Itaha and Kefalonia

Ithaca – Kefalonia and a broken rib

Leaving the “urban life” of Vathy Ithaki, we felt the need for a few completely uneventful days. No spectacle, “casino” or “bordell” – as our French friend Valerie so charmingly puts it. We would also have liked to take “really boring”. But finally it did not work out.

Filiatro Bay, Ithaca

After just a short trip along Ithaca’s east coast, we headed for Filiatro Bay. A pearl of Ithaca – so we were told. An indeed, it looks really very picturesque, a bay with light-coloured limestone cliffs all around, clear water and a beach with beach bars. When we arrived, we found a crowded bay. We were familiarising ourselves with the idea that, for the very first time, we wouldn’t be able to find a spot. Just as we were about to turn away, a couple of boats set off. We found an anchorage on the rocks and moored the Rivercafe with two 50 metre long stern lines. One line to a rather scolding tree trunk that three other boats were already using and the other to a rock. There is no room to anchor normaly in Filiatro. The bay is not particularly large and it is deep in the centre. To prevent the boats from swinging, they have to bring their stern to the rocks, anchor out and bring the stern line ashore.


50 m to the rocks, stern lines 

Flotilla alarm

So there we were, settled and relaxed. But not for long. Then the plague of sailing invaded the bay: a flotilla consisting of 17 !!! boats. Whats wrong in the brain that plans a flotilla of 17 vessels in the Ionian Sea? Probably as little as in the brains of the skippers of these boats. No way there is anywhere enough space without terribly bothering other yachties. Nine of them lay together in a packet – forwards to the side of us. I was only just able to prevent a tenth boat. The Romanian skippers would have put them all together without our veto. But it was my fault that I have accepted more than 6 boats in our surrounding as it turns out later.

So there we were, next to charter boats packed to the brim with 100 Romanians in party mode on board. If that hadn’t been enough of a nightmare, a single catamaran naturally moves differently to 9 monohulls moored together. Obviously interesting news for the skippers but no reason to be considered.

reckless charter flotila, that happens at night

As the wind picked up at nightfall, we were suddenly 1 metre behind this island of monohulls and their shore lines were running under our boat. We couldn’t get out of there. What a curse I had for these wretches. We laid their shore lines over Rivercafe so that they wouldn’t damage our rudders. Then we switched on our deck lights to avoid a romantic atmosphere.

This gang had disappeared man and mouse in a beach bar, and their 9 boats were lying around abandoned. If only they had all sunk. Unsurprisingly, the gang came back drunk at some point during the night. We had to keep watch through the night so that we didn’t collide. The Romanians wouldn’t have cared at all, as is usual with charter boats.

By daylight, there were plenty of drunken corpses on the vessels in front of us. We had absolutely no empathy for their hangovers and switched on the music. With the help of a nice German skipper next to us, we managed to get rid of the shore lines of these yokels and set off. Next time we’ll hang out some garlic, maybe it will help. I’m really sorry that I have to go charter bashing again. But it has to come out.

Arrival in Kefalonia

We left Ihtaka and after 10 nm we sailed into the bay of Antisamos on the east side of Kefalonia. This bay was much larger and we were able to anchor at 10 metres with 45 metres of chain because there were only three boats in the entire bay. The forecast was for rough weather from the north-west for a few days and the wind did indeed tug hard on the Rivercafe during the day and night. We also kept a night watch that night so that we didn’t run aground on any rocks. Every wind dies down at some point. Over the next few days, we enjoyed the clear water and used the calmer weather for water activities. Ka had an unfortunate fall on a SUP and broke a rib, as we learnt days later from a doctor in Argostoli, the capital. That was it for flick flacks, pole dancing and line handling for the time being. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Prediction for bad weather the next day

The bay of Antisamos lies secluded between wooded mountains. During the windy period, it remained completely deserted, with only two boats. When the wind died down, it became more crowded. A few more boats, but mainly excursion boats, used the day to visit one of the 4-5 beach bars at the end of the bay. In the high season, which is starting right now, the bay can get unbearably crowded.


beautiful bay of Antisamos

However the mornings were always magical. Small and large goats climb through the rocks and bleat. Two small turtles can be seen and a few fish – unfortunately far too few – drift under our boat. Enjoying this peaceful morning atmosphere with a fresh coffee is my highlight of the day. We left Antisamos after boat no 15 appeared.

bay empty but filling up quickly

Broken rib

So now we have arrived in Kefalonia, the largest island in the Ionian Sea. Almost 30 % larger in area than Corfu, but with 40,000 people less than half the population. I reckon there are more goats on the island than people, with 54 people sharing one square kilometre. (Corfu 172/km2). The goats run through the bushes everywhere and show off their impressive antlers. (Is that what it is called?). The story goes that feta cheese was invented here. But due to a bureaucratic folly, Kefalonia is no longer a protected trade mark area and so it has to be called “barrel cheese from Kefalonia” here. Imagine that with champagne and Rouen.

wild goats everywhere

But the only really important thing matters: everything with this feta or with feta in it tastes excellent.

Our next port of call was the small marina of Agia Pelagia in the south-west. This will also be our winter camp and we wanted to take a look at the newly renovated marina and hire a car. Unfortunately, there was a necessary, unpleasant “intervention” during which Ka had to pull hard on a rope again. As it turned out later, this was particularly “not good at all”.

Because it was time for a doctor to take a look at Ka’s pain. We organised a wickedly expensive hire car – they cost twice as much here as in Corfu – and drove to the capital Agostoli to see a doctor. The result was the aforementioned rib fracture, which then “revised” our next plans. We’ll report on our trips to Kefalonia and more about the island next time /Holger Binz

1 thought on “Itaha and Kefalonia”

  1. Oh weh! Gute Besserung für Karin! Im Frühjahr habe ich mir beim Arbeiten an Bord gleich zwei Rippen gebrochen. Wenn sie noch in Position sind, kann man nicht viel tun. Der Orthopäde empfahl mir mehrmals täglich tiefes Ein- und Ausatmen gegen einen Widerstand, um die Lunge zu belüften und Entzündungen an der Bruchstelle vorzubeugen. Hatte das Gefühl, dass es guttut. Aber es dauert …
    Viele liebe Grüße, Tom

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