Studying the weather told us we’d need to leave Kotor on Saturday afternoon, the 28th, to get to Gouvia in Corfu on Monday morning ahead of forecast southerly winds. Although we could clear Immigration from anchor we needed to have the watermaker looked at as well so headed for Gouvia Marina to do both.
But before leaving Montenegro we stopped off in Tivat to get 320 litres of duty free, €0.63 per litre, diesel. The customs procedures are rather ‘paper heavy’ and require a Ship’s Stamp, but who has one of those in today’s electronic age? So the fuel suppliers provide these for €40 each (nice tax free side line ….) and in effect we only saved about €100 on the fuel – but we now have an official Ship’s Stamp which I seriously though would be completely used up on the Customs forms!
Leaving Tivat at about 3pm we set off south at a leisurely 4.5 to 5 knots. The winds were supposed to be generally light southerly but were, in fact, non existent and southerly. At times our biggest challenge was identifying ship’s lights amongst the reflections of stars on the mirror-smooth sea.
We arrived as planned getting into Gouvia Marina at 8.30 am on Monday morning, the 30th. I then set off in search of Greek Officialdom. This usually involves a visit to the Port Police and then the Tax Office which are generally at opposite ends of town to each other. But the new Cruising Tax (€33 per month) can be paid on line and here it transpires that the Port Police Officer has set up a fantastic scheme with the Marina whereby they electronically pay the Tax Office and we pay the Marina. So, in all, an unexpectedly easy process for a change.
While in the Marina we had a technician come and look at the watermaker and he came up with another diagnosis which entails moving the sea water intake to a deeper part of the hull and installing a new air-lock removing sea water filter housing. This will need to be done over the winter when the boat is out of the water.
So after a one day stop over in Gouvia Marina we went off to anchor in Ormos Garitsas on Tuesady, 1 October. This is the bay immediately south of Corfu Town and the fortress and is also within 10 minutes walk of Corfu Airport.
It is a very picturesque place but the downside to Ormos Garitsas was the swell which came into the bay. What we hadn’t anticipated was that every wave in the Ionian ends up in Garitsas and then bounces off the shore. This, being a bay, the shore line is concave and seems to focus the waves like a lens giving an uncomfortable stay even in calm conditions.
We took the tender ashore on Wednesday to get some lunch from a burger bar that had been recommended to us and do some shopping. Back on board we moved to the far south of the bay to shelter from the expected southerly winds – which didn’t materialise.