The Ionian August 2012 Volume 3. Issue 6 www.theionian.com COMPLIMENTARY/∆ΩΡΕΑΝ Please recycle: give to a friend or neighbour when finished.
Shamrock V, charismatic contender Page 5
Yachtsmen support dolphin project Page 6
Paddling their own canoes Page 7
Calamity dash to Corfu Page 8
Octopus’s garden in the shade Page 11
Take that, you dirty rat Page 12
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The Ionian Contact us: Email: Website: Founding Publisher: Publisher: Managing Editor: Editor Advisory Board: Layout: Printing: Advertising: Subscriptions:
firstname.lastname@example.org www.theionian.com Justin Smith Barbara Molin Barbara Molin Martin Stote Yannis Dimopoulos Ryan Smith Ian Molesworth Barbara Molin Graphic Arts Barbara Molin Barbara Molin
You can download The Ionian free as a PDF document from our website: ww.theionian.com. The Ionian is published monthly. Published on the last day before each month, approximately. Publication is for informational purposes only. Although The Ionian has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions it may contain. The opinions expressed by the contributors are not necessarily held by the publisher. Published in Canada. Cover Photo: Shamrock V, the first J-Class in action in the Ionian by Kevin Jones. www.sailingpics.com. To purchase any of our photographs or to submit your own for a cover shot consideration please email us at: email@example.com
Sailing... This month I am delighted to be able to publicise what I hope will be a productive collaboration between yachtsmen sailing in our waters and the Ionian Dolphin Project. In the article, Yachstmen support dolphin project on page 6 the IDP’s Joan Gonzalvo tells our Editor Martin Stote about the code of conduct he has devised to help us behave responsibly when near whales and dolphins, and how sightings and photographs can be recorded on the IDP’s website, thereby helping to build a fuller picture of their habitats in the Ionian sea. I would also like to thank the flotilla companies which have agreed to help by distributing copies of our magazine to their customers. I was pleased too to read that Miriam van Veldhoven and her friends had been encouraged by our article, The Meganisi challenge by David Nairn in May’s issue about sailing around Meganisi to undertake their own circumnavigation of the island in their canoes. You can read all about their adventures, including their encounter with the goatherds of Kythros at the southern tip of the island, in Paddling their own canoes on page 7. Incidentally, I was brought up in Canada, and to me they look like kayaks. But Miriam, who is Dutch, tells me they call them canoes. If we’ve got it wrong I’m sure someone will write in to correct us. In Calamity dash to Corfu on page 8, Bill and Laurel Cooper, the authors of Sell up and Sail, tell Martin Stote in the second of their articles for the magazine how they had to motor at a rate of knots to get help when Laurel was badly burned – or barbecued, as Bill describes it rather unsympathetically –in a cooking accident while anchored in a lonely bay near Igoumenitsa. And there’s more cooking misadventure afoot in Octopus’s garden in the shade on page 11 when Plato Chipz reveals his secrets for sniffing out a decent dinner venue. Sadly he failed to heed his own advice when he and his fellow diners ordered the octopus in one establishment which shall remain nameless. Although dead, the octopus won hands down. Robin Lamb is back with a humorous account of his experience with another animal in Take that you dirty rat on page 12. Read it and find out who won this encounter. Also on page 12 our boating bard Tom Alsop warns of the danger the sun poses to unprotected promontories. Finally, Kefalonia-based Kevin Jones tells Martin Stote on page 5 about the thrill of photographing the J-Class yacht Shamrock V, which is also the subject of this month’s cover shot. She was built for British tea millionaire Sir Thomas Lipton as an Admiral’s Cup contender. But despite the fortune he spent on her, she failed to win him the trophy he craved, as you can read in Shamrock V – charismatic contender. Enjoy reading... ~~~_/) Barbara Molin
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Shamrock V, charismatic contender Martin Stote Photos: Kevin Jones
Kefalonia-based photographer Kevin Jones has taken
pictures of many thousands of boats, but he knows he is in the presence of a sailing legend when he focuses his lens on Shamrock V, an 80 year old J-Class yacht which continues to symbolise the elegance, wealth and power of a bygone age. She was commissioned in 1929 by the self-made tea millionaire Sir Thomas Lipton, built by the famous naval architect Charles Nicholson at the boatyard in Gosport, Hampshire, UK which still bears his family’s name, and launched the following year for her owner’s fifth and last challenge for the America’s cup. Shamrock V was the first J-Class yacht to be commissioned and built in the UK, and is the last survivor in her class to be built of wood – teak on steel frames. She is 119 ft. 1in. in overall length – it would be fascinating to know why that inch had to figure in her designer’s calculations - and can carry 13,000 sq. ft. of sail. So much for her birthright and the basic statistics. But they do not begin to convey the sheer beauty of her lines, her energy when she is under way, and the Medusa-style paralysis she inflicts on those lucky enough to see her powering across the waves. For that we must return to Kevin. He has photographed her five times in the Ionian in the latest chapter of her eventful history, which saw her relaunched in 2001 following a complete refit at Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, UK, supervised by naval architect Gerard Dykstra. Since then she has been a regular feature at the most celebrated classic sailing regattas on either side of the Atlantic, and in the Mediterranean where she cruises widely, usually wintering in Cannes. Kevin, 51, who was born in Cornwall, UK, first visited Kefalonia in 2000, where he met and married his Greek wife Marika by whom he has two sons, Harry and Daniel. Kevin can be seen off Fiskardo all through the summer and has amassed a vast portfolio of sailing pictures, having photographed more than 20,000 yachts. But he said, “When I am asked what it is like to photograph Shamrock V at sea, it is tempting to answer, ‘indescribable.’ But I want to describe it for you as best I can. To be close to Shamrock V is to be alongside something very, very special. She is a treasure of the sailing world and sailing history, and she moves through the water with a grace and power that is hard to match. For me, she arouses feelings like those you get when you are close to special and precious things in a museum. “Except that she is also very much alive. She is a thing of great beauty, doing what she was made perfectly to do, which is to sail. She is at one with her environment, the sea, and completely at home there, and sailed perfectly by her expert and devoted crew. It is clear they love her, they love sailing her, and I love photographing her.” He added; “Photographing her is an immense privilege. The fact that the skipper and crew of such a famous and majestic yacht trust me to 'surf' around her close to and use a camera at the same time, confident that I will not damage her, her crew or myself is a huge personal compliment!” Kevin is now so well known to the skipper and crew that he has been invited on board several times. He said, “The skipper and crew have become like old friends to me, they call me when they are sailing here to photograph them, they have my pictures hanging in their homes and offices, I go on board for a cup of tea when she is here.
“I was sitting in her sumptuous saloon once, and one of the crew asked me if I would like a cup of tea. I answered, ‘Yes please, I'd love a cup of tea as long as it’s not Lipton's.’ Everyone including the guests laughed, and the skipper said, "Of course it’s Lipton’s tea, it was Lipton’s boat.” But for all her style, Shamrock V fared badly in her America’s Cup challenge. The first of the best-of-seven races was a convincing victory for Enterprise, one of the American contenders, which romped home with a three minute lead. Shamrock V fared even worse in the second race losing by nearly 10 minutes. In the third race she established an early lead which was finally whittled away by Enterprise after a nail-biting tacking dual. Then Shamrock V’s main halyard came adrift and her sail collapsed to the deck. The fourth race clinched the cup for Enterprise. Sir Thomas Lipton died the following year, his dream still unfulfilled. Last year Dan Houston, the Editor of the UK-based magazine Classic Boat was invited by self-made millionaires Elizabeth Meyer, who has restored her own J-Class yacht , Endeavour, to sail aboard Shamrock V at the Portofino Regatta. Elizabeth Meyer was also the project manager for Shamrock’s refit. He wrote, “Hoisting the mainsail on Shamrock V seems in another league, even for big boats. With sail ties off, the halyard on the electric winch winds the 295 kg. Carbon Millenium main up, up into the Italian sky from endless folds held in lazyjacks on the boom. It feels like you could go and make tea and it would still be climbing up its 141 ft. luff track when you got back on deck.” In light winds in an early race Shamrock remained elegant but felt underpowered compared to her rivals. But finally, racing over, the wind strengthened, and they had a chance to see what Shamrock could do. “The wind builds up to 15 knots or so and the difference aboard Shamrock is incredible,” Dan Houston wrote. “She gets her lee rail into the water and just goes like a train. Spray flies from her sharp bows as they carve through the choppy waves of the little gulf, and the quarter wave climbs aboard to where I am sat on the after deck. “Without a creak from her ring frames she surges forward with a colossal sense of power…. There’s a sense of awe on board, and raw excitement too, but also a feeling that it would have been good to race in this, and see how she fared then. It will have to wait for another day.” Kevin Jones can be found in and around Fiskardo, Kefalonia. He’ll happily take photos of your boat. www.sailingpics.com August 2012 www.theionian.com The Ionian 5
altogether from ports of their former habitats. While today’s abundance of dolphins is likely to be only a fragment of what it was a century ago, important population still live and breed in the Ionian Sea. “Recreational boating around the Ionian islands has steadily increased during the last decade. Such a large fleet regularly cruising Ionian waters offers a huge potential for the recording of valuable dolphin data, but also calls for the design if adequate education and awareness initiatives addressed to boat users.” One of IDP’s most popular recent initiatives has been to visit schools to raise awareness among the local children about cetacean conservation and the importance of preserving healthy marine ecosystems. Keep an eye on The Ionian and IDP websites for more information on this summer’s Martin Stote upcoming Dolphin Day celebrations. Joan said, “Please, BE DOLPHIN SMART and prove that you care about the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea and its most charismatic creatures.” The following is the essentials of the IDP’s code of conduct to help boat users avoid unnecessary disturbance