We reached south end – news on our planned route
During the last weeks, we slowly worked our way from Preveza south to reach Zakynthos. The route was:
We anchored on Meganisi in “Elia Bay” in walking distance to the nice fishing village Vathi. In Mytika, we anchored next to the city and we continued to Kalamos (with a day stop in a nice pine tree forest at a bay in Kalamos). We stayed there for a few days as the winds were quite strong and continued onwards to Kastos. So called “wasp bay” was literally full of them. We were told that lighting greek coffee should help but it did not – maybe because we had to use Italian coffee? Quite funny was the herds of goats (about 100 animals) finding their way across the bay at sunset. Same thing the other way around in the morning…
Next stop was Ithaka, known from Homer’s Odyssey. Due to the heavy katabatic winds, we left after three days without seeing much of the island. We had sudden gusts up to 35 knots at sunset and being tied with landlines a slipping anchor. The reason might have been the flotilla of 10 boats anchoring close to us and trying to get their anchor holding again and again and again… They might have catched our anchor and digged it out. Back in Vathi with good holding but very loud clubbing music all night all in all, not so nice memories of Ithaka.
So we sailed to Kefalonia which we both enjoyed quite a lot. The first night, we anchored in the wonderful “White stone beach bay”. We could see plenty of turtle nests on the beach. We did not see a hatching yet though. In the main city, Argostoli, there are three options: At anchor in the harbour bay (very secure), the city pier or an abandoned marina. We chose to stay at anchor. Argostoli harbour is famous for the Caretta turtles, which you will see 100% as they swim right at the pier where the fishermen clean the catch of the day. We stayed a few nights at anchor and saw plenty of other turtles around our boat. So many in fact, that we had to be careful not to run over them with the dingi.
The city features some good supermarkets, butcheries and plenty of other shops. Also, there are nice cafés, bakeries and everything you might fancy as a cruiser. A wine tasting at Gentilini vineyard turned out to be a nice treat for us. The wine is made from local grapes only growing on Kefalonia.
We also enjoyed a short trip up the long bay north of the city. We were at anchor as only one of three boats in the bay and could see some sea lions early in the morning when the water was still mirror like. But once again, we also noticed the dark side of water sports: Two dead turtles drifting by, obviously being hit by a propeller as you could see by the injuries and markings on their shell.
Despite tourism being not as big as on other islands, we failed to rent moto, ATV or car on Kefalonia. All sold out for weeks. We were apparently late in the game and should have made a reservation earlier.
However, our next stop, Zakynthos gave us the chance to explore the island by moto. It is the third biggest of the Ionian islands and we made a roundtrip around the whole island. However, we had to turn around at crowded beaches and some streets due to wildfire danger. Unfortunately this also included the famous “Shipwrek beach”, so we have to see that one by sea side.
Zakyntos is quite popular among tourists, right after Kefalonia and Korfu. We could witness the fight for the best seats at the pool each morning (from our prime spot at anchor!), we had again a hard time getting a moto without reservation and the beaches were really crowded and streets filled with parking cars. There is even a party area with night clubs, music, clubbing like dress code, neonsigns etc. resembling little Las Vegas.
Zakynthos is the south end of our route for this season. We have changed our plans and will not cross the Atlantis this year but stay another season in the med instead. This will give us the chance to see the Peloponnes and maybe (it is closed right now due to repairs) see the canal of Korinth. There is also a long list of refit tasks for the winter. We hope that Covid restrictions are being relaxed next year so that cruising in the Caribbean is easier again.