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A Year In The Ionian (2015 Retired, Cruising liveaboard)
Getting ready for a year in the Ionian from 20th March 2012. The company I work for has given me a career break. April 2015, Retired, pensioner and hopefully a full time cruising liveaboard.
Benitses to Vlicho
Absolutely gorgeous sunshine

Wednesday 3rd June
I finally decide to leave Benitses after staying here for ten days. A meeting with some friends of Nick and Pat, a lovely German couple Bernd and Sabine and I managed to get the curtain material I had brought out from the Uk made up. Sabine did a great job and Nanjo looks a lot brighter inside. She also gave me a brilliant recipe for frying pan pizza, which I can't wait to try out.
My stern anchor came out really easily, and after watching Nicks getting stuck under a mooring chain and having to pay a diver to go down, I was more than happy. I was soon motor sailing over towards Iggy Creek, a large bay near Ignoumitsa. I ended up anchoring in the second bay and was soon joined by Nick and Pat who have agreed to show me some new harbours on my way to Corfu. We had a quiet night, and had anchored so close together that I could actually step from Nanjo onto there yacht. The second day looked good, so I did a pile of washing, but in the evening the winds picked up and sent in quite a vicious chop. Watching a nearby Belgian yacht drag his anchor and try to re-set it again made me even more cautious. Nick was getting blown further back to the shore, so moved forward and re-set his, but my 35lb cqr seemed well dug in, and Nanjo wasn't moving. The first part of the night was spent in the cockpit on anchor watch, I had arranged a head torch, and cleared the decks if I had to motor out quickly. By midnight it was dying down, so I slept on the settee, fully clothed. An hour later and although still windy and choppy, the worst was over and I turned in. Next morning was a lovely day. I found out later that Pat had stayed up most of the night on Zoe.

Next port of call was good old Lakka, and another motorsail together. We arrived early afternoon and found plenty of space to anchor. My Avon dinghy was soon pumped up for a run ashore. We stayed two days, just relaxing and swimming. It's so nice not to have a time plan.
We set of for Mongonisi only a short trip from Lakka, on the way Nick suggested that we go to Emerald bay on anti-Paxos, as we were having a great sail and it was early. As we got nearer the bay, I could just see all the trip boats and as I was having such a great time actually sailing for a change, I opted to circumnavigate anti-paxos. It's a lot further round than I first thought, but the wind held for most of the trip. A sudden rain squall as I was sailing through the gap between the islands, had Nanjo well healed over and a speed of 6.8 knots. A bit too much, so I let the main out so it lost any drive and still managed 5 knots with my small jib. The squall soon passed and I was getting the sails down for Mongonisi, I ended up anchoring in the bay rather than go onto the jetty. I'm glad that I did, parts of it are very shallow and rocky. Meeting up with Nick and Pat for a meal in the taverna, they talked me through our next port Parga, with a beach mooring, a new one on me.

We managed to sail a bit on the way to Parga, which was great. I followed Nick in, and already there was a flotilla lead boat up the beach. After seeing what I had to do, I pointed Nanjo at the beach. Let out the stern kedge line and nudged her keel into the soft sand, Nick took my bow anchor and buried it up the beach in front. That was it! I had been to Parga before and always dismissed it has being to dodgy to go onto the rough jetty there. We were soon joined by the other flotilla boats, and it was great to see them coming in. We went ashore curtosey of Yanni's water taxi, I've got to say, it's a fantastic town. I enjoyed walking around the streets and that night we had a great meal in a side street taverna. Being in no rush, we stayed another day, but this time walked into town along the beach. Luckily Nick knew the route, it's a steep climb up into the town and you wouldn't want to get lost. We went back in Yanni's taxi later that evening for another great meal. I will be coming back to Parga I'm sure some day.

