Sunday, August 3, 2014

Home again, home again....

Nothing goes to weather like a 747.  But a 767, 777 or even "the bus" are almost as good at getting one home, I'll admit , despite my love for the mighty "whale". So we're back in the USA. It feels good. Our home and our pets had been well cared for by our house sitter. We're ready to enjoy being here in a season we especially enjoy and haven't experienced for several years.
Old Amsterdam
The trip went very well considering its the height of vacation travel time and that we're lowly retired airline, standby type passengers. We couldn't get on a flight we wanted out of Athens to New York but got on another to Amsterdam and spent a nice evening in the heart of the old city. Next day we got in World Business Class  (oh joy! )  from AMS to JFK and then caught the first  flight to SFO. We had another nice night with family in Mill Valley and then drove a rental car home on a lovely day. Quite a good trip as non-rev travel goes.
On the hard at Cleopatra
We left the boat on the hard at Cleopatra Marina in Preveza, Greece. The marina had been recommended by several friends. The haul out and hard stand work was very professional and we have high hopes for a favorable experience  with Cleopatra.

Haul out at Cleopatra
Preveza and Cleopatra were the culmination of three months travel that began in Marmaris, Turkey back in April. We put  eight hundred and ninety three nautical miles on the boat, by far the shortest season of "voyaging"  we've done since beginning this trip in 2008. We did no overnight passages and the longest single day was about eight  hours. But we visited thirty-nine different anchorages in that three months which seemed satisfying enough.  Looking back on the summer and trying to answer that question, "What was your favorite place?" is a pretty difficult task. Kioni, on Ithaki,  is high on our list, Astipalea was a very neat island, Naxos had a lot to offer and Naphlion was a nice city. We could go on and on.
Remember Astipalea?
Preveza itself is a nice small city, near the ancient city of Actium, on a peninsula at the entrance to the gulf of Ambracia.  Just off that entrance on the 2nd of September 31BC, in the naval battle of Actium,  the long Roman civil war was pretty much finally decided. The fleet of Octavian with Marcus Agrippa met the combined fleets of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra and defeated them decisively after a  tough afternoon.  Cleopatra bugged out for Egypt and Anthony escaped to Samos and then to Egypt. Both committed suicide within a year as Octavian's forces pressed on. Octavian became "Augustus" Caesar and thus began the Augustan age.
The quay at Preveza
For several months before that battle the Anthony and Cleopatra forces were based inside the Gulf of Ambracia. Cleopatra Marina is located beside an ancient fortification which dates back to that encampment. The gulf would certainly be an excellent place to hole up with one's  fleet.  Its a very well protected inland sea surrounded by low mountains but with fertile, well watered valleys at the southern shores. The one disadvantage, mosquitoes! We had very few during our stay but those ancient fleets suffered greatly from malaria. The old swamps have been drained over the centuries and the gulf is a lovely place today. 
Near Vonitsia
We motored into a gulf anchorage just a mile  east of Vonitsia called Koukounitsia and had  very sweet day. The anchorage is well protected and uncrowded, there were only two other boats, with excellent holding and lovely surroundings. The town of Vonitsia is quiet and rural with a little Greek tourism. There's an especially interesting castle above and some nice taverna's on the quay. The country descending down into the gulf reminded us very much of the northern wine country of California, vineyards and orchards amongst the mountains. 
Vonitsia, from the castle
We enjoyed a night anchored out and used the dinghy to go into town for a nice dinner ashore. One of the few times we've used the dinghy with its engine all summer. Next morning we went back into Preveza Marina, prepped the boat for haul out and spent a last night in town. Preveza is a very Greek town but does have a university so the evening club scene and the volta are lively and fun. It was a good way to say goodbye to the cruising season.
So after the haul out and final storage work we did a night at the marina rental rooms and then a six hour bus ride to Athens. Had a night in the over priced Sofitel Hotel at the airport and began the trek home. So endeth the year.

