The last time the family came to stay on our boat we had four double-berth cabins so everyone could have a room to themselves. Matilda could go to bed earlier than everyone else and have all her important stuffed animals around her. Dali could stay in his cabin for many hours doing what teenage boys do (I’m not sure what that is but I appreciate his right to do it). And I could change into my swimsuit without frightening the children. This time the grown-ups got a cabin but the kids had to bunk down in the saloon together and we all slept within a few feet of each other. Lucky none of us have nits! It could have been a disaster but it turned out to be pretty good. Being British we all have stiff upper lips and made do with what we had. We were soon pretending we were the Walton’s and this was what we preferred.
The family aren’t sailors and are prone to a bit of sea-sickness but wanted to set off immediately and see as much as they could so we headed off early and had a four hour motor (needless to say) down to Petriti for our first stop. Previously we’ve always anchored in the bay and taken the dinghy into the town but, thanks to an Aussie couple we have recently met, found out about a little restaurant called Taverna Panorama set in a botanical garden just past the bay in Ormos Levkimmi. It has odd statues dotted round the garden and hammocks to lie in with lovely, colourful swathes of bougainvillea and hibiscus. It also, much to Matilda’s delight, had the usual selection of cats and kittens which she could feed with bits of meat from our plates (she is already a confirmed vegetarian at 5 years old and can’t understand why anyone could eat animals!
The following day saw us back in Lakka on Paxos. We anchored out the first night and then went on the town quay for two nights. We have never been on the quay before and we soon remembered why. The bar by us didn’t actually close at all. The last revellers left as the morning shift came in and started cleaning up. However it did mean that the family could walk along the path to an amazing beach whenever they wanted to and could go out for ice cream at all hours. Well worth the noise.
Our next stop was Mourtos. We’ve never stayed here either but had checked it out the previous week and it looked like a good stop. We anchored by Middle Bay and took the dinghy into town, a bit of a schlep especially coming back in the dark, but had a cracking meal in one of the tavernas set back from the touristy ones on the sea front. I had to have lamb as it was just being brought out of the wood-fired oven in the garden and smelt gorgeous (much to Matilda’s disgust!)
For our last night we decided to go back to Corfu Town where the kids could spend their holiday money on suitable touristy trash and tried to get into the free town quay. Unfortunately it was full and we ended up anchoring outside Poiath Yacht Club near the Venetian citadel. We had a great night wandering round Corfu and had another lovely meal of fresh spaghetti and octopus. We dinghied back to the boat around 11 pm just as a bit of breeze was coming up. By 2 am we were being thrown all over the place surrounded by thunder and lightening which lasted for the next 8 hours. The thunder was deafening and the lightening lit up the sky. The boat pitched forward and back, then side to side then tugged on the anchor chain making the boat lurch around. We all ended up staying up all night except for Matilda who pretty much slept through the lot. In the morning I crept down the side deck on my hands and knees to get the anchor up and we made a dash back to Gouvia Marina before the next predicted thunderstorm arrived. The German boat beside us did the same but found that his anchor was caught around his neighbour’s so ended up dumping his anchor and chain to go back and collect in calmer weather.
Their last day was supposed to be spent in the pool at Gouvia topping up their sun tans but we ended up sheltering from the heavy rain, playing cards and catching up on sleep. As Dali said – a bit like a caravan holiday in Skegness! We did get dinner delivered by motorbike from George’s though so they didn’t miss out on their last holiday gyros, slightly damp, but still probably the best gyros in Corfu!