This is part 3 of our recent sailing trip to the Ionian. Catch up on part 1 and part 2.

Tuesday 2 October
Spartakhori – Skorpios – Ormos Kapali – Vlikho – 15 miles
Had a decent wind today so we went for a bit of a sail, starting off circumnavigating Skopios island, owned by the Onassis family. Had a look at the bay on the S coast where Jackie O had her “beach hut“ built with a view to anchoring up, but didn’t like the look of it with the wind direction today. Sailed across to Ormos Kapali to see if we wanted to overnight there, and decided that while we were happy to have lunch anchored up with a long line ashore, we didn’t want to sleep there. So we made for Vlikho which is usually a safe bet and here we sit, safely at anchor with comparatively few other boats in the bay while watching an electrical storm brew over the hills.





Wednesday 3 October
Vlikho to Kioni – 20 miles
Weighed anchor at 9.30 in a dead calm and hardly any boats were moving at all. Remained calm all down the Meganissi channel, but then the wind got up and the sea became heavier (for the Ionian) across the open stretch between Levkas island and Ithaca. If I recall correctly, this area is open into the whole of the western Med. Made it into Kioni just before 13.00 and just as well we did, only had a choice of 2 spots left on the main quay. Slotted in next to a Dutch couple who moaned that we had crossed their anchor. Hardly surprising in almost 20 kts of cross wind, but they were going to have much more to complain about as 3 large flotillas were also in tonight. Most rafted up with a long line ashore on the second choice SE corner, but 3 or 4 managed to find slots on the quay – and crossed our anchor as well as that of our moaning Dutch neighbour. Great almost gourmet evening meal at Mills, which offers Greek cuisine with a twist.

Thursday 4 October
Kioni – Sivota (Levkas) 13 miles
Slipped at 9.30 but ended up swinging in Kioni bay until 10.00. Two of the flotilla boats had crossed our anchor right down by the pick, but we could have freed ourselves if the windlass hadn’t completely shorted out with the offending items just a metre below the water line. Not just a case of flipping the trip back, and the windlass had completely locked up so it was impossible to wind manually either. Since it was the flotilla that caused the problem, we called the flotilla lead boat and their skipper and engineer also tried the obvious – as well as trying to haul the chain manually and failing – and eventually the engineer bypassed the circuit with a small wire that was stuck to the back of the panel covering the windlass in the forepeak. A panel secured by nothing more than velcro. Methinks they’ve had to do that before on this boat.
(Sorry for the lack of pics here, had other things on my mind at the time!)

Nice trundle across to Sivota, where we decided to moor up at the Yacht Bar pontoon which charges, but has shore power, water and lazylines in case the windlass should fail again. Sivota is not only as charming as ever but there is clearly a lot of work going on – both building work and a general clean-up. I only spotted one large hole in the road! Also a couple of new pontoons run by the tavernas. Had a swim in the afternoon, followed by a tour of the Moody 376 moored behind us. A couple in their 70s bought her in April and have spent the summer doing her up, and will be spending their summers down here. Always nice to be nosy on other people’s boats!


Sivota is one of many places where most restaurant meals have a feline accompaniment – but young Puss in Boots here was one of the sweetest we saw on this trip.



Friday 5 October
Sivota – Vounaki 17 miles
Last morning this morning, as it’s time to head back to Vounaki, hand back the boat and head up to Igoumenitsa for the overnight ferry to Ancona. We stayed in Sivota until about noon, picking up a couple of large tubs of Greek yoghurt and bottles of Fanta Lemon to take home, some presents for family and treated ourselves to a full English breakfast (well, brunch really) at the Yacht Bar. Slipped at noon for an uneventful run back up to Vounaki with the usual ferry-dodging exercises and spotted a couple of potential lunch anchorages to remember for next year.

On the way up to Igoumenitsa, we saw one of the smallest cats I’ve ever seen under its own steam. As we had plenty of time in hand, we then decided to check out Parga from the road and maybe have an evening meal there. We hadn’t much liked Parga from our limited vantage point in the bay, and thought it was worth a look. However, we found it to be a bit too „Blackpool“ for our tastes and decided we will give it a miss in future. We didn’t stay, instead ending up slightly by accident (missing the turning the TomTom instructed us to take) in Plataria where we ate. Plataria is exactly what was hoped Parga would be. It has a large sheltered harbour/marina with a beachfront of restaurants and cafés. We’ll remember this for the next time we head North, as the passages from Corfu to here, and here to Paxos are much more even distances, without always having to do 30-mile days to get up to Corfu.



If this has whetted your appetite for a bit of sailing in 2013, why not join us on one of our skippered charters?