10/09/2010, Lefkada, greece
You're probably wondering if we will ever actually sail or if we are going to stay in Greece for a year and just pretend that we went round the world! But we have been busy, honest. Well, Mark moreso than me. Today he had me in the tiny compartment behind the engine trying to find a hidden cable run for different electrical wires and all I managed to do was lose another of his rods - so there are now 3 metres of rod loose in the depths of the boat thanks to me. Mark has asked Santa for another set of rods for his stocking. At least I escaaped going all the way to the top of the mast today - that job has been saved 'til tomorrow.
We have booked for Phill to come and join us on the 24th October and we will (fingers crossed) be leaving soon after then.
We are really sad that are next plank neighbours have winterised their boat and are off on Monday back to the UK. They have been amazingly tolerant of the Jackson Four and so to thank them, we had them for dinner and the kids put on a little play that they had rehearsed about the Greek Gods which was fun. School work is altogether a much more relaxed atmosphere than it was three weeks ago and I have put on hold the search for boarding schools who took kids from the age of 6!!
The weather is much chillier than when we arrived - trousers in the evening, and apparently we have THE storm of the century heading our way, so that will be fun!
Our final delivery arrived from Jersey - minus the SSB ariel - which is still in customs somewhere, but we now have solar panels so we can get cracking with that!
If we stay long enough here, we'll get to see the flamingos that arrive - they will be arriving for the winter soon, so that will be a lovely sight. Anyways, love to everyone from the Jackson Four xx
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!!