June 18 – Ithaca to Atokos to Kastos



The morning before we set sail, I took a short jaunt into town trying to locate a shop I had seen the day before, I can’t remember what in particular I was looking for possibly a Greek flag pin for Nicole.  As I was limping down one of the side streets a little old couple were walking toward me, they both had hunched backs from old age and they were carrying a watermelon between them.  Each of them had a cane in their outside hand and with their inside hand they each gripped the handle of a plastic sack with a fairly hefty watermelon in it.

Whatever I was looking for  I didn’t find it instead I found fresh cherries. Yum.  I bought a couple of kilos so I could take a break from planted olive trees in the Ionian Sea and plant cherry trees instead.  We had difficulty getting out of Ithaca, because the boat next to us had haphazardly thrown its anchor out instead of anchoring straight out from where it was moored, so a bunch of shouting in Greek occurred on Thanos’ part, I think they were German, but they pretended they didn’t undertand English.  Alicja said now that we were in the Ionian that it would be a regular morning show, because so many amateurs sail.  Thanos and Alicja expertly untangled us and after a few more mutterings about I think “idiots” I don’t speak Greek we were on our way.  I believe the issue is that when anchors get entangled they can break.  That and it’s just not proper mooring ettiquette.

We made our way to the deserted island of Atokos for our morning swim, it was the best swim/snorkle spot to date on

The Adventure

The Adventure

the trip.  The bay water was crystall clear and although there weren’t a lot of fish, there were a lot of little caves to explore.  It was here that we started seeing puce green coral or sponges and we also saw a giant purple starfish.  I spotted it and called Juliette and Nicole over and after checking him out, Nicole surfaced spit out her snorkle and said “It’s Patrick!”  You know Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants.   She then proceeded to try an pick him up and she ended up dropping him deeper in the water where he landed all cattywampus.   We spent a good part off the morning in the bay.  Enough time for the girls to engage in a mission.

They decided they wanted shots from the island looking out.  So first they decided whose camera would make the trip.  Then they procurred a yogurt bucket from Alicja to keep it dry and then Nicole climbed on the pink styrofoam noodle and went noodling across the bay to this little beach where she could climb up and take photos.  After Nicole was done taken photos, Juliette joined her on the beach and then accompanied her on her noodle back to the boat.  It was a beautiful bay.



After our swim we had lunch.  I got lazy and quit taking notes on what Alicja fixed, but I didn’t have a bad meal on the boat, they were all excellent.   Because it was the girls last day we made a second swim stop in the afternoon in another bay.  I made a tour of a wall on the opposite side of where we were moored.  I saw lots of the puce green sponges or coral, some tiny quick moving fish that rested on their fins froglike on the bottom and another big orange starfish.  It was beautifully bright and stood out from the brownish, grey walls.

We arrived at the small island of Kastos after a very leisurely day of sailing an swimming.  We arrived just in time to watch a man dive nude into the water on the opposite side where we were moored.  Alicja and Thanos advised us not swim where we moored, because in Greece the waste from the toilets pumps directly out into the water.  We obeyed them because the thought of coming face to face with a brown trout just wasn’t that appealing.  We were moored right next to a large catamaran and recieved repeated moonings from the men on board who were showering off the back on the steps.

Kastos is a very small island the harbormaster also owns the one tavern in town, there is one large grocery store that

The anything you can think of from any era grocery store

The anything you can think of from any era grocery store

looks like you could find items in it that expired in 1950 and a smaller convenience store.  Not much in the way of tourist shops.  Because I was still on tap for the weekly report I set off to find an internet cafe.  There were none down near the harbor, but a very helpful woman who was selling handmade jewelery said there was one up the hill.  So I made my way up this super windy, steep road.  They told me it was just past the church.  When I got up there I found the cafe and there was a man on the internet, but he told me they didn’t have any internet, what?  I didn’t argue with him, but made my way a little ways down the road to see if it was wireless and could illegally hook into the connection.  I couldn’t.  Not even with the aid of a helpful one-eyed cat that stopped to see if he could help me in my illegal pursuits.

So I headed back down the steep, windy road and was dripping sweat by the time I reached the bottom.  I had spent the afternoon, sitting on the bow planting cherry trees and I was now out of seeds, so I stopped at the find everyting all they way back to 1940 grocery store to see if they had cherries. They did, but they didn’t look so good, so instead I bought red wine.  Alicja usally serves white because it’s served chilled and it gets fairly hot in the afternoon, but I prefer red so I kept trying different types.  After my shopping expedition, I met the crew at the tavern

The long winding road

The long winding road


Most of the group ordered the lamb, I ordered garlic shrimp that I had to pop the heads off and peel, I hate working for my food.  They were o.k., but not nearly garlicky enough, but the tavern served very good red wine and for dessert won the award for best bacalava.  It was difficult to find places that served bacalava so we were plesantly surprised and even more pleased when it arrived.  It arrived accompanied by two scoops of ice cream, with cherry sauce.  It was the best bacalava of the trip.  I even thought about seconds.

After dinner we headed back to the boat at around 11:30 p.m. because the girls had to be up and at the ferry stop at 7:00 a.m. the next morning.

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