This is as good a time as any to do some commentary on the Greece as a country and a place to visit. I've made no secret that Greece is one of my favorite places and the Greek people amongst my favorite peoples. I first worked in Greece flying a project for the Greek government with  an American company in 1981. I did the same thing again in '85 and was in the country working or traveling every year from 1981 till about 1993. So last year was the first return in twenty years. It would be hard to overestimate how much the country has changed. In '81 Greece was still pretty much a third world country. Its ties to the west were tenuous at best. There was some question as to the direction the county would take. Would it turn towards the west and the modern world or remain in the Balkan back water between east an west? The question as to whether or not to join the EU was a very big issue. The conflict with Turkey over Cyprus could have become open warfare at any time. Since that era the Soviet Union and the eastern communist block are no more. Greece turned irrevocably(?) towards the west. The country is far wealthier than it was in the early eighties. The roads and general infrastructure are greatly modernized. Consumer capacity, the ability of the individual to purchase goods and services,  is much greater. On a materialistic level  people are far, far better off than thirty years ago. There is a flip side of course. A lot of that wealth was financed by debt and that debt came home to roost recently. And guess what, the government had no way to pay it off. Worse yet the government had grossly understated the levels of debt. Outright government fraud was a major factor. So that rapid increase in wealth came to a crashing halt and a whole lot of good people with high "expectations" found themselves deeply disappointed. Unemployment, especially 'under' employment amongst the well educated young, was and still is a huge problem. That crash seems to have stabilized over the past couple years. You hear little talk about leaving the EU and returning to the Drachma. There's considerable resentment against the Germans.  Pasok, the Greek political party in power during much of the good times, has lost just about all it had ever gained. The Cyprus question has been a quiet issue for several years and relations with the Turks have been civil.
Harbor fortification, Naphlion
So can there at least be some form of stability in the future for Greece? The country has been at the seam between east and west since recorded history began. The Greek world once included much of what is now Turkey. A quick summary of the movement of that "seam" might include the Persian invasions from the east of the early 4th century BC.  Alexanders move to the east as far as India.  The Roman conquest and the inclusion in the Roman empire. The eastern invasions of Mongols, Goths, Visigoths, Huns, Vandals and the fall of the Roman empire.  The rise of Islam and the Ottoman empire. The Greek War for Independence and the ultimate the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WW I.  The Greek invasion of Turkey and its failure and the "exchange" of populations. The German occupation during WWII and the Greek civil war afterwards. The military dictatorship of the "colonels" during the seventies and the membership in the EU. The history of the land  has been one of chaos. That seam between east and west shifts periodically and Greece is twisted and torn  during the shift. For now that shift seems to be pretty strongly towards the west. And its hard to imagine a return to the east. But its also hard to predict the political future  ahead a century or two.
Everybody's idea of Greece, the Parthanon
For now, I have high hopes for my friends the Greeks. Their native decency, industry, individuality, independence and energy have survived the millennia. For whatever reason you may have,  visit the place, get to know a little of the country and enjoy the feast.

Love to all,
Bill and Janet
SV Airstream

Friday, July 18, 2014

Corfu Considered

Its a quiet morning in the anchorage at Platerias. There are a few scattered clouds over the mountains surrounding the village and a cool breeze off the deep bay. By this afternoon it will be hot but there will still be the breeze and it will still be quiet and lovely. 

On the quay at Platerias
Platerias is not to be found in the Lonely Planet guide to Greece. Even though that thing seemingly most desired by Lonely Planet readers, a good beach, is very much in evidence at the head of the bay. There is some tourism here, to the level that some services are better than what might be expected from what was once an old fashioned fishing village, but the place is essentially for yachties and those tourists who can read between the lines and maybe have a map. Sometime in the last twenty years the local peers  decided to invest a bunch of money, probably EU money, in a modern quay and harbor facilities. As a result we are stern tied to a broad, well made and well maintained concrete quay with a rock wall to seaward. The view is lovely. Everything works if you want water or shore power or fuel. And the town is still friendly even in the heart of the "season" when folks are starting to get burned out on "guests" in their towns.
Platerias Harbor
Just a few miles to the west the view is of the island of Corfu, certainly one of the best known tourist destinations in Greece if not the world. We just arrived from there yesterday. The contrast is striking. Corfu is a big island and a comparatively complicated place. We liked it, but we got lucky in my opinion,  and started off in Corfu at the very best of places.
The "Old Fortress" Corfu
For a yachtie that very best of places in Corfu is Mandraki Harbor just under the northern walls of the Old Fortress in Corfu Town. The massive fortress sits on on high peninsula over the bay and the walls extend directly into the sea at most points. Beneath the north walls is a narrow quay and the harbor is built out from that point. It is not a large place but its run by the Corfu Sailing Club and they have a clear idea of what every yachtie wants. 
Entrance to Mandraki Harbor
That includes good shelter for the boat, a world class atmosphere (where else are you tied up against the wall of a Byzantine, then Venetian fortress that has withstood every assault for the last seven hundred years) a great view, fine restaurant, nice little beach, showers, fuel, water and shore power. All for 40 EU a day.
At Mandraki Harbor
 And to exit the club you walk up stone stairways and ramps through multiple massive stone archways into the inner keep of the fortress. From there over the multiple moats and  quadruple walls into the heart of the Old City of Corfu Town itself. And the Old Town portion of the city is charming.