A short trip down to Ligia next day, the pilot book makes it sound a really tricky entrance. I've read up on it before and dismissed it straight away, but Nick and Pat had been in before and knew the route through the rocks. It was another motor sail day, I actually motored past the harbour. My gps told me it was 90 degrees off my port side, and all I could see was a stone wall. It was only after plotting my position on a paper chart that i believed the gps! I hung back and waited for Zoe to arrive, and glad that I did. Even following them in, the underwater rocks come up quickly and the depth went down to 2.5mtrs as we crossed a rock bar. Once inside though, it's a lovely small harbour, built with E.U money I guess. Dinner that night was at the nearby taverna, who only cooked fish! Luckily Pat and I managed to opt for the swordfish, and it was really good. But i would have still opted for a gyros if it was on the menu.

Off again the next day and another short sail down to Preveza, now I'm in my home waters so to speak. We both actually managed to sail most of the way this time, and were busy taking pictures of each other sailing along. A rare treat on a yacht. I had arranged to meet some old friends Tom and Anne who were anchored in the bay, behind Preveza marina. I soon spotted there yacht and anchored 20mtrs in front in only 3 mtrs of water, as near to the shore as I wanted to go. Zoe anchored nearby, and I soon had my Avon pumped up and rowing us ashore in two trips. Nick had mentioned getting an electric outboard, and I must be honest the idea does appeal to me. Our first stop was the Chinese shop at the top of town. To kit me out with some cheap shirts, maybe I'm getting old, but I had been finding wearing my usual t-shirts getting a bit hot. Nicks a advocate of cheap shirts, and they certainly seem more practical. We had a great laugh trying to find stuff that would fit me, now, I'm a bit on the tubby side at the moment, but a xl in the UK fits ok. The Chinese xl wouldn't go over my arm! We ended up trying xxxl and they still didn't fit, I guess that they don't have many 17 stone 6ft 2in Chinese about? After a lot of searching, we found 5 suitable shirts that came to 20 euros, a pretty good deal I reckoned. Going ashore that night and I was actually looking smarter than usual, I've just got to get my head around the fact that these are now my everyday work shirts, and not to be kept for best!
I rowed over to Tom and Anne the next day, and it was great to see them both again after such a long time. Tom gave me a pressie of his old Avon dinghy, it had a slow leak!! and a lot bigger than mine and had seen a lot of use. It pumped up okay and I towed it back to Nanjo, then over to Zoe. It was the ideal size for the three of us to get in and put Nicks outboard on the back. So, without really checking the Avon out, we all piled in and went ashore. It motored well with the outboard, and I vowed to keep it if I could get it on Nanjos foredeck and stow it. Coming back to the dinghy a few hours later, and it was not a pretty sight. It had lost at least 50% of its air and was barely afloat! Having no pump with us, I agreed to go back to Nanjo and get one. Amazingly it took my weight, but folded alarmingly in the middle, starting the outboard gave it even more of a bend. I was expecting it to give way at any moment and I would end up swimming. Back alongside Nanjo, it only took a few pumps in each tube to get it stiff again and I was soon heading back to collect Nick and Pat. Typically for a small 2 stroke outboard, it refused to start once they were onboard, so we decided to row back. To say we were going nowhere fast would be an understatement, luckily Tom had spotted us mucking about and came to our rescue and towed us to both our yachts. The offer of sundowners on his yacht later was greatfully accepted.
After putting a few patches on the Avon, i thought that i had sorted it out. But a few more runs ashore in it, this time carrying the pump with me soon proved it was a lot worse than i had hoped. After a final run ashore, I towed it to the nearest beach, pulled it up on the gravel and left a sign saying "Free/Gratis" on it. I'm sure that a local would soon spirit it away and it will give many more happy years service. Nick and Pat left the next day for there return sail to Corfu. I spent the day washing my new shirts, and glad I did, the water soon went a gray colour.

I motored away on the 15th June and headed for the bridge at Lefkada, the works on widening the channel have made it so much safer now on the approach. I was the first yacht in line, and soon cleared the 11am bridge and was heading back down to my favorite sailing area. At the end of the channel the wind was blowing right up Nanjos stern, i soon had full sail up and had a great trip down to Vlicho. Even stupidly trying to sail past Nidri, after missing a couple of trip boats who decided that I didn't have right of way, i reluctantly started the engine and motored to Vlicho. Dropping 30mtrs of chain in 5mtrs of water, and digging the cqr well into the mud, made me feel like I had come home. Vlicho gets a lot of bad press from some people, but I love it here. It's really hard to describe just how scenic it is, having what looks like mountains all around you, and normally it's a peaceful place to anchor.

