With winter cabinetry projects very close to completion and 2018 Lugger Clara totally refurbished it’s time yet again to gather my Lugger fittings and equipment together for packing into the campervan for the drive over to the Greek Ionian. Along with our tent based awning, it is home for us and Bengy throughout the summer set along the shore of Vliho Bay facing East looking across to Geni where my rental apartments are based. For my Greek dog Bengy, now 5 and rescued from a boat yard when he was 4 months old, it's home for the summer, this in exchange for his winter place of work at my cabinetry making business at Tredegar, South Wales, is something of a contrast.
Last year we travelled via Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, a great trip but you need 10 days to enjoy the drive, time this year I did not have. So I came via Switzerland over the Alps and down into northern Italy, progressing down the eastern Adriatic coast to Ancona for the crossing to Igeomenitsa.
My first charter crew arrived on 9th June, Tony and Helen from Melbourne Australia. They had arrived at Athens at the beginning of the month and had an itinerary that took them to Delfi, on to the monasteries in northern Greece and ending at Preveza on 9th June, from where my taxi collected them, a great start to their holiday. Read more about their trip here.
Early June was a busy period, the weather improved daily reaching an average of 32°C. Out on the Wednesday Easy Jet flight the next arrivals were Nick and Anne Marks. Nick had owned a Lugger previously so was well versed in sailing them, but wanted Anne to become happier sailing in the much more favourable conditions than their home at Lyme Regis, as you will note from her Blog, and she certainly did this. For a few days they teamed up with Tony and Helen and sailed off together during the day. On the last-but-one evening I arranged a taxi for the 4 of them to visit the bar of ‘Concrete Bill up at Peolokatouna, an interesting bar to visit and then on for supper at Dimitri's Taverna just a short distance down the hill. It is always a great night, the food is wonderful and the views of the bay just breathtaking. Read what Anne says about their holiday here.
To prepare for the arrival of Richard and Cheri Crosley, Nick and Anne sailed the Lugger down to Frikes on Ithaca. I followed in the Rib Warrior Spirit, my 1969-built ex RNLI Atlantic 21 B Class Inshore Rescue boat, which you can read about here. We travelled back to Nidri very quickly with Nick at the helm. Nick has an association with the RNLI base at Lyme Regis and was interested in this elderly Atlantic Class Rescue boat.
Richard and Cheri Crosley were my guests last summer and decided for this year to team up with Gordon and Francis MacDonald for 2 weeks based down south at Frikes on Ithaca. However, very sadly for Gordon and Frances, their son in law died very suddenly at the beginning of May so they were forced to cancel their holiday. For Richard and Cheri their holiday started with an overnight apartment at the Gialos Apartments on Geni followed by a rib transfer to Frikes the following morning, arriving in time for breakfast at The Frikes Bay Suite, courtesy of Peter, what a great introduction to Frikes Bay.
During June I have been giving Lugger Jojo a full underside hull renovation. She is one of my most well-used boats and hence has suffered a lot of wear and tear. It started in 2017 with the replacement of the Iroko keel band and beach rails, all done in the boat yard without a hoist or lifting gear, just lots of cursing and regular infusions of Mythos beer to see the job done. This refurb process will be detailed in my Mid-Summer Report.