(Looking down the staircase to the marina)
The crossing of the Bay of Taranto was made under engine with the mainsail hoisted to steady the boat in the long swell that was coming up from the south. We arrived in San Leuca and booked into the marina for the night. The crew went ashore to visit the monumental stone staircase by the harbour which was built by Mussolini as a ceremonial gateway into Italy.
We were up early the next morning for the crossing to Greece, we were aiming for a small island just north of Corfu by the name of Nisoi Othoni where we would anchor overnight before continuing on to Corfu Town in the morning.
A happy crew
On our departure in the morning we were delighted to find that the wind gods had decided to come out and play and the crew took over the helming of the boat from the autopilot. We had a cracking sail averaging 7 knots and touching 8.5 when the wind piped up, this is more like the adverts now!
On arrival at Isle Othoni the wind was funnelling down a valley straight into the harbour (which is small) giving gusts of F7 to F8. We put down our anchor with lots of chain in the middle of the harbour as we were the only boat and hoped it would hold. Fortunately the holding was good and come morning we were in the same spot. Downside was the crew had to remain on the boat which was a pity as we would have loved to have gone ashore and tried one of the local Taverns.
Entrance to Othoni Harbour from the sea
By morning the wind had dropped to calm, so it was motor on (again) and head for the Corfu Channel about 20 miles to the southeast.
Albania left Corfu right
The Corfu Channel is only about a mile wide at its narrowest point and care has to be taken not to wander into Albanian Territorial Waters because lots of not very nice things happen on that side. As we were motoring and visibility was good we made sure to keep close into the Corfu side. Compared with the previous day when we had lots of wind and the crew were gainfully occupied. Today the crew are bored with only sunbathing to occupy their time (skipper was busy with the navigation keeping out of Albanian Waters) so it was agreed that a cook (chef) be nominated for the evening meal.
Dom was the unanimous choice and after a bit of coaxing and finding the correct attire got down to providing an excellent dinner with the help of his assistant Beth.
Our Chef Dom
On arrival at Corfu we booked into the NAOK Yacht Club marina for a couple of nights at the substantial some of 15€ per night, water and electric included. From here it is a 5 minute walk into the town where every amenity is available. Well not quite, we were unable to get our Vodafone 3G computer card working, the Vodafone shop were a bit baffled as to what to do, so no Internet on board yet. We would have stayed in Corfu longer as the holiday season proper hadn't yet started but our crew were booked into a hotel in Athens for a short stay and wanted to get over to the Greek mainland. We sailed (motored) from Corfu on Wednesday 25th April and headed south to Preveza where our crew would get a bus to Athens. To get to Preveza from the open sea you sail down a dredged channel which leads to an inland sea, the channel is well marked and presents little difficulty. Once through the channel it opens out into a large inland sea with Preveza on your port hand (left). We went bows-to on the town quay which was very convenient for the bars and cafes, but was a bit noisy at night, so after a couple of nights we moved into the marina. At this point our crew left for their trip to Athens and we settled back into our relaxed lifestyle. In a few days friends from Helensburgh would be arriving to launch their boat (Quaich) that has been wintering in Preveza Boatyard.