Tues 16th June, and I've got the anchor up and Nanjo prepped for any kind of mooring. I've got to find a berth so Vernon can come and look at my fridge for me. The first pontoons are full up, but a chance shout from Alan (Nanjos old owner) on the Nydri marine pontoon, and he recommends I go to the IBA pontoon and ask. I've found the best thing to really do, is to bob up and down by the pontoon and hopefully locate a space. Then usually somebody will direct you yo another or tell you to come in. There was a small gap, between a gorgeous Dutch yacht and a Brit, just big enough for Nanjo with a bit of fender squashing. So, in I went, dropping the kedge the regulation 4 boat lengths out and easing my way in. It all went text book, I had 3 metres of kedge rope left. Stepped to the bow and handed my helpfull neighbour my bow lines, within a minute Nanjo was all secure and the fenders rearranged. Vernon was down within a couple of hours, and we talked over the options to fix the fridge. It was something he had never known before as well, and offered to contact Dometic in the Uk for advice. The next day he brought me down a spare compressor that would fit my vapouriser plate. That way I had a working fridge, he will get me the correct plate in the Uk and bring it out in September. Vernon spent time gassing it all up and making sure everything worked ok. He did a great job, and to be honest, it's made life on Nanjo just so much better. I had spent my year without a fridge, and survived no problem. But it's hard to describe what it's like having a cold beer when you want, cold milk and cold fruit juice. Sheer luxury. Just got to keep my fingers crossed that it carries on working now. It's the old saying "what you never had you don't miss". I'm now getting used to watching my battery monitor show a 4.4amp draw whenever it switches on, but so far the solar panels and wind gen can keep up with the power drain.
I spent three days on the IBA pontoon in the end, and had a great time. Well worth the 9 euros a night fee, with electric and water inc.

Fri 19th June, my kedge anchor came up okay and covered in thick mud. A nice morning for a motor around and empty my holding tank, i chugged around Scorpious island, and was amazed at just how much security there is now. Even a guy in a rib just motoring up and down inside the buoyed off area to shoo you away if you crossed over! I couldn't help but feel sad for the people who know own the island, they must be so afraid and insecure!
I dropped anchor back in the middle of Vlicho bay, put out 40mtrs this time as I'm going to be here for a few weeks.

Fri 26th June. I've been here a week now, and enjoyed every minute. I've been getting on with the list of jobs I didn't finish in Messolonghi. Still got loads more to keep me busy for the next week. I'm back to swimming every day again, rowing ashore for bread and walking around. Hopefully my weight will start to come down and I'll get fitter in the process. Lifes really great for me now, I'm easily living within my pension, the suns getting hotter and I'm as free as I can ever hope to be. Still not started to learn the guitar or clarinet. But my library of books is going down.

27/06/2015 | Robyn
Just love your updates :) So glad you have found a temporary fix for your refrigerator. In hot weather it really does improve life on board.
Bons trip to Corfu

Bons time onboard.

We went for a second test sail, and this time Bon just sat back and enjoyed the view, while I sailed Nanjo. After another four hour sail, I'm glad to say that Bon was ok. It was only a light wind, and no indication on what could happen on our trip to Corfu. But the good news, was the trip was on.
After saying farewell to everybody and putting some supplies on Nanjo, we set off for a long trip to Kalamos on the 14th May. If Bon started to feel bad, there was always the options to stop at Petala, Astokos or Kastos to shorten the trip. Typically we had very little wind, and what there was ended up being on the nose. We motorsailed all the way to Kalamos, it was a lovely trip in calm waters, passing the islands as we went along. My logbook shows a distance of 41.4 nautical miles at a 4.6knts average and a 9hr trip. As we motored past Kastos I was amazed at the number of masts in the harbour and even seeing yachts anchored outside. Approaching Kalamos it looked pretty full as well. Luckily just inside the harbour entrance there was a small space between a large cat and a yacht alongside, for me to put Nanjos bow. My first moor up in years and it went perfectly. The Bruce anchor Peter had given me in Messolonghi really dug in well. After a meal at Georges and a look around the harbour, it was an early night for both of us.
The rest of the trip to Corfu went all to plan, we stopped at Spartakhori, Spillia taverna jetty. I hadn't seen the old boys for years, and I was surprised when he remembered Nanjo and my name. We had a good meal and climbed to the great view point up the hill. For a treat I took Bon to Lefkas marina, the 28 euro charge was not as bad as I expected to be honest, and it's a great place to moor up. Bon enjoyed looking around all the souvenir shops, I honestly think we visited each one! I filled up both fuel tanks here.
The new Preveza marina worked out well for us, as we arrived late on a Sunday and were told the harbour master had gone home. Free electric and water and as we planned to leave at 7am the next day a free berth as well. We spent the next day dolphin watching in the gulf, after motoring up and down for 5 hours though, I was about to give up and call it a day. Then Bon spotted a large school of dolphins and suddenly the day was all worthwhile, we even managed to get a few pictures of them playing near Nanjo. It was soon time to head back to the marina, and another free night. While we were there we met a couple of young guys Harry and Tommy working on a 60ft wooden cabin cruiser built in the 1950's. Pictures they had showed it was an amazing boat back in it's heyday, when it was chartered on the South of France. But now, needing some serious woodwork. The highlight of a tour of the boat for me was Tommy firing up the two V8 Detroit diesels, an amazing sound, and apparently they were tank engines. I would hate to think of the diesel consumption, compared to Nanjos 1 litre per hour!

We left Preveza on the 19th May and headed straight for Lakka on Paxos, it was to be another motorsail day. The seas were pretty calm until we were just passed the half way point, when we had a large swell and head winds. Nanjo only had her main up, and a sudden gust leaned her over about 25 degrees. Within minutes of this the engine spluttered and died! A quick look around and check of the primary filter, showed the glass bowl to be full of gunk. Draining this away helped give clean fuel but no starting. I topped up the tank from my spare container, and was surprised to see it take about 20 litres. I had filled up both tanks at Lefkas marina, or so I had thought. Now I realised why the fuel bill was so low. After bleeding the system, my trusty Yanmar fired up and settled down to it's regular thump. My log shows we left Preveza at 06:45 and dropped anchor in 1.8mtrs of water at Lakka at 15:00. A good trip, and Bon was feeling okay as well. Pumping up the dinghy for a run ashore, then a snooze before another trip ashore for dinner. What a nice easy life I lead.

Lakka to Benitses was our next trip, and the weather started out dull but the sun soon burned that all away, and it was a full on sunbathing day. Bon went for a swim as we approached Benitses in 40mtrs of water and 1.8 miles offshore. Her last swim of the trip. I managed to find a small space in the harbour and went bow on as usual. I wasn't surprised to see a lot of the same boats still here from my last visit years ago. It's a free harbour and has excellent protection. The towns not changed much either. I caught up with Nick, a guy I had last met in Benitses and the owner of another Dromor. We had a good night ashore and walked out of town for a fair bit just to have a look around.

The next morning was to be Bons last trip on Nanjo, we left Benitses and went to Mandraki harbour situated just under the old fort at Corfu town. The harbour master found me a place and for 24 euros a night, with water and electric it wouldn't break the bank. We had a lovely stroll around the town and fort, but to be honest it's really just to busy and commercial for me. The sight of three large cruise liners in the harbour only confirmed my worst fears. The number of shops selling souvenir tat and not being able to walk past a bar/taverna without being virtually dragged in was not for me. Bon enjoyed her stay. I had spotted a new small harbour on my walk to a small machine shop to get some new plastic rollers made up for my jib track, and decided I would head there as soon as Bon left.
Saturday morning came around quick enough, and a phone call for a taxi and a 15minute trip to the airport, and I was soon waving goodbye to Bon as she went through passport control. It had been a great month for me having her onboard, and her help in fixing the stanchion bases was invaluable. The time had gone very quickly, I think for both of us.
I walked back from the airport to the machine shop, picked up my repaired rollers and was soon back on Nanjo. 30 minutes later I had cast off my mooring lines and motored out of Mandraki. 20 minutes later I was tied up alongside in the new harbour, only a twenty yard walk to a taverna and cold Mythos and two minutes from town. Another free harbour for me to enjoy. I had a great sleep, as there was very little swell from the passing ferries, unlike at Mandraki.

I left the next morning and sailed up to Gouvia fuel station and topped up both tanks. Once out past Gouvias outer bouy I switched the engine off, and hoisted all sail again. I had a fantastic day sailing back to Benitses, my log shows I sailed 22 miles for a 5 mile straight trip and an average speed of 3.8 knots. There were times when the wind died and my speed went down to 0.7 and when it picked up I hit 6.5, I was having a great time. No need to rush, all the time in the world and Nanjo back to sailing again. I eventually moored back up at Benitses again at 17:00 a trip of over 7 hours. Total engine time was 40mins. Hopefully that will be the way things go from now on.

I arrived at Benitses on Sunday 24th May, I'm writing this blog a week later and still here. Relaxing and chilling out. I've had all the bed linen cleaned at Argos, washed all my clothes using my new "wonderwash" machine. It took a bit of getting used to, but I was happy with the results it gave. It's just the amount of space it takes up in the bow cabin. I've gone through Nanjo from bow to stern, emptying every locker and rearranging stuff, making up new lists of whats where as well. I've found stuff I put onboard when I first bought Nanjo four years ago and never used, it's all ended up on the harbour wall with a "Free" sign on it all. Nanjos looking a lot tidier now. My mate Craig arrived on the Wednesday, he owns another Discovery 3000 moored two boats down from me. But the version built for ptivate use, the finish on the interior is miles above mine, and shows just how good these boats were built in the end. He's the perfect person to be Commodore of the Dromor Disco appreciation society.
Life in Benitses for me is very easy, I've done one job on my list every day, then relaxed with a beer and a chat. I can easily see how this harbour sucks people in and they never leave!!

I've no definite date to leave yet, my one big job is getting my fridge fixed in Nidri. My next guest is out in August as well, so plenty of time for me to get in some sailing and head South. I've been told of some "must visit" places on the mainland heading to Preveza, so they are on my list to visit, as I have no intention of coming any further North than Preveza again this year.
At the moment my life's as good as I hoped it would be, my works pension is enough to buy what I need and Nanjo provides me with a safe place to sleep, live and sail. What more could I really ask for?

04/06/2015 | Mike
Good stuff Jim, we'll be out and about in the Ionian for a month from next Sunday, will keep an eye out for you.

Mike & Val S/Y Konstantinos
Back afloat. Yippeeee

It's been a few weeks since my last update, and typically there have been the ups and downs of working on a boat.

After eventually removing all the green stripes and glue to my satisfaction, I came to the tricky part of marking up the new ones. I had been playing with a sketch pad and really got carried away with some complicated ideas. Which could have never been duplicated either side and the cost in masking tape alone would have wrecked the budget!! So, I ended up just making the old stripes a touch bigger in the end. Four coats of British Racing Green paint and I was happy. The big let down was the "Professional 14 day, sharp edge" masking tape. After being on the sides of the boat for three days, it really did not want to come away easily, leaving a sticky residue and the edge was not as good as I had expected. I guess it's just 14 days in the UK! Nanjos new racing stripes look okay from 10 feet, which is about as near as most people will ever get. I painted the top hull line to match.
We have had a big problem in the yard since I arrived, No anti-fouling allowed. The solution for me was to get up at 7am and paint one side at a time, before the port police arrived on there rounds. Four early mornings and Nanjo had her two coats of anti fouling done. I've gone for the stuff recommended by the yard, so it will be interesting to see how Nanjo looks when next lifted out.
The Friday before my mate arrived was spent cleaning Nanjos interior and making space to set up a double bed in the saloon. Now, my bow really was a full shed.
I had a nice drive to Athens airport to collect Bonita, even finding a cafe that served the taxi drivers for a cheap meal. Then a nap before her arrival at midnight. It's always great to see her, and she came through the arrivals door smiling as expected. The drive back to Messolonghi was uneventful, except for me missing the turnoff for the bridge! We were back onboard for 4am.

