Tag Archives: Cruising life

Corinth, Greece

Photo: Gyatso motoring in the Gulf of Corinth. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Gyatso motoring in haze and no wind the Gulf of Corinth. The sky and water appeared as one that day. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/14/09 – 09/16/09
Distance: 39 nm
Sailed from: Galaxidi
Lat: 37°56.5’N
Long: 22°56’E

Two nights we waited here for the Corinth Canal to re-open on Wednesday (closed on Tuesdays). Laundry is on the line and provisions are onboard.

On the first night, we took a berth along the fisherman’s quay because according to David, the friendly owner of Striding Edge, the British yacht next to us, “The fisherman say the boat that takes this spot is on the other side of the island for a few days.” He gave us his extra mooring line until we could get our own secured which was much easier than setting our anchor in the small, crowded harbor. We invited our neighbor aboard for a glass of wine or two, and then we all went out for Chinese food.  Although the food was rather ordinary, we all enjoyed the meal — Chinese food is something you don’t find very often in this part of the world!

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Galaxidi, Greece

Photo: Tayana 37 Gyatso tied alongside the town quay in Galaxidi, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Gyatso rides out a meltemi (northerly wind) while tied alongside the town quay in Galaxidi. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/10/09 – 09/14/09
Distance: 40 nm
Sailed from: Patras
Lat: 38°22.6’N
Long: 22°23’E

Both of us are having a hard time imagining that we are actually here in the Gulf of Corinth in Galaxidi, a small harbor just a short distance from Delphi, the place the ancient Greeks considered the center of the world.  After departing Patras this morning, we passed under the Rion Bridge and out of the Gulf of Patras.  We were not sorry to leave that stormy body of water.

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Patras, Gulf of Patras, Greece

Photo: The view from Petalas on our way to Patras, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
The view from Petalas to the south — we watched a lightning show in the distant mountains later that night. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/07/09 – 09/10/09
Distance: 42 nm
Sailed from: Nisís Petalas
Lat: 38°15.6’N
Long: 21°44’E

Gyatso and crew were encrusted with salt spray by the time we arrived in Patras at 7:30 this evening. We spent the latter part of the day beating into 25-30 knots of wind with gusts to 35 and passing thunderstorms. The conditions didn’t quite match the forecast, but we’ve learned that anything can happen out here. We found a good visitors dock in the marina and after getting tied-up, we ate a light snack and relaxed in the cockpit — too tired to wash down the boat.

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Nisís Petalas, Greece

Photo: Nisis Petalas, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
This day started with little wind, but the meltemi (northerly) wind picked up during the day and blew for several days. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/06/09 – 09/07/09
Distance: 37 nm
Sailed from: Levkas
Lat: 38°24’N
Long: 21°06.5’E

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.

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Levkas, Greece

Photo: Local taverna in Levkas, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Local taverna in Levkas, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/05/09 – 09/06/09
Distance: 39 nm
Sailed from: Lakka, Paxos
Lat: 38°50’N
Long: 20°43’E

We had a pleasant motor sail in light westerly winds to make the 4:00 bridge opening at the north end of the canal in Levkas.  We decided to stay a night in the marina which we had heard so much about from other cruisers in the Med, but perhaps because we have grown tired of marinas these past two years, we found it to be nice enough but nothing special. Like Corfu, we found Levkas to have quite a bit of British influence, mostly yachties from the marina. We had a quick dinner ashore after checking in with the local port police and were off again the following morning.

Lakka, Paxos, Greece

Photo: The popular anchorage in Lakka, Paxos. Credit: Lisa Borre.
The popular anchorage in Lakka, Paxos. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/04/09 – 09/05/09
Distance: 34 nm
Sailed from: Corfu, Greece
Lat: 39°14’N
Long: 20°08’E

After three days of fidgeting with the leak in the hot water heater, we think it’s finally fixed. If you’re reading this, you might ask, “Why is a hot water so essential in such a warm climate?” And the answer is that it is not really essential, but the heater is connected to the engine. When the engine runs, it heats the water in the tank, and we really don’t want to undo the whole installation if we don’t have to. It was amazing to find that the manufacturer did not use stainless steel bolts to hold the gasket and plate of the heating element to the wall of the water heater. These had failed and then broke while removing them for inspection, hence the leak. Since we couldn’t get the parts for our American-made unit here in Greece, the mechanic fitted up some new ones and made a custom gasket. It should hold us until we can get spares and/or replace the unit.

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Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece

Photo: Thunderstorm in Corfu, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
A major storm descended on Giouvia Marina not long after arriving in Corfu. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/30/09 to 09/04/09
Distance: 30 nm
Sailed from: Erikoússa
Lat: 39°39’N
Long: 19°51’E

With over 1,000 boats, the Gouvia Marina in Corfu is one of the biggest we have visited.  Most of the regular slip holders here have bicycles for getting around within the marina itself which is like an all-inclusive resort for cruising sailors.  They have restaurants, shops, a swimming pool, etc.  The main town of Corfu is a 10 minute bus ride away, and we spent a better part of the day there on Monday completing necessary clearance formalities.  Lisa spent most of Tuesday in the city setting up our Greek cell phone and internet accounts.  Neither activity was much fun, but it’s a small price to pay for visiting such a beautiful country.

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Erikoússa, Ionian Islands, Greece

Photo: An island on the passage from Erikoússa to Corfu, Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
On the passage from Erikoússa to Corfu, we passed this tiny island and within a mile of Albania on a hazy day. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/29/09 to 08/30/09
Distance: 60 nm
Sailed from: Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy
Lat: 39°53’N
Long: 19°35’E

We motored across the Ionian Sea from Italy to Greece — one of those days where there’s not enough wind to sail but probably better than the forecast for too much wind from the wrong direction if we waited a day — such is life of sailing in the Med.  We anchored in a pleasant bay on the south side of Erikoússa along with a half dozen other sailboats.  Arriving in Greece on this island was a bit like entering the U.S. by way of Beaver Island, Michigan where Lisa’s sister and brother-in-law live and where her parents spend the summer.  It is a pretty remote and sleepy place off the coast of Albania near the border with mainland Greece and can only be reached by ferry.  We didn’t go ashore but could see a few small hotels and restaurants, a power plant and a scattering of houses on the hillsides.  We took a long swim before returning to the boat for dinner (pasta) and much needed sleep.

Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy

Photo: Sailing the Ionian Sea to Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
An early morning departure from Santa Maria di Leuca to sail across the Ionian Sea to Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/27/09 to 08/29/09
Sailed from: Crotone, Italy
Distance: 73 NM
Lat: 39°47.7’N
Long: 18°21.7’E

We awoke and got underway before dawn today for what turned out to be a long day of motoring to Santa Maria di Leuca in the company of two French boats. It turns out that we had been sailing on a similar schedule the same two French-flagged boats since Malta where they first spotted us. We saw each other on the overnight passage from Riposto (Etna). Having not met a French sailor that doesn’t have a racing streak in him/her, we all had a good laugh when Gyatso arrived in Crotone well before they did. It turns out that we had some gusty, rough weather in the night — conditions that our bluewater boat could weather much easier than their racer-cruisers.

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Crotone, Italy

Photo: View from the castle in Crotone, Italy. Credit: Lisa Borre.
View from the castle in Crotone, Italy. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/23/09 – 08/27/09
Distance: 137 NM
Lat: 39°04.7’N
Long: 17°08’E

Another overnight sail — this time from the eastern shore of Sicily to the instep of the “Boot” of Italy.  A tiny sliver of the moon set behind the headland as we reached the heel of the boot after sunset.  When we looked closer, Etna towered in the background with a faint glow of dark orange sunset behind its massive silhouette.  David sketched the scene in the logbook, hoping to capture the memory in some way.

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