Thursday, 1 October 2015

1st. October - Lefkas

Having spent several days in the marina thanks to a dodgy weather forecast from the Greek Met Office we are well advanced for our lift-out on Saturday.  We have been spreading out the jobs so as to fill the days but we have now run out of things to do except the final pack.

Lefkas town quay - home to a small fishing fleet
We went into Lefkas this morning and for all its shortcomings it does have a bit of life in it, a buzz, albeit a pretty relaxed buzz – it’s the Greek way.

Old boys debating everything from politics to local scandals
The ‘High Street’ is lined with cafes and most are filled with men putting the world to rights. It’s a very Greek thing – old boys drinking coffee, playing with their worry beads and discussing everything from politics to the latest local scandal. In Britain they’d be in the pub downing pints and moaning about their soccer team. I think I prefer the Greek option.

It is still common to see women wearing the traditional ‘widow’s weeds’.
Strangely enough you never see the older Greek women in the cafes nattering away. Many wear the traditional ‘widows’ weeds’ and what a sad sight they are; frail old ladies tottering along many look hardly able to walk.

Quake-proof clock tower
The Ionian is prone to earthquakes – the big one was in 1953 but last year large parts of Kefalonia were hit in a quake which made thousands homeless. Still many of the roads are unrepaired and impassable. As a result of the risk earthquake-proof construction is the order of the day. This is one of Lefkas’s clock towers – which is supposed to be able to withstand a quake.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

30th. September - Storms! What storms?

The forecast was day-after-day of storms. High winds, torrential rain, low temperatures. Given that forecast we decided to check-in to the marina early and not risk getting caught out in foul weather. Other friends abandoned their boat and took to their car and headed in land to see some of Greece’s historic sites. Others, aware of the bad weather, hunkered down.

The deserted scene at the San Nicholaos Hotel - we took to the road as storms are forecast.
It was all pointless. The storms didn’t happen and the last few days have been pleasant with temperatures in the mid twenties, light winds and clear blue skies. The Greek Met Office got it totally wrong.

Modern Lefkada hotel - but deserted - just days before it closes for the winter

One of the biggest problems out here is knowing which weather forecast to believe. If bad weather is forecast one’s natural instinct is to seek shelter in a safe harbour. But if that bad weather never happens then you’ve been cautious for no reason. If you ignore the predictions of bad weather and set sail anyway, if by chance they are right, then you’ll get no sympathy for casting off when storms are forecast.

Ah we found some guests by the beach.
Thanks to totally inaccurate forecasts we have wasted five days of sailing. Shops, tavernas, bars have lost out. Maybe if the Greek Met Office were to take responsibility for the accuracy of their forecast, with penalties if they screw-up, then maybe we’d see better forecasts and ones we’d have some confidence in.

Trevor returning having checked-out the landing stage. Not suitable, platform is five feet above sea level.
And finally, a tip from one taverna owner. She said she knew when the weather was going to be bad because she had to clear lots of dead flies from the tables. She predicted the weather was not going to be as bad as forecast because of the lack of flies. She was right the Greek Met Office was wrong. Maybe a forecaster could be stationed at the taverna to count the flies.