Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Meganisi is a low lying island just south of Levkada. On the northern shore are several very deep inlets that penetrate the island like fingers.
We picked out one and anchored in about 15 feet of water in sand. The rocky shore plunged straight into the water. It was a nearly perfect anchorage. We went ashore and hicked over the hill to the small town of Vathi. In Vathi there is a post card perfect harbor. Yachts were lined up side by side on the quay. There were several smartly fitted out fishing boat. I'll bet that they were purchased with EU subsidies. There are not many fish left in Greek waters, but I am sure that these boats will be able to catch the few that are left.

The guide book stated that rural Greek values persist on Meganisi. We did see a lovey old Greek Orthodox church which was richly appointed and with a traditional ikon prominently displayed. We also were at the Boom-Boom having a beer and saw several young men drive up, sit at the adjacent table, and oh-so-casually slide over a 100 euro note to someone with a shaved head. So much for rural values.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Levkada is a mountainous island just adjacent to the main land. Some consider it the home of Ulysses. There Penelope resisted offers from many ravenous suitors until Ulysses returned after 10 years of having fun and slew them all. 'The Oddesy' says that he lived on Ithaca. There is an island of Ithaca nearby, but it is geologically too modest to be the literay equivalent of "fair Ithaca with lofty peaks." We anchored "stern to" on the town quay of Levkada Town after a short motor from Preveza. Levkada town is a busy but quaint town with an extensive yacht services industry. There are 2 long streets that are lined with shops, bars, markets, etc. We just picked out one restaurant and had a great dinner.

The next day was too windy to safely leave the berth so we toured the island in Philip's car. The scenery was spectacular with sheer mountain cliffs on one side and the sea on the other. We stopped for coffee at the sea-side village of Vilaski. They were having a race week. We watched the start from the coffee shop. They are on to something. The line is very long and everyone starts at once--catamarans, racing skiffs, J-24s and fat old cruising boats. It must have been quite exciting on board the 50 or so racers. The bikini contest was later, but we were off to find lunch in one of the mountain villages. There was a perfectly picturesque tarvern, the Solukous, in the village of Dragona. I had the "Cuttlefish of the Coals" which was delicious. It was the best cuttlefish I had ever had as it was the only cuttlefish I have ever had. Jan had "Rooster of the Village."

Today we moved down to Nidri, also on Lefkada. We motored thru the canal before entering the northern reaches of the Inland Sea which is an arm of the Ionian Sea. We motored past the old fort of Veronitsa. There is a great deal of turbulent history on these islands. After about 5 nautical miles we turned in past the island of Skorpios which is wholely owned by the Onassis family and entered the protected cove of Nidri.

Nidri is more of a "beachy" resort with mostly hotels, shops and restaurants. We arrived early enough to get a prime spot on the quay. Then we all got into swimsuits and spent the afternoon at the pool of the Athos hotel--all very decadent. Also poolside or asleep or both is the only way to spend the afternoon in Greece. It is so hot here that they have a Mexican-like way of life. Shops open early and then close by 2 pm or maybe 3 pm. For the government offices that's the end of the day. But commercial establishments reopen about 6 pm and stay open late.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

White Pepper Visits Greece

Jan and I are docked quay-side in the town of Preveza--a sailing center of the Ionian islands in western Greece. We are on yacht Zubenel owned by friend Philip Emmanuael.

Tabepenas stretch up and down the quay as far as the eye can see--each one more quaint and inviting than the next. (Translation of tabepens--letters b and v are equivalent in Cyrillic, p is rho which is r in Latin; hence, taverns).

But first let me tell you why I absolultely loathe Continental Airlines......., then we arrived 5 hours late, got into bed at 5 am on the second day of no sleep, and the bags are still have not gotten here 3 days later.

My first impression of Greece is how fair and blond many of the locals are. I guess that these may be the genetic remnants of Homer's "he of the flaxen-haired, blue-eyed Hellenes" some 3000 years ago. Also the young people are mostly thin, so unlike South Texas. They do smoke cigarettes, but they also walk endlessly up and down the quay, often arm in arm.

From the quay I can gaze across the small sound to a small sand spit that the locals call Actio. It was in the waters on the other side of the spit that the battle of Actium was fought 2041 years ago. Readers may recall that this battle settled the matter of Anthony and Cleopatra vs. Augustus in the favor of Mr. Augustus. The asp came later. The scene today is so quiet and mild that it seem difficult to imagine the violence and chaos of that day so long ago.

Once the bags arrive and after some yacht supplies arrive we will push off to the south to cruise some of the islands of the Ionian sea. I explained about the bags but the yacht supplies have been delayed by strikes--that's Greece.