Monday, 29 September 2008

Kastos to Sami (with no wind)

4th September

Life on board a yacht, we have discovered is 90% joy and 10% mild discomfort. The entire 10% can be accumulated during the hours of sleep! Marco is 6'6" and believe me you need sizeable cabin space to stretch out when you are that tall. If there is no such space, then the answer is simple; takeover the majority of the bed while your wife curls up into the foetus postion and makes the most of the square foot she has left to her!!!

And so it was that I had a rubbish sleep due to it being too hot, zero air and zero space. I ended up sitting in the cockpit with a bottle of water listening to the cicadas and thanking my lucky stars that we had decided to take up sailing!

When we both woke up properly, it was again fun to jump in the tender (affectionately we now called it Junior) and go ashore. Naturally, only wanting to sail, Marco showed no interest in going all over town looking around so we were straight off to the mini-market for supplies. We found everyone here to be a lot friendlier than on Kalamos, so I decided I prefer Kastos! Everyone smiles and/or says hello. It's lovely. We got away by 9.30 racing in .......2kn of wind! The whole Ionian sea seemed like a mill pond and it was so clear, you could see for miles - beautiful, hazy sunshine, hardly a cloud in the sky, it was perfect - apart from the lack of wind. We motored away from the Kalamos/Kastos area and down towards Atoko, a small islet north-east of Ithaka. Gradually, as we went along, Ithaka started to loom out of the haze. Now, look at the picture at the start of this post.....if you didn't know better, you would think we were lunching on a boating lake. But no, this was literally in the middle of the Ionian sea. We were able to stop the boat, switch off the engine and eat our lunch right there, no wind, no sail, no noise! It was a real delight. We set off again and with it being after 2 we were hoping for the wind to pick up but it didn't. We ended up motoring around the south of Ithaka raising the sails in hope, only to have to lower them again when nothing happened. However, once we reached the channel between Ithaka and Kefalonia it was different matter, and suddenly out of nothing, we had 11kn of wind. We put out sail and genoa and we were off! We tacked and gybed our way around the bay of Sami, then motored in. There was a Sail Ionian yacht already in but it wasn't Sean and Ruth on Ciaran. It was Cormorant, with Steve, the skipper and his holidaymakers Toby and Sara. Steve helped us moor up and we all had a beer together (sailing is SO sociable)...then Steve noticed that it looked as though we'd crossed their chain with ours so we will have to be careful how we leave tomorrow. Ruth and Sean arrived about an hour after us and could still berth up right next to us, so it looked like a mini Sail Ionian flotilla! We all went out for a large beer at Captain Corelli's bar - the first was so nice, we had a second! Sami is a beautiful, bustling town, mostly ignored by the flotilla companies and for that reason we liked it all the more!

Toby and Sara decided to have dinner by themselves (well it was their honeymoon) so we invited Steve to eat with us and the five of us had a pre-dinner G&T at 'our place'! We provided the drink, Sean and Ruth provided the nibbles and Steve provided the story of his Sweden yacht and how he plans to sail it around the world. We found a lovely taverna with minimal tourists where I shared a bottle of red wine with Sean and Ruth, while Marco and Steve went on the beers. The food was lovely and so was the company. Afterwards, Sean invited us back to their yacht for a red wine nightcap. I opened my mouth to say ok and heard Marco saying 'No thanks, I 've been on the beer all night'. Bugger! Our last night with our new friends and no nightcap.

Kalamos to Kastos

3rd September

Not a bad night but we're finding that we always wake up really early, then can't get back to sleep. The area where we were moored seemed to belong to the fishermen, one of whom delighted in starting his engine at around 06.30 and revving it, waking most of us along that side of the quay. We had a coffee on board which turned out to be a bit of an error because on the boat next door but one to us were the loudest people we've ever heard - along with the revving engine next door, it was hardly a relaxing start to the day! We decided to leave the noise behind and take a walk up to the bakery in the village up the hill for a few supplies. Thank heavens for some painted signs guiding the way otherwise we'd never have found it! The bakery itself was a scrum - mainly old ladies jostling us 'foreigners' out of the way - it's weird really. They treat you as if you simply aren't there whilst at the same time staring at you as if you've just stepped off of a spaceship! The views on the way back down to the boat were beautiful across the sea to Kastos.

