Assos, Kephalonia

What a difference a week makes. Ever since the Admiral, Almut and Rainer departed and Rieke and Benno arrived, the weather has been "Admiral's weather"! Sunshine, warm, mellow breezes, not a swell or man eating wave in sight! It seems that even the water temperatures have been going up!

The Golf of Corinth isn't a great tourist attraction in the scheme of Greek attractions. That is not to say that it is unattractive. The high mountains of the Pelleponese are always in sight, the water is crystal clear and the towns are nice, albeit non-touristy. We anchored each night and not a ripple disturbed our sleep. The first harbor where we tied up was Galaxidi on the main land, a nice little town ideally situated to visit Delphi. Surprise, there was even an enterprising harbor mastress, who took our lines and collected 12.58 Euro from us for the night. In most harbors at this time of year there's nobody to collect anything.

Delphi was definitely worth a visit - or should I say a "hike." The site is very mountainous - hiking boots recommended! As ancient rubble goes in Greece, this one is very scenic and well preserved in parts. Although we did not see the oracle, we concluded this was one of our better culture days in Greece this year. Not to be missed!

After uneventful sail to Triziona island, another anchor stop, the next highlight was the Rion bridge. The bridge is the longest bridge in the world supported by cables - so it must be longer than the Golden Gate! We had a phantastic sail that day with a strong following breeze and flat water and ended up in Mesolongi. This is a place that looks a bit like the US East Coast in places - marsh land and fishing houses on stilts. Again, no touristic highlight but we're on our way to the Ionian. The handbook mentioned rats roaming the docks so we decided to anchor off. We didn't see any rats but had an excellent meal in a taverna in town.

The forecast for our sail to Kephalonia was good but the wind was weak. The Parasailor came out but the speed was still lacking. A shame because we had quite a bit of swell, obviously stemming from a fresh North Easterly breeze in the not too distant past. We found an anchor spot protected from the swell behind the SE corner of Kephalonia, in front of Paralia Kaminia Beach. It's always a bit risky to anchor overnight off the beach with little protection from the other sides of the compass rose, but this one worked out great. No swell, not wind piping up onshore in the middle of the night, just quiet. Next was Vathy on Ithaca, the alleged home of Odysseus. The problem with Ithaca is that much of the buildings were destroyed in the 1957 earthquake and the concrete architecture that was used in rebuilding is often not so quaint. So we decided against renting a car and trying to confirm the allegations. But we found Vathy still nice enough and had dinner in a good taverna, which would close for the season the next day!

Yesterday, the wind switched to the East, which made a visit to Assos possible. The little town is very quaint but according to the handbook not often visited by yachts since the bay and harbor are open to the prevailing Northerly winds. Well, when we arrived we were the only boat and could lower our anchor in the middle of the tiny harbor and take a long line to the short mole on the East side of the harbor. Perfect. Right under the Venitian fortress, which we expect to explore tomorrow - it's a mile hike up the hill. For now, a cool Fix in the shoreside taverna while overlooking the fortress and Kincsem, accompanied by some nice Greek music, are quite adequate to prepare for an afternoon snooze.


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