31/7 Zakynthos – Katakolo
After lunch we headed to the southernmost destination of our cruise, Katakolo. After just four hours of navigation – a little bit of sailing and then motoring, we arrived in the evening to the city quay in Katakolo. There was nothing to see, so we stayed on the boat, cooked diner (famous Czech potato pancakes) and then spent the rest of the evening playing classical music and a funny game consisted of words, which should have been explained, drawn or pantomimed, that even English native speakers didn’t know such as “emasculated cattle” or “sheikh”. To finish the evening we visited local music festival. However, the music was so bad that we got back to the boat only after five minutes and then went to sleep.
1/8 Katakolo – free day, visit of Olympia
On the first day of August we visited Olympia, famous ancient Greek city which, once in four years, held The Olympic Games. The very first Olympic Games took place in the 8th century BC, at 776 BC and were organized in the name of Zeus. The city was surprisingly large, it consisted of several temples of Zeus or Hera, then Pelopion with a sacrificial altar, the Gymnasion and Palaestra, both devoted to the training of wrestlers and athletes, the Stadium, the Treasuries, Baths, or the workshop of Pheidias, a sculptor who created famous gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand in the temple of Zeus.
After Olympia we continued with our experienced guide Luigi to see the Temple of Apollo, the god of light and the sun, healing, truth, music, poetry and more. The temple was hidden high in the mountains so it took us hours before we found it. At least we could enjoy beautiful views of the country on our way. We came back late in the evening tired, but this exceptional cultural experience was definitely worth it.
2/8 Katakolo – Zakynthos
Next day we turned back to the north, and sailed against the prevailing north-western wind back to Zakynthos. Original plan was to reach the north of the island, but tacking against 27 knots of wind was so slow that we had to stop again in Zakynthos town.
3/8 Zakynthos – Argostoli
From Zakynthos, we set off shortly after breakfast and stopped for lunch and swim near blue caves on the northern cape of Zakynthos. It was a beautiful place, so we took the dinghy and went to take a close look at it. Those were a lovely little caves with clear water an unfortunately lot of tourist boats. We didn’t have any better idea than to hide in one of the caves, turn off the engine, wait for the next tourist boat and scare them. Well, I think we easily succeed.
In the afternoon we continued to Argostoli, sailing with a strong fore wind for several hours.
4/8 Argostoli – Spartia (Cephalonia)
On Monday we said our goodbye to Mark, who left us here and together with new crew members Alice and Patrick we continued to beautiful bay close to Spartia on the south of Zakynthos. On our way we haven’t met much of wind, but we met a turtle at least and when arrived we enjoyed calm hour on a small beach nearby. It was first day of sailing for Alice, Dom’s mother and we all have to admit that she was brave and handled in perfectly like the rest of the week.
5/8 Spartia (Cephalonia) – Sami (Cephalonia)
On the next day we learnt that Luigi will have to leave us for a couple of days, so we headed to Sami, little town and main ferry harbour on eastern side of Cephalonia. We arrived quite late, so it was a bit difficult to find a place there. After some time and one daring maneuver better to not describe we happily found a place to stay just in front of a restaurant, where we took well deserved beer.
6/8 Sami (Cephalonia) – Kioni (Ithaca)
Without Luigi, we continued to Ithaca and stopped in a Kioni bay in the northeast of the island with lovely and picturesque village on a base of surrounding hills hidden in the bay. It showed up as a popular place to stay, especially with the wind up to 30kn at the open sea – in the evening, the bay was full of boats mooring at the city wall or anchoring like us. Because of the strong wind- up to 20-25kn inside the bay, we decided to lay a rope ashore to be sure not to get to close to neighboring boat. As we had a boundary length of scope laid and watched some poor guys for the whole afternoon struggling with lost anchor and trying to anchor after finding it, it was quite a sleepless night for Dominik. But the anchor held perfectly even in strong gusts finally.
7/8 Kioni (Ithaca) – Levkas
The next day we moved for a lunch to bay on Meganisi island and enjoyed a short swim. For night we returned to hospitable marina in Levkas, where we finally took good rest.
8/8 Levkas – O. Ay. Nikolaos
Through feared Levkas canal we shortened our way to O. Ay. Nikolaos (Agnali Skouliki) – another place we already visited on our way south, beautiful well sheltered bay with a small beach and a fresh water spring nearby.
9/8 Agnali Skouliki – Corfu
The next morning we enjoyed motoring along the coast to nearby Parga, where we entered the main harbour just for a quick sightseeing, and then headed north, back to Corfu. We arrived to Gouvia marina near the sunset. Me, Alice, Gabby and Patrick left Lotos here and Courtney, Jonathan and Matt joined Dom and Luigi for the passage to Croatia.
10/8 Corfu – free day
Some of us used the last day to visit Corfu, some to do their laundry or just relax and enjoy the day at a swimming pool. Dominik took again his role of a taxi driver anddrove us around the island, later in the evening took everybody from/to the airport to be ready to set off the next day.