We had our breakfast in the cockpit - a quiet one..just us and a hundred wasps. We then walked around the quay to see Sean and Ruth and planned our next meet-up to be in Sami tomorrow night, both couples wanting to do their own thing for this evening. We swapped numbers, walked back round to Winspit, raised the anchor and cast off. I decided that in the end, I wasn't as keen on Kalamos as I thought I was. Grumpy old women and noisy fishermen etc....Therefore, when we return to do another Ionian charter, which we will invariably do, we'll need to return and try to see it in a better light (and with cheerier locals!).

We motored out of Kalamos and immediately hit 5-7knots of wind. Ooh quick, raise the sails before it all dies down was great. A gentle sail, tacking back and forth between Kalamos and Kastos - really easy and within an hour we were down at Port Leone. Of course, we weren't lucky enough to have the bay to ourselves and a couple of boats were already anchored up so we decided to anchor off and just sit in the bay. So far so good..we swam and snorkelled and it was just fabulous to do this in the shadow of this beautiful deserted village. Because of the massive earthquake that devasted many of the islands in 1953, Port Leone was reduced to a ghost town when the water supply was destroyed. There's an calm aura here though and it's definitely worth dropping anchor for an hour or two. Much to Marco's annoyance, I insisted on investigating the village so we got into the tender and (he) rowed ashore. The church was locked but in good condition considering the rest of the place. We had read that it is looked after still by the locals and it was a shame that we couldn't take a peek inside. Still, the views down to the bays made up for that and we took some pictures, heading back to the tender after a while. Here, a weird thing took place. As we rowed back to Winspit, she was spinning on her anchor. This gave us the impression that she was on the move. The more Marco rowed, the less ground he was making up and the further away the boat seemed to be. Being so naive, we really thought she'd dragged her anchor and was moving away from us. It was quite scary and we had visions of having to ring Chris or Neil and tell them that we'd managed to put one of their Bavaria's on rocks within two days of being let loose on it. Of course, we eventually managed to reach her, scramble on board panicking like mad, only to realise that she hadn't actually moved at all. So here was another lesson - we are crap rowers - in future we should use the outboard and we'd be back with our floating home in relative comfort!

Relieved, we had lunch in the bay and decided that after the hassle we'd had mooring at Kalamos we'd get to Kastos nice and early(ish). The sailing was quite tricky for us, although not as bad as yesterday's fun and we headed up to the top of Kastos, intending to go around the top. Marco of course, thought that sailing between Kastos and the small islet to the north of it looked quicker. I quickly studied the chart and it was ok as long as we didn't go too near to the islet where the waters were very shallow with rocks under the surface. Of course Marco developed a small case of forgetting his left from his right and started heading straight for the islet.....with the wind blowing us on.....HELP!! Luckily we had by now taken the sails in and were able to steer away under power but it made us sweat a bit! Once around the other side of Kastos we got some wind and up went the sails and we were off. Approaching the harbour there again looked to be a lot of masts already there, despite it only being 4.30pm. And this time it was 'Sailing Holidays' who had rather selfishly bagged the entire jetty. They had even moored one of the yachts alongside, thus preventing anyone else from mooring there, AND they were waving us away...lovely and helpful (not). We motored around a few times looking for any available space and decided to drop anchor and reverse between two Sailing Holidays yachts near the beach. From there we could take a line ashore - yikes, our first one! We postioned ourselves perfectly and Marco was doing a sterling job, until a chap from one of the SH yachts popped his head up and shouted "You can't park there, you're crossing our line". We took a good look and it seemed that all of the SH yachts had their anchor chains going out starboard of the bow. This was frustrating. The SH reps could see we were struggling yet completely ignored us-they were really unhelpful... so we made a mental note never to go on a 'sailing holiday' with them (that'll teach 'em!!!). Every time we attempted to drop anchor someone else would start having a go at us. I was getting really cheesed off and we were really beginning to flail, not knowing what to do and with the wind getting really strong, we were being blown away from any desired spot.

Suddenly, a tender appeared alongside us with a guy in it wanting to help. Joy! I could have hugged him. He advised us to take the line ashore first to steady the boat in the wind, then we could calmly drop anchor and winch in to steady her. He held our boat steady while Marco rowed across to the beach with the line and tied it around a rock. Marco was then able to row (yes we STILL hadn't attached the outboard at this stage) back to Winspit and tighten the line while I anchored. Job done. We were secure. The guy in the tender, it turned out, owns a yacht called Bayan Blue from which he and his wife host luxury crewed sailing trips. They were on their own holiday at the time and we will be forever grateful for his assistance. It really helped us out of a spot and made our first go at taking a line ashore a happier memory than it might have been.

It was fun getting into the dinghy and going ashore along the line. We strolled to a place called 'The Windmill' - a bar/restaurant. We had a huge beer each which was thoroughly well-deserved, then I had a smaller one while Marco treated himself to another large one (well, all that rowing is tiring). After going back to the boat and getting showered and changed, we returned to The Windmill for dinner. It was packed! We got the only table left overlooking the sea and soon found out why it was free...the smell of sewage was appalling. Despite the stench we stayed and had an ok dinner of spag bol (they'd run out of moussaka) and downed a bottle of Greek white wine whilst chatting to a couple on the next table who were from North Wales and owned a part-share in a yacht. Also, we were approached by one of the women who'd shooed us away from an anchoring spot earlier. She'd come to apologise for her abruptness. That was nice of her (still don't want to go on a flotilla holiday with SH though!).

Back on the tender, I thought it was hilarious to take pictures in the dark of our struggle to find our way along the line. Marco wasn't laughing though and we had a row about my lack of assistance. Oh well - the picture was funny though!

Sivota to Kalamos

2nd September
Today's lesson was - don't be inexperienced sailors and attempt to sail 20knots downwind!!!

Firstly, If you've never sailed before let me just say that waking up in a new place every day is the best feeling in the world. It's like that feeling you get on the first day of your holiday - a new place to explore....and on a boat you get it every day!!

We decided to explore Sivota and get some lunch in one of the many supermarkets lining the front. Before that, we washed and brushed up in the showers at Yiannis taverna. I was disgusted to find that one of the loos was blocked with toilet paper. EVERYONE knows that in Greece, the loos everywhere get blocked really easily and therefore, a bin is provided for you to dispose of your paper. It was so early in the morning that I imagine it could only have been fellow boaties that would have used the toilets during the night. Some people are animals honestly and really should know better.

Having shopped for provsions and complained to Marco about the state of the loos, we started what was now becoming the daily battle to eat breakfast and swat wasps at the same time. Having dispensed with 5, we were just finishing up when Chris arrived. He'd come to fix us up with a new genoa as the one we had on was too small (not that we'd noticed). It was interesting to watch him and it took a matter of minutes to take the old one off and put the new one on. Marco helped out enthusiastically. Sean came across and we arranged to meet up with him and Ruth in Kalamos tonight.

We cast off and motored around the corner to Ormos Rouda and the tiny village of Poros. Oh WOW! WOW! WOW! This place was lovely. We picked a spot in between two other yachts and dropped anchor. It held first time - hurrah! We were being blown towards the shore and although I say so myself, Marco did a top job for a first 'lone' attempt. We went swimming off the back of the boat and I put on a chillout cd. Marco launched himself into the dinghy and I chucked him a can of Mythos from the boat. Then we looked at each other and started grinning inanely. This life is bloody fantastic! We're on our own (well, it felt like our own) boat, anchored in a beautiful bay, surrounded by water, drinking Mythos and with no inclination to go ashore! We felt ridiculously priviledged to be doing this.

We stayed in Poros for a couple of hours eating Greek salad for lunch, bread, tzatziki etc. It was like a dream. Eventually, we raised the anchor and motored out into the big wide world! Quickly picked up wind and it hit 10/11 knots before we knew it. Put the genoa and full sail out which in hindsight was probably a mistake as there was far to much of a sail/wind ratio. However, this is how you learn isn't it?? We headed for Arkhoudi, a little island between Meganissi and Ithaka and although that was ok being on a beam reach, we knew we'd have to tack round to get to Kalamos and would be heading downwind. Easier said than done especially when you don't know what you're really doing, and each time I tried to turn to port, the boat heeled and I freaked out. M took the genoa in and it was better after that. However, the best thing to do was gybe down to Kalamos and this is when it all went horribly wrong. My helming skills aren't finely honed yet and so when I turned the boat as I was meant to, it went far too far and whizzed off course to the stage where we were now on a beam reach and nearly heading back the way we came. Help!! Lots of ''What the hell are you doing'' from the skipper! We tried it again...same thing. Then because we still had 20kn of wind, M tried to reef in. Oh dear - the reefing system's not what we're used to and my helming was crap! Decided that the best thing to do in the circumstances was take down all the sail and motor up to Kalamos as we were now losing time. We could check the reefing tomorrow in calmer waters.

