Really Useful Info
Captain Jack - Jeanneau 45DS Videos
Thanks to the Allen crew!
The Flying Olive
Thanks to Alex De Jong and crew for this video of their holiday!
Video diary of sailing trip in Ionian on "Olive" (Bavaria 36) June 2009
Thanks to Alan Lauder for allowing us to post this link.
The YOSC Yacht Charter in Greece, 10-17th May 2009
Graham Collins had planned for the Nisos charter group to have an evening meal together after a
Thanks to YOSC for allowing us to reproduce this article from their June 2009 News Letter.
"Iona" in the Ionian -18th to 25th May 2008
CREW: Simon and Louise Gould; Adam Dunlop; Debbie Thorne; Alan Green
Yacht chartered - Iona - Bavaria 39
Louise and I had an early start on Sunday morning leaving Bristol for Gatwick at 1am, picking up Adam on the way & meeting Alan and Debs at APH Car Park just outside the airport. Forgotten just how tatty and busy Gatwick now is - means to an end - flight left at 6:30am to Preveza, arrived on time, quickly through the formalities and outside to a warm and bright Greek afternoon - met as promised by a taxi organiser who soon had us on our way to Nidri.
Arrived in Nidri at 2pm met with Laurie & colleagues who said the boat - Iona - woiuld be ready by 17:00 - nautical time keeping now of course - quick lunch in "Nick the Greek" taverna, even quicker euro100 shopping just up the road and the yacht was ready for us, squeaky clean and in excellent condition, a quick breifing from an old Yorkshireman (his words not ours) basically said, "if it works - leave it, if it doesn't - leave it!" - this became the saying of the week - "Leave It!".
17:00 on the dot...ish and we upped anchor & left civilisation behind us for a week. Sailed, rather motored, across to Porto Spilla, Spartachori on Meganissi, an uneventful passage apart from our first near miss of many with the Meganissi Ferry, strangely called "Meganissi".
I (Simon) reversed her in stern too, dead easy, no wind and luxury of luxuries, lazy lines - great start to the week, less than 10 hours from after leaving Gatwick. Strolled up the hill to the village, great views and photo opportunities, bought "naked lady" post card and Meganissi Ouzo glass for Adams birthday next day. Down to the restaurant for an evening meal by the pontoon - Greek salad, Schnitzel and chips, Mythos and wine for euros 85 for 5 of us - great stuff, earlyish to bed and slep like a log until....
Obviously Ad is excitied, its his 52nd birthday, can't sleep so wakes us all up with typical Ad stomping around the boat at 07:30. At least we get tea in bed. Gouldy comes up with a great idea - why not fire over to Abeleke Bay for breakfast and a thrash around in the rub a dub with outboard. Lovely motor over, bit confused which bay to go into, Ad and Al have no memories from previous visits - safe to say no real memory at all. Dropped anchor in bay on right as you enter, totally peaceful, naked bathers on nearby boat quickly get dressed as Gouldy sorts out the tender - handy practice for things to come...
Later after brekfast, we sailed down the east coast of Meganissi, lovely broad reach F3, before motoring along the south coast, visiting the caves in the tender, then on to Ormos Rouda as the wind picked up. Tea and cake at anchor, before sailing around to Sivota on Lefkas in an increasing wind. Debs on the wheel, tricky reversing in a busy harbour with lots of wind on the bimini and parked Iona up outside "No Problem Taverna". The owner of the taverna fixed our stern lines, and was keen to show us his fresh, very expensive fish. Great showers and loos, much improved on our last visit in 2001.
A bit of an emotional evening in the Olive Press as Lou, my wife and I got engaged in Sivota in 2001 and Louise Stratton, a friend who was with us in 2001 on a Sunsail flotilla holiday sadly died in child birth 9 months later - we all miss Lou massively.
Great meal in the "No Problem" Euros 120 due to fresh sea bass - drinks next door and shopping in the first of many bracelet shops. Great day got better when we met Tony who was on a sailing course, brilliant guy, ex Dan Air pilot with loads of stories and Spanish Brandy.
Ad up early again. Misty start to the day, not much wind but we had the sails up early as we left Sivota and headed south towards Cephalonia - the intention to head towards Fiskardo. Got brighter as day wore on and a bit of sea swell sent Ad down below for the "Quells" - a bit late and he suffered for a few hours.
Listened to Als "Janet and John" CD from Wogans radio 2 show. "See John skip away, see Janet chase after him with a rusty rake". Do you know what its like to be seasick? Adam does!. Had our photo taken by Sailingpics.com off Ithaca coast, sailed past Fiskardo into a small bay with a disused fish farm and wrecks just underwater - ideal for exploring in the tender and snorkelling. Around 16:00 we headed into Fiskardo - heaving! We decided to take a line to shore on the north side of the harbour. This upset our first "Mr Grumpy" of the week. He thought he owned that area and moaned about noise, our position and the small chance that we had laid our anchor over his. Having said that the mooring was not in an ideal position - two long stern lines but very close to rocks and not the most relaxing of nights ahead with the wind blowing us onshore.
