Literally within seconds of dropping anchor in the crowed fishing boat bay of Votsi and rafting our boat “Sonia” along side our friend’s boat “Deep Blue” there was a crack of thunder, bolts of lightning followed by a deluge like non I’d ever seen. We scrambled to batten the hatches and pull in the towels, laundry, Kindles, and iPads.
Tawny and I donned our suits and headed out into the rain with some soap. It had been several days since we had a shower and the rain was so torrential it took the soap off you before you could lather it. The unexpected hail was exfoliating. The thunder and lightning all around us was a bit disconcerting since we were the highest mast in the bay. But the refreshment of a cool shower was worth it. We caught several buckets of the soft rain water from the boat’s dodger to keep for future bathing. On shore we saw flash flooding with torrents of rain coming down the street by the tavernas and waterfalls forming on the cliffs around us.
We sat below for an hour or two waiting for the storm to pass. Eventually it did and Tom, Clara, Tawny, and I ventured out in the dingy to explore the caves nearby the bay. There are so many caves along the shores of the Sporades that after awhile it was so commonplace I stopped photographing them. Many of these caves had been above waterline at one time and have evidence of human inhabitants that dates back to pre-neolithic times.
We went ashore during a sun-break and walked around the bay scoping out tavernas that we may want visit that night. The air was fresh and clean and the bay looked beautiful.
We zeroed in on a cute little taverna built into the hillside that had a great view. It looked like another mom and pop place because we could see in the windows a baby play pen just off the kitchen. We returned to the boat and waited for them to open (many places don’t open until 6 or 7 pm and people really don’t arrive until 9 or 10pm.
The place turned out to be a mom and pop place but with a young couple, an Italian woman and her Greek boyfriend and their baby girl. Her Italian sister and her Greek boyfriend were also part of the restaurant. It was very chic variation on modern Greek and Italian food. Perhaps one of the best meals we’ll have in Greece. It was certainly the best to date. The seared tuna was a hit as was the garbanzo bean salad, the homemade tagliatelle with shrimp, but the best was the gnoci with browned butter.