It was too difficult to write during the week I spent on board ‘Rapport Lady’ with Chris and Hazel, whose Huntingdon home I was living in during the summer of 2009. Lots of sun, wine, swimming and Greek-style relaxing … but very limited wifi. So, this is mostly a photographic record of sunshine, sails and the beautiful Ionian Sea.
I hadn’t even met Chris and Hazel in person before our home swap. We’d crossed paths in the air between the UK and Oz, but had emailed a lot and felt like friends. However, it was still a massive surprise to get their email from Greece suggesting I hop on a plane and come on over! It took a micro-second to decide to accept, and a return email was on its way.
Planning the trip took somewhat longer … had to book a return flight from Stansted (UK) to Athens, work out even how to get to Stansted, and then book the car into a long-stay carpark. On arrival in Athens, I had to find somewhere to stay overnight, then find my way to the rather seedy out-of-town bus station to get a ticket for the 6-hour trip to Levkas. But – as always – things worked out, and I eventually met my fantastic hosts.
We set sail the same day and for the next week just drifted around – dropping anchor in secluded bays, or nosing our way in between yachts of all sizes to tie up at a little wharf. Being able to dive overboard for a quick swim, or jump ashore for a beer or wine was bliss, as was the Greek seafood, salads and other delicacies at the little tavernas. (Greek salads take on a totally different feel in Greece … one can never have enough olives, tomatoes and fetta….)
For the whole week I didn’t have to do anything nautical. Chris and Hazel had everything down to a fine art and made a great team when it came to pulling on ropes, dropping and hauling up the anchor, launching the dinghy and the 101 other tasks that come with sailing boats.
After six soporific days we headed back to Levkas for me to make the return trip to Huntingdon …. 6 hours in the bus to Athens, another hour to get out to the airport, 3 hour flight back to the UK, then 2 hours in the dark driving home. Sheer exhaustion, but worth every minute!
Life on board