09/30/2010, Lefkada, greece
Cracking on with the work, so glad to welcome Gran and her friend, Mary, to Greece - in the pouring rain!! Well, actually, it's sunny again today but maybe it was better not to be too sunny - don't want too much of a shock to the system coming from Glasgow! We were so excited to take the boat out for the first time and drop anchor round the corner. Our next plank neighbours accompanied us and then the kids had fun rowing over to their anchored boat and demanding biscuits as pirate treasure. I was really impressed with Mia's rowing skills - and Lochy loved being dragged through the water. It is getting a bit chilly in the sea , so I watched from the boat (I called it anchor duty!!) Letting out the anchor was a bit hit and miss on the measuring front - I probably had all 80m out - but at least we didn't drag!! Today's job for Lochy, Mia and I was to drop the anchor into the dinghy and mark it in 5 m intervals so next time can be more calculated!! Whilst we were on anchor marking duty, Mark created enough sawdust in the cockpit to resemble the inn from Oliver Twist (oom pah pah) and Gran and Mary got cracking on the polishing to remove rust from the boat. (Well, we didn't want them to feel left out!!)
Have had another visit from the boat family - Kleinar Bars - and this time Lochy and Mia didn't show us up and actually played really nicely together. Was relieved to hear that their son also protests for an hour before doing any school work but have made headway on the schooling Lochy front - he asked if he could wear his headphones and listen to a story whilst doing his work. I agreed, thinking it would have to be turned off after 5 mins, but lo and behold, he cracked through his work in a quarter of the time with no arguing - way to go, Enid Blyton!! We think we are going to leave around the 14th October and head to Malta and then onwards out of the med to the Canaries for Christmas, then across the Atlantic in January, but plans may change!! Regards, Catherine xxx
09/23/2010, Lefkada, Greece
Hurrah!!! The de-registration papers have come through from the Greek authorities, we have a Bill of Sale in our sweaty hands and we even have a callsign and MMSI number, which we need for our radio licence. Now, all we need to do is part with £302 to the Jersey authorities and we can have a party to celebrate official ownership and changing the name from Pegasus to "Pegasus of Jersey." It was strangely emotional shaking hands with the seller today as he is very sad he has had to sell up due to ill health. He is part of a very big sailing family here in Greece with his son winning Golds in international competitions. We promised him we would take good care of Pegasus and keep in touch with our progress. So, I guess now we can take her out and see some of the sights around here - really pretty anchorages that we have been deprived of so far. Then we are looking forward to welcoming Mark's mum and friend on Sunday who are coming for a week.
The kids are getting into the swing of their school work and their best treat is our next door neighbours (or next board!) to have a glass of ice cold water that their boat has made (water maker water!) or being hoisted up the mast! We are nearly floating with origami crafts - Mia's latest craze - and looking forward to the next chapter of "The Mystery of the Spiteful letters" by Enid Blyton - with lashings of ginger ale!!
Signing off very excited!!
09/17/2010, Lefkada, Greece
So, with my heart in my mouth, I watched as a gigantic crane lifted our boat - our HOME! - into the water. A quick check below the bilges to check she's not leaking and Kevan, our surveyor has kindly agreed to 'supervise' Mark on his maiden voyage, from dry dock to berth. As Kevan is a yachtsmaster examiner, he sensibly takes Mark for a few practice parking attempts, and if I say so myself, Mark did exceptionally well, only hitting the boat 6 times - kidding! We moored up with no hitches (unlike the charter boats we see every Friday, coming home!) I am so proud of Mark - apparently, it's just like driving a tank, which, incidently, Mark hasn't done before so I am still mightily impressed!!
We still don't have our official papers saying we own the boat yet, so can't really take her out properly, so we've been cracking on with putting the radar up. Mark says it's because of his weight, but I know it's more because he doesn't like heights, I am delegated to go up the mast and use the drill and rivet gun on the mast, for the first time ever. Then the nest day, having drilled 12 holes in perfect position, have to go up the mast a second time to mount the radar. The scariest thing is trying not to drop a nut or bolt or washer (or rivet gun) below. Anyway, job's a goodun. Well, we have to wire/fire it up and then we'll know if it's a goodun, but the equipment is in place! Mia, Lochy and I scrubbed the hull and removed the old name and we are in the process of getting some artwork for our hull (thanks Debbie!)
