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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

BROTHER CHARLES VISITS ENVOY

Envoy is in Lefkas Marina for the northern hemisphere winter and we're in London with our daughter Amy en route to New Zealand and home.

Back to early October and my brother Charles joins us at Corfu for his first visit to Envoy. It was Charles who first introduced us to Med cruising when we spent some time aboard his 34ft sailing yacht in Turkey. He'd sailed it from Australia with his now-wife Marie and after several years in the Med continued on to the far north-east of Scotland where they now lives and he works as Harbour Master in Lossiemouth, near Elgin. It was during our time with Charles and Marie that we decided to buy our own Med-based boat. Look what they started!

Still anchored off Corfu town we meet New Zealanders Alan and Tina from the yacht, Whisper. They're the first NZers we've met this season and it turns out they know our NZ friends Bruce and Leslie from the catamaran, Midi.

Di, Tina, Allan and Laurie in Envoy's cockpit, Corfu

Visiting Malta has been on our minds for a while and Alan and Tina provide us with some more information about this interesting destination, making it a definite possibility for next year.

Checking my emails one morning I see an official-looking one mentioning the US Navy and my first thought is that I'm getting a telling off for including a photo in our Blog of a USN ship moored in Crete's Soudha Bay.

Here's that photo again

On reading the email though I'm delighted to find that it's from a very senior officer of the USN's 6th Fleet, Destroyer Squadron 60 saying that he's very happy to see “one of my ships, USS Ross, appear in the Blog”. The officer and I have since had several exchanges of emails and it turns out that he has an interest in Nordhavns and follows our Blog. We're even talking about possibly meeting up next year in Italy where he's based - Diane and I haven't exactly decided which of two cruising plans we're going to adopt next year but both include Italy.

We spend a couple of nights of perfect tranquility anchored at Mourtos until the weather forecast predicts southerly winds over 30 knots with heavy rain, quickly turning to northerly winds over 30 knots. This is the kind of forecast it's hard to find shelter from, but nearby Igoumenitsa Creek is perfect so we head there to anchor in a depth of about 14 metres (a bit deeper than we prefer) laying out 60 metres of chain. The bottom is mud and Envoy has a heavy (40kg) Delta anchor plus 3/8 inch chain and we rarely drag with this much chain out.
There's plenty of thunder and spectacular lightning plus a choppy sea whipped up by over 40 knot gusts, but we're perfectly safe.

Balmy evening in our anchorage before the storm

Wind-driven chop in Igoumenitsa Creek


Laurie and Charles at Koulara

Koulara Harbour

Charles leaves us at Corfu's Gouvia Marina where we visit to get a few maintenance jobs done (details in next posting). Meanwhile summer seems to have come to a sudden end and we have several days below 20d with heavy showers and thunderstorms.

In Gouvia we meet some other New Zealanders – Trevor Giles from catamaran Kiwi and Chris and Michelle from yacht Endless Summer.
An Australian yacht Pablo Neruda berths next to us, formerly owned by Melbourne-based Rob and Kerry, who we met through recent visitors Simon and Bronwyn and who gave us a lot of cruising advice before we started in the Med.