Before I went for my fourth visit to the lovely Ionian island of Kefalonia, I decided that as I have now seen most areas of the island perhaps this year I would take to the seas and get a different perspective.
I remembered that during a day visit to Aghia Efimia on the East coast last year, there was a small company called Yellow Boats that did day hire. So I got in touch by email and made a booking for one of the four days that we were going to be staying there.
We popped down to the harbour when we arrived into the village to do our paperwork and my husband was whisked off for his induction lesson within the harbour. This was about 20-30 minutes, and is usually done on the day of rental before your hire time starts.
Yellow Boats have 12 boats for hire, ranging from one small tiller 15hp up to three large 30HP. We opted for the perfectly adequate 20HP as there was just the two of us. Included in the rental (from 65 Euros plus fuel for the day) is a large freezer box, map and a beach umbrella. Life jackets of course are also on board. There is no minimum age for children, but they would need one of the larger boats for more than two people.
The water generally here is almost as flat as a pancake, which is great for people like me who suffer with motion sickness. I tend to avoid anything apart from jet planes that move too much, but with the help of my trusty wristbands and an antic sickness tablet, I was absolutely fine.
So came the morning of our adventure, our hotel had prepared us a packed lunch and we stopped off at the mini market in the harbour to stock up with plenty of water and snacks, then headed to our transportation for the day.
The route that we could take had 12 deserted bays on it, some larger than others, and as far as I could see only one of those was accessible by road and even that was really a 4×4 required track. As Yellow Boats only have 12 boats, there was a fair chance we could find a nice little space for ourselves.
My husband managed the boat well and off we set, into the calm waters between Kefalonia and Ithaka. We did not have to go far before small specs of white shingle and pebble coves came into view. I suspect we did what most people do, and that was drive to the furthest beach within our range, turned around and then picked one on the way back to stop at.
We found a very pretty but small cove, partially hidden by a few larger boulders where the water was as clear as glass and we dropped anchor and got in for a snorkel. Getting in was a breeze compared to me getting back on board the boat! With weak upper body and shoulder strength, I won’t deny it was a bit of a struggle up the rear ladders, but that is definitely down to my unfitness and no fault of the boat! My husband managed to land me like a large carp and I was soon back on board!
All the boats have retractable Bimini roof covers to keep the hot sun off you. We kept ours up and just moved onto the deck if we wanted sun. I would recommend that the Captain remains under this as the sea breezes created by the motion will deceive you into thinking the sun is cooler than it really is.
Whilst we were going along we came across a very large turtle, which isn’t that uncommon around Kefalonia. It was lovely to see along with the small fish near to the coastline.
The scenery along this route varies from white elephant looking shoreline with steep tree clad hills, to glimpses of open slopes but hardly any sign of habitation or people which is perfect for a gentle sail. You can see the hills of Ithaka across the water and the odd sailing boat in the distance.
After our relaxing day we went back late afternoon to Aghia Efimia harbour, enjoyed a glass of wine at one of the tavernas then headed up to our small hotel to sit and watch the other boats coming back to port.
All in all a fabulous day doing something we hadn’t done before and one I would definitely recommend.
If you are only going to be in the area for a few days – book your boat in advance, we saw a number of people turned away showing up on the day as they were fully booked.
Make sure you have good supplies as there are no facilities on the route.
Remember to charge up your camera before you head off!