Thunderstorms in the Ionian.

Since Fiona and Gordon left we have had a mixed bag of weather. Quite a lot of stormy nights with thunderstorms most days. After our “incident” last year we are naturally wary about these!
We met up again with Maggie and Richard from “Bob” in Fiskardo where we were tied on to the pontoon, which has magically appeared again in late summer! We had a lovely evening together after some great snorkeling off the rocks under the lighthouse. Lots of colourful fish, mostly peacock wrasse.

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Fiskardo 

“BoB” and crew set off for an overnight trip to Paxos the next afternoon, once the thunderstorm had cleared, while we stayed in lovely Fiskardo another night. The weather still didn’t look great but we did not want to stay any longer, so headed off to Vliho in Lefkada. It got blacker and blacker behind us and dozens of boats were heading south towards Sivota and shelter but right into the wind! The rain caught us about 4 miles away from Vliho in the Meganissi channel and all the islands and mountains disappeared in the driving rain. Luckily we have the chart plotter and radar, although radar signals are very confused in heavy rain.

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Poor viz off Lefkada

The worst of the storm was past when we got into Vliho, which is a good anchorage although thunderstorms can also be very threatening here. So it was an indoor evening watching catch up “game of thrones”!!
The wind calmed down in the night and we had a good sleep and a short trip of a few miles to Abelike in Meganissi where we anchored.

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Abelike anchorage

It’s a beautiful spot and we swam and walked over to the small town of Vathi in the next Bay. This is “little Vathi”, to distinguish it from “big Vathi” in Ithaka. There are actually lots of Vathis around here, as it means deep inlet.
The weather forecast was very variable but we decided to head over to the mainland to anchor in Marathia bay. Once over on the mainland there are not many options but it’s a beautiful spot so we wanted to go back. Unfortunately the wind got stronger and we had a lot of strong downdrafts, so we had a restless night, along with the other two boats in the bay. It was good having the anchor alarm but we were up several times during the night.
We left after breakfast and headed for Petala, a big bay south of of Marathia, protected by an island. It was a very quiet spot with no houses or tavernas. Unfortunately, the wind did not get easier and we had yet another broken night.
So now we are back in Sami, which feels like our home port these days. We have hired a car for a couple of days and are exploring the inland mountains. We stopped at a memorial to a sailor who was the only survivor of a mine attack on the British submarine HMS Perseus just off Poros. He was smuggled back to Britain at great risk and was duly clapped in jail as the MOD did not believe his story. It was not until many years later that local divers found the submarine in very deep water. The unfortunate submariner was eventually pardoned in the 1990s!!

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The submarine memorial

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Overlooking Poros harbour

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Argostoli town quay

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Mountain scenery south Kefalonia

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Chapel gates at the top of the mountain pass

We are now looking forward to Trina and Joe arriving tonight.

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