Just a few snaps of some of the ubiquitous cats in Greece. Some cats are kind of well looked after and fed, but others are really sick. A sad sight to see.
Bay: small, mud, 5-7m deep, not very clear, swimming ok
Amenities: Tavernas, Cocktail bar, Supermarkets, ATM, rubbish bins, boat rentals, post
We arrived in Agios Stefanos on Tuesday 18th July after planning to go to Kassiopi on the north side of north Corfu. We were beating into the wind (N / NW) at 11 knots and the swell was about 2 metres high. We had a quick look at Kassiopi but then decided it would be much to uncomfortable and unsafe to anchor here. We turned around and went back to the south coast of north Corfu to be in the lee and more sheltered from wind and waves. We anchored in 5m of water and put 30m of chain out with very good hold.
Even though the bay is small it is very busy – we were surprised to see 5 boats in here when we arrived, by night we were 11! Throughout the day there are shiploads of rental motor boats whizzing in and out of the bay, some slow down inside the bay, others not so much.
There are little wooden jetties coming out from the tavernas and friendly tavern staff is trying to wave you down to tie up on their jetty when you want to go ashore. We tied up to Fagopotion and the staff were really friendly, not only helping me with my broken arm, but they also took care of our rubbish.
As in Kalami, the big cruise liners go past at night (saw Queen Victoria one night) and you get rudely awakened by their wake. I found the swell to be not quite as bad as in Kalami, but maybe we were just lucky enough to be pointing nose first into the waves on more occasions.
After we anchored in the bay we watched a father and son team come in on a charter boat trying to anchor behind us. We watched them try about 10 times until Alistair decided to jump into the dinghy and help them out. Their problem was that they were going backwards to quick and too soon so the anchor had no chance of setting on the bottom. The next morning the father swam over and thanked us for the help and even though he checked during the night in the big swells – they felt safe because the anchor was set and holding perfectly due to our help. Later Alistair helped out an Aussie boat that was anchored too close for comfort. They agreed and said they would take a stern line ashore to be out of our way. Alistair took the dinghy and pushed the Aussie boat around so they could tie off more easily. They left the next day. Probably experiencing a very uncomfortable night being side on to all the swells…
On our second day new/more yachts came in, one of them anchoring again quite close to us (I am a bit paranoid now) but within 30 minutes their anchor had dragged so much they were out of (our) harm’s way. I don’t think they realised that they were dragging until they saw our concerned faces and fingers pointing. They tried to re-anchor twice and then gave up to move to another bay.
Never a dull moment!
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!
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.