Sailing Greece
adventure  5

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Part five

This is the story of Neil and Yvonne Armitage, a couple of New Zealanders in their sixties who, in May and June 2009 broke from their own conventions to experience a six week sailing adventure in Greece. The dream became a reality. This is the fifth part of the logbook that describes this adventure. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger 800x600 photo in a new window.

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Vonitsa was a wonderful town that so typified one of the great things about sailing in Greece, the towns. It was unpretentious, the people were friendly, it wasn’t small and it wasn’t large, it had a castle, it had a town quay, it had fishing boats, it had a small harbour for visiting boats, it didn’t rely on tourist traffic, it had an agricultural background, it was nice. Tomorrow, the 18th, we would head back to Lefkas. Today for the first time in 6 weeks we would go nowhere. It was wonderful, sleeping in, cleaning, packing, doing some laundry, topping up the water tank, washing down “Spyros”, going for a walk up to the Venetian fort, walking around the water front to the causeway and Islet of Koukouvitsa, shopping, checking the internet, finding a taverna for this evening.
Yacht charters in GreeceThe Islet of Koukouvitsa, Vonitsa.
June the 19th our last sailing day. We made a slow start this morning I released the lazy line about 10am while Yvonne motored “Spyros” out into the gulf where a tempting light northeasterly was puffing away. We had a few hours just to sail for the sake of sailing as we had planned to make the 4:00pm opening of the bridge to the Lefkas channel. Yvonne soon had “Spyros” up to 4-5 knots on a starboard reach until it was time to bear away to avoiding the shallows in the north of the Gulf of Amvrakikos. We ran towards the western end of the gulf until the breeze died then we had to start motoring. A large pod of feeding dolphins and flocks of sea birds paid little attention to us as we motored out of the gulf passed Preveza to pick up the channel markers that would guide us out of the gulf and into the Ionian Sea.
Yacht charters in GreeceGulf of Amvrakikos, Yvonne soon had “Spyros” up to 4-5 knots.
On any other day the breeze in the Ionian Sea would have still been quite light at 2:00pm and we could have had a pleasant sail getting to the Lefkas channel and filling in time until the 4:00pm bridge opening. Today, when we arrived at the outer buoys of the Preveza channel the breeze was from the west at 12 rising to 16 knots. “Spyros” took off close hauled on a heading that would make the Lefkas channel on the nose. We reined her in with a couple of rolls in the genoa when the breeze got to 16 knots but she still romped along at 6-7 knots; we reached the Lefkas channel entrance in 50 minutes and made the 3:00pm bridge opening. Nikos got a text message to say our ETA will now be an hour earlier.
Yacht charters in GreeceLefkas, we returned to our nice taverna of 2 weeks ago.
Back at Lefkas the adventure was all over. Nikos refuelled, checked and cleared “Spyros”; we lowered our flag, started packing and later returned to our nice taverna of 2 weeks ago.

Back in New Zealand the winter has been cold and wet, a stark contrast to the warm sunny days aboard “Spyros” in the North and South Ionian Seas. Our suntans may be fading but the adventure is far from a distant memory; the Greek Waters Pilot is already open at Chapter IX, The Dodecanese.


Date Place Trip miles
May 9th Lefkas arrive
May 10th Spartakhouri 12
May 11th Fiskhardho 19
May 12th Argostoli 35
May 13th Ay Nikolaos 25
May 14th Katakolon 33
May 15th Kiparissia 28
May 16th Pilos 34
May 17th Koroni 25
May 18th Kalamata 15
May 19th Koroni 17
May 20th Menthoni 20
May 21st Kiparissia 40
May 22nd Katakolon 36
May 23rd Katakolon
May 24th Zakinthos 38
May 25th Killini 19
May 26th Poros 26
May 27th Sami 12
May 28th Astokos 26
May 29th Vathi (Ithaca) 24
May 30th Kastos 18
May 31st Kalamos 13
June 1st Vasiliki 21
June 2nd Vathi 14
June 3rd Kalamos 14
June 4th Palairos 13
June 5th Spartakhouri 13
June 6th Vlikho Bay 12
June 7th Lefkas 8
June 8th Parga 37
June 9th Gaios 13
June 10th Platarias 20
June 11th Petriti 15
June 12th Gouvia (Corfu) 18
June 13th Kassiopi 12
June 14th Erikoussa 22
June 15th Palaiokastrita 15
June 16th Lakka 33
June 17th Vonitsa 43
June 18th Vonitsa
June 19th Lefkas 21
June 20th Lefkas depart

Total miles 859

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Story and photos by Neil & Yvonne Armitage from New Zealand

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