Trip on Nereida starting 2014-06-20 in BSAAug14

Sailing report of Trip to and round Corfu June 2014 by Becky Goddard

Yacht ‘Nereida’ Bavaria 40 Cruiser

Skipper Bob Buchanan and Becky Goddard

Crew Hugh Hayward (Hopalong) Dave Winks (Winksy) and Michael (Mick ) Mahady

The crew flew out to Corfu from Bristol (less Bob Buchanan) on Monday June 2nd.and booked into the Hotel Konstantinopolous in Corfu Town for four nights. We had borrowed a jeep from a friend of Hugh’s and toured the island over the next three days North, South East and North West. Corfu Town is very busy when cruise ships are in but there are lots of tiny alleys with shops restaurants and bars to enjoy. The Old fort is worth a visit for stunning views of the town and Island. We also visited the Byzantine Museum and the Liston (a row of beautiful buildings overlooking the cricket ground). The beautiful interior of the island is also worth visiting but you need a good small vehicle for the narrow roads and steep hills!

As Bob’s flight was not due in till late Friday evening we had arranged for the boat handover at Gouvia Marina to be done by Becky on the Friday afternoon and for the provisions to be delivered at the same time. NB The charter companies’ offices and boats are not by the Marina Office – a good mile and a half walk so make sure your taxis drop you at the right place! Due to a fire at Bristol Airport Bob’s flight was delayed so he didn’t arrive till 23.30 so by the time we had a catch up and some wine we went to bed late and woke late the next morning!

The distances between planned stops was not great so there was no hurry – our first overnight anchorage was Agios Stephanos on the NE coast and after dinner on board some of the crew went ashore in the dinghy for exploring. The design of the drop down bathing platform made swimming easy but getting back on a real pain – as I reached the top of the ladder I couldn’t reach any handholds to get myself back on the platform and had to rely on helping hands to lift me up!

The next day we left late morning (after swimming and breakfast - delicious fruit and yummy honey!) for Erikoussa Island off the North coast. The distance was 25 miles and we had some good sailing until about 1400 when the wind died. We anchored in the large bay and went ashore for dinner.

The next morning there was no wind but we managed to find enough to have a slow sail to Orthoni Island further to the NW of the Island. Whilst we progressed we could see and hear a thunderstorm over the Greek/Albanian coast to the East but assumed it would burn itself out over there. It didn’t! After anchoring in the only south-facing harbour we had increasing squalls, rain and serious shifts in the wind making our anchorage very risky – the other yachts in the tiny and shallow bay were dancing all over! After we had grounded two or three times we decided to up the hook and motor outside the harbour wall and anchor in deeper water by which time it was nearly dark but the storm was subsiding. Dinner on board. NB One of the yachts in the harbour had dragged her anchor in the late afternoon and been pushed onto the mole – we next saw it at Gouvia Marina at the end of the trip having a new rudder fitted!

The next day we had a leisurely motor to Palaiokastritsa on the West coast (about 20 miles) and had a bit of fun finding the entrance! There was no chart plotter on the boat and the pilot book was at least 6 yrs old and not very clear! Unless absolutely necessary don’t try any of these approaches after dark! We anchored in the part of the bay overlooked by the hotel across from the harbour and went swimming with two underwater cameras to check for damage to the keel and rudder – none luckily! We had arranged to meet Hugh’s friend of the borrowed car for dinner and we had a very good meal ashore by the harbour – this meal really illustrated the Venetian influence in the local cuisine – sweet spices and slow braised meats whereas most of the meals previously had been grilled meat.

The next day we had another slightly boring motor to Paxos, a small island south of Corfu where we again anchored in the prettiest harbour Lakka! When I say boring the scenery is stunning but the noise of an engine is not what we want! There are a few stern to moorings along the town waterfront but then we would have risked a possibly noisy night and less security.

Our last day was again nearly windless so we motored the 30 miles back to Gouvia where we fuelled and watered before mooring in the Marina in the late afternoon. After the handback we ate ashore in Gouvia but were not very impressed – we had the last night sleeping on board and got taxis back to the hotel in Corfu Town where we had arranged to leave our bags for the day before going to the airport in the evening.

On the Friday in the Town we did a mixture of shopping, touristing and drinking coffee and beer along the waterfront – finishing the day watching the Royal Corfu Yacht Club starting and finishing a race up to Gouvia and back in the lightest of winds – what a lovely sight! We met someone who had visited Anti Paxos who said it was well worth the detour so we were sorry to have missed it!

Thanks once again for a great trip Bob and all the planning! Where to next year?

Bsa August 2014 7