October - Our Final Month Away
So here we are having embarked on our final month away
in Greece before returning to real life and jobs. October
has been a fabulous month. Yet again we have met more
lovely folk and a real bonus was our friends Kirsty
and Baz, hooking up with us whilst they were on a cruise.
We started October with some terrible
weather (gale force wind and rain just like Scotland)
and were stuck in Argostoli for a few days longer than we
anticipated. The upside to this being that we met more yachties
and ended up spending two evenings with a British guy, Syd
who was on his own whilst waiting for his girlfriend to join
him from the UK. So we had one night on our boat which was
my birthday night and we fed him and then he reciprocated
with a lovely dinner on board his yacht (obviously much bigger
and fancier than ours, so we had another bad case of Yacht
Envy - wish we could get some pills for this syndrome as it
seems to strike us at every turn).
We finally escaped Argostoli on 4th October after being there
for 2.5 weeks (we even had some dolphins who came and said
goodbye to us in the bay) and headed south to Zakynthos en
route to meet Kirsty and Baz who were arriving in Katakolon
on their cruise ship on 7th October. We spent one night in
Nikolaos , Zakynthos which was a tiny but lovely fishing
village. It was a brief visit but not so brief that the neighbours
Alison and Ross didn't come aboard for a quick drink. Then
we were off to Katakolon to await the arrival of our friends.
As always we can't stop talking to other yachties and ended
up hooking up for an evening with a German couple, Klaus and
Yvonne who had a beautiful Amel yacht called Alba Blu. We
made arrangements to meet up on 20th October on an island
called Kalamos as Klaus has a spear gun for fishing and Karl
wants one (which doesn't mean he'll be getting one though).
Klaus offered to go snorkelling and fishing with Karl. This
could be dangerous.
and Baz made it safely into Katakolon on their
little boat and met up with us about 9am on the 7th so
they could have the day with us before their ship left for
Crete that afternoon. It was fabulous to see them. We had
a quick coffee and catch up in the town before heading to
Madison for a few hours sailing. Its always lovely to have
with us as it didn't happen in Scotland. We actually managed
to sail rather than just motor and even the dolphins made
a brief appearance for us. The day was over all too soon and
then Kirsty and Baz had to head back.
The day continued on a positive note as we bumped into a
lovely British couple, Rob
and Barbara who were in their mobile home touring the
Peloponnese and we got chatting. We had something in common
from the start as they were teachers in Chelmsley Wood (near
where I grew up) for 15 fifteen years. So we shared stories
of the warzone of where we had both lived for a while. As
always we didn't let them escape easily and they came aboard
and ended up staying for dinner with the offer of a days sailing
a couple of days later. The following day Karl and I got the
to Olympia to see the original site for the Olympics and also
the archaeological museum that accompanies the site. It was
amazing. We couldn't believe how many of the statues
and artifacts were in tact after so many 1000's of years.
It was well worth the visit. It shamed us into buying a book
about Greek Mythology so we could swot up on what we'd actually
saw. That same evening we went over to Rob and Barbara's for
dinner. We had another fabulous evening with them, we just
seem to hit it off.
The next day was sailing day and Rob and Barbara were round
at 10.00am ready to go. Barbara even wore her sailors
top. She was the only one of us who looked the part. We had
a lovely day out, had to motor some of it but after we'd had
lunch at anchor the wind came and we managed a few hours sailing,
including sailing off the anchor rather than using the engine
(a first for us on Madison). The night before I had put some
beans on to soak for a chilli and had done too many so Rob
and Barbara came for dinner that night too. They even bought
us a bottle of Gin
as a thankyou which was unnecessary but also very welcome.
This was our last night in Katakolon and so we said our goodbyes
as we were leaving at 6.00am in the morning for a long sail
back to Vathi, Ithaca. The great thing is we now have an invite
to Cumbria to visit them.
We stayed in Vathi for a few days and stocked up as they
had a big supermarket. Unfortunately during the early hours
of one of the nights the wind turned into a gale force wind
and all the boats were hitting the quayside so there was a
mass exodus at about 7.30am to move to a safe part of the
bay. The upside to this being that we bumped into Syd again
and this time with his girlfriend Lisa.
