Captains Blog 27 – My Animal and Other Families

It was a beautiful day when Paul and Mandy visited us at Gouvia Marina and all the smelly jobs were done. I made myself look busy for when they arrived around lunchtime. I spotted them walking towards Gianti and stood watching as they stopped behind our neighbours’ boat. “where do you think they are?” asked Mandy. “Mmm, I don’t know” responded Paul. I coughed, expecting them to look straight at me. Nothing! I coughed again. They saw me and didn’t scream or burst out laughing at the shaggy haired vagrant before them. A good start I thought.

We spent all afternoon and evening catching up and had a thoroughly great time. It was clear they needed a break after Kitchengate (best not ask) which had plagued their lives for the best part of the year. They were staying further up the coast, so we arranged to head over and pick them up once they’d had chance to properly relax.

A couple of days later we motored out to Barbati beach and dropped the anchor. “Can you see them?”, I asked “no” came the response. “Is that them?” “Nope”, “what about them?” again “no” “them?” “uumm no”. “Okay what about them over there?”, “dunno, ur no”. It was time to deploy Hannibal. I jumped in and hooned it towards the beach at around 2 knots. Exhilarating! I arrived at the beach and hoofed Hannibal out of the water, much to the bewilderment of the gathered sunbathers who I gorped at in succession trying to identify our friends.  Before long I saw them and we were quickly in the tender heading back to the boat.

The plan was to find a quiet spot, drop the anchor, have some lunch, swim and snorkel then head back when we’d all had enough. Ormos Agni, a small bay in the North Corfu Channel had sufficient room to drop the anchor. Maybe not so quiet but a good place to relax and enjoy the water all the same. After a chilled afternoon we motored back towards Barbati and dropped our guests back on the beach. We’d not been able to sail but we’d all had a great time.

We motored back up to Kouloura just north of where we’d spent the day. The anchor appeared to have lost its rigidity, blindly refusing to bed itself anywhere. We gave up and picked up a mooring buoy, hoping that we wouldn’t be turfed out in the middle of the night. We ended up staying two nights without being bothered at all. Result!

It was time to head back to Gouvia Marina. Paul and Mandy would be returning home the next day and Simon and Laura would be warming their seats before heading to the marina and joining us for a few days.

Simon and Laura arrived at the marina in glorious sunshine and we quickly ushered them aboard before slipping the mooring and heading south. There wasn’t much wind so we slowly motored around the coast, past Corfu Town, down towards Petriti.

Laura and the first mate sat on the coach roof towards the bow and nattered constantly. Si sat in the cockpit with me and you could see the weight lifting from his shoulders the further we moved. We reached the bay outside Petriti, dropped the hook and poured a drink.

Time to head ashore and grab some nosh and I can confirm that the mighty Hannibal can easily accommodate 4 adults! We just snake a bit once you get past a few hundred revs, but we all made it without incident, had great evening and even got back without anyone falling in.

After a good night’s kip, we spent the morning messing around like kids, jumping off the boat, snorkelling, diving and mucking about. It couldn’t be better, but we’d arranged to eat out that night at the Whitehouse, one of the Durrell family homes that has been turned into a restaurant, so needed to head north.

We anchored in the bay at Kalami, next to the German boat with the attractive topless girl. She wasn’t naked, which was probably a good thing. It wouldn’t have made any difference to me and Si of course, but we didn’t want the women folk getting any continental ideas!!

More swimming exploring and mucking about until it was time to head to the restaurant. For the second night we took Hannibal across a bay and ate at a table within spitting distance of the sea. It was a great meal with great friends and by now Si had forgotten he owned a phone!

As we chugged back to Gianti I clocked the 40-footer full of blokes playing loud music that had anchored next to us. I fixed them with the ever-effective Paddington stare while shinning a powerful torch straight at um. Yep, it’s amazing how brave you become with a few drinks inside, I was invincible. The music died and we had fairly good night if not a little rolly when anything large passed the bay.

The next morning, we planned to return to Gouvia and relax at one of the marina bars for our last night. The wind had got up a little and I was determined that Laura and Simon would have a chance to sail properly. We lifted anchor and set off midmorning on a close reach heading towards the Albanian mainland. we were sailing well and as soon as I thought we were far enough out to tack, we did.

Si took over the helm as we gained speed, topping out at 7 knots without heeling over excessively. We were flying and the helmsman did a fantastic job under the watchful eye of the chief navigator Laura Alexandra-Hardy who was doing a corking job of keeping us on course for Gouvia. They were so good that I questioned the first mate about her position on board and suggested that the position should be opened up for others! She graphically expressed her opinion. I parked the idea. For now!

We reached Gouvia in record time and moored up on our favourite H pontoon. That night we enjoyed some fine simple nosh and helped keep the local vineyard in business. Another excellent night.

And so, the next day, after a sort of fry up, it was time to say goodbye. We’d had a fab time and it was a shame they were heading home, but they needed to get back and it was time for us to head back over to Sicily for the winter.

We said our goodbye’s and the following day were heading up the east coast across the top and into the bay we’d stopped at when we’d first arrived in Corfu. There was nobody else about and we thought it would be the ideal place to set off from the next day.

It was an unbelievably uncomfortable night and by 3 am I was minded to start the engine and go. The swell was heading straight in and we were constantly pitching from side to side. Neither of us was sleeping and we eventually gave up at 6 am, started the engine, lifted the anchored and headed out of the bay.

Next time, we head back to Sicily and arrive at our winter home.

Captain Mac – out.

One Reply to “Captains Blog 27 – My Animal and Other Families”

  1. We always enjoy and get a few chuckles as you capture your latest adventures for us – what a great story teller you are – thx for sharing⛵️⛵️

    Liked by 2 people

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