Offshore Sailor

Leaving Levkas

Leaving Levkas


22nd of July 2012

We’ve escaped! Finally Shindig is ready to put to sea. After weeks of frustration the new bimini is finished, the fridge has a new evaporation plate and various other tasks have been completed. At exactly 1200 yesterday we fired up the engine, hauled up the anchor and slid serenely out of Vliho Bay.

For those that don’t know the area, Vliho Bay is located on the island of Levkas, about halfway down the Ionian Sea on the western coast of Greece. Among local sailors it’s known as Velcro Bay because it’s so difficult to tear yourself away.

And difficult it has been. Yes, there’s the allure of a genuinely enchanting place but, rather more prosaically, there’s also the infuriating business of getting work completed. They say that the Greek word avrio – meaning tomorrow – is like the Spanish mañana but without the latter’s sense of urgency. The bimini frame ordered last October still hadn’t materialised by June this year (beware the promises of Dimitri Soldatis) and there was also a ridiculous muddle over getting the canvas work done. In both instances we had to find alternative suppliers. (Thank you Adrian, thank you Mary.) As a marina boss explained, almost with pride, the Greek philosophy ‘was for life, not for business’ – perhaps the reason why this wonderful country is in such an atrocious economic mess.

But, all that’s astern. As I write this we’re anchored just 6 miles away in One Tree Bay – a delightful curve of sand notable for its two trees. Clearly, accountancy was never a Grecian strong point either.

With the boat tidied up, tomorrow we leave for Paxos, then Corfu, then westward out of Greek waters towards Sicily.


Andrew Simpson

Andrew is a writer, illustrator and editor - mainly in the field of recreational boating. In addition to several books he has been a monthly contributor to Britain's most popular boating magazine for over twenty years. Andrew and his wife Chele spend about six months of every year sailing. After some years in the Mediterranean, they are now in the Caribbean. If you enjoy his blogs please share them with your friends. Comments or questions are also welcomed.

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