to whales and dolphins. his month The Ionian ● Stay back 50 metres from dolphins (100m from whales). ● Move away cautiously if dolphins/whales show signs of magazine is backing the launch disturbance (sudden change in behaviour). of a collaboration between the ● Always put your engine in neutral when dolphins/whales Ionian Dolphin Project (IDP) are near. and yachtsmen to help protect ● Refrain from feeding, touching, or swimming with wild and raise awareness about the dolphins. conservation of these exciting ● Teach others to be DOLPHIN SMART. but threatened creatures. Many families sailing in the Joan said, “From now on, when you are Ionian will have experienced sailing the beautiful waters of the Ionian the thrill of seeing a dolphin or pod of dolphins Sea, remember - YOU can help us! If you swimming near their yacht, or even bow-riding. Now come across dolphins or whales, we want sailors and their families are being invited to report to know about it. Reporting a sighting on the project’s new website, established in April of online will only take a few minutes, but it this year, any sightings of whales and dolphins as will provide us invaluable information part of a ground-breaking initiative to build a more about the distribution of cetacean species accurate picture of their distribution and habitats in in the area, and will help us to identify Ionian waters. key habitats for their conservation. We The IDP has also produced a species recognition encourage those of you reporting your chart, and a code of conduct for yachtsmen with sightings to us, to provide whenever recommendations to be followed when close to possible pictures or video of your dolphin whales and dolphins. encounters in order to allow us to confirm Joan Gonzalvo, Programme Manager for the IDP, said, “This is an the identification of the species. unprecedented initiative in this area to encourage sailors to collaborate in “Some local flotilla companies have already started to promote this new a dolphin conservation project, while giving them valuable information initiative among their customers and the first reports have arrived. The on how to minimize the potential disturbance they may cause to the IDP would like to thank Sunsail (also offering logistical support), animals when approaching them. Neilson, Sail Ionian and Sailing Holidays for their collaboration. Other “The Ionian Dolphin Project has been working for more than 20 years to companies willing to collaborate can contact us.” ensure the long-term viability of dolphin species in the coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea. It offers a point of reference in this important field Contact the Ionian Dolphin Project and record your sightings online: www.ioniandolphinproject.org for scientists from all over the world. Tethys Research Institute: www.tethys.org “Research by the Tethys Research Institute supports dolphin conservation through scientific research and regular surveys at sea. The results are published in scientific literature to support marine biodiversity conservation.” In June the IDP made headlines in the international media with Joan’s extraordinary photograph, taken off the island of Kalamos, of a bottlenose dolphin leaping from the water with an octopus clinging to its belly. There have also been a number of sightings this year of mothers with calves, significant evidence of the continued survival of dolphins around the Ionian. Dolphins time the birth of their offspring to coincide with warmer temperatures, thereby helping to ensure their survival. But it also means that the young are at risk from increased numbers of boats. Joan added, “Cetaceans, by which we mean whales and dolphins, inhabiting Greek waters face significant threats. Some dolphin populations must deal with increasing human encroachment, while others have disappeared
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Paddling their own canoes Miriam van Veldhoven
enormous floating fishing net that closed off half the bay. The eastern coast seemed rougher and even more untouched then the other side. There were still enough caves to be explored but on this side they could not be entered. By having chosen to circumnavigate the island anticlockwise, based on, among other sources, information obtained from the May issue of The Ionian in the article The Meganisi Challenge by David Nairn, the team found that they had a slight current with them on the southerly route as well as on the northerly route so that helped. That night we had a fabulous BBQ, and a spectacular sing-along, of course helped by some wonderful Lefkadian wine. On Day Three Paul and Cathy Savva, who had come from Lefkas in their speedboat Sorbet, found us early that morning in the bay where the team was just starting the next leg.
Day two at sea
Two years ago three brave ladies from the
south of Lefkas, Joan Beaver, Jeanette Forrest and Sue Lemmon with her dog Bonnie, circumnavigated their island by canoe. This adventure was such a success that they decided this year to canoe around Meganisi. The challenge in this trip was that the support would have to come from the sea since there are no roads following the coast on Meganisi. Sleeping and eating would wherever possible have to be done on the support boats so as not to have to go up and down to Vathi or Spilia every day. So apart from the canoe team in which Leonard van Veldhoven took Sue Lemmon’s place, two support boats were found; Alan Slayford’s Galatea and Rose and John Bunkers’ Tudor Rose. On Galatea sailed Jim Holland and Geoff Stockman. Unfortunately Alan the owner could not come. Tudor Rose was sailed by the owners Rose and John joined by Miriam van Veldhoven as a member of the support team.
