Having the family to stay was the greatest treat for us.
After six weeks of fantastic weather the heavens opened and rain was forecast all day and night for three days. Unfortunately this was on the week my son and his family were booked into stay with us. Our plans of swimming, sun, sandy beaches, warm evenings and lots of time outside was seriously under threat.
“Florence took sailing in her stride. Nothing seemed to phase her, she was happy sailing, paddle-boarding, eating, swimming, floating in her floaty boat. .”
They all arrived in a torrential downpour! It isn’t easy navigating through a busy town in pouring rain with three suitcases and a baby. It is even more difficult trying to get three suitcases and a baby onto a boat with a mad dog who is so pleased to see you that she is overcome with excitement. So now you can imagine walking down the passerelle (plank linking boat to shore) holding a baby with a jumping dog trying to kiss you in the pouring rain trying to get into the shelter out of the weather.
Being from Cornwall, we are used to a bit of rain although we were reminded that the UK was currently experiencing the best ever summer and they needed to go back with a bit of a suntan.
We were close enough to the Taverna for them to bring us all supper on the boat whilst we made our plans for the week. In fact, our plan, we decided, was not to have a plan as the weather looked changeable and so we needed to reassess each day. We have learnt that the weather here tends to do what it likes and doesn’t necessarily follow the directions of the weather forecast. 10 miles in any direction may see a different weather pattern from you and 10 minutes is all it needs for the wind to change direction by 180 degrees.
After an enjoyable evening getting reacquainted, catching up on news, plans, work, babies etc, our first full day together happened to be Florence’s first birthday.
We decorated the boat with balloons and birthday wishes and tucked into a boat cake with fresh cream and strawberries! What a lovely lunch …. Florence had no complaints. She took easily to the boat, once we had found a safe place for her to sleep, window covers to cut out distractions and lots of water melon to snack on, Florence was happy.
After filling up with water we were able to motor out to a lovely cove we had previously found on Ithaca. We knew we would be able to swim and walk the dog whatever the weather. Dominic had also bought with him my Internet solution, so hopefully we would have more than enough data if we needed entertainment. Of course I should have known that that wouldn’t be an issue because at every opportune moment, Dom would pull out a pack of cards and teach us all a new game.
Thursday arrived with some wind so we were able to put up the sails and enjoy a broad reach (wind hitting the side of the boat for maximum propulsion forwards) across to the Islands of Kastos and Kalamos. We swam in some heavenly bays with water so clear we could see the bottom at 10m depth. We spent some lovely days enjoying the warmth, the swimming, the company and Florence of course.
Florence took sailing in her stride. Nothing seemed to phase her, she was happy sailing, paddle-boarding, eating, swimming, floating in her floaty boat. She is going to be one seasoned traveller that one!
We sailed around to Meganisi with its beautiful coastline and very expensive houses before back to Fiskardho on Kefalonia. Fiskardho was a wonderful place for us to sit down to our last meal together. Florence as always, was a dream, falling to sleep after her risotto (gosh that girl can eat), allowing us to enjoy the town, the food and the wine.
Whilst we had the family on board we practiced our ‘Med Mooring’ techniques, we had one not so good attempt with the anchor dragging and me treading on a sea urchin and squealing like a banshee, and one perfect mooring where I was able to lasso the cleat on the town quay and securing the boat in less than 20 seconds. (This is our record to date).
A med mooring is where you drop the anchor in the bay and back into position with your backend against the quay. We have learnt we need at least 40m of chain out to hold fast! We need to be 7 feet away from the quay and we need at least 25 feet width to fit our 22 feet of boat plus fenders in.
We arrived on Tuesday lunchtime in Ay Eufemia expecting to be able to moor alongside to offload all of the (now much lighter) suitcases and catch the awaiting taxi. But of course we hadn’t realised it was England playing football that night and the Harbour Master said no, not even for 10 minutes would he allow us to moor up. We could anchor in the bay. So now we had several dinghy rides to take everything ashore and say our goodbyes. We had had a fantastic week, despite the threats of bad weather, we had been more than lucky. It was sad to say goodbye. The boat seemed big and empty on our return although Lilly did her best to fill the space.
Ay Eufemia redeemed itself by having a laundrette. I am happy to do most of our washing
(it is so much easier when the weather is warm and you don’t wear many clothes), but the sudden thought of being able to do all of the sheets and towels got me quite excited. I made the excuse that the water I would save would be well worth the €10 it cost for 2 machines of washing. We set up the washing lines on the boat and soon had everything flying in the breeze.
A beautiful week with a beautiful baby and gorgeous family, thank you so much for coming to see us.
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