Dates: 09/06/09 – 09/07/09
Distance: 37 nm
Sailed from: Levkas
We joined the parade of boats headed south in the Levkas canal after the 10:00 bridge opening. It was really quite amazing to see so many boats out on the water. When we reached the south end of the canal and entered what is known as the inland sea, we understood why the Ionian Islands are considered one of the greatest cruising grounds in the world. Gorgeous mountain views, beautiful water studded with lovely islands and numerous coves for anchoring or mooring for the night — some remote and others with tavernas and nightlife ashore. We haven’t seen such a nice cruising ground ourselves since the North Channel in Lake Huron or the Grenadines in the Caribbean. We pointed our bow south, however, making a mental note to return when we have more time to explore the islands. We found fair winds and a following sea in the more open waters south of Levkas, making our way comfortably with a reef in the main and the Yankee in 18-22 knots of wind from the northwest to the protected anchorage of Petalas.
It was not the first time this year that we have had trouble getting our primary anchor (35 lb Delta) to set, even though it should have been no problem in the muddy bottom of the bay. We think that it might have something to do with the swivel we added between the chain and the anchor this year. It used to be totally reliable, but not now. We hauled it up and set the secondary anchor (35 lb CQR) on chain and rope. It held perfectly. With the scenery and sailing that day reminding us of other fine cruising grounds, we spent the evening sipping wine, reminiscing and watching the lightning in the clouds over the distant mountains and another spectacular sunset and moonrise show. It seems that we have been watching a full moon or nearly full moon rise for days with two nights of a 92% and two nights of a 98% full moon this week.