London, Southampton, Dartmouth, Hull, Doncaster, Leeds and Nottingham, and sorted out some pension stuff along the way so I can now buy more white wine and sun cream!
Then I came back down to London to visit more folk and go to a Jimmy Cornell seminar on Transatlantic Planning, and so I can now plan to cross the Atlantic ocean at the end of 2018. Next I headed across to Exeter for some WordPress training which I hope will be obvious now that you’re logged in to wildbeastescapes.com!
And to finish my trip to the UK, a coach up to Oxford, a train up to Manchester and a plane back to Athens.
It’s early April and it’s warm and sunny! I will hang around getting some jobs done, and having a beer with a guy I met on the Vietnam cycling trip who is passing through Athens on a walking trip. Then I plan to start sailing again on 24 April.
I met Simon & Bev on a sailing trip in the Canaries in January 2016. Simon joined me in Athens and will sail with me to Preveza in the Ionian. Although we had to motor all the way, our passage through the Corinth canal to the modern city of Corinth was a great way to start my 2017 adventure. The hard living Corinthians gave their name and way of life to a term for amateur sportsmanship, and in particular, to sailors and to a Brazilian football team. While it’s nice to be back out on the water after winter, a second consecutive day of motoring was not the present I expected for my birthday! Itea was my destination for visiting ancient Delphi, which is one of the best Greek archaeological sites. Then yet another day of motoring, but my intention to moor in the tiny harbour at Navpaktos went awry as there was not enough space so we headed on to the marina at Patras. There has to be a least favourite place on my Greek travels, and Patras is it….it’s just uninspiring. But a great sail from Patras to Ithaca, and a lively time mooring in Vathi in very strong winds! But all ended well with Sea Bream in Dimitris Tsiribis taverna, and a chat with a lovely English couple, Ian and Sue. Leaving Vathi was just as windy as arriving, and we were able to enjoy a lively sail north to another Vathi, but this time on the island Meganisi. Mike & Jacquie Gowland sailed out of Hull in 2015, a year after me, and this was the first time our boats have moored together….and almost certainly the last time too as their boat is for sale to make way for new adventures….canal boats and grandchildren! I also met Ian and Sue again! Our next passage would be the last for Simon, passing through the Levkas canal and then a short but fast sail to Preveza where his newly purchased boat stood waiting for him. Preveza would also be the scene for a lively social event for Cruising Association members to start their sailing season. I waited for a few more days because strong southerly winds were forecast….winds that would carry me up to Corfu. The wind was, at times, very strong and I was determined to sail all the way. After 13 hours I moored up in Gouvia marina before the setting sun.
Although I wanted to visit and explore Corfu I arrived with a list of jobs to do on the boat, starting with a lift out into the yard for cleaning, polishing and anti-fouling. A new and bigger solar panel, and new keel cooling for the fridge have been fitted and routine maintenance to the winches and feathering propellor are complete. Some minor repairs to the sailbag will complete the list! For the first time I decided not to stay on the boat while completing jobs, and stayed in the local Telesilla hotel which turned out to be a rare treat…..not least for the Albanian Elvis tribute act at the poolside! New sailing friends Verity and Phillipa also enjoyed Elvis, so there was a Whole Lotta Shakin’ goin’ on!