On Monday June 11th the girls and Leonard, hereafter referred to as “the girls” as they were during this trip, boarded the 7 am ferry to Meganisi from Nidri. By 8 am they were paddling out of Spilia. At about 10:30 that morning Galatea and Tudor Rose found them well on their way, close to Papanikoli Cave on the west coast of Meganisi. The yachts had left Vasiliki around 8:30 where food and drinks and luggage had been taken aboard. Canoes and yachts moored up together at sea
so the paddlers and support team could enjoy a coffee with cake for a welldeserved energy boost, and then the trip continued for miles, with lots of exploring of the beautiful coastline with many caves, rough rock formations and crystal clear turquoise water. The weather was favourable, so after five hours of hard rowing they covered 17 “The Girls” kilometres to Kythros Island at the southern end of Meganisi, well ahead of schedule. Kythros appeared quite barren, but Cathy, who had always planned to join us for turned out to be home to many animals. the third and fourth days, clambered into a Seagulls were plentiful, nesting and feeding spare canoe which we had towed behind their offspring. Wild goats peered at them Galatea for that purpose. We set off again, with shyly, but sensing no danger, stood proud on Paul joining the support flotilla in Sorbet. the hilltops. They came down to the shoreline We now entered an area full of lovely bays to drink in the pools of brackish water, a and beaches and sloping coastlines and mixture of sea water and rock dew, their neck continued this picturesque part of the trip at our bells clanging. leisure, ending up in Abeliki Bay. That evening In the evening and the next morning a small we had a lovely taverna meal in Vathi at a place colorful fishing boat full of what seemed to be suggested by Barry and Trish Broughton and scary pirates passed our anchorage. Studying Julie and Ian Collie who had generously offered them through our binoculars they turned out to support and beds if we needed them. It turned be farmers delivering and collecting their goats out to be a delicious Italian extravaganza. to graze on this piece of No Man’s Land. Thursday night saw a bit of a north westerly, After a swim and a shoulder massage for the but not enough to cause too much concern at canoers we all had a wonderful spaghetti the time. But the next morning the canoers, Bolognese on Galatea together and turned in now joined by Paul as well, had to navigate a early so as to catch as much sleep as possible rather choppy sea, which was for all of them for the next day. quite a challenge. The achievement of passing On Day Two the dawn was like a Chinese what was originally their starting line, but now painting, bringing on a most beautiful day, hot became the finishing line back in Spilia bay and windless, ideal for the task ahead. So, after gave them all quite a sense of achievement. a quick swim and breakfast, the girls climbed in Full of self confidence, they have now started their canoes to pick up their paddles again. discussing their next year’s circumnavigation. Galatea hurried after them but Tudor Rose Among the suggestions so far are Africa, the faced engine problems and had to hoist the Peloponnese, and Kefalonia. Watch this space. genoa in order to sail out of the anchorage. After some tacking up and down in very low winds, problems were solved and Tudor Rose resumed her place in the support team. Galatea rounded the southern tip of Meganisi, Cape Kefali, and went ahead to find a sheltered bay on the south eastern side of the island for our next night stop. We decided on Ormos Kolopoulou for the planned barbecue ashore. On the way we had to The participants (l to r): Geoff Stockman, John Bunker, Rose navigate around an
Bunker, Jim Holland, Miriam van Veldhoven, Leonard van Veldhoven, Joan Beaver. Photo: August 2012 www.theionian.com TheJeanette IonianForrest 7
Ionian why the Ionian islands are among their favourite cruising grounds. They wrote most of Sell Up and Sail while moored in Port Vathi on Meganisi. The book is now in its fifth edition and has sold over 25,000 in the UK since it was first published in 1986. It has been published in translation in Sweden, and in the USA by Sheridan House. Next month, in the last of three articles, they tell of memorable barbecues in Abelike Bay on Meganisi, pot luck suppers with other Ionian live-aboarders while wintering in Lefkas, and why old age has finally forced them to return to the UK and settle down on a permanent mooring in Rochester, Kent. They are both now 83 years old. When they first decided to Martin Stote Hosanna leave the UK in 1976 on their steel ketch Fare Well, Bill was a former Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy The nearest hospital was on Corfu and a professional navigator four hours away under power. Bill turned City gilts broker who nly the occasional croak of a crow and weighed anchor and set off at a rate of was frustrated by his knots, following instructions from the the ripple on the water from shoals of feeding commuter’s lifestyle working fry disturbed the peace of the tiny and secluded Ship Captain’s Medical Guide en route as a financial advisor to the Bay of the Dancing Fish as live-a-boarders Bill to keep Laurel hydrated. Harold Wilson government. Laurel took up the story. “There isn’t and Laurel Cooper settled down at lunchtime One day instead of boarding on their 50 ft steel ketch to cook the sea bream much to say about the cause, which was the train to London he returned home and told stupidity in leaving the stopper off a bottle of given them by a some kindly local fishermen. Laurel that he was