We leave Orikum early – we are on our way at 8:00am and have about 60 miles to go to Corfu. We are excited and hope that since the wind is going to be coming from a favorable direction, that we can finally do some sailing.
When we get out of the bay and turn the corner, the wind is non-existent. The cliffs and mountains that line the coast are spectacular, and we have a huge following sea with rollers that push us towards our destination. It is very pleasant. All goes well until about four hours later, when the engine stops. We are quite close to the shore, and there are steep cliffs, with deep waters, so are immediately worried about being pushed or blown into the cliffs, as we could not anchor there. John puts out the sails, but there is no wind. I keep the boat pointed in a direction that hopefully keeps us away from the cliffs while he figures out what happened. Turns out, we ran out of fuel! We had to motor a lot the last three days, and don’t know why, but neither of us thought to check the fuel gauge in the morning before we left. Mostly, because we had filled up three days before, and generally, we can motor for a very long time before needing to fill up. However, realized that we had been using much higher rpms than we usually did, so had run through the fuel much more quickly. Luckily, when we had started this journey from Croatia to Greece, John had decided to purchase two 20 liter cans and fill them with diesel, for exactly this kind of emergency. He scrambled to get the spare fuel into the tank, did a great job of it, and within a very short time period, we were on our way again. The motor, as John had researched, was self bleeding, so it started right away after adding new fuel.
We did some calculations, and realized we may not reach our destination at the same rpm’s, so slowed down the boat substantially and prayed for some wind. We never got the wind. We did some very uncomfortable rolling for a couple of hours at much lower rpms. Tried to use the sails to stabilize the rolls. We also looked at other options of where we could get fuel. We did not intend another stop in Albania, but luckily, there was one more port just before Greece that we could enter in Albania that we could possibly get some fuel. We stop at Sarande and it is already around 6:00pm. The agent that meets us at the quay goes out of her way to be helpful, and within less than two hours, she has a diesel truck deliver fuel, check us in and out of customs, and gets us on our way! I thought for sure we would be spending the night there.
We head back out and now motor as quickly as we can to the Marina in Corfu and hope they have a berth for us as the sun is going to set soon. As we enter the bay in Corfu, it is stunning. The sea is like a lake. The green mountains dotted with beautiful homes beckon us. The sharp contrast with the concrete jungle, communist era buildings we have just seen in Sarande is marked – a few miles separate the two countries, but the contrasts are extreme. This smells like money, luxury, and there are many pleasure boats of all sizes. Best way I can describe it is the difference between Tijuana and San Diego. You immediately feel like you are on vacation upon entering the bay at Corfu. The night is warm and balmy. The full moon shows up. We are exhausted from the long day at sea, but are very happy to be here. We made it to Greece!