Three Sheets to the Wind, Ionian Sail Greece 2013, was the great sailing adventure of the summer with 29 people on 6 yachts! We all met at the small port in Vlicho Bay on the island of Lefkada, most traveled together from Athens. All yachts were Bavarias, very new and in great shape. The sizes of the yachts ranged from 38’ to 46’ as well as, the sizes of families and friends on board each boat. We had the most room with only three of us on a 40’. The Powers group filled their 46’ with 8 people, all family. The Georgantas, Pappas and Techmanskis had only family on their yachts. The Snyders and Sims shared their yacht with the only professional skipper for the whole group,Pavel. All of us without a professional skipper had sailing experience and the needed certificates… some more experienced than others. Pavel really did a great job guiding and helping all 29 of us.
Sailing the Ionian Sea
Our first day was a relaxing way to get our “sea legs”, with an easy sail around the bay out into more open water and over to Spartohori. We all joined up for dinner and exchanged a few stories about the stay in Athens. Day two, we were off to Fiskardo. a small fishing village on the island of Kefalonia for an exciting sail with a bit of wind. It was great fun racing other yachts. It was easy to spot our group as Di with Sail Ionian, thoughtfully had American flags for each of us to sail under. It was fun because the only American flags she could find were much larger than what you normally see on the mast. When we tied up as a group it was impressive… six yachts with American flags and 30 people is not something you normally see in Greece. When we arrived into the bay of Fiskardo we needed to “long- line” the yachts to anchor. The town was nice to explore, good food at night and a large cave to explore the next day. That afternoon we sailed to Kioni , a very picturesque village on the island of Ithaca, where we were on the lookout for three wind mills that marked the entrance to the bay where we would spend the night. We tied the yachts together again and enjoyed cocktails on our deck before heading out to dinner. The group of 30 “sailors” had become “fast friends”.
July 3rd we head out on a short sail to “One House Bay” on Atokos Island (a 6 mile sail) we swim and have lunch on shore. I swam out from the group sitting on the beach and looked back at their happy faces… it made me proud that we took the time to organize the trip as most of the families in our group had never been to Greece before… now they all were tan and relaxed sitting on a beautiful beach with the clear blue waters of the Ionian sea at their feet. After lunch, we pushed off to Kalamos Island, a 10 mile sail into a small harbor. We had dinner at George’s Restaurant as a group. We seem to push off late in the morning and not leave until around 11:00 or sometimes even noon… I guess it must have something to do with the very late nights we have on shore. We head for Ormos Variko a less populated section of the mainland, stopping on the north side of Kalamos to swim and have lunch. Most days of sailing were spent racing other yachts and practicing maneuvers, the butterfly and other show-off tacks… just for the record our yacht “Shortbread” was always victorious in racing. I know others might tell a different story but our pirate flag (hung just under US flag) was always first.
Knowing that 29 Americans would want to celebrate the 4th of July, I arranged with Di to have a beach party. We had a great time on a private beach, with BBQ (American and Greek), fireworks and a DJ with energetic dance music! All was brought in and set up for us. The next morning started late for most but I remember watching the sunrise and how beautiful the boats all looked, so peaceful, not like the night before when the wind had kicked up and the yachts seemed impossible to anchor.
We had an easy sail to Vathi, Meganisi but a crazy time to tie up the boats in the small harbor. We enjoy drinks on our yacht again before we head out to dinner as a group. We are all very tan and feeling like real sailors as we miss real showers and some would like blow dryers.
The week of sailing is slowly coming to an end but not without the long awaited Dinghy Race… let’s just say there was a lot of “smack” being talked about which yacht had the best crew… So, it was time to find out, once and for all. The Dinghy Race would take place off the island of Scorpios on the beach where the famous Jackie O had swam many times before. I call the beach “Jackie’s beach”. The rules for the race were simple. 1. Everyone from your boat had to be inside the dinghy (the Powers had 8 people) 2. No motors, only man (or woman) power 3. No other rules! It was really fun as people started to dress in their best pirate attire and war paint… When the race started, all rules went away and every dinghy was out to win… again, we won! After the race and a great afternoon sail with strong winds we all headed back to Vlicho Bay where we would spend our last night of a great week of sailing. We would wake to part 3 of our great adventure.