Entrance to the Corfu Sailing Club
Old Town Corfu seems to be more a miniature, quieter, cleaner Rome than any other city. The Italian influence evident elsewhere in the Ionian is very strong. The architecture of the city is a wonderful mix of French arcades topped by Italianate shuttered facades and tile roofs. Throw in a couple English neoclassical palaces and you have a beautiful city.
Corfu from the fortress
The fortress from Corfu
 There are really good restaurants, especially Italian restaurants. There is great ice cream. We had a Janet's  birthday dinner at 'la Cucina' that was memorably excellent. We had every morning coffees and snacks at a lovely cafe along the esplanade. This was civilization at its best. We give Mandraki Harbor and old town in Corfu an A+.

Street Scenes, Old Town Corfu
We rented a car for a day and drove around much of the northern part of the island. The island itself is mountainous with a rugged and much indented coastline that is very beautiful. Unfortunately almost that entire coast is covered with beach resorts, most of the rather tick tacky variety. If you drive the coastal road you will never be out of a rather continuous crowded strip mall like arrangement of small resorts and tourist conveniences of some sort. However, turn inland onto a secondary road and make one more turn onto any country lane and you very quickly enter an entirely different world.

Corfu Island village
The villages become Greek mountain villages with only a very occasional villa for the more adventurous soul. The views out over the island and the sea are spectacular. The 'roads' are narrow, very steep to and not for the entirely faint hearted. Its a part of the island probably much less than one percent of the "all inclusive"  fly in, fly out tourist ever sees.

Inland drive, Corfu
So what  is Corfu? Its certainly one of the most traveled places in Greece. Its physically very beautiful but much of that beauty is spoiled by less than beautiful development. Its a place where, if you're stuck in Manchester or Frankfort and want to get the hell out to somewhere, you can get a cheap charter flight and a package deal for a few days on a beach. For a yachtie the few out anchorages are very crowded and the one big marina, Gouvia, is not convenient to anything interesting. However, Mandraki Harbor is a very excellent spot to be and the Old Town of Corfu is not to be missed.
Mandraki Harbor
Would I visit Corfu as tourist? Yes, but I'd get a good pension in old town and rent a car to see the island. For a yachtie its definitely worth the trip and we highly recommend Mandraki Harbor.

So for today we are relaxing in Platerias. Tomorrow we'll probably head back to Port Gaios on Paxos Island which was our anchorage previous to Corfu. Port Gaios is one of those spots we visited twenty five years ago on a bare boat charter. 
Moon over Port Gaios
Its still pretty but greatly changed and much more developed. Its now on the season circuit for day trippers from Corfu and every afternoon about six trip boats disgorge maybe a couple thousand trippers to wander the waterfront for about two hours and then be gone. We'll spend one more night there and then be gone ourselves.

Quayside taverna, Port Gaios
So since the last blog update we have left Meganisi and gone north to Levkas through the Levkas canal. And I will add "without incident" because when we went  up the canal twenty-five years ago we ran aground twice! We spent a night at the marina in Levkas which was nice enough and the town of Levkas was actually very nice, busy and bustling, but for real and very sweet.
Girl bouzuoki band in Levkas, very sweet
We made the thirty mile motor job up to Port Gaios in Paxos easily in flat calm conditions. And the twenty-five mile motor job to Mandraki Harbor in Corfu in equally glassy calm weather.

Ionian morning, another Cape Horn moment
So we've almost entirely avoided the prevailing northerly winds in the Adriatic that, if they move into the Ionian, can make progress northwards a real pain. We're headed south now, which should be equally easy and within a few days we'll be in Preveza preparing to haul out the boat and go home.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet
SV Airstream

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ionian "Holiday"

One good way to get a wry laugh out of most cruisers is to inquire about or comment on their "holiday". You will most likely be informed that it is not a holiday, it is a way of life, for better or worse. So it is with considerable trepidation and with fingers crossed, wood knocked on, etc, that I say this time in the the Ionian Islands has approached "holiday" status. 

