Saturday, 25 October 2008

Frikes to Port Athene

Wednesday 10th September

Had a disturbed night - not sure why but we still woke up at our usual time of around 7am. I came up into the cockpit and witnessed the most spectacular sunrise of the holiday so sound except for a small put-putting outboard belonging to a Greek fisherman. We were facing East with nothing but sea and the sun seemed to come right out of the water. It was very beautiful. After our coffee, we clamboured over the other two boats to get ashore. We walked into Frikes and around to the other side of the harbour. There isn't really very much to Frikes and it made us wonder why it's so popular - compared to Kioni for example it's really not so pretty. There was a small supermarket there though, so we bought a few little bits to keep us going and got on our way. Having dropped our lines at 09:40, we motored out past the pontoon and there was enough wind to be able to put up the sails. A huge 'Easycruise' liner waited for us to leave before skirting around the outside of the bay and heading south to show the non-sailing cruisers what the little ports looked like.

I helmed and managed 5kn in just 8kn of wind. We enjoyed it so much it more than made up for the exertions of last night's voyage. When we're in control of our vessel there's no better feeling at all. We videoed a massive ferry which passed behind us just about 50m away. The wash made us bob around a bit for a while but it was interesting to see this kind of fast-ferry life from a slow, lazy perspective of a yacht. We reached the small islet of Atoko and stopped for lunch at Cliff Bay (so called because......err....cliffs!). There was us and a supersize yacht all the way over on the other side of the massive bay and we put the outboard on and motored around marvelling at the sheer height of the cliffs and investigating the many caves in the area. It was great fun

...intrepid explorer!

We had one of the best lunches here......Greek salad, tsatsiki and a bottle of white wine....all to be shared in the cockpit whilst watching other yachts come and go. Lots of Dutch yachts started to arrive as part of a flotilla and we decided to leave them to it. An arguement ensued between skipper and first mate about whether to leave the outboard on the dinghy or not. I won and the outboard came off. Going through open sea with the outboard dangling off the back of the dinghy didn't seem to be the done thing to me and i think i was right - it's not ours to damage after all!

We motored past 'one house bay' so called because........oh use your was lovely but packed full of yachts including the lads we had rafted up against the previous night. We crossed the sea towards Meganissi - no wind whatsoever and Marco started moaning that this was not a sailing holiday but a cruising holiday. We managed to get the sails up a few times as the wind hit 8kn (cor!) but really, the breeze was only just there and in the end, we gave up. We motored around the N.E. tip of Meganissi and down into Port Athene, being careful to avoid the underwater rocks near the entrance to the bay. It was beautiful with a single taverna to port as you enter. We anchored off and I offered to swim ashore with the line. If i say so myself i did a top job and even got my bowline spot on! Having winched in the spare line so that we were secure, we re-fitted the outboard.....much moaning from the husband! We then motored over to check out the taverna. The Mythos went down very well after all that....motoring....and we enjoyed the company of a small kitten that took every opportunity to sit on our laps purring loudly. We got the dinghy back to Winspit, had a refreshing swim about and got ready to return to the taverna for dinner that night.

.....Back to Winspit with the taverna behind us.
We left the dinghy by a rickerty pontoon used by fishermen and nearly fell in twice trying to get out of it. Once in Niagas restaurant, we got a nice table well away from the ''Sailing Holidays" flotilla that were moored all along the harbour wall (of course, where else?)! I had mousakka AGAIN because they had no stuffed aubergine and nothing else appealed. It was the best yet. A high recommendation from me! One of the guests from the flotilla obviously styled himself as the in-house entertainer and proceeded to swing around one of the poles holding up the awning and rub himself up and down on it whilst impersonating Marilyn Monroe. This made all the flotilla crowd hoot with laughter and call encouragements like ''Ooh Jeff, you are awful'' etc. which served to remind us of why we don't ever want to do flotillas. It was very tiresome and just not funny! We found our own entertainment in a family of mum and 5 kittens, all feral, who approached our table with varying degrees of boldness. We hope they survive the winter..and we gave them some of our leftovers to fight over. There's a massive problem all over Greece with feral, un-neutered cats and they depend on tourists and kind locals for life......when all the tourists leave, who feeds's just survival of the fittest and it makes us sad but this is unfortunately the way it is here.
We returned to Winspit and had a Baileys on board, after which, both of us went to sleep on deck, listening to the Sailing Holidays party shattering the atmosphere with renditions of 'Staying Alive' and 'Sex Bomb'.....oh dear!

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