Friday, 20 July 2012

Poly zesty!!

The weather here in Greece has been really hot over the last three weeks hitting 38 degrees on several occasions with very little wind. It means coming into port can be a very sweaty affair! John and I went up to Corfu to collect Kaylem Johns grandson who was with us for two weeks. We stopped off at Giaos in Paxos a really nice little town and it looked so much better than when we had arrived in May and it was throing it down. The flights into Preveza are difficult to find now so many people are now using Easyjet into Corfu and generally there are far more flights in and out of Corfu than Preveza. For Kaylem it was his first flight unaccompanied. He is 15. John and I managed to moor in Benitses after a bit of a wrangle with the Greeks. Greece has an abundance of unfinished marinas I cannot quite work out why they have not been finished... but the fact remains they are not. The water and electric have not been hooked up and the places are generally allowed to just fall into disrepair. In reality what happens is that they become populated by people that just dump their boats for the majority of the year and the locals fill the place with small boats so what was intended to make towns money does not. However these are free ports no one should lay a mooring... which happens alot and in some cases the marinas get taken over by the locals who charge visitors and pocket the fees.
John and I managed to squeeze into a spot in Benitses only to have a local come along and tell us that this was his spot, it was his mooring and it was his country!!! Well he backed off very quickly when John told him ' ochi (no)' and if he didn't like it he would get the port police to sort the matter out.
The longer we are in Greece the more it is evident that this year there are more East Europeans sailing and also Greeks and Italians sailing under another countries flag in an effort to avoid paying boat tax in their respective countries. Just a couple of days ago in Sivota John went to help a 'French' boat who had not put down enough anchor chain only to be told that the boat was Italian but flying a French flag.The Italians have just introdced a punitive boat tax for Italian boat owners and registering uner adifferent flag is just one way to try to avoid this wether it will work I am not sure. However it is very difficult to work out who is who with Belgians not wishing to be mistaken for Germans and the Greeks and the Italians flying a variety of flags.... so much for the European community!

I think Kaylem has enjoyed himself. He particularly enjoyed the swimming and spent alot of time in the water. The water here is now really quite warm having had six weeks non stop sun. We also went para sailing which was quite an experience soaring over Skorpios and I have to say we made a perfect landing on the back of the boat as opposed to a lady who got out of the boat before us who was soaked and had obviously landed in the sea!

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