going to finish Fare Well, meths. We radioed ahead and another boat The isolated inlet, more commonly known the hull of which had been professionally relayed the call to Gouvia and Bill motored then as Liyia Bay, the innermost of three bays constructed, but which he had been fitting out approached through what is now known in Rod there at full speed while setting up the basic at the bottom of the garden, and cut loose. first aid measures drink lots of liquid, enough Heikell’s pilot as Ormiskos Valtou, on the Laurel, then a magistrate and art teacher, and to get it to pass straight through, and leave the mainland opposite Corfu, is so off the beaten happily settled at home, wasn’t so enthusiastic. affected area in open air.” Bill added, “We had She had sailed on the Broads, and had one four track that it still has no name printed on the a reception committee on the quay, who were chart. Heikell calls it a “somewhat bleak week cruise with Bill in the Med under her belt. all yachting people: a French eye surgeon, a anchorage.” Bill is rather fond of it. She also suffered with a congenital and painful Bill said, “And in those days there was no fish nurse from a Californian burns unit and a hip problem. In preparation, she learned British nursing sister. We were given an farm, and the surrounding area was deserted, navigation at a sailing school in Cowes and although you could hear the fun and games on alongside berth and Laurel sat in the cockpit accompanied friends on coastal and cross receiving visitors bearing gifts, just like royalty. Channel sorties. Igoumenitsa waterfront over the isthmus. We used this bay a lot and only once had to share it People used to advise us in those days, don’t go The couple brought their second boat, a 1931 to the hospital, whatever you do, especially with another boat. On this particular day the 87ft Dutch barge which they converted and with burns. That too has fishermen had given us some called Hosanna to Greece in 1992 and spent the changed-we have had very fine Lavraki, and Laurel was winter of 1992/3 in the Ionian. They cruised good treatment in Greek preparing to cook them.” down the Danube in 1995 ending up in the hospitals.” But the isolation of the bay, Black Sea, and then cruised westwards again, They were only in the third spending June and July of 1996 in the Ionian. which was to draw the Coopers year of their adventures back many times despite the They returned in 2002, wintering in Lefkas, when the accident happened. cruised the Corinth Canal, and spent the winters mixed memories it would hold It features in their list in Sell of 2003/4 in Lefkas. They spent the summer for them, proved a major Up and Sail of the ten most challenge in the aftermath of cruising the Gulf of Amvrakia and spent a third “dangerous situations” they winter in Lefkas in 2004/5. the events that happened next. have faced on their voyages. The methylated spirits which Perhaps the most Laurel was using to prime the famous was the 100 stove suddenly burst into mph Hurricane flames, burning her badly on A fine winter’s day in Lefkas Alberta which hit her right thigh and forearm. sees Laurel painting them 200 miles out Seven years later they were Laurel convalescing in Gouvia, from Bermuda in typically dismissive in their Corfu June 78 after deck 1982. They literally best-selling book Sell Up and barbecue accident battened down the Sail when they described the hatches as the sea events of that afternoon in late June in 1978. “Bill accidentally barbecued me foamed around them, at one point rolling Fare Well right over. The couple four hours away from civilisation,” wrote Laurel. It was the tone you might expect from a were later awarded a Royal Naval Sailing Association medal for couple who would eventually sail almost seamanship. When the worst was over, 100,000 miles in an epic 36 year journey that encompassed the eastern seaboard of America, Bill ventured on deck, only to be struck by lightning, another of the incidents on the Caribbean and most of the Mediterranean. their list. They have also survived “11 Bill admitted to the The Ionian magazine, while still trying not to make a drama out of the other gales of force 8 or over, with no worries other than understandable incident, “Crises in the Ionian are rare. apprehension.” Barbecuing Laurel was the nastiest.” Last month the Coopers told in The
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the overturned catamaran Sanyassa in which she and her husband Clive, 75, had been on the final stage of a 14-year circumnavigation. Around 40 yachts were toppled from their cradles in Vliho Boat Yard. Laurel said, “We were interested in your squall story. We had one of those in Vliho in June, 2003. We were anchored in the bay and in the afternoon noticed a thunderstorm coming over the mountains. Despite immediate precautions – we always respect thunderstorms - our anchor dragged and we had a worrying time avoiding the other smaller craft dragging in a Force 10 squall. We got caught in the narrows between Kyriakis’ yard and nearly ended up in Nick the Greek’s garden.” Which is as good a time as any to mention the Coopers’ relationship with the flotilla industry. It has to be said that flotillas do not always receive a good press in Sell Up and Sail. For such a self-reliant couple the notion of flotillas was perhaps always going to be tricky, although they enjoy a party and a beach barbecue as Three black balls. Hosanna aground much as anyone, as we will see in next in Lefkas Canal April 2003 month’s article. But at the heart of their reservations, I think, is their incontrovertible credo that the sea and Last year The Ionian