Renato got chatting to some local fishermen and he was gifted the prize of 12 substantial squid. A born fisherman himself he keenly prepared them for the carnivores of the crew. So on our night in a bay off Alonnisos Island, the crew enjoyed fresh calamari – crumbed and seasoned in Renato’s way. It was so tender that it was easily sliced with the side of a fork, (the tentacles made a delicious pasta the following day- they were very pink).
Favourable winds had us sailing at a great pace through the islands. Finally, our destination was not on the nose of the boat. In good spirits we arrived in an amazing natural harbour – Planitis Bay. We were able to swim easily to shore and found the rock resembled a kind of marble with a large amount of quartz crystals through it. Travis and Gaylyn rowed over to a small beach and climbed a mound. Wild sage and other fragrant plants filled the air and a goat bleated nearby. There were only a few other boats in this otherwise uninhabited bay.
Travis and Luigi woke early the next morning and prepared the boat to motor-sail to our next destination while the remainder of the crew slept on. Another natural harbour- Port Koufo awaited us. More swimming and more fine dining. The guide book described a sleepy old time fishing village that conjured up images of an old pipe smoking, bearded fisherman with yarns to tell, (this was acted out accordingly by the captain). Stocked up on a few essentials – mainly fruit and bread – the crew were once again ready to make tracks.
Having time to relax in the beautiful bays gave us time to ponder on some of the profound quotes from the ship’s sage -Renato and a few of the other crew.
When Travis was deciding whether he should go out late one night which would result in a long walk back to the boat, (You need to imagine a strong Italian accent as you say these) ‘Life is difficult therefore we must do easy things’ Renato
When lost in the hills in the rental car, looking for Dragon houses and everyone else was giving opinions, Renato just stated, ‘Keep Going, keep going’.
When for 10 minutes at 11pm a woman with a child was trying to get onto the boat next door by calling out and phoning their charter skipper to let the ladder down, Renato casually says, ‘I must save a family’. He got up and grabbed the boat hook and walked onto the dock and whacked the side of the ladder loudly until the dazed skipper appeared in the companion way.
When training Travis in the galley, ‘You will watch and then you will do. I will watch you because I don’t trust you’ (Travis is pronounced Trav-vesss in Italian)
Travis would quote his old sailing instructor, C.J .when ever the old boys would be getting up to mischief or playing a trick, ‘ Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill’
Italo quickly giving Travis advice at the helm when the sails fluttered slightly, ‘You are sailing too close to the wind’ Travis – ‘But the wind shifted’ Italo – ‘Same thing, adjust your course’
A misquote that Gaylyn thought she heard Travis say when discussing tying the back of the boat towards the beach, ‘I will use a tree to protect the rock’ (what he had said was ‘I will use a tree to protect the rope’) She was thinking that he wasn’t much of a greenie for an outdoors bloke.