelicans and herons.
On Monday morning we prepared the dinghy to go ashore, which wore us out so we lazed around in the cockpit for the rest of the day, enjoying the peace and quiet. Tomorrow we’ll go ashore early before the wind fills in, do a few errands and perhaps explore the Venetian castle on the hill at the other end of the town, or even find the chapel that is built into the facing hillside – literally into the rock wall…