Our first four weeks in Greece has seen very little wind. We had one good day with a good breeze but the rest of the time we have had nothing. When we arrived we were struggling to get anywhere with 10 knots of wind, the last 2 weeks have been 1 or 2 knots of wind.
“The great thing about being at anchor is that you always face the breeze so you can channel it down in through the hatches with wind scoops..”
When we were in Italy we met a lovely Dutch man who was telling us all about sailing in Greece. He said “95% of the time it is dry, 50% of the time there is no wind, 50% of the time there are big waves!”
Our experience so far has been zero wind, zero waves and 95% of the time dry. We have had a few showers (usually when we are out and about), a few thunder storms which bring a little bit of cloud and welcome cooler air. Most of the time we have found our boat to be much cooler than on land. We have good shelter under the large Bimini, when at anchor it is much cooler than being moored in a marina or to a town quay.
The great thing about being at anchor is that you always face the breeze so you can channel it down in through the hatches with wind scoops.
If we go ashore we can leave a fan on and close up the bridge deck (inside sitting area) and return to a nice cool boat. Also very useful for Lilly, it is far too hot for her to go ashore at the moment between 9am and 5pm. We know we are very lucky here with TopCat because a lot of boats are continually hot. We are only at the beginning of July, so still have the rest of July and August to cope with. We have learnt that being somewhere with clear sparkling water means you can dive into the sea at all times of the day. (Which is of course the best way to cool off).
Whilst some of the nice bays look inviting, we have found the water to be a lot more murky. Perhaps it is just because we can compare it with other anchorages where the water is so clear you can see the bottom 10m away …that is over 30 feet. Wonderful snorkelling. Unfortunately we have not worked out how to get the GoPro working underwater yet … but the kids are coming soon. They will sort it out for us.
We have already found some wonderful spots that we would love to return to. Our requirements might be different to a lot of people as the perfect spot requires internet access for me, dog walking or swimming access for Lilly and either the best ever chandlery or restaurant for Paul.
Here is our top 6 list so far in the North Ionian. We will come back to all of these places.
- Limenia Bay on North Ithaca. Beautiful swimming ,,, deep, clear waters, secluded beaches for Lilly. There is no internet connection, good eating or chandlers …. But of course we don’t need any of those every night. The swimming was lovely with a fair number of fish and for the most part it wasn’t to busy.
Lilly has a wonderful platform for watching fish! This keeps her entertained for hours.
2. Nidri on Lefkas …. Best ever Chandlery, Nydri Marine and best ever restaurant Ta Kalamia… no menu restaurant … this is the best meal we have ever had! Rubbish for dog walking. Swimming not great. The restaurant had a lovely atmosphere and the chef and waitress were very smiley and happy and helpful. We had mussels, sea bas, calamari in the most fantastic sauce, we were very impressed and wish we had remembered to photograph the food so I could remember what ingredients were in it.
3. Sivota on the mainland ….. lovely town … had everything, very friendly, good restaurant with good food (at the back of town), lots of bakeries and fresh veg. Walking for Lilly was mainly on the lead. A nice, clean, well kept town. It was easy to top up with water, great little bays for anchoring.
4. Lakka on Paxos …. The clearest water for swimming although no fish, very crowded anchorage. The food we ate was not great. Little beach for Lilly. The town is so picturesque, I think we just chose the wrong place to eat. The bay was very full so anchoring was a challenge.
5. Fiskardho on Kefallinia.
Brilliant walking for the dog … a circular walk past the lighthouse and the ruins of a Christian Building dating back to 6AD. Good internet, lovely town and restaurants. Up market shopping, moorings out of the way, overlooking the town in. crystal clear waters.
6. Skhoinos bay on Ithaca (near Vathi), a great sheltered bay, wonderful swimming, great internet, great dog walking. Loads of shoals of fish, lovely and quiet even in late June. This has to be the favourite so far.
I am sure we will add lots more places to our list but already we are returning to our favourites.
I hope the photos do them justice.
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