After saying a fond farewell to the Heanes, we set about some jobs. As soon as we were filled with water and provisioned up we set off for Vathi. Once out in the bay around the Argostoli headland, we realised that the best sailing would be to the south, so changed our plan and headed down to Ay Nikolaos Bay, on the north east corner of Zante, one of our favourite places in the Ionian.
We were helped by the delightful Costas and moored against the town quay. However, strong-ish winds were pressing us against the concrete so we decided to anchor instead. Costas whizzed out in his boat and offered us a mooring. We swung there happily for two days in winds up to 28kts. It is a gorgeous spot in the bay. The water is crystal clear, and there is a nice walk south along the road overlooking the coastline.
Next stop was Sami back on Cephalonia. We had hoped to be able to go alongside the large north quay but were allocated a spot near the root of the south mole which was a bit tight to get into and to put down enough chain. We felt happier after our third attempt. Neighbours helped with the lines and soon we were all set.
We paid for two nights here and organised car hire for the next day so that we could go and explore a little. Next morning, we set off to see the semi underground Lake Melissani. We walked down the tunnel towards a little rowing boat sitting there to take us on a short tour round the lake. Who should be sitting in that very boat but friends Laura and Steve Brown our friendly Texan pals from Marina di Ragusa. Now, that’s what I call serendipity. (And we had parked next to them in the car park!) We decided to hook up for the day and set off to Sami for our morning coffee.
Our task in Sami was to find Stavros from Faros Restaurant on the front and say hello from The Two Gees. We had a lovely chat with Stavros and gave him all Glen and Gwen’s news.
We then drove to Myrtos beach and swam in the turquoise water beside a beach that looked to be made up of mint imperials. On closer inspection they were perfectly rounded limestone pebbles, polished and smoothed by the constant wear from being dashed in the winter waves.
The breath-taking coastal road is cut into the steep slopes along the North Western side of Cephalonia and we swept along gasping at the colours and breathing in the heady scent of the island flowers and plants.
We dropped down to Assos and had a little wander around. Realising that we hadn’t had lunch we stopped off and enjoyed a shared mese dish and had a cold beer each in the most heavenly of settings. Assos is an almost enclosed bay surrounded by tree covered hills and prettily coloured houses running down to the shore. There is a Venetian Fort on the headland to the west. The village had an almost Cornish look to it. It was a quiet and unassuming spot.
From here we headed our separate ways and wished Steve and Laura fair winds as they head towards the Corinth Canal in a few days.
That evening we had delicious lamb chops cooked on the barbecue at Faros restaurant and more chats with the laconic Stavros.