Port Leone via Formikoula & a few caves. 23 Aug 2012

Today we saw dolphins! Quite a way off they were in sight for about ten minutes playing in the sea. The rest of team Skinner also explored a few caves in the dinghy whilst I stayed aboard circling the yacht nearby.

It was a great day on the water. A relaxed morning of motoring with no wind was followed by a great downwind leg on a reach early evening to get us anchored in Port Leone. We explored every cave system we saw along the way! Two from the boat & one at anchor. Chris is determined that the kids really enjoy this holiday & so the more exploring, pirate hunting, and secret missions the better! Chris rowed the kids around the island of Formikoula in a kayak, they were gone for ages & finally appeared with the excuse it was much bigger than expected & Chris was knackered! Meanwhile my phys for the day was swimming to the beach from our spot anchored out in the bay & back to meet them, which was quite a trek – but with a snorkel mask looking at all the fish it was so much better than a few lengths in the pool.

Arriving in the small natural bay of Port Leone we tried our hand at anchoring whilst reversing to tie stern-to to a big rock. The wind however had different ideas & we were swinging before we could get near enough to shore. A quick move round the other side of the cove, under the church, had us in a very secluded spot away from the majority of yachts, and soon anchored & tied off to a suitable boulder, this time with the wind in our favour. The small beach is somewhat neglected, with debris washed up, but the water is turquoise & clear, and beautiful to swim in. Amelie described it as like “swimming in a jar of fish”.

Meanwhile this is so far the best family holiday we’ve been on. The kids can get ratty & argumentative, but are easily entertained & are enjoying the swimming & sailing as much as us. Giving them responsibility helps, small things, but William is in charge of tying up the kayak when they come back to the boat, and Amelie the same for the dingy. William also thinks he’s the captain, which has its moments (!) but generally the Skinner family can get on in a small space for 5 days so far!! Let’s hope it will work for the whole 9 month trip we have planned.

The Ionian is truly beautiful, and when at anchor after a refreshing swim holding a glass of wine/beer I don’t mind knowing we’re going back home on Sunday, because one day this will be our life for nearly a year! (although in the land of rum punch if all is going to go to plan) x

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