You may have followed Lugger Clara’s progress from October 2018 when I acquired her and brought her back to the workshop of Dragon Design at Tredegar in South Wales. This is the home and base of my Cabinetry and boat building business.
She has now travelled across Central Europe, enduring a dramatic fault with her hull to deck mould just after launching, all fully repaired at the 11th hour, yet delivered to Frikes on the island of Ithaca in time for old friends to have her for her inaugural charter week.
Neil, Jean and Daughter Ruth, as you will note from their previous reviews, are experienced Lugger sailors and frequent visitors to Frikes, staying with Peter at his wonderful Frikes Bay Suite, so close and overlooking the small village harbour.
On their arrival at Nidri on Sunday 25th August, I met them and following a quick Meze lunch and cold beer they were put onto the 15.30 ferry to Frikes, they would spend their first week there sailing around old haunts and coves, discovering more of this truly wonderful island. Their second week would be back at Geni in Vliho Bay staying yet again with Franz, Poldi and Daughter Sandra at Geni Garden Apartments. For the return trip I collect their luggage from Frikes to allow them to enjoy the comfort of the Lugger and have a pleasant sail back.
On the clear yet cool morning of 1st September I set off from Vliho Bay, firstly fuelling up Warrior Spirit for the trip south to Frikes, collecting friends on Meganissi and then heading out of the channel into open water for the leg across to Ithaca. This is a main sea route to the port of Patras from the Adriatic coast port of Bari and Ancona, so very busy with large ferries and container ships. It is however a very scenic passage, the islands of Ithaca and Kephalonia are very mountainous, rugged and green, these mountains dropping down steeply into the Ionian Sea creating a spectacularly back drop.
With the Rib travelling at 30 knots we soon entered Frikes Bay, it has an obvious tower standing on the southern entrance to the small harbour and as you approach the mole harbour wall, the Frikes Bay Suite is dead in front with its 2-tiered levels of apartments and with striking cream frontage. The aspect from the apartment balcony overlooking the small bay is just awesome – sunrises in the early morning and late evening, with the arrival of yachts mooring up, all adds great interest from the balcony .
A breakfast for ourselves with Peter was the order of the day whilst the Wilson Family got themselves ready for their day on the water.
Soon we had loaded their bags on the Rib and circled in the harbour awaiting for them to slip their lazy line and head out past the breakwater mole. The breeze was good, force 3 to 4 from the south west which gave them a great sail back, stopping off at Arkoudi Island for the customary swim and lunch.
A fantastic end to their first week ‘Luggering about in the Sun’, and well done Clara for your first week on charter.
For those interested in Greek history and mythology, Ithaca was the island home of the hero Odysseus in Homer’s classic poem The Odyssey, believed to have been composed in the 8th century BC.
You must all visit Ionian Greece and Dragon Drascombe.