We left Messolonghi early on Monday morning (September 3rd) to make our way across to Zakynthos Town where our friends, Julie and Yvonne, were flying in to spend a few days with us. We’d heard that the part of the town quay that has electricity and water gets very busy as there is limited space for visiting yachts with the day tripper boats taking up a lot of room. However, there was plenty of room so we moored up with no problems. The company that took our lines, YCZ (Yacht Club Zakynthos), act as agents for the Port Authority and charge a ‘commission’ for helping you and then pay the Port the standard fee of 47 cents per metre. They wanted to charge us €20 per night plus €5 each for electricity and water – per day! So, we politely declined and I went round the next morning to the Port Authority to pay our dues and get a key fob for the utilities. It cost us the princely sum of €21 for three days mooring and €8 for the electricity and water during the whole of our stay.
We spent Tuesday and Wednesday getting food, cleaning the boat, washing clothes and doing admin. The wind had got up Wednesday and was forecast to be strong on Thursday as well so we were glad we had got in early and our anchor was well dug in. Wednesday afternoon was ‘interesting’ as other boats moored in the strong winds – some made a better job of it than others.
Inevitably, Yvonne and Julie’s plane was delayed so it was nearly 10pm before they got on the boat. We went out to a local taverna for a very late supper and catch up. We decided that we would hire a car on Thursday to travel round the island as the winds were still too strong to take our guests out. Thursday morning was a beautiful, albeit, windy day and our car was duly delivered to the town quay. We spent the day discovering eco farms, gorgeous beaches and topped it off with a meal at sunset in Kambi.
The highlight was Shipwreck Bay despite all the hype and masses of people. We got there about 5pm after all the tripper boats had left and walked across the headland to look back. Breathtaking.
After a quick food shop, we left Zakynthos Town to sail around the south of the island to Keri and Turtle Island. Yvonne helmed part of the way as we sailed in the afternoon breeze. We anchored just off the little harbour at Keri and all of us jumped into the sea at the first opportunity! Dinner on board after deciding to take a tripper boat to Turtle Island and Keri Caves the next morning as it looked quite a long way to take the dinghy.
Up early on Saturday to see whether we could get on a boat. Liz negotiated the price down as there were four of us and we excitedly set off at 11am, hoping to see turtles. First stop, Turtle Island, where the turtles lay their eggs. The vast majority of the beach is cordoned off to protect the eggs but the water was crystal clear and warm. It was good to see that despite all the tourists, no one tried to disturb the nests. Then onto Keri Caves around the headland. Arches and more crystal clear water so another swim! Back on shore for a lovely lunch before making our way to Nimmie. Yvonne, Julie and Liz went turtle spotting whilst Jo prepared supper.
On Sunday, we decided that we would go back to the island in the dinghy for some more turtle spotting. Whilst it was interesting to explore the coves and caves, sadly no turtles. Back on the boat, Yvonne put her paddle board skills to the test and eventually was able to stand up for longer than 10 seconds. So much so, she disappeared into the distance as she could not turn the board in the wind. Liz and Baby Nimmie to the rescue. Then we saw a unicorn floating by. Again, Liz and Baby Nimmie reunited the unicorn with its owner.
A lovely farewell dinner at the harbour side before Yvonne and Julie left for their hotel in Argassi. A truly fun packed few days together.