highlighted the problem local people should always be treated the same with the port side can buoys inside the northern way - with immense respect. Laurel told The Ionian, “Of course flotillas entrance to the Lefkas Canal, the shifting have a role to play, and some do it well. Others shallows, and reported on a large number of groundings. Yachtsmen may be intrigued to learn that in April 2003, by which time they were living on their 87 ft converted Dutch barge Hosanna, even Bill and Laurel Cooper’s vast navigational experience wasn’t enough to save them from the vagaries of the buoyage system. Laurel said, “Bill finds big ships easier to handle. He was once a Suez Canal Pilot. Hosanna, 27 metres LOA, was a doddle, and I had no trouble driving her. She’d turn on a sixpence and always behaved like a gentleman, though you had to be aware of her size. But we did run seriously aground in the channel of the Lefkas Canal. We rode up at full speed over a newly dredged heap of spoil which had been carelessly left there by the dredger. We were well in the channel. We probably hold a record for the longest grounding- 24 days! It took a full moon and two huge fishing boats to get us off. In the meantime friends were wonderful, bringing supplies, taking me shopping, and removing our rubbish. I did once try taking our Marketing in dinghy into town, but it was a long row for Corfu Old Town someone of seventy four” Bill said, “A charter yacht ran aground beside us and berated us for not having a warning sign up to indicate that we were aground. We pointed just nanny them around and they don’t learn much. We mostly got on very well with flotillas, silently to the three black balls: ‘I am aground in the fairway.’ He was a yachtmaster. We had especially in the 70’s and 80’s when they weren’t so numerous. Later on, with Hosanna to be towed off by two trawlers. Thanks to Joe Charlton too for his help.” He added, “We also being so large we just learned to start early and arrive in any port before four o clock, and then once sailed up the canal in Hosanna under full let them lie alongside us if they wished”. canvas but were stopped by the Port Police as Finally, the Coopers wrote in Sell Up and Sail, being too dangerous.” The couple commented in last month’s article “We know of certain places in high season where the charterers do not get to. They are not that the weather in the Ionian is generally necessarily as beautiful or convenient as the benign, although squalls and gales do happen, better known spots, but they are often cheaper. especially in the spring and autumn. The No, we will not publish a list of our own secret Coopers read on our website the article in places.” But I asked them if they would now be October’s edition of The Ionian about the willing to share in print a couple of their hurricane strength squall that hit Vliho Bay on favourite little-known anchorages. Bill’s the evening of September 20, 2011. A French answer, dug out from one of the many log books yachtsman died and live-aboarder Norma Probert, 67, had to be rescued from the cabin of filed away on their third and last boat, along
Laurel and Bill Cooper, 2005
with their diaries, photographs, and Laurel’s sketches, speaks volumes for the meticulousness of their records, navigation and seamanship. Bill said, “This is the first time I have ever published a ‘special’ anchorage, but I am retired now, so why not share it? Mine is in the Gulf of Amvrakia, the little archipelago of Vouvalos, off the northern shore of the gulf. Start from a position equidistant from SE tip of the main island and the south-easternmost islet, and steer 300 ° and then alter course to 255° with the islet astern. You should now be in 3 metres depth with a level sandy bottom. Pass the SE tip of the main island 150 yards to port. Let the anchor go in about three metres in position 38° 59’.187N and 20°55’.243E. The afternoon wind blows from SW by W. You will be in a circle of 45 metres radius with an even depth of about three metres .You will enjoy perfect peace because the flotillas won’t get there.” Laurel said, “There is an easier one we often retreated to when life in port got too noisy. Turn sharp right round the penultimate buoy at the southern end of Lefkas Canal and just drop the hook in about three metres. Simple and secluded!” Pictures supplied by and used with kind permission of Bill and Laurel and Adlard Coles Nautical. Sell Up and Sail (ISBN 9780713674033) is available, priced £19.99, from Adlard Coles Nautical at www.adlardcoles.com , from all good bookshops, and from Amazon. Their other books are, Watersteps through France; Watersteps around Europe; Sail into the Sunset; A Spell in Wild France; Back Door to Byzantium; Sell Up and Cruise the Inland Waters. Those which are out of print may be available second hand via Amazon. The link to the Adlard Coles Nautical books home page is: http://www.acblack.com/nautical/Sell-Up-Sail/Bill-Cooper-Laurel-Cooper/books/ details/9780713674033 The Adlard Coles Nautical 2012 brochure, carrying details of their many maritime books and how to order them, is available from www.adlardcoles.com Martin Stote, a retired Daily Express journalist and his wife Sue sailed in the Ionian for about ten years and owned a share in a syndicate yacht. Although he can claim with all honesty to have sailed since he was a boy, that autobiographical snippet doesn't convey how much of his life has actually been spent on dry land. He first read Sell Up and Sail about 20 years ago and has owned two editions of the book. Writing these features was really just an excuse to talk to two of his sailing heroes. Martin is the Editor of The Ionian.
