|First Snow of Winter by Steve Clarke-Lens owner of Villa Octavius on Lefkas Island|
If you sail in the Mediterranean, you probably have heard the name Rod Heikell and you most likely have a copy of one or more of his cruising guides, such as Greek Waters Pilot or Ionian. You also might be happy to learn that Rod has just written a book about his early years cruising, The Accidental Sailor.
I had an opportunity to meet Rod and his wife Lu recently at Panos taverna in Aktio to ask them some questions.
Barbara: What would your advice be for people who want to do what you have been doing - cruising around the Med?
Labels: Greece, Ionian, Travel, Yachting, Boating
I just wanted to inform you that the IDP (Ionian Dolphin Project) has launched a crowd funding initiative to try to raise funds for a new outboard engine for our research boat. I was wondering if you guys could share it with as many people as possible through your social network and help us to promote it as much as possible.
Labels: Greece, Ionian, Travel, Yachting, Environment
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Most of us know that the earth and our lives upon it are extremely fragile. It doesn’t take all that much to lose what we don’t appreciate or look after. Or stand up for. In this issue, our final for the season, we focus on the vulnerability of our lives.
First, there is a cry by the residents of Kastos and Kalamos islands for Clear Water that may be threatened, as reported to us on page 4 by Jenny Goodhand.
Barbara de Machula tells us on page 5 about The Art of Keeping Treasures, mostly the natural ones but also the man made, and later rescued.
Next, Sharla Ault, in Sea Clown on page 6, interviews Fred and Nikoleta Normal, a young couple who are putting into practice their solution to living lightly on this earth and hope to inspire others to do likewise as they entertain local communities.
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A little bit of culture
One of the main reasons why I love Greece is the culture. When I arrived back in spring, the first thing I did the next morning was to indulge at my favourite seafront café. Where else but in Greece can you get a plate of loukoumades and a glass of ice cold water with your perfectly made coffee served in a real cup on a saucer and delivered to you by a smiling waitress who remembers you? No more waiting in line to pay first and then having to fill a Styrofoam cup (unless I bring my own from home) with lukewarm brown mud from a thermos on a counter, and having to even clear my own table, like in some countries I won’t mention. And so this month we dedicate this issue to Greek culture.
First, we have on page 5, The Art of Waiting… by Barbara de Machula. We all know that to live in Greece is to learn patience, but what better way to wait than in one of those kafeneions we find on every street corner.
SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE TO PROTECT DOLPHINS OF THE IONIAN SEA
Joan Gonzalvo, IDP-Program Manager
The Ionian Dolphin Project website (www.ioniandolphinproject.org) came to life about a year ago with the aim of increasing the interest about the conservation of cetaceans inhabiting the beautiful waters of the Ionian Sea. Our idea was to encourage residents, charter/flotillas sailing holiday operators and visitors to the area to report their sightings of cetaceans, through a user-friendly online form, while providing information on the cetacean species present in Greece and promoting a basic code of conduct (Be Dolphin SMART!) to minimize the potential adverse effects of our boats to the whales and dolphins.
I am glad to inform you that it seems as if we had succeeded; recently we received our 100 sighting report!!!
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A little bit of magic ...
Sometimes it would be useful to be a magician and be able to turn the clock back a few years, or even a few minutes if not seconds. As was in the case of a father and son who recently died in a scooter accident leaving the whole village in mourning and the rest of us wondering about the meaning of life and the existence of a higher power.
And so, this month we focus on the ups and downs of life.
Some ups are as high as flying a kite as we see in The Ionian interview of Tom Charlton and several other kite surfers in High as a Kite, on page 8.
After a cool and tempestuous early June, summer has arrived in full force with lots of sun and hot weather. No complaints—we all love summer and this is it! However, it must be that all the boat owners are busy with their preparations for launching or already on the water enjoying themselves instead of writing, because in this issue most of the articles are about land based activities.
We begin on page 4, with a description of a exquisite artwork developed by the women of Karya. From Karya With Love is written by Sofia Samiou.
The Art of Greek Sound by Barbara de Machula, on page 5, is a lovely story about the different sounds she remember from her childhood and as well as the ones we all hear in Greece. She writes from her village of Palairos on the mainland.
Next, on page 6 we have From a Rock to a Gem, by Helen Serras-Hermanan, an award winning gem sculptor, a story of her exciting discovery on Kefallonia.
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Beauty and the Good Life,
It seems that the theme of this month’s issue is beauty and the good life. Our pages are full of flowers, birds, art, food, wine, dolphins, ancient fishing boats, and a story of the good old days.
Earlier this spring, I was invited to visit the farm of Anke Ritter and Giorgos Papageorgiou and spent a lovely day helping to pick rose petals and fresh strawberries (yes, someone has to do it). I was curious about the use of flower petals and Anke offered to write about it and so we have, Capturing the Fragrance of the Ionian on page 7.
Barbara de Machula writes about one of our favourite subjects, food and Greek tradition as it relates to cooking special meals, in The Art of Greek Cooking on page 5. So of course for balance, we also had to have a Short History of Greek Wine on page 4.
Dean Barsby and Steve Guttridge are among the first yachtsmen to begin their season in the Ionian. They launched Bilbo Baggins for her maiden voyage today at Aktio Marine near Preveza while dark clouds hovered menacingly all around the sky and the wind blew force 6-7. Both men are seasoned sailors.
This is Dean's record of the voyage: