© Findochty water sports club
Findochty Water sports Club
© Findochty water sports club
Made with Xara
What we do 2017
Greek South Ionian Neilson Flotilla Holiday May 2017
Saturday 6 
th
 May
After receiving mail from Latesail.com we, being Neil, Mairi and George elected to avail ourselves of a generous offer to sail 
in the sun on board a Dufour 325 and when discussing our plans  with Bev and Angus, they also booked up. So it came to pass
that around 13:00 on Saturday Neil, Mairi, George, Bev and  Angus headed off for Aberdeen airport to catch a British Airways 
flight to Heathrow for an overnight stop. Flotilla holidays  generally all fly out of the principal airports in England. If you opt 
for bareboat charter sailing, you organise each element yourself leaving an option open to head out from Glasgow or 
Edinburgh. Anyway a night in an IBIS hotel in London with an  early start the next morning was a stress free method to go on 
holiday. 
Sunday 7
th
 May (Heathrow to Vounaki via Prevesa)
With a 09:20 check-in for our 11:20 flight we all had time for a spot of breakfast at Spoons before we were on our way.
Another British Airways flight which had been chartered 
by Neilsons for the transport of  their customers. Luxury 
to have a bit of legroom in  comparison to the Ryanair,
Easyjet, Jet2 seating  configuration. Everything went well 
with dookers arriving safe in  Prevesa and a quick pick up
to bus followed by 40 minutes to the Vounaki resort.
So with a safe arrival at the Neilson, Vounaki holiday 
beach resort, very nice, Neil,  Mairi & Doddie boarded 
their accomodation for the  week, a Dufour 325 “KILIFI”,
with Bev and Angus boarding their Dufour 325 
“SARAH”. With a 2 hour  clock difference and a few 
celebratory refreshments we all  went to the restaurant for
a late evening meal. Pizza’s  and chicken were very good 
sweeled doon with a spot of  wine and on to retire aboard.
Sleep came easy which might  explain Bev’s headache in 
the morning. Being early in the  season the night time 
temperatures are  pleasant with the odd hot night. 
Monday 8
th
 May (Vounaki to Abeliki)
Our flotilla skipper for the week was Sam, assisted by 
Tom the engineer and Celt his  mate all sailing onboard 
our lead boat “MARIANNE”.  After an extensive first day 
briefing we finally sailed out at  11AM. We got Kilifi’s 
brand new Hyde sails up, no in  mast furling here but semi 
battened with stack pack. We sailed south to Abiliki Bay, 
on the North coast of  Meganissi island, where we 
anchored off the pier. Bev and  Angus followed us in and 
rafted “Sarah” on to “Kilifi”  swinging to one anchor for a 
lunch stop. Bev and Angus had  stores aboard and Neil 
was still digesting his late  mega breakfast. So it was that
Doddie and Mairi broke out of  the wrapper the spleet new
dingy and rowed ashore to  meet the natives and have a
wee spot of lunch at Minos’s  restaurant. Greek salad and
saganaki cheese sweeled doon  with a spot of local red. 
The cheese was shared with the  local pussy cats and Mairi 
met Snowy the pet bunny  rabbit who was a little cutie pie. 
Didn’t see him at night and had to check the menu to 
ensure there was no rabbit stew on. Rowed the dingy
back and then took Willy the  whale for a swim. The
fleet started to arrive and all  were tied on stern to the
small jetty. “Kilifi” remained  at anchor overnight as it 
was getting short of space on  the jetty. “Kilifi” crew 
dingied ashore in the evening  for a G&T event
organised by the lead crew.  An opportunity to get to 
know the others on the flotilla  before we all sat down in 
Minos’s restaurant. There was  Mousaka, Oven Chicken
and Swordfish on a skewer  with Saganaki cheese and 
Meat Balls for starters, afa  yummy. After all of this
“Kilifi’s” crew paddled the  new dingy back to the 
anchorage for the end of day 2, first proper day at sea.
