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For a week now, we are three on our boat again. Claudia came on board in Corfu Town as planned. Studying the weather map and the forecasts, we found out that a low with many thunderstorm cells was on its way to us. As it turned out in the following three days, we were only on the edge. There was more going on in the Ionian Islands further south, but we also had to deal with three days of unsettled weather and rain.

We spent two more days in Sivota on the mainland. We had already liked it there the first time. On the way there we had nice light wind sailing. The next morning our boat got a powerful freshwater shower with lots of thunder and lightning. Once again, cleaning on deck was spared. And it was also a leak test at the same time. Well, there are one or two places on many boats where moisture or some water gets through during heavy rain. This is also the case with our boat. Since we know the spots, we take precautions.

After the heavy rain, however, we had the opportunity to see a bit more of the area around Sivota. There are very nice places and anchorages, also on the small islands off the coast.

Pictures from Sivota

Going to an island again, to weather the rest of the depression in a sheltered bay? Paxos offered itself. In the bay of Lakka, in the very north-east of the island, we spent two somewhat restless days and nights at anchor. Many boats came into the bay and the distances from boat to boat were small. Three times we moved to another spot during this time.

Pictures from Lakka

But then we could spend two calm, sunny days and nights in the south of Paxos in the bay of Mongonisi. From our place we could already see the next island, Antipaxos. For one night, a flotilla of 14 boats moored at the pier. We didn't mind, because we were anchored at a distance.

Pictures of the anchorage and the southern tip of Paxos

A shore excursion to the nearby main town (Gaios) was on the programme. Gaios is also called "The Saint Tropez of the Ionian Islands". That's in some way true.

Pictures of Gaios

But our trip also showed us that our dinghy has started to leak. Our inventory tells us that we need a new one.

In the meantime, we sailed back across to the mainland, to Ligiá. We had a lot of respect for the entrance to this small fishing harbour. There are rocks scattered all over the place. Some stick out of the water, but most are underwater. So: keep your nerve and sail through with the right course and lookout. We made it! It's cosy here. Many fishing boats, a few sailors, no village, but a very good fish restaurant, they say. We can confirm that, because we tried it out last night.

Pictures of Ligiá

In Mandraki Marina, our friend Lisa comes on board to be with us for a week. Between the island of Corfu and the mainland there are many destinations (harbours and anchorages) that we can reach in small stages. But unfortunately very little under sail this week. We were looking for the wind and almost every day we had to find out again: No wind. Nowhere. Even the afternoon breeze, which we have experienced frequently, is absent. Seven knots of wind, below which Aglaya doesn't even get going. And seven knots of wind with a cruising speed of two knots, that was the highest of feelings this week.

So we sailed around a bit, to Kassiopi in the north-east of Corfu with a view of the Albanian town of Saranda. Then south again to anchor off Corfu Town. And then across to the mainland to Sivota. We liked the small harbour with its stoic harbour master. We had a bathing day there. Walter didn't last long in the water, though. Sometimes the fish nibble at you a bit. But they bit him hard on the legs and tore out real scraps of skin. Small piranhas? Not really. But we haven't experienced anything like that yet. Nevertheless, it was nice in Sivota. Although there were still quite a few (German) tourists there, it was cosy. And we discovered a great fish shop where we bought three freshly caught dorades for dinner. On the way back to Corfu to the anchorage in the large bay of Lefkimmi, dolphins visited us again at the boat and accompanied us for quite a while. 

In the meantime we are back in the beautiful Mandraki Marina. Lisa has left the boat. Now Claudia, who sailed with us in the Aegean last year, is coming. We are looking forward to it.

Pictures from Kassiopi

Pictures of anchoring in front of Corfu Town

Pictures from Sivota

Mandraki Marina

Then we finally managed to cast off in Messolonghi. With the help of Marinero Dimitri it was quite relaxed. As the wind was still coming from the east and might have pushed us onto the pier, he pulled us out of the box backwards with the dinghy. It couldn't have been more comfortable.

As we only had five days to get to Corfu, we couldn't always wait for the right wind and had to start our Nanni frequently. 

