We had kind of a week off between the Moms. Jessica’s mom, Patty, and her beau Mike were arriving in Zakinthos, about 100 miles to our south. We stayed one more night at Mandraki so we could catch the NW wind to Levkas, about 60 miles away. Finally we had a very nice sail with good wind most of the way. We had to enter a small canal and wait for a drawbridge that opens on the hour, until 7pm. We arrived at 6:45 and jockeyed around until opening time. Very reminiscent of the ICW in the states. We had to go through an industrial area and small dredged canal before we would arrive to our anchorage for the night. As we were coming around the corner we noticed a family on the shore fishing. Jessica was taking a few pics on the way through. The older boy darted back to his car and then came back out and was giving us the stink eye as we passed. Once passed him he open fired on us. We had a decent size rock hit our stern and bounce around on deck. We figured he threw it but the picture Jess got with the zoom lens tells a different story. The little $(-)!!+ used a sling shot. We weren’t sure if it was because we fly old glory off the stern, Jess was taking pictures of them, or he was just a typical stupid young male causing trouble. No one was hurt, nothing broke, so we pushed on down the canal to anchor up for the night.
The next morning we made our way to Port Vlikho, a large anchorage next to a busy tourist town. The town kind of reminded us of Provincetown Cape Cod with its large tourist population, busy harbor, and plethora of shops/restaurants. We left the next morning for an anchorage on Nisos Meganisi. It was lovely when we arrived, a few boats and idyllic setting. By the end of the day the charter boats had filled the place in and it was packed. It literally felt like someone had taken a complete marina, with no docks, and moved it to this cove. We were packed in like sardines. We were pretty dissapointed at the shear number of boats. It was feeling like Ibiza in August. On top of this, we had to have protection on our dock lines from rats who apparently come across to boats from shore on the lines tied to trees or rocks. Paradise lost
We left Marina Cove the next day and headed for Ithaca. En route we passed Corey and Craig from Le Petruese, another American HR, we had met in Erikousa with Grace and Kevin. I radioed them and we chattted for a while and Corey gave us the name of one of her preferred spots, further than our original destination. Excited to have some inside intel we took their suggestion headed further south toward Ak Skhoinos. We had no wind forecast for the night and the sea state was calm so we took a spot that was secluded next to a little beach and high cliff overhead but totally exposed. We had a very tranquil night with no one in site. The next afternoon we made our way into the harbor of Vathi and spent a very windy night on the hook. At some point before dark a charter boat came in and anchored too close. His boat was sailing on anchor all over and would continually swing within 10 feet of us. I let out some more chain and put out the long snubber. These charter boat folks have a really different perspective on keeping their vessel out of harms way. We are quickly learning that we don’t want to be surrounded by charter boats, its very hard to get away from them here in the Ionian.
After a nice hike up to a church at the top of a ridge, we provisioned and hit the watery highway to Ormos Ay Nikolaos, on Zakinthos Island. With light winds we motor sailed our way. Here we would wait for Patty and Mike and fortunately the harbor was ideal. Not very touristy as it was just a stopover place for people getting bused in to see the blue grotto and caves just outside of the port, than back on the bus to wherever they came from. No charter boats were coming this far south as their ports are all further north. Just a few tavernas ashore and a mini market. The quay was free of charge as well. There was one taverna that continually tried to do favors, like provide electricity via extension cord from the restaurant, or water from their hose, or any kind of arrangement like a car rental or any tour possible, all for free. What they really wanted was your business in the restaurant. So basically every visiting boat in the place ate and drank at their place.