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.

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