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dangerous. For example our first encounter with octopus was in Sivota - not a sauce but a village in the south of Lefkada. Two hours passed after we placed the order, but in the time warp that is Greece two hours is just a packet of cigarettes to a busy restaurateur. When the creature arrived at our table it was a truly amazing spectacle, about the size of a cat, delivered on a huge cracked white plate. Our two friends, Wheezy and I Plato Chipz gazed in awe at the contorted beast. Was the chef perhaps related to, or a fan of Salvador Dali? Was this the Greek version of “You’ve Been Framed”? After requesting eating irons, the bemused waiter returned in a Greek jiffy (that’s about 15 minutes) wielding a small paring knife which he asked us to return ASAP, as it was the chef’s and he needed it for peeling potatoes! After several attempts at cutting the kraken of the deep into edible chunks, we deduced that the tenderizing process normally given to octopus - thrashing it to death on a rock or quayside bollard - had not been employed. hen Wheezy and I first sailed into Greek waters some years ago, More likely it had been plugged into the mains electricity supply until it stopped writhing, or worse still it had been frozen. Of the four of us, we had a suspicion that things were a little different when we heard “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” by Pink Floyd, being played over the three stalwarts put our teeth to work whilst one friend gave in and threw up in the toilet. When we were sure no one was watching, the unyielding emergency and distress channel on the VHF radio on our yacht! beast was returned to the sea via a deft flick of the wrist as a lesson to This is why I love Greece and its people, for nothing is taken too other octopuses, to stay in their gardens. seriously. If I see a pirate flag the size of a duvet displayed on the mast Later, as we promenaded with our Cornettos we pondered upon the of a charter boat, it goes without saying that someone is on holiday and they’re going to have a good time. After all, how can you ever become a many uses other than food for which our dinner, or Syd, as he affectionately became known, could have been used. The most popular good sailor until you’ve wrapped your dinghy’s painter around your propeller or crossed anchors with a Greek fisherman, the second loudest was a sink plunger. mammal on the planet after the blue whale. You will know when you have upset a Greek fisherman, for it will be several days before your hearing returns. When the steam has stopped coming out of his ears it will be safe to approach and explain that you are a completely incompetent sailor even though you have just completed the competent sailing course. He will then offer you some fish with a huge smile. There’s nothing like a fish with a huge smile…. On the subject of fish, when eating out, fish are usually sold by weight, so check the price in case you fall off your karekla (chair) at the end of your meal.
Octopus’s garden in the shade
Here are a few simple tips that I employ when choosing tavernas; tips which hold good for sailors or landlubbers alike: 1. Eating at around eight or nine in the evening is better for the digestion in hot weather. 2. Don’t be tempted by the Sirens who beckon you like old friends. In good tavernas you will see Greeks – they’re the ones with the worry beads and ouzo, not the lobster coloured ones with cowboy hats and tee shirts that say “I like beer.” 3. Expect some form of acknowledgement by the owner or staff within two to three minutes. If not, move on, or you could end up ordering your breakfast. 4 There’s no rush, start with just a drink. Look around to see what people are eating or leaving. If the service is reasonable for a glass of water, then it usually follows that it will be good for a meal. 5. The dish of the day will probably be fresh and reasonably priced. 6. Bread is almost always thrust upon your table, but if you don’t want bread, say so. It is almost always charged for. However, we often take the bread for toast the next morning; it avoids wasting half a loaf the next day. 7. For the more adventurous, find a back street away from the hustle, but be careful especially if you are trying out your Greek language as I once did. I apparently, to the highly amused Polish waitress, ordered “old lady” when I actually wanted grilled meatballs! To my relief they came without black stockings and shawl. The joy of trying something different can be both rewarding and August 2012 www.theionian.com The Ionian 11
Take that, you dirty rat Robin Lamb
Coming in stern to offers walk-off/walk-on convenience but occasionally unwelcome visitors walk on.
