Once back in the Ionian Sea we had four weeks of gentle cruising. Brian and Valerie joined us for a week during which we sailed each day out of Spartachori. Being July it was getting very busy with charterers and getting spaces became increasingly difficult. We were to learn later that this was nothing compared to the crowds in August when the Italian holidays started.
We have reached an impasse about our time left in this old enclosed sea. So many memories are wonderful in sailing these turquoise seas with azure blue skies and the seascape will always be etched indelibly into our psyche. These once distant dreams suddenly become a reality and it was good. After leaving Athens with Pelagia in her 14 th season having voyaged over 30,000 miles she was soon in her stride eating up the miles slicing to windward around these Greek waters.
We have enjoyed mooring up in front of tavernas and eating on shore but most of all we have enjoyed eating late in our cockpit when the fierce sun has set on calm balmy evenings under velvety black star studded skies. Many nights we have tried to trace the distant stars and planets in the canopy above us. Such dark skies are a joy to behold on this planet of glitzy bright lights in our modern world.
We did find a haven of peace in one of the Meganissi bays where we anchored and tied to a rock and having found our heaven we stayed there for four days. However even that was tainted when a 100 foot long stinky motor yacht prowled around looking to anchor close to us. He eventually tied to a tree some way from us and his equally massive catamaran friend joined him tied to the same tree. Where does the seamanship come in? Inevitably the catamaran dragged as the evening breeze set in and in the dark he had to reposition himself whilst we all prayed not to have our anchors disturbed. August in Greece is to be avoided at all costs. Whilst adding to this note the small German yacht next to us decided to leave as the wind was rising and in so doing he dragged our anchor up. We had to very quickly put engine on, lines off the shore and exit the bay ourselves even though unprepared. So much for our little heaven! We decided to spend our last few days in the almost landlocked bay of Amvrakikos hoping to avoid the crowds, but all this has just confirmed that our Mediterranean experience will end and we will return to the U K over the next two years. These once beautiful waters and idyllic settings are being stretched to the limits by those with no concern for the environment and with too much money to bully those around them. The poor Greeks have to accept it to earn a decent living but can see what is happening to their World with regret. We did find an empty anchorage in Amvrakikos gulf where we saw turtles and dolphins to end our sailing trip this year.