Nearing Kalamos, we could already see plenty of masts. Inwardly groaned as we approached and saw how full it was. Despite our best efforts, we'd happened upon a flotilla of 'Sailing Holidays' boats who had taken the prime harbour wall spots. Obviously we should have arrived earlier. No matter....Sean and Ruth were already there and were with George, the local taverna owner who helps hapless sailors like ourselves find a spot to moor up for the princely sum of eating at his taverna! Geroge indicated that we should go bows to between the anchor chains of two other boats. Hmmmm sod that for a first time solo park-up. M was all for heading off elsewhere but I knew it would be like this anywhere else and Kastos was apparantly smaller than Kalamos! Having been persuaded to find us somewhere else, George parked another boat and we ended up coming in stern to next to him and in front of a local boat. The chap next door, took our lines and tied us up through his boat with a bow spring. George took a stern spring to the shore and we were done! We'd made it. Got off the boat and had our first beer of the day sitting in the sunshine with S&R and a guy called Steve from S.I. who was teaching a couple to sail who were on their honeymoon.

Later, having showered and changed, we emerged again from the boat to find George at the quayside. He shook our hands enthusiastically saying "My name is George, you eat at my taverna". So we did!! The food was so-so. I had swordfish and it didn't set me alight but of course it might just be my bad choice because everyone else raved about theirs! One thing that was true to form was the red wine. Very drinkable and of course, we got through another 2 bottles. An early night was in store - very tiring this sailing. Apart from the mooring nightmare I rather liked Kalamos.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Spartakhori to Sivota

1st September

Well, we slept but I've no idea how well really. I was awoken at some unknown hour by the distant voice of a chap gabbling away in Greek. Went back to sleep and dreamt that Spartakhori had a big tidal wave coming in (weird!) - we got up at 7.15 and had a coffee, sitting in the cockpit overlooking the bay. We seemed to be the first up apart from the local fishermen, so it was pretty special to have the place to ourselves for a while. Next door (Sally and Peter) were next up and we chatted to them for a while and then walked up to the taverna to see what we could find for breakfast. We went for the yoghurt option as we already had bread and we'd bought some honey in a little shop in Vlikho yesterday. Sat in the cockpit eating our yoghurt and fighting off wasps, then Chris (son of Neil and Di) turned up to announce that he was going to teach us stern mooring - in Vathi, the bay next door.

Once we were ready to leave, we managed, with Chris's help, to squeeze ourselves out of the ridiculously small parking bay by reversing out. Fun and games! We then did some runs at reversing up to a mooring buoy before doing the same up to the harbour wall and Rodney (the rib). Marco seemed to be doing ok so Chris sped off round to Vathi and we followed on a few minutes later. Ruth and Sean were already there practicing their stern mooring and we followed suit. Evidentally we didn't do too bad because after a couple of goes, Chris let us moor up ourselves on the other side of the harbour. Naturally, all the stress of worrying that we WOULDN'T be able to do it called for a large Mythos and this seemed a good time to order some lunch to go with it. Ahhh the first Greek salad of the holiday - oh, and the first stuffed tomatoes of the holiday. Hurrah! Chris sat with us chatting about his oh so fantastic life (grrr we hate you Chris) running a successful yacht charter company in Greece all summer (!) which most of us can only dream of. After a while, Ruth and Sean came across and we struck a deal to sail down the east coast of Meganissi together, ending up in Sivota in the evening, where we would meet once more with Sail Ionian. I should stress here that this was NOT a flotilla holiday - and never felt like one - but we did feel reasonably 'safe' knowing that the guys from S.I. would be there to catch our lines should we get into trouble!

