From here we sailed back to Corfu town to take in a little culture and see if we could meet up with an old sailing buddy of mine Robert who's boat we knew was moored up at the Corfu sailing club. Unfortuntely, he wasn't around so we took in some of the sights, and provisioned for our sail south through the islands. I also needed to revisit our battery charging issue, which involved changing fan belts on the alternators & tightening them up. Corfu Town is lovely, if a little touristy, but its charm was still worth a visit. Audrey & Bertie also enjoyed keeping the shop keepers on their toes & playing in the park over looking the old fort.
Leaving Corfu Town we had a beautiful sail down to a bay just north of Igoumenitsa, called Ormiskos Valtou, where we were one of only 3 boats anchored for the night. As we are now getting used to, evening swims were combined by a BBQ on the back of the Maya, before relaxing and watching the sun go down in the west. The following day we took the tender out as Bertie has now become obsessed with the little boat. So visiting the mud bank where the wild birds were nesting, was combined with giving Bertie his first lesson in driving the tender, which he just loves. Setting off around lunch time we again had great wind to sail across to a small bay on the north coast of Paxos, called Lakka. Now because Lakka is the first of only a few anchorages on Paxos it tends to get busy and by the time we sailed in there were somewhere in the region on 15 boats all anchored in a pretty tight formation. But finding a good spot next to a beautiful wooden boat called Diana, which belonged to a lovely family from Hamburg, we settled in for the afternoon. Little did we know that another 10 to 12 more yachts would try and squeeze there way in, mostly charter boats, and boy is it interesting watching these guys trying to navigate a busy anchorage. Watching the calamity of some of these guys trying to anchor has since become part of our afternoons entertainment. With anchors dragging & other yacht owners cries of protestation, an ice cold beer can ofter been enjoyed watching this spectacle. Lakka itself is lovely, very much geared up for the yachts which come to anchor in their bay there are many very cute restaurants & bars, and the ability to provision, if somewhat on the expensive side. Although we had read reports of rats in the bay swimming out to boats, i was pretty confident that this was more rumour than fact. Unfortunately, when we visited the small park near the centre of the town, Nicky saw a rat scampering through the play ground, and we beat a hasty retreat in search of a slightly more child friendly environment. And so onto Mongonisi on the south of the island. Here we were joined by another lovely cruising family from Germany (Dominic, Natalija, Jonathan & Latiza), with whom we would sail through much on the Ionian, finding them at anchorages or visa versa.
From Paxos we then had a longish sail down to the Lefkas canal, with the day starting off rainy with no wind, and ending up with 30knts just as we came to the tricky bit at the entrance to the canal. The canal in only opened every hour on the hour for a limited amount of time, so getting there on time is paramount. As we got to the entrance there were several boats jostling in the wind, waiting for the horn to signal so we could make our way through. As it happened we were at the front of the stack as the horn went off and with a little trepidation were the first boat in. The canal is cut through the salt flats and lets boats of a limited draft through to what is called the inner sea, to the islands below. At the advise of our German friends we head past Scorpio and on to a beautiful bay on the north side of Meganissi. Here we spent a few lovely days in the beautiful bay of Spillie Beach, swimming, go on bike rides and even getting the new diving gear out to have a look at the underside of the boat.
And so onward to Kefalonia and our wedding of the summer. Our friends Rob and Kate from South Dock had arranged to get married in Fiskardo, a beautiful little bay on the north of the island. And many of our London south dock friends were all flying in for a week of fun & frolics. We managed to get a spot on the wall, and one by one they all started to arrive. It was so lovely to see Rob & Kate, as well as all our other south dock family. We had Geoff & Bel come stay on Maya, and Audrey & Bertie loved seeing all of them and hanging out. We went to the amazing Myrtos beach, and buzzing around the bay in the tender looking at all the mega yachts as they came in. On the friday night we had the pre wedding warm up of a meal on the west side of the island, with a Pig, Goat & Sheep spit roast BBQ, and all 60 guest of the wedding sitting around the longest table setting I've ever seen. And Saturday was wedding day! As we head across the island again to the small hillside hamlet of Assos we were treated to a spectacular setting for the wedding. With Rob looking nervous & Kate looking stunning, the back drop of a small chapel & a mandolin playing, the wedding was beautiful....... and then the heavens opened. With very little cover the wedding party got a little soggy, but the spirits were not dampened. With the reception back in Fiskardo, we were treated to an excellent best mans speech... 'what could possibly go wrong!', and dancing until the wee small hours. Just a few sore heads the next morning...
With the wedding over it was time to say good bye to some friends before the wedding parties flotilla around the islands began. Not wanting to head straight north to where the flotilla began, we found a little bay just next to Fiskardo, and spent the next two days at anchor with south dock friends Kate, Adrien, Shebby, Lee & Julie all coming to hang out and chill on Maya. BBQs, walks in the hills, visiting caves & mucking around in the tender, were all a plenty. I think we may have a few causing converts! With a few restful days behinds us at anchor we head across to the small island of Kastos to meet up with the wedding flotilla. As it happened we ended up just meeting up with the largest boat a 40 catamaran skippered by our friend Alex & his crew Shang, Gloria & Jade, and their friends Jon & Max..... The next week was amazing, beach BBQs, star filled skies, blue lagoons, stunning caves & ship wreaked beaches. The ship wreaked beach in question is on the west coast of Zakinthos, and is totally stunning. I first saw a photograph of this beach 10 years ago when i was in Crete, and there was no ship wreck there. Arriving at dawn you have the beach to your self for a few hours. Alas by 11 o'clock, we took refuge on a tiny pristine beach just off this beach as the 100s of tourists arrived in an armada of boats... Being able to anchor in this bay again alone in the evening was again stunning. We took sun downers to the beach & enjoyed the most stunning of sunsets.
The next day Alex & his crew had to return north to send people off to the airport and we made our way south/east and onto Kallithea on the Peloponnese from where we could visit Ancient Olympia.