With our watermaker miraculously working and my €50 salvage fee burning a hole in my pocket we were at a bit of a loose end for a few days, so we decided to go to Port Mandraki, the small yacht club marina directly below the ‘old fort’ in Corfu.
It was suprisingly un crowded and we were put on the outer harbour ‘wall’. I use inverted commas because as harbour walls go it is pretty insignificant. It is between 1 and 2 metres high and about 3 metres wide, made of rock with a haphazard concrete pathway along the top. These rocks extend out underwater in the marina and so we had to go bows onto the wall. Our draught at the bows is about 20 cm and so there is no chance of catching anything that way round. But that also meant we couldn’t use our gangway without some major seamanship being undertaken, so we used the marina’s plank, a 4 metre wooden scaffold board about 30 cm wide. A disincentive to enjoying the local wine with ones lunch!
Once tied up and we’d negotiated the gangplank a few times hooking up the electricity and water we set off into town to explore. The marina is right inside the old fort. This is of Venetian vintage and as an added layer of defence they also cut a channel across the head land on which the fort is built to form a moat; the marina is on the fort side of that feature. Walking through the Venetian Fort we rather incongruously found ourselves in a what could easily have been mistaken for a street in the Woolwich Arsenal! Information signs then informed us that Corfu had been a British Protectorate from 1815 to 1864. Corfu has a long and involved history and has been conquered, occupied or administered by virtually everybody at one time or another.
Making our way out of the fort we headed into Corfu Town. On first impressions we could easily have been in Italy, and, as towns go, it was very pleasant to wander around. We had lunch and even went to visit the Museum of Oriental Art.
That took up Friday afternoon and Saturday. On Sunday morning, checking the weather, we suddenly found that 4 of our 5 forecasts said we’d have two days of settled weather from Sunday to Tuesday, none of those 4 actually agreed on how settled, what the wind direction might be or whether it would rain but we decided to go for it. Our passage to Roccella was 200 miles, or 40 hours, if we left on Sunday afternoon, we’d arrive on Tuesday morning. If we didn’t go on Sunday we’d likely be hanging around Corfu for the next week!
So we moved berths to get closer the the fuel pump, went shopping, took on diesel and were all set to go by 4 pm on Sunday afternoon!