However, the best laid plans and all that meant that Ruth and Sean sailed off ahead of us, and we never saw them again until Sivota. As per yesterday, we struggled to make any headway with our feeble attempts at sailing and they obviously found wind where we didn't! Marco was starting to get a bit pissed off motoring everywhere so I put on a cd, brought out a beer and we chilled out for a while watching other boats motoring around like us. Suddenly the wind picked up! Sail up again, genoa out, engine off and suddenly we were doing some real-life sailing for the very first time. I think we were sailing on a beam reach but what do I know (well, what did I know at the time). It was great and all was going really well.....until I took the helm so that Marco could do some videoing. Everything went pear-shaped - I took the yacht about 90 degrees off course and M went a bit mad at me!!! He got it back on course but we lost the wind, it was taking ages and we weren't getting anywhere (again). As we reached the bottom of Meganisi, there's a separate little islet just off it. We decided not to sail between the islands but to go around the little islet. Mistake! We should have gone between. The gap was much bigger than we originally thought plus we lost speed and it was getting late, so on went the engine and we motored the rest of the way to Sivota where we knew S.I. would be waiting. It seemed to take forever but after Marco gave me a rough lesson in chart reading, I managed to chart our progress quite well though i say so myself.

We approached the headland of Sivota where there were some little houses on a hill, and motored in. This was really easy, plus Neil was all ready and waiting to help us in. We'd already picked our spot to moor up and as luck would have it, Neil chose the same spot so that gave us confidence. I dropped anchor, Marco reversed Winspit up and Neil grabbed the rope, wrapping it around a post. Unfortunately, as Marco was pulling the line tight, the rope slipped off the post and Marco careered backwards into the cockpit landing on his backside with his legs in the air. The first of many 'comedy moments'! Neil apologised and Marco put the line through one of the more reliable mooring rings! Now we were safe. Neil had a cold beer waiting at the Olive Press bar across the bay and offered a lift across on Rodney. However, Ruth and Sean arrived as we were getting in, so we all got out and helped them moor up. Eventually we made it across to the bar and got stuck into the beers and wine. The setting was idyllic and we could see the entire bay from where we were. We strolled back to the boat and got ready to go out, using the showers available at Yiannis taverna where we were moored. Before dinner, Sean and Ruth came over for G&Ts in the cockpit. Very civilised eh? Then we went for dinner at .....Yiannis - well it was close by and looked good. We sat upstairs where we had a great view across the harbour. Of course, wine had to be drunk, and we owed R&S a bottle as they paid last night, so we downed another couple of bottles with dinner. Afterwards, we were invited back to their boat and we ended up with their neighbours joining us on board with another bottle. Bloody sociable stuff this sailing malarky. At some stage in the evening, around midnight I think, we staggered back to Winspit where we had a top night's sleep - obviously we're getting used to sleeping on the boat...or were we just knocked out by alcohol????

Sail Ionian Greek Sailng Odyssey

31st August 2008
I'll leave out the boring stuff about how we got to Greece - for the record though, we stayed at the Sofitel Gatwick, then got the 06.30 Preveza flight with Monarch. Outward journey was fabulously non-eventful. The flight left on time, we had extra legroom seats which actually WERE extra legroom, and we were off the plane at Preveza nice and quickly - waiting with Linda from Sail Ionian before we knew it for another couple with whom we would share a taxi ride down to Vlikho. As we all travelled through Lefkas, we chatted with the other couple (Sean and Ruth). Turns out that they were quite inexperienced as well so it looked as though we wouldn't be the only 'beginner' sailors taking a boat out! I was getting a little nervous as we sped along the coastline looking at the yachts and the glistening sea. What were we letting ourselves in for? Would we be able to sail the boat on our own? Would Sail Ionian think we were crap sailors and insist on putting a skipper with us for the whole holiday (help!!)? As we drove through Nidri, a tourist was waiting to cross the road next to the taxi. It crossed my mind that if this holiday was a roaring success, we may not want to do a traditional "hotel package" holiday in Greece ever again!!

Eventually, we reached Vlikho and got out of the taxi to be greeted by Di who is very friendly, much like everyone else in the Sail Ionian 'family'. We boarded our boat, a Bavaria 32 called Winspit and dumped our bags, eager to take a look at her (Winspit that is, not Di). She had a fore and aft cabin - which Marco quickly bagged as his 'dressing room', loads of storage, one head (toilet to the non-yachties who may read this) and a good sized saloon for the two of us. On the table was a welcome pack of food - a bottle of red wine (yippee), bread, olives and a fruit bowl. In the fridge (yes we had a kitchen too), was tzatziki, milk, juice and BEER (yippee yahoo). We couldn't wait to get going, but first, the boring bit - paperwork! We sat with our first Mythos of the holiday under the vines of a small café while Neil (Di's husband) went through the charts and pilot guides advising us of great places to go and where wasn't so good. The top tip? Avoid flotillas!!!! This advice would come back to haunt us almost every day. Having then signed our lives away (better not sink the boat then), we were nearly ready. The boat was officially handed over to us, along with a what-does-what talk through and we were confirmed as skipper and crew of one!

