A rusty old queen of the sea (and a shipwreck)

So I get a bit seasick. So what? The one thing you have to do when you go to Zante is see the shipwreck, otherwise known as Navagio Beach or ‘Smugglers Cove’, where the alleged smuggler ship Panagiotis rests. It’s on every postcard and every brochure of Zante.

Waiting for the small, glass-bottomed boat to pick us up from the port at Alykanas, we bumped into an Australian Dad we’d got chatting to in the playground the day before, and he explained how he’d left his seven month old and two year old with his wife for the day – no point in ruining everyone’s day he chuckled, awkwardly.

Admittedly a seven month old would be tricky, what with the spoon feeding and regular nappy changing faff but hey, we’re the kind of parents who just get on with it. So off we slid, up and down the boat, hiding in the bottom deck with the sunburn-fearing Aussie and a couple of other passengers, not wanting the BUBs to go overboard. Obviously.

BUB.2, now a seasoned walker, lurched around and peered happily into the glass bottom, at one point slinging his sunglasses into the chasm for Willy Wonka to have to clamber down and fetch. BUB.1 stared out of the window, silently rolling his toy car up and down the window sill. Up and down went the boat, over the increasingly large waves as we rounded the tip of Zante’s east coast. I got quieter and quieter. I yawned – the first REALLY bad sign. Then I burped. Then I started to respond to Willy Wonka’s concern with short, monosyllabic grunts.

Clearly fighting the urge to be magestically sick, I was sent up on top deck alone to receive the first glorious view of the shipwreck (and the gazillion other tourists who were there to see it and had apparently arrived on a gigantic pirate ship – BUB.1 was green like me, but with envy).

We had to hurl our children off the front of the boat into the waiting arms of a Greek man standing in the shallows before flip flopping our way down a slippery step ladder clutching a bag half the size of the boat with all our small child essentials in. But once we’d waded to shore we basked in the shadows of this deep orange mammoth sitting on top of the finest white pebbles and sand, lapped by a Photoshop blue sea.

BUB.1 looked into the cavity at the rusty engine and was in awe. I even went for a dip.

And the ride home was much gentler. We stopped for a swim at the Blue Caves where BUB.1 got his life jacket on and went swimming with his Dad. This was such a lovely sight it forced me to retract my vow to cancel our second boat trip out to see the turtles in three days time – a retraction I lived to bitterly regret.

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