The decision was made in early May to make 4 July the start of our charter season. For this date I had two crews booked, George and Melanie from Canada/Kentucky US, staying at the George Studio apartments. George, known to all as Skip, has a Longboat in the US which he sails extensively. Andy and Dave have returned from Blighty, we first met some four years ago when they visited with their wives and had the wonderful Villa Eleanor. This year (which should have been June 2020!) they are on a “Boys Jolly” and are staying with Kostas at The Gialos Apartments and Taverna.
So yes it has actually happened, Lugger sailing has started and what a relief!
From emails and messages I’m getting, people are wanting to clarify the health situation, any restrictions and the impact of tourism in the area. From the past week of being in Nidri I can honestly say I feel very safe. There are much fewer tourists around, indeed the town is quiet and very relaxed. Andy and Dave commented on the very safe and efficient way things were handled at Preveza airport last Sunday, a quick sample of people had Antigen tests and they were soon in their waiting taxi for the drive to Geni. Of course shops and Tavernas are observing face mask rules and social distancing, to a higher degree than we have seen at the 2020 Euro Football matches!
My answer in a nut shell is yes, come to our secluded apartments and Villa at Geni, have your Lugger on the pontoon and enjoy the Island Sailing. There is still time and availability to book for August to mid-October
Please let me take you back to the preparation and journey, a 1578 miles, 5 day drive from my home in the Brecon Beacons. The work on Angie you will have noted was completed in early June, and the centre plate and new rudder came back from the Galvanising Co just 3 days before leaving. From October my company Dragon Design with have these available along with all Drascombe joinery and fittings. My website will be updated in August on what’s available.
The boat trailer now packed and hitched up to my new Med Trekker Kamper, PCR test done , Certificate de Honor in French and English copied off, in-transit documentation prepared for the two day stay in Italy. What can go wrong! We flew through customs control at Dover and sped on our way for Strasbourg and on to Lucerne in Switzerland.
So past Lake Lucerne and on to the Saint Gotthard high Alpine tunnel, some 13 miles long and just 2 single lanes, which can be scary! All going really well, dropping off Saint Gotthard heading south down to Milan. What would await us at Border Control? Would you believe it, absolutely nothing, not even stopped to check passports, Bengy has one as well. Border Guards wandering around smoking, chatting without face masks. What’s going on you guys, didn’t you know of the restrictions that Italy put in place in mid July? Off we sped for the last Kamper stop high up in the hills south of Bologna, an Agrio Tourisimo run by an old friend Philippe and his family.
To jump now to the final hurdle, the 20 hour ferry from Ancona to Igeomenitsa, all running on time, PLF filled in online that evening, QR code received the next morning before disembarking.
We have jolly well made it! In Greece at last!!
With two groups arriving on the Sunday it only gave me three days to clean and prep Ellie and to get my work boat Dragon Warrior ready. What a pleasant surprise when I took the cover off Ellie, apart from being slightly dirty she was just as I left her in October 2019. A power wash off, an oiled cloth to wiz over the Iroko woodwork and she was ready for launching. This you will see in the picture below. She was rebuilt in 2017, used that year and the following 18/19. A testament to the boat-building skills of Dragon Design. She now awaits on the Gialos Taverna pontoon for Dave and Andy.
It’s now Friday 9 July, my Kamper base and outside office is set up, outside BBQ and kitchen area with two cold water fridges. One for my water the other for Bengy, he loves cold water. Of course now with time in the day, he can get a least 5 swims in before bedtime!
So please, take a look at the website, although now with restrictions lifted for returning to the UK, these vacancies are changing daily. There are still good apartments available and a few spaces at the Villa Eleanor for August onwards.
For those contemplating 2022, please do not leave it too late, dates are starting to fill up. Call me for availability and package costs, I’m always available.
Many thanks to you all, from Bengy and myself
My best wishes