"Yip, a grand and successful family holiday, Phil. It ticked all the boxes for us."
From our late evening arrival at Geni Garden, the Family Apartment was just outstanding. We sat on the balcony to catch our breath, a cold beer in hand which Phil had waiting in the fridge, looking over the bay still active with boats arriving and departing. This was going to be our ‘backdrop’ view for the coming week: what a way to commence this adventure for our kids Gabe and Becki.
Our first morning was a leisurely start. Phil had organised a breakfast with Poldi in their outside garden dining area, and for our remaining mornings we would visit the bakery by Lugger and collect bread and pastries for a breakfast on our balcony, which gave the kids an extra hour or so in bed.
Now to the start of the sailing stuff and getting to know Paxi. Whilst I have a lot of experience in bigger boats, the Lugger is a more Traditional Rig, loose footed mainsail and lots of bits of string for the kids to pull. After a comprehensive introduction to the boat we ventured off the pontoon and out into Vliho Bay, quickly to realise and understand her qualities as a very safe, stable, easy to manage craft and great fun to sail to boot!
Vliho Bay is such an ideal area to sail with kids, there are no tides, the winds blows either from the north or the south and with the outboard engine running you are no more than 10 minutes from the shore. We soon got the hang of Paxi, the kids had their various jobs to perform. Gabe was exceptionally quick to jump on the tiller of the outboard, as boys do and soon became a very adept crew member. However for Becki she took the view of “letting the boys play” after all it was “Dads new toy”. For her it was to be first on the swimming ladder and overboard for a swim.
With this intro over it was time to break out of Vliho Bay, rounding the Geni Peninsula, leaving Agio Ekklisis Church to starboard and heading for the island of Skorpios, this renowned as the one time residence of Jacqui Kennedy, lately Onassis. I couldn’t help wondering of the life she once led, her little Idaho Cyclades style house on the southern tip of the island, looking across at Meganissi and far south towards Kephalonia.
The Bimini Phil provided was superb and made crossings with it up just great with just Jib and Mizen out. Our reliable pal,the outboard deployed we covered good ground, stopping in coves and bays to swim, snorkel and have picnic lunches.
A highlight of the week for Gabe and Ceiran was the mountain bike trail ride with Simon at Get Active on the Wednesday late afternoon. It proved to have surpassed their expectations; the bikes were good quality, well maintained and the trails were appropriately graded, my thanks to Get Active for that.
Now it was time for me to collect them from Nidri by Lugger, late evening. The wind had got up and the sea was very lumpy, yes and I was on my own! Who else to rely on? Phil came to my rescue, a quick text and he was in the power boat heading for the pontoon near Nidri where they were both waiting. Their motor back to Geni Garden was a wet one, but safely back and thrilled by the adventure.
The week was excellently managed and organised by Phil, he was always available and there for us, but one never felt he was intruding on our privacy. The presentation of boats show a high level of maintenance with excellent safety equipment, a credit to his hard work.
What I have begun to appreciate about the Lugger is its classic lines; for a small boat her sea keeping qualities are incredible and at no time did the kids feel at risk. I must say over the week we as a family developed a “relationship” with Paxi which I’m sure will be a long lasting affection for “Dads new toy”.
You successfully brought together for us new activities, great places to eat like our favourite The Gialos Taverna, wonderful bays to swim and snorkel, providing Gabe with the chance to be able to helm the boat under engine and last but not least the truly wonderful Geni Garden Apartment, owned and run so efficiently by Franz, Poldi and Daughter Sandra, many thanks to all of them.
Who knows Phil when we will return, certainly after this complete family holiday experience and with so many places to explore I hope it will be soon.