(Distance 8 miles) 
Tuesday 9
th
 May (Abliki to Sivota via Spartakhori)
Mairi woke at 20 to 7 and decided everybody else 
should be up as well! Kettle put on for the morning coffee 
while a quick wash was had  trying to preserve a 
dwindling water stock which  we never did figure out why 
it disappeared so fast. With  “Kilifi” being at anchor the 
sun came over the hill bathing  her decks in warm morning 
sunshine whilst the fleet  languished alongside in semi 
darkness. Good move to stay  out the previous day. We
paddled ashore for the morning  brief, to discuss our next 
destination and have a wee spot  of breakfast at Minos,
still nae rabbit stew. 
We all departed Abliki with “Sarah” following  “Kilifi” for 
a visit into Spartakhori.  The  bay is an enchanting spot 
with deep cobalt blue water and steep slopes planted with 
olive trees.     We anchored both yachts separately due to a
gusty wind blowing off the hills and questionable holding 
ground. A morning swim  opportunity and a visit to the 
view point up the hill.  The  view is wonderful out over 
Nidri, Madhouri, Skorpios and  right across to the 
mountains of the mainland on  the E.  We departed
Spartahori to sail through the  Meganissi Channel to 
Sivota. The channel was more  of a washing machine with 
challenging sailing as the wind  veered and backed whilst 
we tacked our way south.
Arrived in Sivota being another quaint small town, this time on the island of Lefkas’s South coast. The landlocked bay lies 
immediately W of Ormos Rouda.  It was nice to visit Sivota as  mid week stopover as previously, with Sailing Holidays, it was 
a departure or end port on previous flotilla holidays. 
Our evening ashore was spent in the 12 gods restaurant having Mousaka, Chicken and Bacon followed  up with a spot of
dancing but there doesn’t appear to be many dancers onboard this fleet. The bairn enjoyed herself.
(Distance 10 miles) 
Wednesday 10 
th
 May (Sivota to Kioni)
After Neil getting his breakfast in, a shopping trip for 
essentials, a quick morning  brief we attempted a
departure with final success  after disentangling crossed 
anchor chains and having to  find and cancel battery 
alarms. But out and clear of the land, sails were hoisted 
and “Kilifi” lifted up her skirts  and was off like a
greyhound south to the island  of Ithaka.  The dolphins
put in an appearance albeit  brief.  We had a lunch and
swim stop behind one church island, Ak Nicholas, before continuing past Frikes and into Kioni. Last  in again. To get all the 
fleet in the same place we were honeycomb parked. First yachts in  moored with bow anchor down and two stern lines to the
quay in a standard Mediterranean moor fashion. The last boats in, being ourselves, came in with the bow between two boats. 
Tom our engineer then carried out our kedge anchor. Two head  lines, two spring lines and the kedge taut, we were all fast and 
secure for the night.  Kioni village and harbour lies just S of  Ormos Frikes and the village is a gem, an amphitheatre of houses 
built around the steep slopes of the bay, the slopes and the valley  behind planted in olive groves with the odd tall cypress 
poking through.  An evening  meal of Mousaka at “The Mills” before retiring for the night.  
(Distance 9 ½ miles)
Thursday 11 
th
 May (Kioni to Kalamos)
An early morning stravaig along the front found the 
jewellery shoppy but was  not  to the bairns taste therefore
would appear to be no bullion  purchases this trippy, much
to Neil’s relief.  Instead, more  essential supplies from the 
local store and a purchase of  spinach and cheese pies 
from the baker yum yum. Continue to eek out our
meagre water stock. We  departed Kioni and had sails up 
for a gentle sail to the East towards Kalamos. With an 
expectation of a downwind  sail in a westerly breeze we 
had a South East which  eventually died to nothing. 
Engine on and a motor into  Port Leoni for lunch and
swim stop.
Port Leoni is a deserted village on the south side of 
Kalamos. Deserted by the  people after the water supply 
was cut off subsequent to the  big earth quake of 1953. It
was a peaceful stop with  “Sarah” rafting onto “Kilifi” 
again. It was peaceful that was  until “Anchor Man” 
arrived in his motor yacht.  Anchor down, anchor up,
anchor down, anchor up,  anchor down……….too much
for the bairn so the Western  Australia Police Pipe Band 
was broken out of the box.  This led on to the dancing in 
the cockpit which Angus managed to video and post on 
facebook. One of the finer  moments of the trip but dad
slept through it all. 