Sami quay, very international
And like a lot of "holidays" some of it has become rather a blur. I'll dig out the logbook….on recommendation of some English cruisers we went from Agios Andreas to Sami on Cephalonia rather than Euphimia, from there on to Kioni on Ithaki, Sivota on Cephalonia, then Nea Thilia off Meganisi, Spartochori, Ormos Abelike, and now back to Spartochori on Meganisi.
The harbor at Sami, Cephalonia
We did a bare boat charter here twenty-five years ago, our first bare boat charter actually. And we loved the Ionians. As we expected, some things have changed. There are about a gazillion more boats in the area than twenty-five years ago. The bay at Sivota we sailed out of in 1992 had one small "hotel" with a few rooms and one little taverna. Sunsail had a little wooden quay. Now its still a beautiful place but the shore is lined with tavernas and shops and I counted over a hundred boats at the quay.
The quay at Sivolta
Where we once pretty much had anywhere we wanted to ourselves we now were rather amazed to have a lovely anchorage in the channel between Meganisi and Nea Thilia without another boat in sight for the night. Most any Ionian anchorage mentioned in Rod Heikell's "Greek Waters Pilot", the bible for sailing Greek waters including the Ionian, is certainly occupied and often crowded. However, with a little research and  use of the Mark1A eyeball it is possible to find places not mentioned in Heikell. And there are cynics who feel that's exactly what he has in mind. You really wanna solitude, you find it yourself. 
Kioni, Ithaki
This afternoon we're back in Spartochori on Meganisi, one of the few places we've visited twice on this trip. Babis, the proprietor of Tavena Porto Spilia, is about as professional as they get and has a good taverna in a beautiful and unspoiled location with free electricity,  water, showers and good fast internet. Just eat a meal at his taverna and he's a friend for life. His docks are well maintained and the friendliness is genuine. As a result, Babis and Company seem to be doing very well. Good guys do win out in the long run. 
The view from Spartochori
We've been kind of alternating between anchoring out and being at some quay for the night. We haven't paid any dockage fees since Patras nor have we seen a port authority. Yesterday evening, for the first time this year, we had to move the boat because of a wind shift that put us in a nasty position too close to a rocky shoreline. A mile away in a tiny  cove we anchored again, stern tied to shore and had a quiet night with some other boats who had done the same. 
Passage making, Ionian style
Tonight we'll enjoy a good taverna meal. Janet has taken off for a hike up the hill to the village of Spartochori, which is a gem, and I'm slaving away over a hot laptop. Tomorrow we'll make a major move, ten miles at least, through the Levkas canal up to Levkas town and we may actually be in a marina for the night. Either the town quay or the marina will get a few Euros out of us and I'll have to do the right thing and check in with the port authorities for once. Next day we plan on a true passage, by Ionian standards, of thirty-five miles up to Paxoi Island. And the next day up to Corfu where, thanks to a tip from SV Rozinante, we have confirmed reservations at Mandraki Marina which should be very nice. Thank you Skip and Bobby. 

In the village, Kioni
So it will be goodbye to this kind of inland sea formed by  Levkas, Cephalonia, Ithaki and the other Ionian Islands. Any good vista will reveal a scene not unlike Puget Sound on a sunny summer day. There are boats underway where ever one looks and  a rugged,  much indented coastline with mountains all around. If the mountains aren't  quite so high,  the water is warmer. The sun can be a little oppressive at max heating, but you're not likely to encounter any foggy stuff. 