The jobs with Bons help sped up, our first big job was the stanchions, taking down the interior head linings on one side at a time, meant having to shuffle stuff about as expected. The biggest shock came when we went to undo the holding bolts, two were just half inch self tappers, the other two were undersize bolts.Such a major safety item on the boat, and put together so shoddily by the Greek guys I had paid. I'm just so glad that nobody ever fell against them. The pictures say more than I can. After a fair bit of faffing about, we worked out how to put the new bases in place and secure them. Even getting the stanchions out turned out to be a really easy job, I found a welded yacht frame support nearby, and by placing the stanchion in it upside down, and giving it several clouts with a large lump hammer. They came apart easily. The first side took us a day and a half, the next side only half a day. I'm now happy with the result, although the toe rail has a few more holes drilled in it now. New guard wires completed the job.

I had winterized the engine when I brought Nanjo ashore, and had turned her over on a spanner everytime I came out. Now a complete change of filters,new belts and impellor. New diesel in the tank and a bleeding of the system, the big day had arrived to see if she would start. Luckily my Yanmar has decompressors fitted, so a 30 second spin on the starter, showed she turned over ok and had oil pressure. With Bon in the cockpit and me in the engine bay with a bucket of water for the inlet pipe, I'm glad to say she busrt into life after only a few minutes work. A very big sigh of relief as that was another major tick off the work list.

We got on with some small jobs but the last few days before the launch went very quickly, and Nanjo was ready for the water. A poor choice of food on the Saturday night, left me with the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had. I was not safe to be around and spent the whole of Sunday in bed moaning and groaning. Bon had to fend for herself and met some nice people at the marina to keep her company.

Monday the 4th and it's launch day. I had finally shaken off the stomach bug and was up at 7am getting Nanjo ready. Up went the Greek flag, Red ensign on the stern and of course my Pirate flag. Getting fenders and ropes ready didn't take long. We were the second boat to be launched, and it took them no time at all to remove the junk around Nanjo. The big tipper truck has not moved since I arrived, luckily they managed to get the tractor and lift in okay. Within 10 minutes Nanjo was on the move for the first time in over two years, only to then spend the next couple of hours waiting for the crane driver to arrive, who was doing another job in the port. It was a great moment for me seeing her afloat eventually and stepping onboard a moving yacht again. A quick check for leaks and then the engine fired up instantly. We spent 20mins motoring around the harbour before going into the marina. It gave Bon a chance to play on the tiller and me a chance to check things over. The rest of Monday was spent tidying up, changing the engine and gearbox oil and relaxing. The big surprise for me was that Nanjo still floated above her waterline, so maybe there's room for more stuff onboard.

Tuesday we went for a trial sail in the bay just past the safe water bouys. It was gorgeous weather and Trix had handed me a couple of cold beers and some goodies to eat. Bon had her first taste of being at sea on a yacht and I went through the m.o.b procedure with her. The wind started to fill in so it was out with the jib for a sailing lesson, then mainsil and finally both together. Nanjo came alive in the nice breeze and Bon managed a top speed of 6 knots, before we headed back to Messolonghi. For me, it was just perfect holding her tiller again and feeling her come alive, as she just leaned over to the breeze. We were only out for 4 hours, but it made all the work and waiting so worthwhile, She really sails well in my opinion.
Tuesday evening and things were not looking so good for Bon, she was suffering badly with motion sickness, despite wrist bands and feeling okay while sailing. Her condition just got worse as the night went on. She was having trouble focusing and standing up. It's Friday now and she is moving around at last. Our plans to sail to Corfu are on hold at the moment. The plan at the moment is to go out on Saturday for another 4 hour sail and see how she reacts. If it's bad again, then it will be a bus or car to Corfu so she can catch her flight. If she's okay then we could set off on the Monday.
I've been sewing some new mossie screens for the hatches as it's now so hot, closing them at night is not really an option.

