Second day with the boat. Having vaguely mastered the basics of handling a little boat yesterday, I planned to get to the boat hire shop earlyish (as near to 9am as poss) and head for Anti-Paxos, the little sister island about a mile south of Paxos. Felt a bit bad about getting my team up early but assured them that the effort would be worthwhile. Stocked up with a few goodies from the bakery just after 9am, left harbour at around 9.30 and arrived at Anti-Paxos' beautiful Voutoumi beach about an hour later. The colour of the water there really is mind-boggling. Like being in the Bahamas. Dropped Georgie and Don off at the jetty then dropped anchor in the middle of the bay and swam ashore. Wasn't too crowded at that time of day, considering it was high season, so we were able to grab a sunlounger each and a beach brolly. Had about a half hour before the Gaios boatloads arrived so we took the opportunity for a leisurely swim. Bright sunshine, clear turquoise sea, white sand and a big blue sky with not a cloud in sight Absolutely stupendous. Dried off then assumed the horizontal on the sunlounger. Would have then smothered myself with suntan cream but, strangely, we didn't appear to have any. Turned out that the girls had considered the price of 20 quid a bottle somewhat extortionate. So, being Captain Sensible and not giving two hoots about appearances, I donned teeshirt, covered legs and feet with a towel, head with a tea towel, lowered the brolly and hid in the shade. Alongside me, bronzed Adonises flashed the suntan cream with gay abandon and soaked up the sun, occasionally glancing in my direction with a pitying look. But I cared not a fig nor jot. Sunburn can ruin a holiday. Advised Georgie and Don to do the same but they apparently thought just a little bit of sun wouldn't do any harm. They were both lobster-pink the next day and Georgie could hardly walk. I was fine though. Apart from the mozzy bites, that is.
With the beach filling up with bonkers sun-worshippers and feeling a tad thirsty, I rounded up my team and headed for a bar I'd spotted up on the hill overlooking the bay. The exhausting climb of the hundred-odd steps (in reality, probably only about fifty) was well worth the effort. With its spectacular view, the bar/restaurant has rocketed to the top of my all-time favourites. Mind you, on a cloudy day with the wind whistling through, some of its appeal could well be lost. But on a hot sunny day there's nothing to beat it. Top marks.
Swimming done, beer done, beach packed and time around two-ish, it seemed a good time to weigh anchor and head back to the main island. Swam out to the boat, picked up Georgie and Don at the jetty, reversed out steering clear of swimmers, turned around, headed out to sea and turned left towards the main island. Panos had recommended hitting the homeward trail at around 2.30 which allowed four hours for the return trip. I thought this was a bit excessive but as soon as we headed north we hit a head wind and possibly a head current (if there is such a thing) and our little boat seemed a little lacking in the power department, so maybe his advice was spot on.
Popping along at a steady pace, we still had time for a quick swim at a bay twixt Gaios and Loggos. Dropped anchor but forgot to untie the rope from the boat so the anchor just dangled about without reaching the sea floor. Couple of helpful chaps on the big launch nearby informed us of our folly in quite loud voices (mystery to me that they knew we were English). All a bit embarrassing so we moved into shallower water and re-slung anchor. Actually I think Georgie re-slung it but, being reluctant to let go, thereby risking losing the anchor forever, she kept hold of the rope as the anchor gripped. Normally this action would result in the boat coming to a gentle halt but, such was my concentration on Georgie's panicky screams, I forgot to select neutral, thus resulting in the boat continuing forward motion with Georgie grimly fighting a biting anchor. Poor thing could have easily disappeared over the side. In a situation like that she'd never let go.
Swim over, we chugged into Loggos for a welcome aperitif at our fave bar. Packed out again. Had a ham omelette and chips at our backstreet Four Seasons bar then climbed the rocky path home where Georgie and Don smothered themselves with after-sun cream as the pain of sunburn slowly started to get a grip.
Next day we stayed at the villa and the girls kept in the shadows occasionally muttering 'ow' and 'I can feel the lines on my face multiplying'. Bought some suntan cream in the evening. Better late than never.
A Winters's Harvest
1 week ago