Janet above Spartochori
We've been quite lucky with no nasty noserly winds to fight and few charter boats have threatened our anchorages. I've had to break out the "anchor thief" only once to escape an anchor laid across our chain. Although we've done little sailing we have had great swimming in wonderfully clear waters. We've had warm days and cool nights and blue skies every day.  Although it is  much more traveled than it once was this is  still a wonderful area and just maybe its our favorite island group in Greece.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Back in the Islands

Ionian Islands that is, where Janet and I did a bareboat charter in 1991.  This evening, the 1st of July 2014,  we're at Ormos Agia Andreas, a beautiful anchorage at the very southern extremity of Ithaki (Ithaca), the legendary home of Odysseus. There are three other boats anchored here and a few goats ashore. The narrow bay is enclosed by mountainous terrain, limestone cliffs covered with what a Californian would think of as Manzanita and Madrone. No sign of civilization, ancient or modern. Tomorrow we plan on moving just five miles west to the island of Cephalonia. This may get posted from a hamlet called Agios Eufimia where the internet should be a little more usable.
That's Janet, the beach at Agias Andreas
The plan is to work our way northwards through the Ionians to Corfu and then back down the mainland coast to Parga and to Preveza where we'll haul the boat out for storage on the 28th. We'll have a few more days in Cephalonia and Ithaki and then make the major passage, another five miles or so,  up to Levkas and Meganisi. After passing through the Levkas canal its about forty miles to Corfu with nice stops to be made in Paxoi and Anti-Paxoi. Neither of us has been to Corfu before and we hear mixed reports. Very touristy but still worth the visit seems to be the consensus.
Passage to Ithaki, this isn't Cape Horn.
Our last blog post was from Galaxidhi in the Gulf of Corinth. We motored from there westwards towards the Gulf of Patras passing under the  spectacular Rion-Andirrion suspension bridge connecting mainland Greece with the Peloponnesos. A few miles south of the bridge lies the city of Patras, third largest city in Greece and a place neither of us had ever visited. 

Bridges, even really BIG, HIGH bridges make me nervous
And Patras was rather a surprise in several ways. The city is a big college town and forty thousand students make a difference in the waterfront scene which was very chic and fashionable. The clubs near the marina were full of young people who did not appear to be starving art students. The city is modern and bustling if not architecturally interesting. We took a day trip to a cogwheel (actually rack and pinion) narrow gauge railway up into the mountains through a spectacular gorge. We rented a car and drove the one hundred and twenty km down to ancient Olympia. Bill and Richard Bernard, friends who are crewing with  Mark and Dorothy of Pua' ena went along. They are new to Greece and Greek driving techniques. Since I pretty quickly fall into compliance with the local driving customs (like a bat out of hell,  to quote Janet) maybe they were a little, shall we say,  shocked, naaa……….Anyway it was a good trip and Olympia is a spectacular site with a great new museum. 

Olympia agora
The ancient games were held here from somewhere in the eighth century BC. They were officially recorded since around 776 BC and held regularly until abolished by the Roman emperor Theodosis in  394 AD as part of a campaign against 'pagan' religious observances. More than a thousand years of athletic and religious history here. The site was pretty much wiped out by huge quakes in 551 and 552 AD. It wasn't re-discovered by the modern world until 1877 when excavations began. Today its a lovely quiet place with spectacular ruins amongst the olive trees. It is well marked and easy to understand and the big new museum is one of the best we've seen. If you are traveling a little around Greece Olympia should be high on your list to see.
Temple of Olympian Zeus, the pillars lie as they fell in 551AD
We spent four days enjoying Patras and socializing, Pacific style,  with Pua' ena. That's the main thing we miss from the Pacific and SE Asia. There everyone is pretty tight and the yachtie community feeling is very strong. Here in the Med most people are on a holiday much closer to home and the need for companionship is less. In the Pacific its a way of life, for better or worse, not a holiday, and people are involved with each other.    

Richard Bernard, Mark & Dorothy Hazlett, yours truly and Bill Bernard
 On the 29th we pushed off for Mesolongion and Pua' ena headed for Italy. They plan on shipping the boat from Genoa to Florida. We spent two nights at the marina in Mesolongion which had nice facilities. The town itself is principally known for being the place where Lord Byron died of malaria in 1824 during the Greek war for independence. Decent enough place with an interesting city center cafe scene but not somewhere to linger. And from there, after a nearly flat calm thirty five mile passage we're here, Ithaki.

