We went on a day trip with Ray and Steve, around the beautiful island of Kefalonia. Well what a day, we had 2 stroppy teenagers with us, who were less than thrilled about spending the day on yaught. We booked this for my wife's 49th birthday treat, so we were looking forward to it, but kids not so much.Well what a day, our daughter was never out of the water, paddle boarding, snorkelling, she had a whale of a time. And our son, also enjoyed it, he enjoyed listening to Rays jokes and Steve even gave us a repertoire of his songs on his guitar. We had a few swim stops in some out of out of this world coves. Lunch was spectacular, one of the nicest meals we had on our holiday and beverages were plentiful, we would recommend this trip to anyone. Great boat, great crew, great food, great company. Thanks lads, Richie Ally, Hannah and Lew
We spent a wonderful week on Ray's yacht, touring Kefalonia, Ithica and Lefkada, despite some poor weather. Ray looked after us and fed us fabulous food, dropping anchor in some lovely coves where we swam and dived ... Even used Ray's paddle board!
Ray was so experienced and we felt totally safe, even when hitting some rough sea! Full of knowledge and expertise we would not hesitate to recommend a weeks sailing with Ray - a really lovely trip!
Thank you Ray
I thought I had already written a review for Ray and his lovely yacht, but it appears to have disappeared! We spent the week sailing in September 2016, as a special holiday for our 10th wedding anniversary. The temperature was just right, however the weather was very changeable, and we ended up sailing through a big storm, and even encountered a small earthquake while in harbour! Personally it all added to the fun, it wouldn't be a holiday for us if it was all plain sailing (groan)! Ray was very professional and conscientious, and we didn't feel worried at any point.
Ray is a wonderful host, (awful jokes aside!), and made us feel welcome right from the start. It was a wonderful, relaxing holiday, stopping off at lovely, deserted beaches for delicious lunches, prepared by Ray while we snorkelled and explored. Ray is very knowledgeable about the areas we stopped and gave us good recommendations for places to visit/eat when we were docked. We like to learn some local words wherever we go, and Ray was a font of knowledge.
I would highly recommend this holiday to anyone. Eee faries toe Ray!
For the reader,
The actual date of charter was 25th June 2014. But TA only goes back to 2016.
It's taken me that long to get this Done. (Apologies Ray).
The report of our day begins with it’s conclusion. "Thanks Ray, that was excellent".
This to be sure that the reader understands right from the start, exactly the level of service one can expect to receive when on board Mala with Skipper Ray Benson. RN Retired.
Consider the highest degree of planning, facility, craftsmanship, consideration, seamanship and experience that you would prefer to have on a charter, and that supported by full RYA qualification, then any questions or uncertainty about your plans can be forgotten.
From our first contact with Ray, he was able to advise my wife and I to make the right choices for our excursion. We decided upon a single day charter to sail the Azur bay of Trapezaki in the Ionian sea between the Islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos.
With the day warm from the start, we boarded Mala at 09:45, and the adventure began with a refreshing mug of tea as we introduced ourselves and discussed plans for the day. With some small boat experience, Jan and I were reasonably comfortable with the ropes so to speak, but a yacht is a world away from dinghies, even if the water is the same.
As we left port, the wind declined to assist. So we motored under power out into the Ionian Sea. Some trepidation about sea legs was discussed as the gentle rollers begin to lift us along. No worry though, we were so busy considering the new environment that there was no time to be affected, and neither of us had any discomfort or sea sickness at all.
At five miles off, the view of Kefalonia Isand is impressive from Trapezaki bay, a line of misted clouds tracing the mountains towards their tops is not a sight regularly seen in Kent!
Ray took us in to the cliffs between Karavados beach and Lourdata to drop anchor for lunch.
A carefully prepared selection of locally sourced Salads, cheeses, sliced meats, and Salmon were presented on the deck. I’m sure Ray would have catered for a vegetarian palate if requested. We could have enjoyed the wine or Champaign also but decided that water was enough that day. It was pretty hot by then. Delicious summer fruits from the island completed the dish, and as we talked and ate, up came the wind as Ray had predicted.
The deck was cleared for action, Ray weighed anchor and set the sails. We were off. Picking up speed sailing directly away from Kefalonia, south west towards Zakynthos. Well we didn’t go all the way across of course, but that was never the plan.
A steady wind increased. Unusually from the North East Ray informed us. Whichever direction, Mala was picking up speed and sailing beautifully at a very respectable 5.6 Knots.
Everything we hoped for that day was provided by Ray and the elegant Mala.
Thank you Ray.
Don and Jan Baker.
We have just come to the end of a fabulous week on yacht Mala with Ray and his 1st mate Steve and we cannot recommend it enough. The yacht is beautiful with loads of space and everything you could need. Ray and Steve provided us with lovely breakfasts and lunches and then made excellent recommendations for evening meals at every port.
Ready consulted us on our itinerary and we visited some amazing places. In a week we stayed on Kefalonia, Lefkada, Meganisi, Kalamos, Ithaca and had a night in a lovely fishing village on the mainland. Ray knows people at each stopping off point so could ensure we had showers every evening at apartments and restaurants either free or for a very small charge.
So if you want to spend your days sailing from island to island stopping off in beautiful coves for a swim followed by an evening in a taverna all under the guidance of a lovely attentive crew then we would definitely recommend Mala.
Thanks so much Ray and Steve for giving us an experience we will never forget.
This was our first-time sailing as a family as we wanted to do something different for our holiday this year. Ray was a brilliant host and made us welcome aboard Mala from the minute we arrived. Our course meant we saw most of the stunning Ionian Islands during our week, visiting some great little harbours and coves on the way for snorkelling in the crystal blue waters plus a different taverna each night for sun-downers and supper.
Thanks Ray for all your hospitality and seamanship, it was a really great week and exactly the family adventure we were looking for.
Can't recommend Ray and Steve enough. They are really lovely genuine people. We have just returned from the best day ever with the guys.
If you are looking for a yacht to charter in kefalonia then this is the one. Guys we will be back next year for a week. Thank you for the best day ever.