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22nd March, 2016


It is always a pleasure to return to Corfu, there is something rather marvellous about the shabby splendour of the old town. And I take delight, if chance permits, in wandering around for a few hours, taking the odd photograph and sitting at a street café to watch the world go by.

It was a little windy, but warm in the sunshine and consequently the great majority of the locals seemed to be wrapped up to the nines, while we were in short sleeves. I was surprised how busy the streets seemed to be considering we are out of season, but then the pilot had said to me that since February there has been at least one cruise ship in every day. Mrs R and I managed to find the tiny woodwork factory which we knew was down a side street. We chatted with the owner and while he dug around in all the dust and shavings, he told us he had been there since 1969, working with olive wood, creating all sorts of plates, bowls and other tourist type ‘necessities’. We, however, were after a flat piece from the root, the bole, with which to make a cheese board. The price of the large piece he eventually found in the murky depths amongst ageing machinery was, fortunately, negotiable. It has magnificent grain and once ‘tidied up’ will be very presentable.

I clicked away with the camera for a while, but returned on board in the early afternoon to check the latest weather forecast for the morrow. Our next port across the straits has a very narrow entrance channel and, as I suspected, the wind was only going to increase. In fact low pressure was getting deeper and actual winds were far stronger than forecast. I took the regrettable decision to cancel and advised passengers we would stay overnight and the next day in Corfu.

It was just as well, gusts of 47 knots were experienced in the early hours and even one of the very large cruisers, with all her power and manoeuvrability, struggled to get alongside for over two hours the next morning. A new excursion was arranged for those who wished, and they went off happily after breakfast. Fortunate really, as rain came in for the afternoon, so our departure was therefore a somewhat damp affair.

Captain Philip Rentell

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