I don't know where the time goes to but it's over 10 days since the last blog, but now that Phill has arrived we haven't had time to sit in an internet cafe and chat chat chat. Phill is from Jersey and is going to take us through our yachtsmaster practical whilst we bomb out of the med.
I don't want you to think I'm obsessed about the mast but I have been up again, this time repairing the AIS arial and heh presto it now works - so if you go onto http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ and look at Lefkada, Greece, you'll see our position when we are at sea (it only works if we have it turned on!). It's cool as you can see how we track through the Med. It doesn't work all the way across oceans but we can see big boats and more importantly big boats can see us. So, putting a VHS antennnae connector is another string to my bow.
Mark has been busy making fibreglass shelves to put batteries on and connecting up the chartplotter, VHF remote and other electrical things.
The kids were delighted that it has been half term and so there have been some British children around the marina. They spent all day playing with new friends yesterday, only popping back for food which meant we could crack on.
So, back to Phill. He has really given us a shake up regarding the sailing aspect of our trip. Taking us through our storm jib and nav lights (er, I think you might need to get some tomorrow!) planning passages (er, I think you might need some charts for Malta tomorrow) etc etc. It's great to really have the pressure on to get sailing because I think there was a risk of us all getting marina rot!
I'm not sure I wanted the kids' first experience to be 7 or 8 days at sea in October weather, but we don't really have much choice and having had 2 weeks of thunder lightening and rain we seem to be facing a calm window of weather. At least they have had a bath (see photo!) So, I have been planning 7 days of menus (anyone who really knows me knows that cooking is not my thing but I am learning to add more seasoning and double my portions!) and today's jobs is to take the bike trailer to the supermarket and stock up whilst Mark and Phill get the sails back from the repair shop, hopefully with a cruising chute bought too. Then it's off to the Port police to check out and we'll be off the blog for a little while (but on AIS!!) Hope you are all well, love Catherine x
10/14/2010, the mast
OK, so it was only because I had gone up the mast that morning - picking the 1 hour of sun we had between several hours of thunder and lightening - but a combination of me being a lefty and generally being quite lacking in the biceps department, I couldn't do the task at hand, so I had no choice but to winch Mark up the big pole. So to the mantra of "I must, I must, I must improve my bust" I winched him up and Mark managed to finish off my poor job. Aching all over now (from the winching, not from the beating I received from Mark from not doing the job in the first place!)
Mia Lochy and I did some good drilling - that counted as school work - them with their protective googles drilling away quite happily, then after with their ear defenders using the rivet gun - "oh look mummy, smoke came out then!!" We now have our carving and marking notice on the hull of our boat, courtesey of Mia and Lochy. Mia also helped me change the two compasses over so the good one is on the helm and the not so good one is on the other side - she's getting the hang of the rachet screwdriver now. Lochy loves washing the boat down with the hosepipe " I'm pretending I am shooting all the baddies"- you'd think with all the rain we'd had that it wouldn't need it, but the rain has been dirty red from some desert somewhere and is horrible and stainy - on my nice clean boat too.
Have I told you it has rained alot recently? It doesn't just rain here though. At least we get a nice show of lightening and thunder at the same time. As quickly as the rain comes, it goes and then it's 24 degrees again.
Things I am missing right now?? My mates - I am positively a youngster amongst the cruising population here - my dishwasher, though I'll get over that - the choice you have in a Jersey supermarket - and that is saying something!! The sun that was here when I arrived - getting a little bit of cabin fever when it is stormy, although I am halfway through the 5th Harry Potter book having read all the others in quick succession. Night all, Catherine xxx
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