Although the broken toe continued to swell the pain was kept tolerable because the Mythos cure worked fine once administered in sufficient quantities appropriate to a major foot injury and by the end of the day I had almost forgotten about it.
The next morning the redness had turned to bruising – black, scarlet, yellow and purple spreading across my foot like red wine spilt on a white tablecloth but apart from a little discomfort when walking the damage did not seem too serious and it didn’t restrict my holiday activities in any way although people around the swimming pool did stare at it and avoided me as though I had some form of contagious disease and worried about me walking barefoot around the pool.
Oddly there was still no pain and I could only attribute this to the fact that there was still a considerable quantity of after dinner ouzo circulating in the blood stream. In fact Kim complained more about a jelly fish sting to the back of her leg than I did about my foot.
It was a good job that the injury didn’t prevent me from getting around because a day later we went on the second visit to Corfu town, again by speed boat taxi and again the return journey provided a potential disaster.
To begin with there was no hint of a problem and the water taxi eased out of the harbour and once in open water the skipper opened the throttle, the bow lifted its head out of the sea and began to carve a path through the surface of the water leaving a trail of white water in its wake and we settled back to enjoy the twenty minute return journey to Kalami but just as we approached mid distance it was evident that there was a problem
The boat suddenly began to lose power and the skipper looked concerned and then there was a shower of sparks and smoke, a death rattle from the propeller and the boat dipped its previously proud bow down into the water and we were suddenly quite still and completely motionless. This was obviously something quite serious and the skipper apologised and explained that there was a problem with the propeller shaft and although he had got a replacement back in Kalami he hadn’t been able to get around to fixing it quite yet because he had been so busy. This was an interesting piece of information but not a great deal of comfort to us, stranded as we were in the middle of the sea.
I remember that when I was younger if my car ever broke down that I would lift the bonnet and wiggle a few wires in the hope that this would provide a solution and the skipper went through exactly this sort of procedure and just as it was when I tried to fix my car he was equally unsuccessful in mending the boat and so we continued to drift while he apologised several more times and made some urgent mobile phone calls to someone somewhere back on the island.
Having been so recently accustomed to the roar of the engine and the slapping of the water against the hull it was now spookily quiet except for the nervous conversations taking place around the boat. We were becalmed and floating gently in the general direction of the lavender grey hills of Albania, probably one of the most inhospitable countries in Western Europe. No passport, no papers and no credible excuse for being washed up on the beach in a hostile environment. I imagined the approaching boat being picked up on radar and the Albanian military being put on full alert to intercept and arrest us.
Eventually the skipper made contact with a colleague and a collective sigh of relief circulated around the boat as he explained that shortly we would be rescued. After a few minutes a high powered speed boat arrived and the first of us had to make a tricky transfer from one boat to the other while they bobbed about like corks on the water as we carefully passed the children from one to the other.
Once aboard the boats separated and the rescue boat sped back at top speed bouncing over the surface and sending continuous spray into our faces as the wind whistled around our ears and clawed at our clothes. This boat was a lot faster than the taxi and a whole lot more fun as well and once back safely on dry land we had a dramatic story to tell to those who had not accompanied us on the trip and then they rest of the day dropped quickly back into normal holiday routine.
And so a week that started slowly with endless days of sunshine spent on an idyllic blue flag beach suddenly gathered pace in the final two days and they seemed to slip through our fingers with astonishing speed that we couldn’t decelerate until it was almost time to pack and return home and this was my opportunity to reflect and assess…
Some more of my boat journeys recorded in the journal: