GREEK IONIAN 2002

 

 

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A comment has been made upon every harbour and anchorage in which we stayed.  Those entries that include a correction to the pilot are marked with a sidebar.  The page numbers given in brackets following the heading for each entry refer to the following Pilot:

 

Greek Waters Pilot 8th Edition by Rod Heikell published by Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson in 2001.

 

 

Port Erikoussa, Nisos Erikoussa (page 45)  39º 52'.6N  19º 34'.8E  June 2002.  We anchored off the beach half way between the ferry quay and the church in 6m at the end of a 192-mile passage from Dubrovnik.  An excellent bay for the purpose.  The wind offshore was NW6 but the bay was completely calm and the approach was easy.   We did not go ashore.

Ormos Gouvion, Corfu  (page 51) There is a well used anchorage in the approach to Ormos Gouvion that is not mentioned in the pilot.  It is off the Hotel tucked behind Akra Kommeno in position 39º 40'.0N  19º 51'.6E.  We spent several nights there anchored in 8 to 10 metres.  Holding is good provided you can cut through the thick weed.  It is open S/SE but well protected from the prevailing NW wind.  There is some disturbance from wash from vessels entering and leaving the marina.  There is a further fair weather/lunch time anchorage off Nisos Gouvinon 1.4n.m. SE of Akra Kommeno.  The water there is particularly clear.

Gouvia Marina, Corfu (page 51)  39º 39'.0N  19º 51'.4E  This is our chosen place to lay-up for the winter of 2002/03.  We shall report on our experience in Spring 2003.

Lakka, Nisos Paxos (page 57)  39º 14'.6N  20º 07'.8E  We arrived in strong NW winds and the anchorage was rolly.  We anchored and tied back to the quay in one remaining space in the NNE corner of the harbour.  It was shallow (1.9 m) but well protected.  We enjoyed a superb walk on the headland above the harbour.

Mongonisi, Nisos Paxos (page 60)  39º 11'.0N  20º 12'.5E  We anchored in the centre of this tiny bay and tied back to the quay on the SE corner.  It is shallow (< 2 m) and there is a sunken yacht close by.  The quay on the NE side is low and rough and rock bound.  Beware!

Ormiskos Valtou (Igoumenitsa Creek) (page 62)  39º 31'.3N  20º 11'.0E  We anchored in 5m in the third bay (most easterly) at the head of the creek tucked well behind the protective headland.  This is a superb anchorage in a beautiful rural setting.  Holding is excellent and protection from the sea is 100%.  There are no facilities ashore but there are some interesting walks.  The water carries a heavy burden of silt so it is far from clear.  Some boats anchored in the second bay: it is less well protected and much deeper.  There is a fish farm in the first bay.

End Bay, Mourtos (page 65)  39º 24'.0N  20º 14'.3E  We spent a pleasant night in this well-protected bay bows to our anchor, stern to the rocks on the northern side.

Ormos Ayiou Ioannou (page 67)  39º 16'.7N  20º 27'.9E  The Mussel Beds in the bay towards the head of the bay on the western side have been removed.  We spent a comfortable night moored bows to our anchor, stern to the rocks on the southern side.

Preveza (page 67)  38º 57'.4N  20º 45'.3E  We spent one night moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay close to the symbol for the Information Office.  There was no charge and we were not visited by the Port Police.  Good quality water is available on the quay for no charge, a rarity in Greece.  There are some non-functional electric points.  There is a good supermarket on the road running west just north of the compass rose on the plan.  There are many other shops, banks, ATM’s and several Internet Cafés.

Unfortunately, in addition to these assets, the Town Quay is also smelly, noisy and plagued by scooters and cars that hare along the promenade ignoring the ‘no vehicles’ signs.  On subsequent visits we made fast a little further south near the 7-metre sounding where mooring alongside seems to be the norm.  We stayed for a couple of hours to shop and take on water, using taps installed in the flower beds as part of the irrigation system, before departing to Ormos Ay Markou for the night.

We visited Preveza Marina on foot and were not impressed.  The quays are complete but there are no laid moorings and the water and electricity have not yet been connected although water can be obtained with a very long hose.  There is no management and, consequently, no charge unless the Port Police happen to visit and send you along to their office.  The quays are rapidly filling up with long-term live-aboard boats rafted up alongside one another.  When we were there the land to the east of the quays was occupied by a number of disreputable broken-down lorries, containers and caravans.  We would not have wished to stay there.

