Thursday, August 31, 2017

Vathy on Ithaca to Poros on Kefalonia- May 17, 2017

With bright spirits, despite the gloomyish day, Jim and John led us out of Vathy. 

The round buildings are repurposed windmills.

 We stopped at German Bay for a delicious lunch of leftovers, spinach pie, and Pimm's cup.  I went swimming , but the warm shower afterwards was what I looked forward to most... with soap to wash my hair.

Facing directly into the wind, we motored to Poros on southern Kefalonia.  Few boats were here because it is almost too far south for the regular flotilla groups to reach.

After arrival drinks and snacks and a bit of a lie down, Jim and I went for a walk around the south side of Poros to see the large ferry.  I wonder what the sign says.  I recognize that there is a problem if a car is driven too close to the edge of the pier.

Soon we found a most unique bar and restaurant that was built into the rock formation.  It had a great view of the sea.

Supper was up and over the hill to the northern part of the town.  With numerous restaurants to choose from, we had tuna pizza, lamb chops, swordfish, broad beans, french fries, skordalia with dipping bread, Greek salad, wine, and a nutella crepe with ice cream.

An old American car drew John's attention. 

Little Vathi on Meganisi to Kastos to Kalamos- May 15, 2017

We took it slow and easy this morning.  I discovered a map of Meganisi Island to compare to a painting I saw last night.

While I was at the helm, John checked out my motoring skills.  John and Elena's boat is Clorinda II, a 43 foot Bavaria that they have had for a few years.  It has an extra wheel that is very handy to have, an extra head, and just more elbow room that we all appreciated.  Our objective for the morning was to find a cove for lunch which was our leftovers from last night's chocolate.

Elena kept a sharp eye lookout ahead.

After lunch John dove into the water!  Dove!  Head first!  I went down the ladder feet first.  Brisk!  The top 6-8 inches were warm...just float.  I ended up swimming around the boat five times.  Elena even got in.  Jim?  No, it was not warm enough.  Such a great life...laying phones, no net.

We threw in day old bread to attract the long, slender silver fish that had a black spot near their tail fin.  Martins tried to roost on the underside of the solar panel.

Today we had another sailing moment of terror.  Somehow, Jim got in the way of a moving boom.  He could have lost his head!  It all happened so fast!  It was shocking!  It was very scary for all of us!  He had a big garrotish/bleeding mark on the right side of his neck that we stopped with gauze and a mark on his chin.  Fortunately, that was all that happened.  He was very lucky to have moved out of the way as he did to avoid further catastrophe.

We intended to stay at Kastos on Kastos, but it was somewhat crowded with boats crossing each other's anchor lines, a potentially unsafe condition. 

Consequently, John decided that we should go to Kalamos on Kalamos where there would be more shelter from the wind.  George helped us moor, then we ate at his restaurant for supper.  Tonight we had pork chops with chips, white snapper with potato fries, stuffed tomatoes with rice, broad beans, Greek salad, wine, and apple pie with ice cream.  More great leftovers!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kalamos to Vathy on Ithaca- May 16, 2017

The winds created white caps on the sea just over the seawall this morning.  While we waited for the wind to abate, Jim and I went for a walk up the hill to a bakery for afternoon treats.

By mid-morning when we left,  the wind speed was 20, and we sailed at over 10 knots.  The weather was chilly with a few sprinkles.  John decided we would sail into Vathy on Ithaka, a village we had visited on Voyage I in 2008.  It was a good choice because just after we had med-moored, it poured down rain for several hours.  Nap time!

Vathy is a larger town than most we have visited.  Last voyage we had rented a car and driven north to several other villages and dined in Stavros which is high in the mountains.

This unique statue is Odysseus on both sides.

Tonight's meal included pork chop and chips (yes, again), fish stew, local chicken, yellow split pea puree with bread, Greek salad (always), red wine (always, too), and a chocolate lava cake to finish.  John and Elena know what they like most in nearly every restaurant in every port.  They have been sailing these waters eight weeks a year for many, many years.

Vliho on Lefkada to Little Vathi on Meganisi- May 14, 2017

We don't know why it had been so long between voyages with John and Elena, but here we were.  Having spent a few days in London for a break from a long flight, we flew into Preveza, Greece on a charter flight.  A Sail Ionian van deposited us an hour later at their marina in Vliho on Lefkada in the Ionian Sea.

Talk, talk, talk with prosecco, walnuts, figs, and raisins.  It had been such a long while since we had all seen each other.  Another friend was to come along on our voyage, but it turned out there was miscommunication, so we prepared to leave for Little Vathi on Meganisi.

On our way, there were many other boats out on the water enjoying the lovely, warm, late afternoon.  At one point we passed the home of the author of Greece's National Anthem.

After we med-moored, we had drinks to celebrate our arrival...gin and tonics, pistachios, and crisps.  Really, it is a prelude to supper in one of the many restaurants that surround the bay.

We chose this restaurant on the water for our excellent repast of lamb, mushrooms, aubergine stew, lentil salad, Greek salad, homemade bread, red wine, and a lemony dessert.  There was so much left over that we knew it would make an excellent lunch the next day.  Eventually, we talked ourselves to sleep to prepare for tomorrow's sailing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More London

Having more than three whole days before our flight to Greece, we spent it moving around London.  Utilizing an Oyster Card to ride the London Underground (the Tube), we met daughter #2 near St. Paul's Cathedral and walked to the Tate Modern, the large modern art gallery.

From the "Wobbly Bridge", you can see two newer buildings since we were here last in 2010:  the Walkie Talkie in 2014 and the Shard in 2013. 

Looking from the Tate Modern Museum Restaurant, the Millenium Bridge is used by many, many walkers.

After a wonderful lunch on the top floor of the Tate Modern, we walked along the south side of the Thames looking for the Design Museum.  These silver birch trees are planted bankside of the Tate Modern, a most unusual planting in the midst of London.

It was Friday afternoon and people were starting to gather for their after work pint of ale.

Borough Market is virtually under the south end of London Bridge...the one that was terrorized most recently and just two weeks after we had passed through.

I could not believe how close we were to the water.

Looking back at Tower Bridge, the mix of architecture styles is quirky at best.  Besides the Walkie Talkie building you can see the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin.  What about those paddle wheel boats?

On Saturday morning we went to an Affordable Art Faire near Hampstead Heath.  The view from the park outside the art pavilion seemed so typically English.

We walked up the hill to the top of Hampstead Heath to gaze on surrounding London.

On our way to lunch, we passed a doorway that led to George Orwell's former lodgings.