Before we arrived here we knew some of the issues of sailing in the Ionian; too many boats, too few deserted spots and too many Brits. Despite the warmth and hospitality of the Greeks these problems are all too apparent to us after a few weeks here. It is delightful but there are just too many boats. Many have left Turkey because of the problems there and some of the bigger operators such as Sunsail have moved much of their fleet to Greece. The Aegean is too windy for summer chartering so they've ended up here.
That's fine except it means many of the popular stops are full by lunchtime and as the wind never switches on until lunchtime it means boats motor everywhere to get the next night's accomodation sorted. It's easy to fall into the same trap and we are learning the ways of the older hands to avoid certain places at specific times. We thought September would be quieter but chartering goes on at full blast through October so we will have to continue to adapt.
Having said all of that, it is lovely and it's pretty obvious as to why the Ionian is so popular with sailors.
We are back in Lefkas and getting ready to explore further. whilst we've been away for the hot Greek summer the Atlantic Peso, better known as the £ sterling, has sunk without trace against the Euro and Europe's poorest nation is now more expensive to poor Brits than shopping in Mayfair. When I say bread and olives I mostly mean bread and a few olives and then only at the weekends. I'm only exaggerating a little.
Lefkada is a lovely town, it hides it's charms from the casual visitor but upon closer inspection is a real working town under a tourist gloss.. It has few fine buildings and many of them are made of corrugated iron at first floor level but they are painted in vibrant colours and fit the sleepy nature of the place. Lefkada is a real sailing centre ( by which I mean charter centre) and has more chandlers than a Solent town. Lefkas itself is a mountainous island disconnected from the mainland by a canal that yachts use to transit north to south. The west coast is pretty inaccessible by boat so we explored it by car and saw some of the unusual surf that makes it famous for windsurfers.