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Thursday, November 22, 2018

ENVOY CONTINUES CRUISING NEAR CORFU


Photos are to be added in next few days.
Envoy is now safely tucked away under her storage cover in the Lefkas Marina while we have just arrived home in Auckland, NZ last week.
Our last Blog posting detailed Envoy's sale. Now we're going to backtrack to mid September.
I forgot to mention previously that since our exhaust system was reconditioned an exhaust vibration that we previously noticed at low rpm has gone, making for a much nicer exhaust sound right through the whole rpm range.

With our friend Chris still aboard we leave Gouvia marina in great weather and anchor in Kalami, made famous by being home to the English Durell family of authors in the 1930s and now featured in a popular British television series – The Durrells. The water here is perfectly clean and clear, ideal for a proper test of our newly repaired water maker and it works fine making about 90 litres an hour of pure fresh water, although we find there's a very slight (250 ml per hour) sea water leak in the line – subsequently fixed.
Just a few hundred metres away is a bay called Agri where there are several excellent restaurants and next day we motor over there in our large RHIB for a stunning seafood lunch.
Next we cruise close to Albanian waters using just our Yanmar wing engine and anchor off the northern Greek coastal village of Sayiadha. The wing engine with its feathering Maxprop is designed as an emergency propulsion system providing about four knots, but it's a good idea to use it regularly. Later we go ashore for a walk and and a cold beer.
Alone at anchor the next morning a Greek CoastGuard inflatable comes alongside and one of the crew politely asks to check our papers. We're not stressed by this being confident that our documents are in order and the CoastGuard soon confirm this and leave us in peace once again.

Another coastal village further south called Myrtos is one of our favourites. Apart from having a choice of several great anchorages set along the coast and nearby islands there's a bakery that sells fantastic cakes, my own favourite being chocolate cake while Di's is lemon. We spend several nights anchored here until the weather forecast advises of a gale warning up to Force 8. 
This prompts us to move to a very sheltered anchorage called Igoumenitsa Creek, where few boats go and there's plenty of swinging room. Although there are very strong winds offshore the gale doesn't arrive at our location and the strongest winds we experience are gusts in the mid 20 knots. 
Soon the forecast is upgraded to Force 10 winds in some areas, although fortunately not ours. 
Winds this strong (a full-blown storm with winds of 55 knots and possibly reaching about 80 knots) is something we've never heard of previously during our Med cruising. The proximity of this bad weather causes a massive temperature drop to the low 20s and the sea also drops from around 27d C to around 23 in a matter of a few days, making swimming a little bit cooler.
All too soon Chris's time with us comes to an end and we take him across to Corfu to catch a flight to Dubai. Chris has spent more time with us aboard Envoy than anyone and as always we're appreciative of Chris's excellent company and assistance with various projects.
After that we spend a few days around the northern part of Corfu – Ormos Ay Stefanou, Avalaki and Immerolia where a 48ft Selene brand trawler-style vessel called Pionero in similar colours to Envoy anchors alongside with its Dutch owners. 
The Selene range has been a very successful range of Nordhavn look-alikes.
In a bay called Ormos Ay Stefanou a 57ft German yacht anchors right in front of us, much too close for our peace of mind with its stern only about two metres from our bow. I ask them to move, which they do, but still anchor rather close off our port quarter. Other boats anchoring unnecessarily close is certainly an issue and because sailing yachts behave and swing differently to power boats at anchor this can cause problems.
Next posting Envoy heads south.

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