Whilst in Ithaca I’d rung up the marina in Lefkas and ordered my replacement water pump from the Chandlery recommended by the Marina. I hadn’t been to Lefkas before so I thought this was my best course of action.
The guy from the Chanderly told me it would be there Friday definitely – Thursday maybe. The Greeks only go back to work on Wednesday after their Easter break so the chances of Thursday were pretty bleak; but we thought we would go in Thursday anyway so we would be there to pick it up Friday morning.
Lefkas is a big boating centre in Greece with lots of charter boats based there, and has lots of chandlerys, sailmakers etc. So we took the opportunity to run down our boat shopping/ chores list.
We had the choice of booking into the Lefkas Marina at 57 euro a night; or going stern to on the town wall for free. I always have trouble knocking back “free”. The water depth next to the wall is a bit shallow in places so we had to pick our spot, but otherwise it was great.
Contract Yacht Services (CYS) was the nearest chandlery, right opposite where we pulled up, so we started our shopping expedition there. It’s run by a couple of British expats, who are great to deal with – highly recommended if you are in that neck of the woods and like me wondering who to contact.
Unfortunately the guy I bought my pump off was a nice guy, but disorganised in a typically Greek sort of way. The pump didn’t arrive on Friday but he assured me it would arrive on Saturday. Come Saturday, no pump. He (supposedly) chased it up and told me it would definitely be there Monday. Bugger. We were planning to leave ASAP. So a quick rearrange of our plans and we hired a car to drive around Lefkas Island on Saturday afternoon before heading to the Meteoras on Sunday. But the Meteoras are a whole blog entry in itself so you will just have to wait for that part.
Returning from the Meteoras on Monday, I got the phonecall to say that my pump model number is not available in Greece. The Greeks never fail to surprise me. It’s a 40psi Jabsco and the advice he got back was that you need to buy the 25psi pump and then buy a 50 euro pressure switch that converts it to 40psi. So we rushed back to CYS and got the same story – this time in 10 minutes rather than 5 days. Another marine store that had lots of Jabsco pumps said the same thing. Onto Google for a bit more research and then back to my original guy to do a deal given he’d screwed us around. Needless to say I got my new 40psi pressure switch for 14 euros more.
But enough of my boring pump story, as we ended up having a really great time in Lefkas. The town itself is quite lively, with good bars and restaurants. These got a bit of a flogging as we kept running into yachties that we didn’t know, but soon got to know over a wine or five.
The first of these was Barry, who was a Kiwi who owns Sailing Holidays in Greece (and Croatia) and has run flotillas for the last 40 years around these here parts. One of those larger than life characters who had stories to tell and knowledge to impart. At the other end of the sailing experience scale was Johnny and Julia, who had just bought a boat and were embarking on their first great sailing adventure. Barry and I helped them perform their very first Med moor and we had a great night with them. Johnny is Johnny Morant, a young successful painter whose paintings are in a couple of London Galleries (check him out at http://www.johnnymorant.com). Johnny describes himself as a “Youtube sailor”, but has good common sense and wiliness to get out there and learn so they will be right.
After a hard nights drinking we were looking forward to an AFD, but that was never going to happen when 3 Perth sailors rolled up at the back of La Mischief.
Lefkas has some great beaches and it was good to get a car and go off exploring. Once again, we were stuck by just how green and lush the islands of the Ionian are. Maybe it’s the time of the year we are here. All the really good beaches of the Ionians seem to be on the Western Coasts and this was the case in Lefkas. We called into a few before we drove down to the south coast to Vasiliki, famous as a windsurfing destination. Then up along the East coast to Nidri, which looks across Vilko Bay, which is a large lagoon with boats anchored everywhere. In the corner of this large bay is another bay called Tranquil Bay. This place is super protected, with some yachts having wintered afloat here.
An afternoon of driving over, it was time to head back to La Mischief and prepare for an early morning start to the Meteoras.