Skip to content

After celebrating Walter's birthday on Rabitts wildly romantic pontoon, we set off on 5 May. Northwards through the channel from Lefkada to Preveza. Here we were able to experience the Greek Orthodox Easter. Until now, we thought this was always a week after our Easter. But that's not true. The date for Easter in Greece is calculated according to the Julian calendar and always takes place on the weekend after the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Our friend Claudia came on board for 10 days on Easter Monday. On the Tuesday after Easter we wanted to buy groceries for the next few days and set off. We were very surprised that all the shops were still closed. A local explained the situation to us: As 1 May (also a public holiday in Greece) had fallen on Good Friday this year, it was made up for on the Tuesday after Easter. Very pragmatic, the Greeks.

Between the Greek mainland and Corfu, we then zigzagged northwards, first for a night anchoring in the South of the island at Mongonisi, then to Sivota. Always beautiful. The next day there was no favourable wind for our course north. So we took a look at the beautiful bays and exclusive apartment complexes by foot.

Next stop: Petriti on Corfu. The nice little fishing harbour that we already knew from last year. While looking for a rubbish bin, we found out that the harbour is not yet open for sailors. No problem for us with our full water tanks and solar panels.

Then back to the mainland, to Sagiada, which is only four kilometres from the Albanian border. The harbour guide says that the entrance to the small harbour is only six metres wide. That's right. You have to aim well to get through the centre with our four-metre-wide boat. With only three other sailing boats, it was quite nice there. And there are good fish restaurants. A nature reserve with lagoons and an estuary begins south of the harbour. Maybe we'll come back again and do some hiking there.

We spent the next night anchoring almost in the far north on the east side of Corfu in Agios Stefanos bay. In the dark, we saw the big ferries passing by on their way from Igoumenitsa to Italy. Walter had set the anchor alarm on his mobile phone for the first time. We wanted to know if it really worked. As he had set the Schwojenkreis very tightly, the alarm woke us up at half past five in the morning. Very reassuring in this case. Our anchor didn't slip, but we now know that the alarm works.

The next day there was only a short trip around the corner to the north coast to Kassiopi. We already knew this harbour and also the fit, energetic and very nice harbour master woman. Here we wanted to decide whether to sail all the way round Corfu. However, the wind had already shifted to the south two days earlier and was getting stronger every day, especially on the west side of Corfu. We didn't want to force it, so we cancelled our plans. The wind was too strong to cross against the wind and motoring is no fun. Staying in Kassiopi, we took a look at the Kastro and looked for a nice bay for a swim. The water was still quite cold, but crystal clear.

The next day, the harbour master urged us to leave the harbour as soon as possible, as strong winds of up to seven Beaufort were forecast. So we left the harbour and headed south again into the narrows between the mainland and the island. The wind wasn't quite as strong. With a boom jib and mizzen we were able to cross nicely.

And then we ended up behind the fish farms. With the cows. Coming from Kassiopi in the north, we needed a berth for the night on the mainland. The harbour guide says that Panagia Bay is not only well protected from the wind from all directions, but is definitely unlike any other place in the Ionian Islands. Of course we wanted to check it out. 10 miles opposite Corfu Town, you sail past endless fish farms, circular nets with a diameter of 10 to 20 metres. The land is barren, uninhabited, scrubland, bushes. Albania is just a few hundred metres behind.

You curve around the farms and are suddenly alone (with only one other boat) in a mirror-smooth bay, surrounded by bushes, windless, you hear nothing - except the cows grazing here. Complete silence and solitude - marvellous.

From this quiet idyll, we put our bow out into the sea between the mainland and Corfu the next day. We set a westerly course with winds of up to 32 knots and plenty of swell from the south-east. The mizzen and half the genoa were all we needed to get across to Kerkyra (Corfu Town) quickly. We are now moored in Mandraki Marina below the fortress, just like last year. Today, on 18 May, Claudia disembarked again to fly home. It was a lovely time for the three of us. We are staying until Tuesday in the hope that we can collect our postal voting documents for the European and local elections from the German Consulate General on Monday.   

Once the heavy Deutz tractor had pushed us into the water - we were standing a little wobbly on Aglaya - we were due for an engine service, oil change, gearbox oil check, filter change and impeller change. Rabitt, the manager of the boatyard, towed us to his pontoon with his half-inflated rubber dinghy. He had already shown it to us last year with the words "this is my kingdom".

So now we were in his kingdom for three days. A completely rusty pontoon that looked like it would sink in the next few days. A gangway led from it to another pontoon, which looked a bit more stable, but also pretty run-down. Crankshafts, engine blocks, inflatable boats without air, deckchairs, dozens of car batteries, masts, wire ropes, rusty compressors, wooden slats, sledgehammers, cables - it looked unbelievable. But: electricity and water. One boat came and told us "they will leave on sunday", which of course wasn't true, but we wanted to leave on Sunday.

We had to climb a bit to get onto the pontoons and back onto the boat - no problem. The view to the west was of the Ukrainians and Finns working on their boats and the shipyard - to the east of the beautiful bay, turquoise green water, lush green mountains - wonderful.

And at least now 40cm of water under the keel instead of 30 when we went ashore - a little more than a hand's breadth.

And Rabitt is totally reliable, Easter Sunday at half past ten, as agreed, he was in his kingdom and helped us cast off. We'll be back for two months in the summer, and in the winter we'll be pulled ashore again - it was lovely here!

… and into the water. After cleaning our boat from Saharan dust and maintaining it over the last few days and having all four sails back on, we are ready to go. Aglaya is beaming with new antifouling and polished GFK, but above all because she can rock in the water again today as planned. We are now moored at Rabitt's pontoon (which he calls his kingdom) and the engine service is underway. Then we're ready to go.

It's lovely here in Vlycho on Lefkas. Maybe we'll stay another two days after the busy period. Then we want to head north through the narrows at Lefkada, where the bridge was demolished by a ship a few days ago, but we'll probably still be able to get through. Just now, we get the information: the bridge is repaired. In Preveza we'll have a visitor for 10 days.

But now it's time for the Greek Orthodox Easter. Last year we experienced it at Monemvasia. Let's see what it's like here.

Nature is showing us that spring is not far away and we are increasingly focussing on the coming sailing season. Aglaya is still ashore. Some work in the cockpit has already been done by our friend Pepi. There will still be plenty for us to do, when we go back on board in April. The anticipation of sailing this year is growing. In the last few weeks, we have also increased it by looking back on the past sailing year. This resulted in two short videos. You are welcome to watch them.

Click here for the videos.

Today we said goodbye to Aglaya at Vliho Boatyard on Lefkas. Contrary to our first impression when we arrived, we now know that we have found a good place for our winter break. The people at the boatyard are very friendly and there is help and advice for everything. For two days we also had a visit from a friend, who wants to do some work on the boat in February.

It went well this season. Starting at the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese, we had very unsettled weather in April and May, but we were rewarded with beautiful, warm late summer weather in October and into November.

And where have we been? Sometimes we have to look into the logbook to visualise our exact route. From the Peloponnese to Crete first. It's a good thing, we didn't skip Crete. It's a very special island. Then back to the southern Peloponnese and northwards on the west side to the Ionian Islands. We already knew most of the harbours and anchorages we visited in the Peloponnese from our circumnavigation in 2020. Yes, it's also nice to revisit places you already know.

The fact that we took summer break again in July and August was a good decision. Towards the end of June, all the harbours and bays were already full of charter boats and flotillas. But we still managed to find a place in Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca. We particularly liked Kefalonia. In Messolonghi, the summer berth for the boat, we were able to celebrate reunions with sailor friends and the crew from the marina bar. It was very nice and felt like coming home.   

In September, we first travelled quite quickly to Corfu to take visitors on board. From then on, however, there were always small stages, first along the east side of Corfu, then over to the mainland, then to Paxos to anchor, then back to the mainland, and finally with an dexcursion into the Ambracian Gulf to Preveza. From there, only the two of us were travelling again. We had plenty of time to explore the east side of Lefkas, the north of Meganisi and the island of Kalamos. We also found a new favourite port, Palairos on the mainland coast. Sometimes we stayed in one place for several days to pursue our other favourite pastime: Exploring places and the landscape on foot. 

After the landfall in Vliho, we have the feeling that we still have a lot to discover here in the Ionian. There are so many lovely little harbours and countless great bays. And as already said: We'd love to visit some places again. Will we ever get out of Greece?