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by JollyRoger jollyroger

The Ionian Sea has much to offer the yachtsman, with winds being generally less demanding than the Aegean.

The Ionian, with its tideless waters and comparatively settled weather patterns, eliminates many of problems of sailing in other areas of the world. The scenery is magnificent, the summer weather is usually perfect and harbours and anchorages are always within an easy day’s sail.

Navigation is normally of the eye-ball variety with land nearly always in sight, although a summer heat haze can sometimes restrict visibility to a few miles. Around much of Kefalonia the land rises steeply from the sea, so the yachtsman can usually venture close to shore and be sure of deep water. Due to the clear waters any signs of shallow water are easily detected. A deep blue colour is a sign of deep water, deep green means less deep but safe, light green means extreme care and brown water allows close inspection of molluscs on the sea bed! It should be mentioned that many charts are based on surveys carried out during the 19th century and with the super accuracy of GPS, the location of a reef or cape can disagree with the chart position by up to a mile!

The prevailing wind during the beginning of June to end of September period is from the north west. Mornings are usually calm with the wind arriving about midday and usually blowing at F3 to F5. This will die down in the evening and allows the yachtsman to motor northwards in the morning if he so desires, sail in the afternoon and then have a peaceful anchorage for the evening and night.

Winds tend to at their strongest during July and August and the presence of thick cloud on the mountain tops indicates a strong blow. Gales can very occasionally occur in spring and autumn with a strong blow from the south.

Kefalonia has been slow to capitalise on this popular sport, but over recent years many more facilities have been built, so to circumnavigate the island or simply use as a transit, has become far easier. In addition to the old favourite destinations of Fiskardo, Assos and Agia Efimia, new harbours or marinas have been constructed at Lixouri, Sami, Svoronata, and Argostoli. Better facilities are planned for Poros and a new harbour is almost completed at Katelios.

There are companies who offer bareboat charter for the experienced sailor and many choices of flotilla holidays for the less experienced, or those who prefer the company of other boats, e.g.

sunsail.co.uk sailingholidays.com ionianbluesailing.co.uk sea-trek.co.uk

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