Aye aye Captian!
Trip Start Mar 11, 2006
89Trip End Ongoing
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We arrived in Igoumenitsa on the mainland of Greece at about 7.30am and were at the sailing marina by 8.30am. We had been divided into groups based somewhat on our sailing experience. At the beginning of the trip Katie had asked us if we had any experience or not. If yes, to what degree. This is so we could divide up those with experience onto different boats. However, not many had experience and so out of the 6 people (Jo, Charmara, Anshu, Lex, Tanya and myself) on my yacht we had 6 sailing virgins.
However, each yacht (there were 6 of them in total plus 1 lead yacht with Fraser, our flotilla leader) had a Captain (Jo) and a Skipper (Charmara) and these people had to be "trained" first. These people went out first for a few hours while we waited around and twiddled our thumbs and when they came back they had to "train" the others from their yacht
We set sail at about 12.30pm. It was quite windy so when we got past the headland we were told to put up our front sail. We had no idea what we were doing and had quite a bit of difficulty. I nearly kissed the water a couple of times as the yacht was listing to the side due to the strength of the wind as we were trying to get the sail up. I was quite scared and panicked a little. Jo yelled at me and told me that if I was going to panic then I should go below because I wasn't helping up on top. Me panicking was making her panic. I belive she did have a point to a degree as I could understand how panic spreads; but when I was the one on the edge of the boat that was almost underwater because of the angle we were on, I believe I had a right to panic... after all I had never done this before. However, I said I would try not to panic so much in the future.
After the sail was up it was better, the boat wasn't listing as much and things calmed down a degree. Then the command went out to put up our other sail, except to do this we had to turn into the wind, put the front sail down, put the main sail up and then put the front sail back up. We had a little trouble but all in all things went a lot smoother this time round. I didn't panic nearly as much and Jo and I were cool.
Ultimately we arrived into our port on Corfu island (Petriti) at about 4pm. It took a little while to get into port as we had to come in one at a time but everyone was anchored in by 5pm. There was only one hitch and that was (surprise surprise) with John's yacht
Now it turns out that Fraser was actually a little scared out on the water as the wind was very very rough. He was so impressed that we had handled it and arrived in one piece, he couldn't believe it.
We were able to have showers if we wanted to before heading to dinner in a local taverna. Dinner consisted of greek salad and a choice of main meals. I remember once a long time ago, tasting feta and thinking it was disgusting, but I tasted again at dinner and thought it was delicious. I am now addicted to tangy feta and tzatziki dip.
Charmara and Anshu had found a hotel on the island for only E40 and decided to take advantage of the privacy it offered... don't blame them, sleeping 6 on a yacht was definitely going to be crowded
Two yachts were adrift!
Lex decided she wasn't staying on the yacht and quickly got changed and was ready to jump ship. Jo called Tanya and I up to the top to see if we could help at all. The wind was so strong that it had dragged two the anchors of two of our yachts out further into the harbour, and since their ropes weren't tied securely they were heading straight for our yacht! We handed Fraser extra ropes from our yacht and ultimately ended up tieing the three yachts together as well as to anything that was stationary. The two yachts that were adrift were Claire and Shane's and John and Danielle's. Now throughout all of this, where do you think John was?
He'd packed his bag and jumped ship and was standing on the dock watching it all, while everyone else was running around handing ropes to Fraser, Shane, Danielle and anyone else who was in a position to tie things off
The next day it was too windy to even think about putting up sails. So we motored the whole way (I don't think people were complaining) and I went to sleep for an hour or two because I didn't need to do anything. We arrived into port (Plataria) at about 1pm and it was so calm, hardly a ripple in the water. There was a fantastic bar there called "The Bamboo Place" and the owner was fantabulous. When you ordered a beer, he gave you two; he gave us free shots of Ouzo and free food when we ordered drinks. Because of this lovely service we didn't go anywhere else for the rest of the day and night. We had dinner at another restaurant (because the Bamboo Place didn't do meals per se)but it was straight back to the Bamboo Place afterward for more partying.
Now technically, this should have been our last day of sailing and we should have been back in Igoumenitsa that night and setting off for Athens the next morning. But due to the ferry stuff up Topdeck gave us a choice.
a) sail straight back to Igoumenitsa in the morning arriving about lunch time and then drive to Athens where we would arrive late at night
b) spend the whole day sailing and then do a night drive to Athens and arrive early the following morning. Nev was willing to drive all night and we could sleep on the bus. The only thing was this had to an unanimous decision. If one person didn't want it, then we would do option a).
Well turns out there were a few people who didn't want the night drive. Gotta say I was a disappointed with this decision, but at the same time I'm able to respect the fact that some people aren't able to sleep on the bus or were tired of being seasick or some other reason. Even so, I was impressed with Topdeck offering us the choice - they were doing their absolute best to offer us what was on the itinerary.
So we motored back to Igoumenitsa (it wasn't windy enough to sail) with a quick stop for those who wanted to swim. Fraser was the only swimmer at first because it wasn't exactly the warmest of days. However, several people (myself included) soon came to the conclusion that they probably won't be back in this part of the world anytime soon (if ever) and decided to jump in;
So that was the end of our sailing adventures. Two and a half days on the water of which we only sailed for about two hours. I would've liked to have sailed more but this was an experience I would repeat in a heartbeat - code reds and all.