Our Corfu Boat Trip
When on the beach one day we noticed that there were speedboats for hire from the jetty. My husband was MEGA-keen and so I agreed to rent a small boat for a half day, which inevitably turned into a powerful boat for a full day… Anyway, we collected the boat after breakfast one day and were given a 2 minute demo on how to drive the boat and a map showing us where we could go, along with the suggested taverna that we could stop at. And so our Corfu boat trip began…
Off we went, across the bay and made our way north along the coast. With things like this, I always want to try – I never want to be the type of girl who sits at the back and doesn’t know what she’s doing. So my husband let me take over a drive the boat for quite a long way and I have to say, its empowering! We decided to travel as far north as we were able to according the boat company, and then work our way back down. The coastline of Corfu is beautiful and really lush, especially when you compare it to other islands like Crete and Cyprus which are arid and void of much vegetation.
On the way up, you realise that you are very close to Albanian waters and have to consciously stay to the left of the buoys to ensure you remain in Greek waters. After travelling for maybe an hour and a half, we spotted Kassiopi harbour which was the farthest north we were permitted to go, and decided to go in. Now its worth bearing in mind that this is a beautiful harbour, bustling with tourists and fishermen, and then there is us two trying to drive a boat (which we’ve never done before) and parallel park it on the harbourside! After a couple of false starts, we managed to find some rope on the harbour side that we used to tie up the boat. We jumped out and took a little wander along the town and then settled down at Porto restaurant for a cup of tea (sounds better saying coffee but honestly, I can’t stand the stuff!).
We chatted to a couple of English men who said they come to Kassiopi every year and asked if we had ever been to the caves round the coast. We had never even heard of them but decided we’d keep our eyes open for them on our journey back. We soaked it all in and after half an hour decided to hop back into our boat and head back down the coast.
We passed some gorgeous houses up on the cliffs and down on the water and spent quite a lot of the journey planning our retirement in Corfu! We then pulled up into a little beach and decided to jump in and go for a swim – wow, it was cold! And more than that, you can’t even ease yourself in from a boat, you just have to jump (TOP TIP: remember to put the ladders down BEFORE jumping in or you can’t get back onto the boat!).
Next up was lunch. Wow. We had been directed to Agni, to a little inlet that had three tavernas, each with its own jetty. It was really picturesque and we were again tempted to give up our jobs and home and move to Greece to live on a boat when we sailed up to the jetty and parked our boat to stop off for lunch. How many other people get to do that?!
We were heavily urged to go to Nikolas Taverna by the boat rental company, and were not surprised when it turned out that the boatman was the nephew of the man who rented us the boat – hence the recommendation. However, we are glad they did recommend it. It had a lovely atmosphere and the food was absolutely incredible! We had a gorgeous warm Meze to start with a real variety in foods, then both had pasta as we were ravenous! We sat and enjoyed our surroundings for a while and then decided to set off again.
We travelled a little further south and came across the beautiful caves by pure luck. My husband jumped in and swam around for a bit and I stayed in the boat – more because it was quite rocky round there and we weren’t 100% our anchor had caught. At this point a huge party boat with about 60 people on it turned up so we decided to continue our journey. Small problem – the anchor we weren’t sure was caught, was. Really caught! We couldn’t work out how to release it, plus it was about 12 foot to the sea floor. My husband (still in the water) wrestled with the rope, while I gently put the boat into reverse to try and dislodge the anchor (being careful not to hit my husband still floating next to me)! After about 20 minutes of fretting, wriggling, arguing and panicking, we finally managed to get the anchor free and carry on our journey!
No sooner had we set off that we noticed that the weather had turned for the worse and the sea was getting pretty choppy. I was driving the boat, but discovered that because of my petite frame (OK, I basically just scrape the 5 foot mark) that I couldn’t really steady myself on the boat whilst driving. I can’t reach the handles above my head and my legs are too short to brace against the back seats while keeping control of the steering wheel.
At this point, the water was getting REALLY choppy and the wind had whipped up. I got a little scared (having never been in a little boat in open water before) and let my husband take over the driving. Looking around he worked out that if we stayed close to the coast we’d end up having to travel a lot further for a lot longer, and seeing as the coast was offering no protection, he suggested that he drive in a straight direction, across the open water, directly towards our hotel. I agreed and braced myself as best I could on the back of the boat. We were hitting the waves at a funny angle which was throwing us around quite a lot and honestly, at one point I closed my eyes and just put all my faith in my husband and tried to forget about it – I was terrified.
This went on for about 45 minutes and as we neared the hotel apparently my husband turned round and saw me soaked through with my eyes squeezed shut. Thankfully we made it back safely, as did the other people who rented boats, but even the rental company were surprised how the weather had deteriorated and how quickly. We went back up to the pool and saw sun brollies that had been blown over with the strong winds so think how much worse it was in open water!
However – if you put the last hour to one side, I had such a great day. Hiring our own boat, exploring things ourselves, heck – parking a boat outside a restaurant! Who gets to do stuff like that!? Well, me…and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.