The End of an Odd 2020 Season

The season has finished and we’re back in lockdown

 

Like most of Europe, Greece has entered its second lockdown which will last hopefully until 30th November. Sending a text for permission to leave your house and abiding by a 9pm curfew is something that none of could have ever imagined this time last year, blissfully unaware of what was to come. I find it all quite unbelievable still.

The season of course was strange. What should have been almost a 30 week season this year ended up starting late July and tailing off mid October. Launching boats and rigging them in the 35 degree heat was not something we really want to repeat but with businesses forced to close until the middle of June, we had no choice. Turns out it’s hard hot work lugging sails, fitting biminis and all the other jobs that go with getting a yacht ready for charter – multiply that by 40+ yachts… the result is a team of hot & bothered skippers and engineers, and that’s before the season had even begun.

June is when the area usually starts to get busy, but looking out from Dessimi down the Meganisi channel in the middle of the day and seeing not one boat, not even a fishing boat, it was quite surreal.

So come July and with still no flights into Greece from the UK, we had a few charters go out – some guests from Greece, others who had driven across Europe. It was a slow start but there wasn’t much we could do about it but wait for the flights to start. It was the 3rd week in July when the first flights from the UK arrived into Preveza and thankfully, we started sending the yachts out – after all, what better way to socially distance than head out into the Ionian on your own private yacht? Although as you can see from this photograph of Calon Draig in Kioni, the place was packed…

Our reduced number of skippers & instructors kept themselves busy – RYA training has been more popular than ever this summer, for couples and families too. Getting qualified here in Greece means you get to explore the area, enjoy the fantastic weather and get a taste for what your first bareboat charter will be like next time…

We ran a full flotilla for the few weeks of high season, and several bareboat and skippered charters too. It seemed that anyone who came out this summer REALLY appreciated their holiday more than ever. Escaping the reality of Covid-19 in the UK for a week, 10 days or a fortnight was like a dream to many. The flights were smooth and without delay this year – it seems the strict new protocols for boarding and disembarking row by row (surely how it always should be, and not a free for all!) really made a difference to the efficiency of the flight. In fact I think apart from one air traffic control strike, we only had 1 flight delay and that was down to Medicane Ianos mid September.

The flights in and out of Preveza finished earlier than normal this year, but it didn’t stop an October half term rush. With the weather forecast to stay lovely and warm (mid twenties!), we had about 8 boats booked out for the last week or so of the season. All of whom flew into Athens and then hired a car for the 4 and a half hour drive down to Lefkada. It’s an easy drive and the roads are new & empty. Certainly don’t let the length of the drive put you off from taking this option if ever you need to, there are plenty of places you could stop en route for an overnight stay too. More information on our Travel Page here.

Firefly – October 2020

And then here we are, last week no sooner had we waved our final guests of the season off, we are back in lockdown. It had started with just a few areas of Greece in a lockdown, and the rest of us adhering to the new measures – wearing masks everywhere, inside & outside. But like they did in the Spring, the Greek Government decided to implement a national lockdown to try and stop Covid-19 from spreading any further. This time round though we are allowed to work so the boatyard is a hive of activity – derigging, cleaning and starting to work through the list of winter jobs…

So we may not have had the long season we had hoped for, we may not have been able to greet our guests with our usual handshakes, hugs & kisses, we may not have enjoyed the end of season staff do and we may not currently be able to socialise with our colleagues, friends and family but we are eternally grateful that we are healthy and ‘stuck’ in a place as beautiful as Lefkada. It’s winter time anyway now so whilst we work during the week, the weekends are for walking in the fresh air and lighting the log burner in the evenings. And I’ve no doubt the virtual family quiz will make a comeback this lockdown too – the joy! 😉 

This post was written by admin