Date: 4.5.2017; 6.7.-8.7.2017
Bay: Muddy, good holding once through the mud, good protection from prevailing winds, open to east, small swell from passing ferries and fishing boats coming into fishing port, 4-6m of water
Amenities: tavernas with wifi on beach, little beaches, good for swimming, one tavern offers showers and laundry facilities, hotel has a pool which can be used, small shop, supermarket and bakery
We’ve been twice to Petriti and it always makes for a beautiful sunset with a red-orange glow sweeping across the bay and over the coastline of the mainland. Fishing boats leave the port around 8pm and return early in the morning – always followed by a swarm of seagulls and their little 'pilot' vehicle. The water is clear once the mud settles after setting the anchor it’s warm and swimming is nice.
Petriti is a small town and it doesn’t take long to walk around. Well kept houses and green trees/grass and flowers complete the picture.
When we anchored here the first time early May, we were about 5 boats in the bay. In July we were 40 anchored plus the town quay/fishing port was full.
Some evenings seem to have Greek Dancing/music night and/or karaoke…. We decided to listen rather than join while enjoying Butter Chicken for dinner - karaoke that night seemed to have been Indian themed. Not judging whether it was good or bad ,just saying that it was loud.
Date: 2nd - 4th May 2017, 8th-9th July 2017
Bay: Sand and weed, good holding once through weed, open to SE, 5-12m, clear water, swell from passing ferries
Amenities: Tavernas on beach, wifi, Kayak/SUP rental, waterski/donut rides, small supermarket and shops, accomodation, boat trips, pools
Great little bay in the north of Corfu, facing Albania. It doesn't seem to get too crowded here (3 boats in May, 16 boats in July). We found there is good holding in the bay, although you should be aware of the weed and it may take a couple attempts until you find that holding underneath the sea grass. Once set, you can take the dinghy ashore and tie up to one of the little pontoons. In May, they had no planks and it was a bit of a balancing act to get across but that has been taken care of now.
Nothing is more inviting than sitting in the tavernas on the beach with a glass of white wine and watch other saling yachts (and the occasional super yacht) come and go and people having a go on the colourful SUPs that Kalami Kayaks has to offer. I had a go myself, and I loved it - didn't fall off, that's a great plus! Unfortunately, in July I couldn't do it because of my broken arm.
The water is clear and great for swimming, if you feel like a lazy beach day you can hire a lounger and umbrella for 3Euro each per day.
Again, loved the colours, loved the people!
The only downside to this anchorage is the big swell coming into the bay from passing ferries and cruising ships. Make sure all your cupboards are closed and nothing can fall over (especially at night)
Arriving in Greece we knew we had to clear in and get our official paperwork sorted. We didn’t want to leave it for too long being a non EU boat and authorities may have us on their radar. On Friday morning we left Lakka to head to a port of entry - Gouvia Marina.
Friday afternoon the cleaning lady in the Port Police office told us to come back on Saturday. When we came back on Saturday morning we were told that we needed to go to the tax office first, which is in Corfu Town, but they won’t be open on the weekend PLUS Monday was a public holiday. So we could only check in officially on Tuesday, meaning we were not really able to sail off again…
We thought it was weird that we had to go to Corfu Town, as Gouvia is supposed to be a port of entry. So we decided to do some online research to find out what we really needed to do. We started a thread in a facebook group and got about 20 different answers, we checked the Cruising Association website and got more and more confused….
Finally, we found out what we needed to do – we needed a Transit log and not a DEKPA!
This is what we found out:
Non-EU boat & non-EU residents, VAT paid on boat, also Swiss boats/residents
Go to customs office in Corfu Town, he may send you over to passport control. The passport control officer checks your passport and then sends you back to the customs office who will then take your passports / boat papers to make up the Transit log. Be careful, if you are EU citizens to tell and show him that you are not an EU resident, otherwise he will only give you a Transit Log for 1 month! The only question he asked us was how many litres of diesel we had on board. All in all it took us 40 minutes to get all the paperwork done – cost 30 Euro, the Log is valid for 18 months.
Head to the Port Police in Gouvia Marina with the Transit Log and have yourself checked into the country / port, pay another 15 Euro to the PP for whatever reason and you are free to go… that is, when you leave the marina again, you have to let the PP know. Each port/marina you go to you need to find the PP to check in and then check out again when you leave.
At the end of your stay in Greece you have to hand in the Transit Log before you leave.
EU boats & EU residents
Since April 2017 there is a facility in the 1st floor of the marina office to pay your 50 Euros for the DEKPA, take the receipt/paperwork to the PP. DO NOT go to the PP first and ask for the DEKPA, they will send you to the tax office in Corfu Town, which is completely unnecessary. Maybe by now they know better. The DEKPA is valid for 3 years and does not have to be handed back when leaving Greece.