Back onboard for a long time hopefully.
24/04/2015, Messolonghi marina

Sailblog update 19th April 2015.

It's hard to believe that I've already been back living on Nanjo for three weeks, the time is flying by. The list of jobs seems to be getting longer, and even the simple ones are taking 4 times longer than expected. I've honestly only had one day off work, how that came about is a story for later!!
It's been great being back onboard, I can't begin to explain how I feel, knowing that "this is it". After all the years of working and planning on living on a yacht, sailing where I like and having a very simple life, it's all finally come together. I've woken up every morning so far, happy and really without any serious cares. Apart from the price of beer and spinach/fetta pies. Even tackling what have turned out to be laborious crap jobs, has made me smile at the end of them, knowing that each tick off the list is a step nearer to Nanjo being launched, and put back in the environment in which she belongs. Keeping her ashore for two long years, I now know was a mistake. I really should have taken her sailing if even for a week or two each year. A lot of the minor (well so far problems) have been down to her standing ashore.
A charging problem had me scratching my head and digging out wiring manuals and the multi-meter, even with the solar panels and wind gen now up and running, my charge controller had an annoying flashing red light. It turned out in the end to be the start battery failing and dragging the house batteries down, and some corrosion in a couple of wiring joints. A simple fix, new start battery and some emery cloth, but took me most of a day to sort.
My leaking windows, were as expected a bitch of a job. Just trying to remove the air conditioning tin foil I had used to seal them took two days, it just wouldn't come away in bits bigger than a mm, after two years it had done it's job well tho, and Nanjo was dry inside. So, I guess two days work was a small price to pay, they are now sealed with arbosil, which depending on what forum you visit is the best stuff for the job. Needless to say, since I've resealed them, I've had no rain!!
The anchor locker hatch boards that Bonita started for me were a nice job to finish of. Just a bit of sanding, two coats of epoxy, two coats of epoxy undercoat and three coats of white gloss, with one coat of non slip sand added. The job looks pucker, and hopefully should last years. The danger of having a can of white gloss onboard, is it makes anything creamy look dirty! A little test patch on my saloon sides really showed this up, so a job not on the list was added. Three coats later, and I'm really glad that I took the trouble, it's brightened up the interior no end, just need to put up my new curtains now.
Vernon the "white van man" arrived a week after I did, with my boxs from the UK. It was great to see him again, as he had taken out my stuff when I had my years career break. But, by now, Nanjo was pretty full up inside with the stuff I had brought out over the last years. Any guests will be sleeping in the cockpit this year, I really should have made a list of what I had already onboard. I've now got 7 hammers? and enough tools to rebuild Nelsons HMS Victory. Just about everything is triplicated, but, you know what it's like with tools? You can never have enough!!
I tackled what I thought would be a mornings work, putting in my new fridge compressor and vapouriser unit, brought out by Vernon. The vapouriser fitted in my fridge casing after only minor trimming/bending with pliers. The thermostat, went back where the old one had been as well. By now, I'm thinking I'm on a roll, and an early lunch looked on the cards. It wasn't to be, the compressor comes already fitted on a mounting plate with everything partially coupled up. If it went back where the old unit was, it would have been a bitch to couple up, and servicing would have been a nightmare. So, I found a little space for it under the cooker in a locker. Just needed to make up a plywood plinth for it to stand on, fibreglass it in and bolt it down. Luckily I had some spare 3/4 inch ply from the anchor locker job, and enough tools to knock the plinth up. It all went really well, as can be seen in one of the pics, easy to service, easy to wire up as well. Only the two copper pipes to connect and I'll be having a cold beer in the evening! Wrong, the copper couplings were of different sizes!! It's the same manufacturer, why. The frustrating thing is I've had the units in my home for 7 months and never checked them. Luckily a quick e-mail to "Stiff Nipples" in Nidri, and when I sail there he might be able to help. So hopefully a happy ending in a few months time.
I've been working on two or three projects at a time, allowing paint to dry or glue to stick while getting on with something else. Nanjo is a complete mess at the moment. The saloon is littered with tools, paint, white spirit and just about everything needed to reconstruct a yacht. The bow cabin, is more my shed at the moment, all the big items not needed have been put in there "out of sight". I'm expecting her to sit a few inches lower in the water when she's launched on May 4th.
At the moment, my biggest ongoing job is to replace the "go faster stripes" on Nanjos cabin sides with painted on ones. Another job that I've totally underestimated in time to complete. Just taking the old vinyl stickers off was a nightmare, they were another milimetre at a time, even with the aid of my hot air gun. Then the real problem revealed itself, the sodding sticky residue left behind. I've gone over everything four times now, and I'm still not happy. A quick internet search gave me a few ideas on what to use, but only after seeing a video of the proffessionals using a plastic wheel in an angle grinder, did I realise what I was up against. I'm writing this and so far it's been a three day job, I've yet to key the sides, mask up for the new lines and apply the green and cream paint!! My jobs list said "2 days". I'm now constantly revising the jobs to do before launching, and putting the jobs I can do in a bay somewhere list together (it's getting longer).

