Corfu, Lakka & Syvota (Greece) July 2023
Preparation for our 30 hour sail south to Corfu was less than perfect. We would be checking out early in the morning from Bar Montenegro, we didn’t want to pay €180 (AU$300) for a short night in the marina, so we looked for the best protected anchorage we could find. The best we could find was not all that great. We were well protected from the wind but not at all from the swell. As she does in these conditions, Nova Jean aligned herself perfectly sideways to the swell and we rocked from side to side all night. We barely slept a wink. Jeremy had joined us a few days earlier and had somehow slept the whole night through. We gave up trying to sleep at 4am, started engines, weighed anchor and headed for Bar to check out.
We had a fantastic following wind to sail down to Corfu and we sailed about 75% of the way. However the awful confused sea state that had kept us awake the previous night followed us most of the way. I was even feeling green for a while. It was a real baptism of fire for poor Jeremy. But he was a real trooper on this passage, trying to help out wherever he could.
We arrived in Corfu at about noon, anchored the boat and headed right to the port police to begin the arduous task of checking in to Greece. Port police, then Immigration, then Customs, and back to port Police. All at opposite ends of the Corfu port. The whole process took us about two and a half hours.
We spent a few days exploring Corfu old town, the old fort and way too much time in the Cosmote shop trying to organise rechargeable sim cards for our phones. Corfu old town is beautiful, but suffers badly from the constant flow of cruise ships that visit her. We saw 4 cruise ships one day, carrying a combined approximate of 10,000 tourists. One of the highlights for us though, is the narrow navigable mote that separates the fort from the old town. We also found a great little swimming anchorage 2 hours south of Corfu town with a fantastic restaurant that overlooks the anchorage. The water there was 32.7oC. It was like diving into a bath.
Too soon after arriving, it was time for Jeremy to head home and for Tayla to join us. Alex and Emily were not far behind. Before Tayla even had time to unpack, we were on our way south to the Island of Paxos to see the spectacular town of Lakka. Lakka is a sailor's dream. Crystal clear water, Sandy bottom and about 6 metres deep through the whole bay. Lakka was our first attempt at anchoring line ashore, which involves dropping the anchor, reversing towards the shore and swimming ashore with a stern line to wrap around a rock. It was a last minute decision and we were a little disorganised and ill prepared, but we got the job done without embarrassment or damage. While in Lakka, we took the opportunity to visit the amazing Blue Caves just around the corner. The photos and video of Lakka speak for themselves.
After a few days at Lakka, we headed back North to the Greek holiday town of Syvota where we “Med Moored” up to the town quay. Med Mooring was another first for us. It involves dropping the anchor, reversing up to the concrete town quay and hoping a passer by will catch your stern lines and wrap them around a cleat to hold the stern of the boat to the shore. Boyed with our experience in Lakka, we had a crack, and nailed this as well. Syvota felt like an honest family holiday town, with lots of kids amusement rides and very few non-greeks (from what we could tell). Tying up to a town Quay is a very public, in your face kind of thing, and it’s a bit jarring at first. It is however a great way to people watch as everyone in town seems to walk the promenade before or after dinner. The Italians call it “La Passeggiata”
Sadly all of our guests had to go home. It was so nice having all of the family with us this year and we miss them already. We look forward to adventures with them in the future. It’s time now for us to head to Albania…