Having analysed the weather yet again, no amount of re-looking could make it show what we wanted to see. There was just no chance that we could set off for Cephalonia with the predicted low pressure system steaming in to give us a proper beating.
We decided to change the plan in the hope that the low would move out of our way.
So, we headed for Porto Palo on the south coast of Sicily. We had a fairly good sail north and arrived in good time. We anchored in the bay in among many of our friends from MdR who had recently left the marina, it being close to the end of the month and the start of May prices!
The next day we headed in the direction of Syracuse. At least if the weather forecast didn’t change Chris would be able to return home from Catania.
We had a very pleasant sail up the coast and arrived late afternoon. Despite their being heaps of space on Quay 11 – the Town Quay, we were not given permission to go there. We were told to anchor off.
David and Chris went ashore and Ian invited Gwen and Glen from Pardella over for drinks. It was good to catch up.
The next day the wind was due to really pick up from the South West in the afternoon. We decided to go ashore and have lunch near the market with the two Gees. It was such fun and ended up being quite lengthy! Needless to say, by the time we returned to the marina pontoon, the wind was whipping the waves across the bay and not only would it have been wet to go across the bay to the boat, it would have been dangerous.
Luckily, kind people on the pontoon offered to put us all up. We stayed on Pardella and David and Chris on on their neighbours’ (Diane and Fred) boat. It was a noisy night with waves smacking the bow and lines creaking as the pontoon bucked! We had to leave Linea all alone out there and just hope that the anchor was well dug in.
Next morning, the wind was still lashing the pontoon. All the boats that had been moored on the Town Quay had left in the night to anchor off. Linea was still out there.
It continued to be wild. Finally, at about 1800hrs we managed to get the dinghy engine started and Ian and Chris went back to the boat to retrieve Chris’ things so he could fly home the next day.
David, Ian and I made it back soon after saying goodbye to Chris, had a quick supper and retired to bed.
We decided on an early departure in the morning so that we would have some chance of arriving in Cephalonia before Angela and Lizzie had to go home!!
We put the sails up in Syracuse Harbour and sailed for 50 hours. The sea was unpleasantly swelly for the first 36 hours but gradually began to calm down as we approached Cephalonia.
Some miles off shore, we could smell Cephalonia’s unique flora. The heady combination of wild sage, juniper, pine and cypress trees and flowering jamine. It is the most fragrant isle.
We lowered the sails once we were inside the dog leg to Argostoli having made a record Ionian crossing time for Linea. (We had trawled a fishing line the entire way, however, and managed only to catch a bit of seaweed!)
We moored stern to the town quay and put the boat to bed.
By 1200hrs we were having a well earned chicken gyros and a Mythos beer in town with Angela and Lizzie.
So good to be back in Greece.