The agreement was that everyone heads off and those who want to, meet the family at Spartakhori in time for sundowners/dinner etc. We cast off and started to motor out of Vlikho. This was it....the start of two weeks of bareboat sailing.......just the two of us on our own boat. A boat of lads ahead of us on a S.I. yacht immediatly put the sails up. It didn't look a good idea to us, with a narrow bottleneck to negotiate before the Ionian opened up so we carried on motoring out.

Once we were through the bottleneck and Nidri, we attempted to put up the mainsail. Hmmm...take two inexperienced sailors, one mainsail and 4knots of wind and what do you get? Answer? Nowhere really! We faffed about a bit watching all the other S.I. boats whizzing off towards Meganissi and wondered what we were doing wrong. Of course, they were probably motor-sailing but we hadn't thought of that at this stage - we MUST sail!! That's what we're here for. However, after an hour of going about half a nautical mile, we gave up and motored with the sails up towards errr...Spartakhori?? Didn't look much like it to me, and especially as all the S.I. boats were heading into the harbour next door. We decided to follow everyone else and of course, as we got nearer it became obvious that they were right. On arrival, there didn't look to be any room at all and we were aware of a burly Greek bloke yelling something from the end of a pontoon...was that aimed at us??? We never found out, but Neil came out on Rodney-the-Rib and pointed us towards the corner of the harbour and the tiniest gap you've ever seen in your life. He expected us to get in there??? Well, we would never have done it on our own or even attempted it, but of course, with S.I. help it was a doddle (of sorts). Came in bows to and Matt from S.I. jumped on board and assisted us with the lazy line. Our first ever park!

We jumped off and headed to the taverna on the beach and had an ice cold beer. Luxury-our first ''end of proper sailing'' beer! We then stepped back on to Winspit to freshen up then back again to the taverna for dinner. The taverna had no menus - instead, we were invited to view the kitchen. Everything was fresh - fish, chicken/meat kebabs, marinated steak etc. We ordered a carafe of white wine and our food and spent an hour or so watching it get dark over the Ionian. As we were finishing our wine, our taxi friend Sean came over and asked how we'd got on with our sailing. He invited us over to where he and Ruth were sitting so we sat with them while they had their dinner. They offered us to share their wine, so of course it would have been rude not to. It would also have been rude not to offer to buy one back so another bottle was ordered and drank while the conversation flowed and the waves lapped against the moored up boats. Eventually, we managed to stagger back to the boat and got to sleep at about 11.30pm. What a great start to the hols....already we've sailed to a different island and made new friends and we've only been in Greece for 12 hours! Is this perfection?????

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Start of The Journey

"The Journey" actually started in Mykonos back in 2002 when we were sitting on a beach watching a yacht appear in the bay, where it anchored up. Half a dozen lads leapt into a dinghy, motored across to the only taverna in site, clambered out and went inside. Just over an hour later, they piled out full of Mythos and moussaka and motored back to the yacht. Anchor up and off they went to the next bay. We looked at each other and both said 'Bastards - bloody lucky bastards!'

Imagine having your own yacht and being able to sail wherever you want. An impossible dream? We thought so - we assumed these people had rich parents, city jobs or were drugs runners. Where else did they get the money from to sail a yacht around the Greek islands???
Fast forward to 2007 and we were in Menorca. Once again, we watched yachts come and go in little bays........that little light went on again and we started to think that maybe this was something we too could get into. A quick question at the local yacht centre confirmed our worst fears. All we could hire with our (zero) experience would be a bathtub. To sail a REAL boat, we would have to do (horror) exams and gain some experience.

The return from Menorca was swiftly followed by enrollment in a Competent Crew course, followed by Marco doing DaySkipper theory and practical. Based on the fact that he would of course pass, we booked a bareboat charter in the Ionian at the end of August, with a view that if we enjoyed it so much, maybe...just maybe we should one day do this sailing stuff for good.