The sailing season of 2020 was a bit short. But that was the case for many other sailors, with all sorts of restrictions and lock-downs in most parts of the world. But in the Greek waters the summer turned out fine in the end, even though a little later than usual. Our own adventure was delayed, of course, by the corona virus, and we couldn’t leave our winter base until the end of May. Then our boat had a surprise in store for us, which kept us busy at the boatyard until the end of July. And now another lock-down brought our journey to a halt in the harbour of Galaxidi. Well, it is what it is – we’ll try to make the most of it.
Despite sailing only 450 nautical miles this summer, we saw a great number of wonderful places. Just for comparison, we sailed 1700 nm during the first year, and 3700 during the second. But there’s so much to see in Greece, that the best way to experience it is to sail short hops along the coast and archipelago.
I’ve written about many interesting towns and pretty islands with small villages. This time I want to show you our favourite anchorage, where we stopped on several occasions during the summer, on our way to and from Corfu, Paxos and Parga. I must have mentioned it once or twice in my earlier posts. It’s a small cove generally called Two Rock Bay. Why that is, I don’t know – as far as we could count, there were at least five rocks, and many more underwater. The bay is fairly protected from the prevailing winds, and because there are few sheltered anchorages in the area, halfway between the islands of Lefkas and Corfu, it’s very popular. But that’s not the only reason – let the pictures speak for themselves!
Besides the big anchorage area, there are many more smaller bays and coves that are only accessible by a small boat – or by swimming from one of the nearby beaches. We meandered around these secret places on our dinghy, and stopped for a little swim and a dive in many different spots.
This summer I finally decided to learn to snorkel. My previous try at around seven years old had ended with a lot of water in my lungs, and that was it for me! My brother snorkeled to his heart’s content and found treasures at the bottom of the lake, and I felt a little envious. When I saw the colourful underwater landscapes through the crystal clear water in Two Rock Bay, I knew I just had to try! I had bought a mask and a snorkel already a year ago in Italy. And so I snorkeled. First I taught myself to breath while floating around the boat. As soon as I felt I could breath calmly, without panicking, I swam closer to the shore to look at things underwater. It was easy-peasy! Why did I spend forty years dreading for it?
Of course, the diving spots in the Mediterranean are not much compared to the amazing coral reefs of the Red Sea, Asia or Australia. There are few corals here, and not very exotic fish either. But for someone coming from the murky waters of the Gulf of Finland, the mere clearness of the water, the oddly shaped hills and caves of the underwater world, and the schools of little fish that are not afraid of humans diving among them, can be exciting.
For a first time snorkeler everything is fascinating: the landscape mirrored on the water’s surface above you, the flickering light at the bottom of the sea. Swimming over the hills and deep valleys of this strange land felt like flying. I got so excited I will definitely take a scuba diving course, as soon as an opportunity presents itself. Perhaps some day we will continue our journey from the Mediterranean to more exotic waters, and I wouldn’t miss the underwater sights for the world. Once again I noticed, how easily you can become stuck with fear that prevents you from doing something. It’s practical and wise to fear certain things – like falling overboard – but this fear certainly was worth conquering. Nothing but positive things followed!