The tunnel to Aktion is now open and the ferry has been reduced to a daytime skeleton service.  Access between the three yards on the Aktion side and Preveza Town has thus been severely curtailed.

Ormos Ay Markou, Gulf of Amvrakia (page 70)  38º 56'.2N  20º 52'.0E  We spent many nights in this delightful anchorage.  Holding is excellent but the bay is 12m to 13m deep over most of its area necessitating plenty of chain.  We found no evidence of debris from the old mussel farm.  As with Igoumenitsa Creek, the water carries a heavy burden of silt and is far from clear.  However, this was more than made up for by regular visits by turtles and by the twice-daily herding of goats around the bay.

Ormos Koprainia, Gulf of Amvrakia (page 72)  39º 02'.2N  21º 04'.7E  We spent a night in this exposed anchorage in the NW corner of Ormos Koprainia just south of a tiny harbour that is not shown either on the chart or in the pilot.  We anchored in 6.5m - good holding.  We saw pelicans in the lagoon to the north of the anchorage and turtles swam around our dinghy when we returned.

Levkas Marina, Nisos Levkas (page 77)  38º 50'.0N  20º 42'.8E  We spent one night in the marina as we were considering over-wintering there: we decided against it!  The quays and services are all in place and a charge is now made.  However, at the time of our visit, earth-moving works were continuing on the area to be used as hard standing, the travel hoist had not been delivered and the fuel berth had not opened.  Altogether the whole place still felt rather desolate, particularly in the stout afternoon sea breeze that accelerates through the gap between Levkas and the mainland.

Ormos Vlikho, Nisos Levkas (page 81)  38º 41'.2N  20º 42'.5E  This superb anchorage is the saving grace of the Inland Sea.  It is fully protected from all wind directions, it is relatively shallow (5m to 6m) over its entire area, holding is excellent and there is enough room for all comers.  It should be marked on every cruising sailor’s chart of the area as the place to head if the weather turns foul.  On top of that, the surrounding scenery is stunning and nearby Nidri has everything one could wish for, chandlery included.  The only fly in the ointment is that its landlocked geography produces a trap for jellyfish, some of which grow to huge dimensions, and somewhat murky water.  Many people anchor in Tranquil Bay or in the centre of the channel into Ormos Vlikho in order to be closer to Nidri.  If you are happy in a crowd with 10 metres between you and your neighbour that’s fine, otherwise, keep on going into Ormos Vlikho.  We made a couple of trips to Nidri Town Quay where we moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay for long enough to go shopping.  It is a good place to stock up as there are several close supermarkets dedicated to supplying yachts.

Ormos Sivota, Nisos Levkas (page 81)  38º 36'.9N  20º 41'.5E  The chartlet on page 82 of the Pilot is substantially wrong:  try matching it up to the photograph!  There is a 2 cable stretch of water southeast of the pool which is simply not shown.  We anchored in the middle of the bay and dragged during a violent squall, along with all but one of the many other yachts anchored there.  We all motored in procession for an hour around the section of water not shown on the chartlet until the storm passed over and then re-anchored in a flat calm.  The bay is pretty and well protected but holding is clearly not perfect!

Ormos Kapali, Nisos Meganisi (page 85)  We anchored in the SW corner of the SE arm tied back to the shore.  A delightful bay far better sheltered than it appears to be on the chart.

Port Atheni, Nisos Meganisi (page 86)  We anchored in the more southerly of the two bays on the SE side of the main inlet just north of the Taverna.  We tied back to the shore.  This delightful bay is totally protected from the sea but there is only really room for one or two yachts.  We enjoyed an interesting walk to the village on top of the hill.

Ormos Vathi, Nisos Ithaca (page 90)  38º 22'.2N  20º 42'.8E  The Fuel Station here has been closed down following a fatal fire in 2001.  We spent a night moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay in the new harbour in the NE corner which has still not been completed.  An old man in a three-wheeled truck brought us fuel by can at a greatly inflated price but it was better than carrying it!  Water is not available.  A well protected free mooring but noisy at night from motorbikes.

Fiskardho, Nisos Cephalonia (page 97)  38º 27'.5N  20º 34'.9E  We moored bows to our anchor, stern to the north shore just below the Hotel as the quays were all full.  A pleasant harbour though our berth was exposed to the SE.  Get in early if you head this way!