Sunrise departing Mesolongion
We loved the Ionian Islands in years past. We hear they have gotten a lot more crowded but with a little luck we can still find places to enjoy a little serenity,  if not solitude. Please stay tuned.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To Athens and Beyond

Athens sprawling beneath the Acropolis
Thirty-three years ago, almost to the day, I first stepped out of the cockpit into the  heat of an Athenian afternoon.  It was really really  hot and there was a white haze.  I thought, "This is NOT western Europe!" The tarmac was like an oven . The old airport at Athens was a pit. Customs and immigration was chaos,  the cab ride to the hotel  death defying. I loved the place. And I've loved it ever since. Of course I've refined that "love" statement over the years to include Greece as a whole and many places there to be found. I usually qualify that by saying I don't really like Athens and that Thessaloniki is a much better city. But  we hadn't seen the place in over twenty years. The five days in Athens this year was actually better than I expected and maybe I do like Athens, after all these years.
At the quay, Poros
We got into Piraeus, the port city for Athens, after a thirty mile motor job up from Poros across the Saronic Gulf in flat calm conditions. There is a lot,  the most we've seen since Singapore, of shipping around the port but we had no problems entering the Zea Marina in Piraeus and getting comfortably situated. Poros had been nice enough for an evening stay. Kind of a pleasant holiday place for Athenians but one night was enough. Zea Marina is very decent and if not actually luxurious it is also not nearly as expensive as most big city marinas around the world.
Hazard to navigation, Saronic Gulf
Our plan was to stay three days and do the usual tourist stuff. We did our three days of that, the acropolis, the National Archeological Museum (redone on 2009 and now quite wonderful), the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square, etc. All very nice to do again after twenty years.
The Parthanon
Temple of Poseidon, Sounion
Changing of the Guard, Syntagma Square
We did make arrangements with the Royal Hellenic Yacht Club to have lunch at the club. It sits alone on a hill above its marina in Piraeus, old,  posh and elegant. Also very friendly and welcoming to yacht club members around the world. The food was excellent and the setting magnificent.

Lunch at the Royal Hellenic Yacht Club
We also took a couple days to solve a little boat problem that had been getting worse. We'd been getting fresh water slowly accumulating in the bilge. It had gradually become apparent that we had a fresh water leak in our system somewhere. And we had finally eliminated every possible source other than the aft main tank itself. We have another tank and this looked like a problem to be fixed after the end of the season. But I was referred to Motomarin, a marine contractor on the marina property and they were highly recommended by a friend. I had them come look at the tank. Luckily our tanks are not as difficult to get to as on some boats. We decided to pull the tank out the next day and repair or replace as necessary. Next day we pulled the tank in about three hours. 
Out with the old
It was in bad shape. Even 316L stainless can corrode after 29 years and that was the case. They asked me how much time I had and when I wanted a new tank. I said yesterday. They laughed and said tomorrow. That afternoon they had the material and started welding. Next morning the tank was done and we did pressure testing.
About ready to pressure test
In the afternoon we took about three hours to install the new tank. Guess what? No leaks! Wonderful! So these guys were great. Veggetis spoke good English and the other guys improved on my Greek. We had fun and they worked their tails off doing a nice job for us. The cost was 1400 EU which I considered very reasonable for a 316 stainless tank, labor etc.  I highly recommend Motomarin at Zea Marina.
In with the new
 Athens has changed a bit like everything does after a couple decades. I'll go into all that at the end of the year. But we did have a good time and left with a kind of warm fuzzy about the city, something I'd never felt about Athens before.

So now we're in Galaxidhi, a lovely small town on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth not far from Delphi. We've had absolutely flat calm conditions since motoring out of the Piraeus shipping to the Corinth Canal. We did the canal passage easily. And the canal is a really cool experience. Makes the 206 EU they charged for the passage a little less painful.
Through the Corinth Canal
Exiting the canal we headed to the Nisos Alkonidhes Islands to the north. There we had that rarest of Mediterranean experiences, an anchorage all to ourselves. Ashore there was a deserted monastery and a very active seagull rookery, thats all. A lovely spot. Next day we motored again in flat calm conditions to our Med tie on the quay here in Galaxhdi, an ice cream cafe directly across from our boat
Sunset in the Nisos Alkonidhes
 The Gulf of Corinth can be rather nasty for boats heading west because the prevailing winds are westerlies funneled into the gulf. We've had none of that so far. The gulf has been like a huge and beautiful alpine lake. Mountains to five thousand feet rise out of the sea all around us. It is quite lovely.
Janet and friend, Galaxihdi
We'll do Delphi today. Galaxidhi is a quiet, pretty town in itself. Tomorrow the plan is to move westwards to an island anchorage called Trizonia, then on to Patras, then Mesolongian (where Byron died in the war for Greek independence) and then into the Ionian.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet