This is part 2 of our recent sailing trip to the Ionian. You can read part 1 here.
Still, some fabulous pics of sun on the water. Later managed to get a bit of a sail in for the last hour down to Parga, downwind so headsail only and still making 4.5 kt, the best speed under sail we’ve made all week so far. Bit blowy in Ormos Voltou, next door to Parga. We’re under the only shelter there is with a long line to shore, and feeling ever so slightly smug as we watch those anchored in the middle of the bay blow all over the place.
At least we were, until the anchor decided after a couple of hours that it didn’t want to hold on rock and weed, cue Tomboy reanchoring in the middle of the bay after dark. Cross-wired anchor light and steaming light discovered in Lakka is now fixed, thanks to Matthew of Sunsail who was grateful for the excuse to leave the base and drive an hour and a half up the road. Two water taxis asked if we wanted a lift into Parga town this evening, but we were looking forward to our chicken fajitas on the boat.
Friday 28 September
Parga to Gaios – 12 miles
(They like to play but are not so keen on being photographed)
Just a short hop across back to Paxos island today and saw the first dolphins I’ve encountered in the Ionian, even though they are supposed to be reasonably common. Dolphins playing round the boat makes any passage a joy.
We were glad of the short distance today, partly because of a poor night’s sleep in the chop of Parga bay, and partly because the book of words (aka the pilot book) advises getting into Gaios before about 2pm. Seemingly it’s the Fiskhardo of the North Ionian, being one of the key attractions in the area. It’s a pretty little town, and we got a spot on the town quay, which turned out to be much quieter than expected, even allowing for Corfu Sailing Club arriving en masse around midnight.
Saturday 29 September
Gaios to Vonitsa – 40 miles
Slipped just after 9am for another longer passage to start heading back south. V calm and peaceful with not a drop of wind. Vonitsa is in the Gulf of Amvraki which can only be accessed via a buoyed channel past Preveza town on one side and 3 marinas and Aktio airport on the other. It is full of fish farms and a livelier breeze which would have been great if our mainsail had been rigged properly so we could put a reef in. Vonitsa town was OK but nothing special. We’d also been recommended an anchorage on the far side of the island, which is connected to Vonitsa by a little isthmus/bridge. We walked to have a look at it and it is definitely the place to go if one bothers to go back to Vonitsa. However, it seems an awfully long trek to get there for not very much other than cute cows.
Sunday 30 September
Vonitsa to Spartakhori – 35 miles
Back through the Levkas canal today which entailed timing our approach right, since the bridge only opens on the hour. Another buoyed channel and then back into the southern part of the Ionian, the inland sea bordered by Levkas island. Somehow it feels like home here – much more “islandy“ and the islands are more “crinkly“, with more interesting coves to explore. Dead calm all day.
Spartakhori is as lovely as ever and dinner at Porto Spilia was delicious. Hot hot hot – which meant repairing to the restaurant for the afternoon for the next instalment in the Gin Rummy tournament (I’m back in the lead) and a large, cold beer.
Monday 1 October
Spartakhori – 0 miles
Decided to hole up in Spartakhori today after several days of longer passages. Still hot hot hot, but with shore power, wifi and plenty of reading material, a day of relaxation is in order – it is a holiday after all.
Has this whetted your appetite for sailing in Greece? Part 3 will follow in a few days. Be first to hear about next year’s skippered charters by signing up to our mailing list.