If you are unsure, you can always ask a taxi driver. The guy who took us to customs knew everything: EU / non-EU, DEKPA, Transit Logs, where to go, how long it takes, what it costs… we should have asked him before we started our web search!
Date: 31st April – 2nd May
Price: 59Euro/night + VAT
Water: drinking water – charged / non potable water – free
Wifi: charged (30Euro/month)
Amenities: Chandler, Dive shop, Supermarket, Laundry, Restaurants, Bars, Port Police, Swimming Pool, Toilets/Showers, Ship Yard, Fuel Dock
Laundry: 10Euro/load, 12Euro/wash&dry
On 31st April we headed up to Gouvia Marina, Corfu to check ourselves in with the port authority and get our DEKPA (Transit Log).
We planned to leave between 9 and 10 am after we took Tiny to shore to do her business. While we were getting ready Tiny decided that the boat was good enough for a pee and we could get the outboard off the dinghy and then hoist the dinghy up earlier than anticipated and left Lakka at 9am.
We tried to sail for a while but once we got in between Corfu and the mainland there was not much wind left and we had to motor for a few hours. A couple of hours before we arrived we called the marina if they had room for a couple of days (by the time we arrived the Port Police would be shut) and then advised them of our arrival via VHF once we came down the channel to the entrance and were escorted to our berth by a marinero. We tucked in between a charter boat and a custom made steel motor sailer inspired by American fishing trawlers.
Gouvia Marina is completely different to what we experienced the last 7 months in Licata. It is big, it is busy, it is noisy. Mind you, during winter there were about 5 liveaboards and all the shops in the marina were shut. Now, especially the charter boats were hustling and bustling to get ready for the season. Gouvia is the base for the Sailing Holidays charter company, who have 140 well maintained yachts here, a big group of young and friendly staff and a Kiwi owner who stumbled upon us (our NZ flag). We became best friends for a couple of days and got some insight into the charter business and some good tips and laughs along the way. Maybe, once we’ve done sailing ourselves we’ll give him a call and work for him. In Greece. There’s worse.
The marina had lots of restaurants and bars, shops, a swimming pool, showers and toilets that kept getting cleaned, a laundry service with clean washing machines and even a dive shop to get our dive tank filled again. Lots of tavernas just outside the marina were great and cheaper – we are recommending the mixed grill platter (when you are very hungry).
Saturday we wanted to see the Port Authority only to be told that we would need to see the Tax Office in Corfu Town first but they are closed on weekends and Monday was a public holiday (1st of May) so we spontaneously decided to find a Vodafone store to get a data sim card for Greece – the closest one was 6.3km away. So off we went. It took us over 5 hours to get there and back and a sim card. Oh my poor legs! Oh my poor legs for a couple of days!
After 4 nights and obtaining our official Greek paperwork we decided it was time to leave – had spent enough time in a marina and were looking forward to some beautiful Ionian bays!
Since we arrived at 10pm on Tuesday 25th, April 26th was our first day in Greece. We woke up to a beautiful bay, green hills, colourful houses and turquoise water. Once I put on my polarised sunglasses the colours were even more amazing! We put our dinghy in the water and mounted the outboard – the first time we tried it outside the marina. We were going to find out if the davit works and the harness holds under real conditions. All good. We went over to the beach – stones and pebbles, so Tiny didn’t like it too much there but walked up the beach to have a sniff around. Later we strolled through the village. Everything was quiet but you could feel a hustling and bustling going on in the background. Restaurants, bars, shops etc were busy painting, varnishing, cleaning, fixing things in time for the start of the season on 1st May. You could feel the people taking pride in their village and businesses – everything was fresh and clean. Being early in the season (or just before) some restaurants were not open yet or had limited menus. During our stay we did manage to get some Moussaka, Tzatziki, Greek Salad, Feta, Lamb Kleftiko, Garlic Mushrooms, Stuffed Mushrooms /Peppers, Fried Zucchini, Meatballs, Aglio&Olio Spaghetti, Sofrito, Calamari, Baklava, Orange Cake, Yoghurt&Honey (&Figs), Beer, Wine, Ouzo,… So all was good!
There are some good walks available that take you out to the west coast beaches, the lighthouse and the ruins of the church Agiou Thoma.
Lakka has a town quay that you can moor to using your anchor and stern lines. Water can be provided by the Hotel Ilios (just off the harbour side), where you can also have a shower (4Euro/person).
We loved the colours, the food, the people, the scents, the water (a bit too cold to swim), the safe anchorage… We could happily spend a month here at anchor – weather permitting!
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.