The first stop on the way north was the small island of Kalamos. In the beautiful green anchorage of Port Leone/Kefali, we could admire the magnificent starry sky at night. The Milky Way was especially good to see. In this bay there are only the ruins of a village, which was completely destroyed by an earthquake and therefore abandoned, and a well-preserved church.

Next stage: past the island of Meganisi, with its many beautiful bays, along the east coast of Lefkas through the channel between the island and the mainland to the small port of Mytikas just north of Preveza. This time we couldn't take our time on this stretch, but on the way back to our winter camp on Lefkas we want to take a look at many things here. At the end of the Lefkas channel, we arrived just in time at the bridge, which is raised and swung to the side every hour on the hour.

The small harbour of Mytikas, which we had chosen as a place to spend the night, turned out to be a disappointment. We had read some positive reports on Navily. We cannot recommend it. Unmarked rocks under water in the entrance, many mooring buoys of the fishing boats and otherwise very shallow. That was too much risk for us. So we anchored next to the harbour in front of a sandy beach. A nice place, but with some swell. But we could watch the sunset with a clear view of the sea.

And we continued the next morning. Actually, we wanted to sail to the island of Paxos. But the wind on the way convinced us that it would be better to sail along the mainland to Parga. That was a good decision. We had already been to Parga a good four years ago, but we didn't have Aglaya then. Her former owners Trix and Peter picked us up from the ferry at Igoumenitsa. On the way to Messolonghi to visit their boat, we stopped in Parga. We had already liked the place at that time. And that's where we met Peter and Trix, and later Aglaya in Messolonghi. This time we anchored with many other boats in the bay next to the harbour.

Early the next morning we pulled up the anchor and set off for the island of Corfu. We still had one day before we wanted to be in Corfu Town. So we headed for the small fishing port of Petriti. A very nice discovery. We were able to moor at the pier, but there are also many possibilities to anchor there. We will certainly stop by here again.

On 14 September, there was only a short distance to go. 11 nautical miles to Corfu Town. As planned, we moored there in the beautiful Mandraki Marina. We had been here once before in 2007 with a charter boat with our friends Pia and Max and their daughter Lea. Located directly below the castle, very close to the old town, we are now waiting for Lisa, our visitor. The castle is home to the Corfu Music Academy. The whole day we hear virtuoso piano sounds from there. A very special ambience.

The weather situation that has led to the disasters in Greece has also led to the formation of a storm low. It hardly moves from the spot and we are trapped, unable to leave our place.

We haven't had any rain since today, but the wind has increased even more and is blowing incessantly in the harbour, today with 6-7 bft. We don't even need to think about getting out of the box. We would only have one attempt and it would certainly end in a collision at the pier. So the motto is still: wait, wait, wait. 🙁

The wind blows day and night.

In the meantime, we are ready to cast off. The repairs are done. Our bicycles are stowed in the foreship again. Food and water are stored. Since we also repaired the electrics of our anchor winch with expert help and had to order parts for it, everything took a while.

Last Monday we wanted to set off in the direction of Corfu, but the storm "Daniel" threw a spanner in the works. The wind was already too strong to go out of the berth without a damage. Now we have rain and wind with over 30 knots. However, it doesn't hit us as hard as it does the people in the region around Volos and Larissa. We are glad that we haven't set off yet, have secured our boat well and just have to be patient. In Messolonghi this is easy to bear.

Now we are back on board. Soon we will start again. First in the Ionian Islands north towards Corfu. There will be visitors on board. We will report.

Our new sun sail we have supplemented at home with two additional cloths. And we brought another new acquisition: small walky-talkies, so that we don't have to yell at each other anymore when we drop anchor and when we moor and cast off. 🙂

But there is always something to fix. Our electric on-board toilet no longer works. So we have to remove it. This is what our construction site in the foreship looks like at the moment. One of the two pumps is broken.

In the marina it is very quiet at the moment. There are not many people on their boats. And there are hardly any sailors passing through the marina. Messolonghi is too far away from the usual routes. And the marina bar is closed for a week.

We visit our friends Pat and Tony, whom we met here as sailors. We got to know them nearly four years ago. They sold their boat and now live in an olive grove in the hills just outside Messolonghi in a house that they have fixed up very nicely.