Ay Eufimia, Nisos Cephalonia (page 99)  38º 18'.2N  20º 36'.1E  We moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay in the well-protected NE corner of this pretty harbour.  On our second night there (Monday) it filled to bursting point with charter yachts.  Sunsail have a base there and Tuesday is changeover day.  The plus side of this invasion was the Sunsail mini fuel tanker from which we filled our tanks at a reasonable price.

Poros, Nisos Cephalonia (page 100)  38º 09'.0N  20º 46'.9E  We moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay in the most south easterly of the positions shown on the chartlet.  This is a ferry port and the Port Police do visit yachts and send their owners to their office to present their papers and pay their absurdly low port fees.  However, the office is very close, the Police stamp you in and out in one visit and there is free water on the quay.  We walked to the nearby resort of Poros and through the spectacular gorge behind it.  A very worthwhile trip leading to the normally-unseen interior of the island.

Port Leone, Nisos Kalamos (page 105)  38º 36'.0N  20º 53'.4E  An absolute delight – one of the gems of the Ionian!  We anchored in the SE corner of the bay and tied back to the shore due to the number of other yachts.  The SE corner is much better protected than it appears from the chart and is completely protected from the sea.  We went for a most interesting walk ashore and explored the deserted village.

Nisis Kastos (page 106)  We attempted to enter Port Kastos (page 105) but it was full to overflowing.  We then attempted to anchor outside the harbour but holding was poor.  We eventually anchored for the night in the un-named bay on the SE corner of Nisis Kastos that is third in the list of anchorages on page 106 of the Pilot.  We were struggling with a very gusty NW wind and could not free anchor due to the depth and limited swinging room.  We eventually anchored and tied back to both shores at the head of the bay.

Port Pandeleimon (page 107)  38º 28'.5N  21º 05'.0E  Not a port at all but a deserted bay with multiple arms.  We anchored in the SW corner of the S arm behind a fish farm and tied back to the shore as swinging room is limited.  A delightful, well protected bay.

Limin Petala (page 108)  38º 23'.7N  21º 06'.1E  This deserted anchorage tucked behind Ak Aspro on the mainland coast is one of the few all-weather, fully-protected anchorages in the area.  The bay is shallow (we anchored in 2.6 m) but the holding is superb in thick alluvial silt.  Like the headland’s namesake, we found it good for the headaches created by the noise and bustle of Zakinthos!

Ormos Ay Nikolaos, Nisos Zakinthos (page 109)  37º 54'.5N  20º 42'.8E  We arrived expecting an anchorage only to discover yet another new harbour, unfinished of course!  Much of the SW corner of the bay has been filled in and concreted over to form a new ferry port and ‘marina.’  A short protective wall has been built running NNW from the corner of N. Ay Nikolaos but the harbour is still exposed to the ENE.  We were ‘directed’ to tie alongside below the petrol station by a helpful local.  He turned out to be the proprietor of the petrol station whose mother ran the nearby restaurant and whose brother ran the local tour boats.  Who said local enterprise was dead!  There were no Port Police and there was no charge for the night.

Port Zakinthos (page 109)  37º 46'.9N  20º 54'.4E  We moored bows to our anchor, stern to the quay in the NE corner of the harbour.  We managed to water ship (€5) and do some shopping but we did not enjoy our stay in this noisy, dirty harbour.  The anchorage shown in the pilot in the SW corner may be tenable by those with a death wish but as it is on the edge of the turning circle for the procession of huge ferries that use that side of the harbour we did not consider it to be safe.  The new marina to the south of the main harbour has not been finished and cannot yet be used by yachts.

Ormos Keri, Nisos Zakinthos (page 112)  37º 41'.0N  20º 50'.2E  We spent several nights anchored in this delightful bay, the only corner of the huge bay on the south of Nisos Zakinthos where anchoring is permitted, the remainder being a Marine Reserve.  The bay is open to the SE but well protected from the prevailing NW wind.

Katakolo  (page 117)  37º 38'.7N  21º 19'.1E  The breakwater for the new inner basin shown in dotted lines on the chartlet on page 118 of the Pilot has been completed and pontoons for local boats have been installed.  As usual, the new basin has not yet been commissioned and the water and electric points have not been connected.  However, yachts can moor alongside the inner face of the new breakwater where they are completely protected in all weathers.  We stayed for two nights in order to visit Olympia.  As we were going out for the day we checked in with the Port Police (a long walk) but few of the other yachts bothered.  We followed the instructions in the box-out on page 119 of the pilot and visited Olympia by bus.  Unfortunately it was a Sunday and there were few buses so we had several long waits.  It is a very worthwhile trip, but do try to do it mid-week!