Much debate. In the end we decided we could not relax there any longer and we decided on an 11 mile thrash down to Ay Eufemia further south again. At 18:00 we moved out of Fiskardo and had a great sail south to Ay Eufemia. Lots of quay space for me to reverse into, water and shore power all for euros 14. Only mooring fees we paid all week!!!! Brilliant meal in the restaurant in the coner of the harbour, set up on a concrete plinth - euros 65 - great value and good wine! Met Mr Dan Air again...
Out of Ay Eufemia towards Kioni on Ithica. Saw a pod of 6 dolphins off the south coast of Ithica, fab day, warm sunny but no wind at all. Motored all day, explored some caves and found the most fantastic beach on the east coast just south of Vathi - white chalk pebbles and turquoise water - totallly tropical!
Headed to Kioni at about 16:00 and got into a queue of 7 flotilla yachts going in early. Jumped the queue but found them rafting up all over the place. Decided to abandon the flotillas and head for Frikes - bound to be quieter there and we can watch the Champions League Final in peace....
The wind was getting up as we left Kioni and screaming as we entered into Frikes. Seemed a lot of Neilson yachts on the mole but there were plenty of gaps on the far side. Wind blew us all over the place as we reversed stern to alongside a Sailing Holidays flotilla. Bit of fun getting anchor laid and fending off flotilla boats. Then a huge Austrian boat with what seemed like a clueless crew and skipper tried repeatedley to get in alongside us. Now these Austrians were a bit odd, skimpy speedos on very over weight middle aged men - not a pretty sight - and what was that hanging down his leg as I passed his stern lines back to him?!
The wind was promised to die down at 20:00 so we ate well and cheaply for just euros 65 (for all of us!) and settled down to watch Man U vs Chelsea in a very trendy bar. Lou arrived at half time - "The anchor is slipping!!". We charged back to the boat and persuaded Laura (Sailing Hols flotilla skipper) to relay our anchor and our Fortress kedge anchor in her tender which she did - what a star! She had already fallen in the water when helping ward off the attack from the Austrians! "Do you know what its like to miss a penalty? John Terry does!"
Bright and clear, warm and no wind. Boat safe. Hired scooters for euros 10 each for the day and rode over to Kioni for sightseeing and coffee. Met Mr Dan Air again. Love Ithica.
Left Frikes at noon and headed east towards Kastos and Kalamos. Arrived in Kastos at 16:00 and managed to moor up against Mr and Mrs Gushy (avoid at all costs) - talked about "sardines on a plate" and Apple struddle" for a few hours with them.... Main anchor well dug in, but decided to lay the kedge anchor as well as an insurance policy, due to forecast strong winds that night. The wind never came....
Great afternoon exploring Kastos - permanent population of 25, all over 65. Three visits to Chef Johns Restaurant. Food good and great views, service and price. Euros 65 for five of us. Met an old merchant seaman - born and bred on Kastos, now an urchin fisherman with a fantastic Italian urchin beheader machine. Very expensive drinks in the Windmill bar, but hell we were miles from anywhere and stuff has to come by caique from the mainland.
Motored and sailed around the north of Kastos, poked our noses in Kalamos harbour - very pretty and then headed down the east coast to Port Leone, a deserted village since the earthquake in 1953, a dozen or so derelict buildings and a renovated church - and evidence of a failed taverna. Two mini moles and deep water in the bay would provide a safe harbour overnight. But quite an eary and sad place really.
The best sail of the week followed as we headed north on a reach towards Meganissi and got to Vathi at 17:00. Simple reverse parking next to Mr Grumpy II, a sour chap who said we had laid our anchor over his (WRONG!) and that he was leaving at 05:00 early the next morning (also WRONG!)....
The next Mr Grumpy (but a very rich one) moored up alongside us, in his great big Bulgarian Gin Palace with 4 crew, the owner and a bit of totty on his arm with the generator running keeping his caviar and champagne cold. Simon was close to taking action but didn't get support for an undercover operation from the crew. Nice meal in the Rose Garden, stuffed aubergine, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, spicy dausage and very filling mousaka and wine for euros 70!
Left early for another morning moored in Abelike Bay - fantastic place! Great swimming. Sailed around Skorpios, dodged the Meganissi ferry and sailed into Sparatchori again for the final night. Great not having to return the boat to base on the Saturday night! Meal at Lakis Taverna in the village - euros 68 for Chefs salad, Lamb chops, House wine - brilliant - nice location, great service. Strolling back down the steep steps to the boat, Ad tries a commando roll and could have done some serious damage - very brave soldier!
Boat rocking like a good un' on our return but lazy lines hold us firm and we sleep well.
Early rise again for 08:30 start. Quick brekkie, pack our bags and off to Perigalia, to meet Laurie. Anchored, as directed in Tranquillity Bay and Laurie whizzes us back to the quay in the RIB and after a quick drink, the taxi arrives to take us back to Preveza, via the worlds shortist dual carriageway just outside Lefkas town. 2 hour wait at the terminal. Say goodbye to Mr Dan Air and also to Mr and Mrs Gushy - sardines on a plate - whatever next?!
Home to the UK - dull, cool and rain in the air - busy on the M25 and M4 back home by 6pm. Where did the week go? Great holiday, great boat, great company, great food and drink. Decent sailing, fun in the tender, some hairy moments mainly on the quayside, but overall a fantastically enjoyable time.
Thanks to Nisos - a very well run Yacht Charter company - try them.
Thanks to Simon Gould for writing this journal.