So what are the next steps on our way to Italy?
The Korinth channel, the Golf of Korinth and the Golf of Patras are quite given on our way to the Ionian Sea, so next step is to go through the Korinth Channel.
We spend the night in the bay right before the channel and early in the morning we are the first to cross in daylight.
On the other side we get some good wind and speed with 9 knots under sail before the wind disappears again at noon and the rest of the day the engine is running.
Many times this afternoon Delphins come to visit and once even 4 of them swim with us a part of our way.
On arrival at Trizonia island we have some wind against us and again, the starboard engine gives notice of overheating. So next day we spend again some time in getting to know our engine respectively cooling system, but also we take the time to do some walks around the island and enjoy
the setting of the lovely small harbour.
With our engines ready to go again (but we already know that the root cause is not yet found) we cross further west
underneath the largest hanging bridge in the world (2.5 km).
In the afternoon we arrive at Mesolongion which is reached via a 2.5 miles channel where already two yachts we talked to ran on a sand bed and needed help to get off again. We stick to the tons and have no problem 😉
From Mesolongion we continue by engine to the Ionian Sea and although we do not have any luck with the wind there comes our luck fishing. We are really happy to catch our first fish in many years, it is a small Bonito Thuna. Just as I start to prepare it, we hear the next bite, another a bit bigger Bonito.
So that is great! But again the fishing rod makes noise and this time we know it is bigger than the first two. Coming closer I am afraid we catch a bird, it looks as if it had wings.
Then we can see it: we caught a small swordfish 😉 Good that we just probed how to get a rope around the tale of larger fish, since up to now I always held them with one hand 😉 After visiting 3 bays we finally find a place for the night in Ormas Vathy on Nisis Ithaki and enjoy the Sushi that we have dreamed off for so long (the last fish we caught back in 2011…)
The next day we moved up to Lefkas island in a “well-protected” bay where we had to learn our lesson on spending a stormy night in a fully packed anchor field. I had read about these situations before, but I did not imagine how scary a thunderstorm really could become.
In the beginning we watched most of the other yachts going on drift and with the engines helping in the highest gusts we stayed held by our anchor for quite some time. The all of a sudden we werde 50 meters further back and touched land with the heck either our neighbors (so either our anchor also had ripped out by itself or it was our neighbors who dragged it out during their drifting. In any way trying to get to get the chain and anchor back in (in what at least felt like one meter high waves) was one nightmare, but then to circulate through the anchor field wtih gusts coming alternately from all sides trying not to touch anyone one… Well, after something like 2.5 hours we were “stable” at anchor again and I went for some sleep while Reto stayed awake on anchor watch. I only took over at 5.30 in the morning so he also could relax a bit.
After another front passing though in the morning we used a slot to head up to the
Lefkas Marina, where we most happily took the mooring lines.
It was a good coincidence that the weather forecast for the next days was not very promising and we found a very nice Yanmar dealer who supplied us with all the parts we needed to do the repair and maintenance of both our engine’s cooling systems. We cleaned the heat exchangers, changed both thermostates and had to replace the leaking fresh water pumpe on one side.
Then 3 days later we wanted to leave but the whole day one storm after the other went over the Marina, so we decided not to take any risk and stay in the nice and cosy saloon being fixed in the nice harbour.