Had an evening of drinks with them and also lunch another
day. There was also a German couple, Gabi
and Willi next to us with their beautiful dog, Emma
and beautiful yacht, Oneiro (which means Dream in Greek) and
we were invited over for a lovely dinner with them too. Due
to the terrible weather we stayed in Vathi, Ithaca for 6 days
before heading north to Vathi, Meganisi. On our last day in
Ithaca Karl dived to retrieve an anchor and chain a charter
boat had abandoned during the storm. He didn't find the anchor
he was after but did find two other anchors which he kindly
passed to Syd to part-ex on a bigger one, and some chain that
we could use and a new propellor to sell on.
We then headed back to Vathi, Meganisi and stayed here a
night before heading to Nidri where again we bumped into Lisa
and Syd and had dinner with them twice. We also met a lovely
sailor, Geoff who was sailing on a friends boat. He
needed to book tickets to fly home but as it was the end of
the season it was a convoluted journey so we offered him full
access to our wifi so he could get it sorted. It took a few
hours but he got there eventually. So we met up with him later
for a drink and a chat.
We stayed in Nidri a couple of days and then headed to Vlikho
for a night where Karl successfully sold the propeller which
meant I treated us to the use of the washing machine in the
yacht club. It was a real luxury and much appreciated. It
was coming to the time where we were to meet Klaus and Yvonne
so Karl could go spear fishing but the weather wasn't very
good so we stayed in Nidri instead. The next day the weather
cleared and we decided to head for Palairos a few miles away
on the mainland as we hadn't been there before. There wasn't
a lot there and our space on the quay wasn't great so we decided
to move after a night and head back again to Vathi, Meganisi
via a quick stop at Spartachori
which is a hilltop village which was worth the brief visit
just for the view. Returning to Vathi, Meganisi worked out
well as we met up with Yvonne
and Klaus who made us jealous with the story of how many
fish they had caught with their spear gun and how they had
a beach BBQ too. To make up for this we all went to a restaurant
for dinner together (unfortunately the meal wasn't very good
but c'est la vie). On the second night in Meganisi we were
caught in force 8 and 9 winds and were up until 1.00am making
sure Madison was ok. Thankfully we had done a great job of
dropping her anchor and it had dug in really well so we were
OK, unlike many other boats there that had to move in the
middle of the night.
After the bad weather passed we decided we would be better
back in Nidri
just in case it got bad again. It was still raining and bit
windy but nothing quite as bad as the force 8 and 9 winds
we'd had so one night we were happy to leave Madison for a
few hours and treated ourselves to dinner at a restaurant
on the waterfront. The next day the weather turned beautiful
so we had a lovely 4 mile walk to and from a local waterfall.
It was getting close to the date for lifting out so we headed
north for Lefkada town so we wouldn't have too far to go to
get to Preveza for hauling out. We treated ourselves yet again
to dinner (we were on a final blow out after being careful
for so many months) and went back to Ey Zhn, which we had
enjoyed a couple of months before with Mark, Yacht Vipress.
We got to Preveza
4 days before lift out and spent the time stripping the sails
and ropes and putting everything away ready for the Saturday
lifting out and parking of Madison in her winter home
took quite a few hours and we were tired at the end of it.
But she has been left all covered up and hopefully reasonably
watertight for the next few months.
We then headed to Athens
on Sunday 2nd Nov taking the coach. It was a lovely trip and
we passed through some beautiful countryside. We crossed the
new suspension bridge at Patras (which hopefully we will be
sailing under next year) and we also drove over the Corinth
Canal (which again we will be sailing through next year).
We had 2 nights in Athens and it just so happened Lisa and
Syd where there as Lisa had to fly back to the UK for a few
days so we hooked up with them for the day and did the Acropolis
and wandered around and got lunch. The hotel was 4 star and
very lovely and just the luxury we needed after living in
such a small space for so many months. We flew
home on 3rd Nov and it was great to be back in our own house.
So that is it for now. Madisons Adventure is over for now.
We have decided that we won't be going back to live on her
for such long periods again, but we will be looking forward
to taking shorter breaks on her from now on and Karl is getting
excited about the idea of bringing Madison home to Scotland.
Thanks for reading our diary and I hope you enjoy final photos.