Still getting used to remembering that the shops close at 1.30pm until 5pm, as normally, we only get our act together at lunchtime, but the kids are slowly getting into the hang of their school work - we're finding that the more relaxed approach is working better.....
Better go and clear up the tools, love to all, Catherine xxx
09/12/2010, Lefkada, Greece
Sitting in the shade, overlooking the marina, enjoying being the proud owner (or part owner!) of a Nautitech 395 catamaran - soon to be renamed "Pegasus of Jersey." Mark and the kids have arrived and the kids' first reaction on seeing the boat was fantastic - they really loved it, and took no time choosing their respective bedrooms! This week has been taken up with Mark doing all the jobs that need to be done out of the water. Our crates have arrived from Jersey, with the exception of the SSB radio ariel which has gone missing en route - it's really big and I'm not sure how it went missing, however, we are trying to track it down, so if you see a 7 foot long cardboard box....
Kids are happy that their bikes have arrived and love cycling off to the park or to the toilets by themselves with their little walkie talkies which allow us to keep an ear on them. We are all living on the boat whilst it is out of the water which is fine, as long as you don't use the toilets and you check that there is no-one below before you pull out the plug after doing the washing up! Mark has got a nice little workshop going on between the two hulls which keeps him shaded.
The boat is in really good condition so it is only adding stuff like SSB radio, navtex, radar etc that it needs. Oh yeh, and the antifouling which we will be doing tomorrow. Now that reminds me - I've got to go off to the chandlers to buy some anti-foul.
More soon, we don't have internet connection on the boat yet, so it's not so easy to regularly update - and I have been quite busy!
Love to all, Catherine xx
Well, I thought I'd be able to report that we are now the proud owners of a catamaran, but if I am honest, it didn't surprise me that it didn't happen first attempt. It should have been fine - the money is transferred, the owner arrived from Athens, we had lunch, the broker was 2 hours late in arriving and then assured us it would be a smooth transaction. The problem came when the registrar said he didn't believe that the owner wouldn't have to pay tax as he was selling it within the EU. Despite the fact that the owner's lawyers and accountants had reassured him this would not be the case becasue Jersey is not in the EU, he (understandably) didn't want to go ahead until it was DEFINITELY definite that he wouldn't have to pay tax. It could have been worse, the broker's previous client had sat in a 4 hour deadlock with the owner refusing to sign the bill of sale until he had the money in his account and the broker refusing to give him the money until he had signed!
However, I think it's all for the best because now Mark and I can both sign and own the boat and, also the owner has given me the keys to the boat and I am now sitting on her, pretending she's mine. I have even had a shower and cooked myself dinner. Mark and the kids arrive tomorrow - I just hope the rain has cleared up by then - don't want them getting cabin fever on the first day!!
So, as I was saying, after much research (admittedly a little bit late in the game) I find that the only place I can get a ship's radio licence in the UK - or for that matter in Southern Europe - is Southampton, UK. That's South. Having abused Ruby the car enough by driving her up to Glasgow from Jersey, I wasn't sure I could rely on her to do a return trip. What's more my AA membership had run out. 6 changes on the overnight coach didn't appeal so I find myself flying down for £240. Yes, you heard right. With the course costing £350, the exam £95, I was lucky that I had family there with whom I could stay - thanks Anna and Richard! Put on top of that the cost of the modem, radio itself, grounding plate and accessories, membership with sailmail, and this free email malarky is sounding anything but. However, what price can you put on letting your loved ones know you are safe??!!! Aahh. Seriously, though, last time I went across the Atlantic 10 years ago I had no way of letting people know we were OK even though we were taking 10 days longer than anticipated, so it is peace of mind for all, and hopefully brownie points for me.
And I passed the exam which means I have infinitely more wisdom regarding radio communication than I did a month ago. I have also been promoted from scrubber to communications officer. No change in conditions or pay unfortunately. I'm now in Greece, but the blog's getting a bit long and Mr Shah warned me to keep them short, so more about the boat in the next entry!