From our anchorage we could see a lot of rubbish on the 
beach including an old deck  chair. Now we had told Sam
about the Lady Boubalina  escapade in the Saronics when 
we found a chair, so he  challenged us to find him one. A 
wee dingy trip ashore and  “Kilifi” had acquired the chair. 
In the late afternoon we  motored to the village of 
Kalamos, which serves as the  island capital, on the East 
coast of Kalamos Island As we  motored into the port
Mairi had taken up station  seated on the foredeck in the
deck chair. Once moored the  chair was presented to the
lead crew whereupon Tom could be seen driving the rib 
around the harbour perched on  his new seat. Mooring in 
Kalamos was alongside rafting  and as we were last in
again we were 4 
th
 off.   The evening started off with a
cocktail competition  on the quay. Things were going well 
until “Kilifi” lowered the tone  and presented the Stroupie 
cocktail which meant, as Celt  was the official taster, Celt 
landed up with the plastic  stroupy wedged, by the bairn,
in his mouth. Sam the skipper  and Martha the skipper
trainer, were previously alerted  and were able to post the pictures around the whole Neilson fleet within 30 minutes. Hopefully 
we have not seriously damaged  Celt’s mental condition nor his future prospects with Neilson’s. 
After the rains fell we went ashore to George’s restaurant for more Mousaka and  prawn saganaki. After George’s we spent a bit 
of time at one of the local bars on the quay with a beer, the lead  crew and some other flotilla members before clambering 
quietly over 3 boats to find “Kilifi”. 
 (Dis  tance 17 miles) 
Friday 12 
th
 May (Kalamos to Little Vathi)
In the morning the new dingy was launched and Doddie and Mairi went for a circumnavigation of Kalamos harbour, dumping 
rubbish in the bins on the far side and searching for fresh water.  Thinking they had found a source the circumnavigation was 
completed and Doddie headed forth to find a container and water  to replenish the water tank on “Kilifi” which was now dry. 
With 30 litres of success Neil and Doddie proceeded to the brief.  Go to Little Vathi and don’t go inside the little island or you 
will run aground was the instructions, no mention of the risk of  howling gusts of wind in the North Kalamos channel. After 
watching the privateers untrachling their anchors we departed. 
With full main and no genoa we headed north and into the jaws of death. To be fair we did see the gusts up ahead just before
they struck. “Kilifi” rounded beautifully with the top rail in the  water, the bairn nearly disappearing overboard in her dookers, 
with the call of **** me my IPAD and seconds later, head to  wind, all personnel accounted for and the bairns IPAD still dry we 
decided that 2 reefs would be prudent. As we had seen
over 30 knots on the clock we  put out a warning to the 
fleet behind us most of whom  ignored the shout with one 
in particular managing a beautiful 360°. We cleared the 
channel and rolled out a bit of  genny and had a cracking 
sail across  to Meganissi in force 5 to 6. 
As it was cloudy we didn’t have a lunch  stop and for once
were first in. However, not  being certain of where we 
were supposed to berth we  dropped anchor just outside 
the port as the rain came on.  With the shower passed,
yacht ”Caroline” identified  “Karnagio’s” pontoon as the 
place to be. Mairi questioned  her crew as to whether
anybody had paid any attention  at the brief. Doddie 
claimed lead crew’s artistry  was questionable as they 
hadn’t drawn on the muckle  headland between the port 
and Karnagio’s. Anyway  anchor up and stern moor with
lazy lines to Karnagio’s  restaurant meant that lunch was
available ashore. Neil had succulent leg of lamb with 
Mairi and Doddie on Greek  salads. The afternoon was
spent lazing, finally finding a  water hose to fill water 
tanks and generally lazing in the sun. The evening meal was a return to Karnagio’s although by this  time Neil wis nae weel and 
didna get any supper. Broad Bean starter followed by stiffado for  supper was beautiful with the bairn discovering a prosecco 
source and endeavoured to  eliminate it. Karnagio’s subsequently got a 5 on Trip Advisor. 