hell, I cannot even manage that on land in the most benign of situations. And here he was, having fallen in the water, coming to the surface still turned out in his immaculate dress code. “Are you ok Bill,” shouted a worried Annemarie. “I’m fine. Just thought I’d escape from the heat for a bit,” said Bill reaching for a handhold on the stern of his boat. “Shaken but not stirred - very James Bond” said Helen laughing unkindly at his discomfort (Bill has a passing resemblance to Sean Connery). A stiff drink was taken. On Bill’s part it was to subjugate the pain of a cracked rib – he had hit the passerail on the way down. On my part? Well, you can’t let folks drink alone, can you? We discussed his cracked rib, and then, when we tired of that subject, my rat. “We had one last year,” said Annemarie. “How did you deal with it?” “I couldn’t stand the idea of a trap, so we just made sure that there was nothing to eat and left the boat open. It left.” “How did you know it had gone?” “It said goodbye. It said it wasn’t coming here again. Poor service, no food, rough company, all the usual,” Bill explained. Annemarie warmed to their theme. “We saw him set off along the passerail with all his worldly goods bundled up in a big red and white handkerchief tied on the end of a stick that he put over his shoulder,” she said. “It was very sad.” We gave up on the idea of getting any sense out of either of them, and left. When you get a rat on board you have to decide how to get rid of it. If you poison it, it will probably go off and die in some inaccessible place and lie there out of reach and decomposing. It has got to be a trap of some sort - or else the more humane alternative that Annemarie and Bill suggested. We opted for the former, bought a very medieval looking trap, set it, and went up into the cockpit. Within an hour I heard it snap shut and sure enough the awful contraption had the rat in its uncompromising jaws. Helen looked at the poor maimed animal. “Shouldn’t we take it to a vet?” she asked me anxiously. “Yeah,” I said. “And our next visit would be to wherever we go to get you certified.”
that I planned to use to catch and wrap the rat in one swift nimble movement. Suddenly, the rat hat do you suppose has done that?” came streaking out. He flew through the air with his eyes focussed on my throat and venom Helen asked as I emerged one morning fisting sleep from my eyes. She was looking at a peach dripping from his fangs. I stepped back from the edge of the battery compartment yelping in the fruit bowl that had a chunk bitten out of profanities and fell on it. “You haven’t been indulging in your my back on the floor, penchant for sneaky midnight snacking have cracking my head on the you?” “Nope.” “Well what has taken a chunk out of shower room door. “S**t. I nearly had him that.” “Probably a wasp.” “A wasp? A very big there,” I groaned. But by one then.” “They work in gangs.” “At night?” now Helen was shrieking “They probably did it yesterday and we didn’t again. “Nearly had him, notice.” my eye!” she cried. “He But Helen wasn’t having it. “It wasn’t done nearly had you.” “Where when we went to bed last night” she insisted. “So your money’s on a huge gang of nocturnal did he go?” “Into the battery compartment.” wasps?” “Well,” I conceded, “if it’s not We looked, but he had wasps… ahhh… we probably have a rat aboard,” “Arrrghh.” Helen shrieked “Don’t tell gone to earth in one of the many nooks and me that.” “All right I won’t...” crannies that boat builders specifically provide It was worrying. Besides the question of hygiene, there is their habit of chewing through as a safe haven for stowaway rats. A splash and shouting outside provided a welcome diversion. wiring insulation. This can lead to electrical Disturbed water next to our boat indicated that short circuits, and possibly a fire. You really something had fallen in. don’t want that at sea. Later that day we heard scuffling. It seemed to Bill and Annmarie were moored alongside and Bill’s panama hat was floating on the be coming from the battery locker. I removed surface indicating that it might have been Bill. the seating, exposing three large batteries but Robin Lamb is writing a book about no rat. “It’s coming from there.” Helen pointed He came up coughing and spitting beneath the Sundowner’s trials and tribulations: http:// hat, so that the act of surfacing re-instated it at to a locker above the batteries. I opened it anthonomy.com/books/34065/sundowner/ its usual jaunty angle on his head. cautiously and started removing the contents Bill is a dapper dresser. He manages what I piece by piece. Optimistically, I had an old towel in my hand never can – to look tidily turned out on a boat – The Beacon Tom Alsop
There's a beacon on the headland That normally is white Prominently seen by day It doesn't shine at night Ravages of wind and sunshine Have brought about a change Its' top layers have come peeling off And it now looks rather strange
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It is really quite distinctive It practically glows Tomorrow - I must take more care Put Sunblock on my nose!
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Afternoon at Ak.Khaliki ÂŠD. Willcock
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