On the road again – Well, on the Sea again!
Great News. 20th July and the first two flotillas set out from Gouvia Marina on a glorious summer’s day. Arriving in Greece once again was like medicine for the brain and body.
A single plate of calamari, a Greek salad, and a cold beer blew away the UK cobwebs and suddenly the world seemed a much better place.
Some of our flotilla boats setting sail from Gouvia
Barrie headed out with the yachts to take some photos and the atmosphere was glowing with smiles because everyone appeared to feel the same.
We don’t forget that the local people on the islands have also been on lockdown, and seemly can’t wait to get back to normal (although it will take some time). Very few companies have been able to get up and running as quickly as ourselves.
Lead crew brief the flotilla in Gouvia Marina
The Greek people have been on more frugal rations than were provided in the UK! It seemed weird to be starting our summer in July, although the weather was perfect. The Meltemi breeze from the Northwest is keeping the temperature at a balmy mid 30’s and providing perfect sailing conditions.
The sight of the normally busy anchorages and harbours being empty in July feels very odd but also quite special for our flotillas. It feels a bit like the old days with only us around except on much more comfortable yachts. I am sure many of you will remember the Jaguar 27s just as fondly as we do.
The effects of the virus are mainly visible in the tavernas, with all staff rightly obliged to wear little or large Perspex face shields (even though eating is pretty much outdoors). Inside shops it is face mask time, but the rest of the time we are naturally social distancing in the open-air.
Persephone enjoying the sunshine
Barrie, Heidi and Francis were absolutely spoilt with a fabulous moussaka last night and a tender beef stifado the night before with all the mezze style trimmings. What a change from life in the UK! It is certainly holiday time here in every possible way.
Greece has been spared the worst of the pandemic, possibly due to the thousands of separate islands providing natural protection. They had a few cases which arrived due to people driving down from the north of the Balkans, so they have closed that border now.
Anyway, our team has managed to prepare 4 flotillas (the next 2 go out on 26th July) and we will hopefully manage to get half the fleet out for half the summer.
Those of you who are able to join us are in for a real treat in the wide-open spaces of the Ionian Islands. It will be largely all yours because we are one of the few holiday providers with the infrastructure and crew able to get swiftly into gear.
Be assured, getting off the plane and down to the harbour or marina is like turning a light on in the brain and that first cold beer is a religious experience!
Hopefully we will see you out there.
Barrie, Heidi and the Sailing Holidays Team
Those not already booked, check for availability from our office on 020 8459 8787 to see if there is anything left on a date you would like. The next few weeks have a mixture of families and couples who will see the Ionian Island area at its very best. If we are unable to get you on one flotilla, we will try to squeeze you on another.