 (Distance 13 miles) 
Saturday 13 
th
 May (Little Vathi to Vounaki)
With Karnagio’s having WIFI access all e-mails etc were caught up with. For a change all of “Kilifi’s” crew attended the brief 
in the restaurant. Neil by this time was a tad hungry so ordered up  a special omelette for his breakfast. As the prosecco source 
had failed to be eliminated the previous night and as it was last  port Mairi and Doddie decided to have a wee prosecco with 
Neil deciding it was a good idea to wash doon his breakfast with a  wee white, since it was our last port you see. Well the 9AM 
briefing was just about to start when “Kilifi’s” breakfast  appeared which earned a round of applause from the rest of the fleet!!!
With briefing complete, breakfast finished and bills paid, we  assisted “Sarah” out of her berth before releasing “Kilifi” and 
heading to sea for the last day. Heading North on engine and no sails as it was flat calm we proceeded to goat bay with 
thoughts, a wee tear and a sniff, of Tom who passed away here on our last holiday in 2013. The goats are still there but the 
small restaurant on the shore has gone. We slowly motored on to  the next bay before dropping anchor for a lunch stop. Still flat 
calm and in sunshine we lunched and swam with Willy 
and the rubber ring. Sadly we  eventually departed to head 
for home base at Vounaki. Sam  our lead skip mentioned 
that he had heard there was a  mankini onboard and they 
had all seen Neil’s rubber frogs  head which he had a want
to go swimming with. Sam  suggested if these items were 
to be aired then he would  berth us outside the main office. 
So en-route to Vounaki we  made a paper replacement 
name of “BORAT” and  covered up “Kilifi” with the stern 
fender. The stroupy of cocktail  fame was lashed to centre
point of the wheel, Neil wore  the frog’s head and rubber
ring and as for  Doddie who was driving………. 
We entered the marina stern first to berth alongside the 3 
lead crew boats outside the  main office, to a round of
wolf whistles and the lead crew  waiting to take our ropes 
heard to say “Oh god! Is he  wearing a mankini and 
speedos?” They then spotted  the stroupy and the bairns
scrunchy beaver which was  jammed between the speedos
and the mankini, it was  hilarious!! There was much flashing of cameras whilst Mairi, for once, decided someone had to be 
sensible and did the mooring ropes. 
After things settled we were able to get hot showers and tidied up before a cocktail party ashore where Pimm’s  punch was
served declared mingin by the bairn so her and Neil went onto  beer. With Pimm’s finished we all moved along the beach to the 
barabeque, except for Neil who decided he wis afa tired. It really  was an excellent barbeque with reasonable wine. The 
presentation of prizes for the week then took place with Bev  wining the enthusiasm award and “Kilifi” aka “Borat” winning the 
class act. Being our last night Doddie, Mairi, Bev and Angus  headed into Palairos which is a small village beside Vounaki, and 
has a small harbour and sits under the high mountains in the NE  of Ormos Palairos.  We arranged to go with the lead crews
although we initially lost them but on finding them again 
in the second bar the dancing started with Mairi and 
Martha doing “Summer of 69”  with accompanying air 
guitars. With co-ordination  becoming an issue Bev and 
Angus took a taxi back to  “Sarah” and Mairi and Doddie 
walking back at 2AM with  some of the other flotilla 
folks. 
(Distance 11 miles)
Sunday 14 
th
 May (Vounaki to London)
We were up again at 6AM having been eaten alive by 
mosquitos. Packing was  undertaken unenthusiastically 
with the masks and snorkles  unfortunately being left 
behind. As we were up we felt  our lead crew should be 
up as well so with the  collaboration of Martha who went 
aboard and turned on their radio we gave them a blast of 
Captain  Pugwash on their working channel. 
buffet breakfast in the  restaurant. With “Kilifi” vacated 
and bags stacked ashore we  took up station beside the 
child free infinity pool for the day swimming and sleeping in the sun. A beautiful hot and sunny day.  The marina at Vounaki has
a hotel, pools and beach activities. The hotel and infinity pool is  perched up the hill from the marina so affords beautiful 
panoramic views over the sea.
With the middle of the afternoon it was time for showers, to say our goodbyes and catch the sad bus to the airport and our flight 
to London.
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