About the Author Continued...
Thus, in June of that year, myself and friend found ourselves for the first time ever in Corfu, being met by Bertie at the Airport. He took us down to the Old Port and there at the outer mole was moored Twilight a 1904 built Falmouth Quay Punt converted into a yacht before original completion. Gaff rigged yawl with a long bowsprit; the mizzen mast set right on the transom with a bumpkin over the stern. These boats were originally used at Falmouth to race out and meet the incoming liners, the first one on target would get the chance (and the money) to sail the mails ashore plus any very impatient passengers. Thus, by being put on the train, they and the mails would get to London 2 days ahead of the ship.
Very rugged, quite heavy and deep keeled, they were excellent seaboats and Bertie an excellent Skipper. He kept a very tight ship and heaven-help anyone who stepped outside his (written - two foolscap pages) rules. We crewed free but were expected to pay for our and his food, excepting only the tinned and bottled stuff he brought hidden in the bilges (Duty Free!)
We sailed after breakfast the next morning, north along the E coast of Corfu, as far as Ipsos and Kalami, mooring at anchor one night at each, where there were Tavernas within rubber-dinghy-rowing distance.
Then across to Sivota on the Greek mainland, then back to Voukari (Corfu) where we moored alongside and watched the all-night fishing fleet set sail. Next day across to the mainland again - Parga and another night on a mooring, behind the little island off the town.
Then across to Paxos, one night moored by the Old School in Lakka Bay followed by two nights, stern-on, at Gaios.
Early morning start, with breakfast and a swim off Anti-Paxos, then the long haul down to Preveza. One night on the quay there and a top-up of the Calor gas tank, then to Lafkada. Two nights (I think) stern-on there, then off down the canal (sailing, would you believe?) and out into the Kolpos to a beautiful, hidden mooring in Vathi Vali Bay. Afterwards we visited Nidri then Sivota on Lefkas (the prettiest harbour ever!), Kefalonia and eventually Ithaca. After three splendid weeks, we caught the overnight ferry from Vathi back to Corfu.
That was my introduction to the Ionian and of
all the places visited, the one firmest in my memory, was Lakka.
Not all that long before I retired, after a stormy interlude with the lady friend who sailed with me and Bertie, I was taken ill with a number of problems in succession, only to be rescued by Elizabeth (whom I had known for years, even worked with at two separate locations - My original marriage had broken-up in 1978). Liz and I married in 1985 and had our honeymoon where else but in Lakka. Elizabeth took to it, and we've been every year since, usually in the Spring, but occasionally in the Autumn.
Copyright © Ian K Bleasdale. Revisied 09/02/2012 Site best viewed in Internet Explorer.