Kerkyra, Kerkyra me to Pontikonisi

Yes, the time had come to complete our first ( with Elena) long sailing trip, meaning to sail through the night! We made the boat ready, cleaned it well, and mentally prepared for our more than 180NM trip! And what a trip it was!

We cleared the customs in Bar, Montenegro on Wednesday, 25th August, and set our sails with a reef towards Greece. We had a beautiful half-wind sailing although the wind became less as time passed. At some point in the night, a thunderstorm erupted which changed the wind direction 180 degrees, and then suddenly the wind died completely out so we had to start our engine. Let me tell you, motoring in the night with waves is no fun. Still, we were making miles and Elena was sleeping so progress was being made! Elena did wake up around 3am but it was so much fun since she was ecstatic about the darkness of the night, the bright moon, and all the little stars and the other boats in the distance. Quite an experience for such a little one! I put her back to bed and slept with her until the sun rose when I took over the steering wheel so Jelle could dose off. In the meantime, the wind returned and we were sailing nicely towards Corfu (Kerkyra). We successfully moored Libra in the cutest marina, marina Mandraki under the old castle, on August 25th at 15:00 after 193miles! We made it to Greece!!!!

Corfu is absolutely stunning, with rich history, quaint buildings, ancient ruins, and vibrant city life. Marina Mandraki, where we moored Libra, is located just under the old fortress and was a short (albeit steep) walk to the historic center. We spent 4 days on this beautiful island, resting, enjoying the local delicacies, and exploring the magnificent sights. We strolled around the Kantounia, the Spaniada, Liston, the palace, and of course, the old fortress which we crossed every day to and from the boat.

We also rented a car for a day and visited the oldest village in Corfu, Palea Perithea, an abandoned place with ancient ruins and two taverns for the tourists. We visited Palaiokastritsa, a once beautiful, wild bay but now a very busy, touristic resort full of hotels, rental boats, and too many people. Our last stop was Pontikonisi, a tiny little islet where only a boat takes you and where you could also witness many airplanes landing and taking off on the airstrip right next to the land. That stop was Jelle’s and Elena’s favorite and we spent a long time checking out airplanes!

Sailing to Greece with Libra was a dream come true and Corfu was a perfect first stop! Cannot wait to explore more of my homeland with my family in our trusted 23-year-old boat!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Wim Koerten says:

    Leuk verhaal en leuke foto’s waarvan er een paar ons bekend voor komen. Een paar jaar geleden waren wij ook op Corfu. Wij kijken uit naar het vervolg.

  2. Kitty says:

    What a adventure with the whole family and Elena is now officially a sail girl. Thank you Natassa for sharing with us your story with pictures on your blog. Kisses from Oma

  3. Frans en Anita says:

    Wat fijn te lezen dat jullie een goede lange reis hebben gemaakt en ook dat het voor en met Elena zo goed is gegaan. Ja Corfu is prachtig, mooie foto’s weer. Geniet ervan en goede vaart op naar het volgende avontuur! liefs frans en Anita

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