With just one day in Athens, we made sure we had enough time to visit the Archeological Museum which houses treasures from the many islands we have visited over the past few years.
Of course we made time to have our first Mythos of the season in one of the very smart cafes close to our hotel.
Back in Preveza, we were please to see Sea Cloud had been very well looked after at Ionian Marine. Within 2 days she was cleaned, launched and we were on our way to Gouvia Marina in Corfu where we planned to spend a few weeks getting her ready for the season. We couldn’t complain about our view in Gouvia- what a lovely spot.
We shared our pontoon in the marina with the Sailing Holidays flotilla, so there was lots of action during the day, with all the crews busily preparing boats for the season. We spent some time with Barrie (a Kiwi) and Heidi, the owners of the business which has 160 boats in the Ionian.
Having seen these flotillas of in previous seasons, we had been always been very impressed how their young and cheery skippers and crew managed a fleet 10 or so boats of keen sailors, who were often complete novices. Allan Berwick, a mate of theirs down to help for the season is the author of the RYA rigging book, a well thumbed book in our library. Allan was very generous with his time going over Sea Cloud’s rigging and providing many helpful suggestions for setting her up for long distance cruising.
While in Gouvia, we’ve had a few very hectic, sometimes frustrating weeks. Luckily, there have been other cruisers to meet – sharing meals, usually at our local favourite, the very good (and cheap) Zorbas. The only issue is the meal size, in one word, huge! We have met up with 2 lovely couples from Melbourne, living the dream as we are, Jan and Terry (below) on La Qunita who also plan an Atlantic crossing this year, and Jane and Stuart on Epicurius, who are heading east towards Turkey.
Spending time with Andy, Nina Too’s skipper has been fun. Andy, a rambunctious Scot, about the same age as our Andrew, regaled us with stories on his voyages to the Antarctic and through the Pacific on Infinity (check out Infinity’s blog, they visit some incredible places!). During dinner he was trying to talk Ian and I into taking Sea Cloud to Antarctica…
Greek Orthodox Easter is the time to be in Corfu. The island is well known for its music and Easter celebrations, which attract thousands of Greek (and other) tourists to the island’s capital. Local people of all ages are involved in the local bands and processions through the town on Good Friday, from early in the afternoon, until late in the evening.
Each church has a procession through the town, with singing, a band and groups of small children carrying Easter baskets, high school children and unexpectedly large groups of boy scouts and girl guides.
Good Friday is a very somber occasion, with hauntingly beautiful music played by these wonderful local bands. We were thrilled to see our electronics whiz Spiros who was part of his church procession.
We retreated to an Italian restaurant for dinner. Our corner table was a great spot for viewing one of the parades.
Processions continued, in front of very large and well behaved crowds, all enjoying the spectacle, well almost all. This teenager sitting on a box in front of us looked pretty unimpressed.
The finale of the evening was the 360 strong Corfu band marching through the streets of this beautiful town.
Easter Saturday is another really big day in Corfu, where thousands of people come out to see the smashing of pots in the main square and streets of Corfu town.
Red flags are hung down from the buildings showing where pots will be thrown..
Crowds move in closer to the middle of the square to miss the water being thrown to indicate the landing place for the pots. Throwers ready themselves, then at 11am, it begins.
The finale of really big pots is preceded by a countdown, then everyone stands back…
then scramble to souvenir the pieces when it is all over
Australian OHS would have a fit, one mis-thrown pot could be a bit of a disaster!
A great time to be in Corfu, most memorable was the wonderful music and atmosphere on the evening of Good Friday.
Ian’s birthday (Easter Sunday) was celebrated with the traditional dish of the day, lamb, in Taverna Elizabeth in the small rural village of Doukades.
Followed by a drive to the Sunset Bar at Longos beach at the top of the island. Spectacular spot, but full of 20 somethings and very loud music, so we didn’t linger.After 4 long weeks in the marina, we finally dropped our mooring lines and left Gouvia, having our first night at anchor in San Stefano on the north east of Corfu. We’ve just left there after a coffee in the local taverna where we planned our next adventure, Albania!