My day off work came about because the night before, I had been invited to Peter and Trixs yacht for the evening to sample cheese fondue and have a lovely time. As usual, I had a fantastic time, eat far to much and drank way to much. I eventually left at 4am, slightly the worse for wear, but felt great. To get off there yacht, you have to climb over the bow. There is a purpose built ladder and I've done it many a time. This time tho, all I remember is cocking my leg over the rail, and ending up in the sea!! Luckily Peter had been behind me and seen me suddenly dissapear, thankfully for me he was more sober, and between us, I managed to climb onto the jetty. My first thoughts were, the waters warmer than expected! Then "how the fuck did that happen". Peter escorted me back to Nanjo and watched me climb her ladder, if you look at the photos of where she is and all the metal and junk lying around. Falling off her ashore would not be a good idea. I had sobered up enough to notice the blood dripping from my arm, big toe and hand. Mostly done on the barnacles I reckon, but slapping on some savlon after washing the cuts seemed a good idea before going to sleep. Well, when I eventually woke up, half the day had gone, and i felt like I had been knocked down by a bus, even after standing in a gorgeous shower for ten minutes. A quick visit to Peter and Trix to show I was still alive, and we had a chat over a coffee, about the evening and my sudden departure. It could have been a lot worse, it's a concrete jetty, i luckily completely missed it. After a 5min bike ride into town for a spinach pie, I was back onboard and just relaxing. Spent the day and evening avoiding beer completely.

My best bud, Bonita is arriving on the 25th for a months stay and a cruise up to Corfu. But first she will have to work for a week, another top job to do is replace the crap stanchion bases that have been on Nanjo since I bought her. A quick try at getting a stanchion out, has proved what I expected, the alloy stanchion and stainless steel base have corroded together. Looks like an angle grinder will be needed to separate them!! Oh well, there goes another one day job.

26/04/2015 | Manny and Robyn
You are making great headway! Manny and I read about your compressor installation and the problem with copper couplings and pipe size. Manny works installing marine refrigerators and he thinks he can help you. We can't access your email but if you email us, Manny would like to send you an email with some advice. :)
27/04/2015 | Sheila
Blimey bro, that food looks bloody awful, glad I've sent you some receipe books for cooking on a budget! No wonder the weeks are flying with you working so hard, it'll all be worth it and at least you're working for you now! So envious of the blue sky and temperatures too. Take it easy matey xx
03/05/2015 | Angela & Steve Northey
Love you blog, hope your jobs are getting done and that you are ready for the big lift. May see you around as we are sailing in Greece, will look out for you.
Retired and a pensioner!

I'm now officially retired from work and a RM pensioner.
Leaving work after nearly 36 years was a lot easier than I expected. I put in a months retirement notice, and before long it was my last night, which was spent saying goodbye to some people I've known for a very long time. I had a great send off and thanks to everybody who attended my farewell do and contributed to my fantastic farewell pressie. I will wear it with pride.
Handing back my great flat was just as easy, and spending a few days giving it a complete and thorough clean, paid dividends when they agreed to return my full deposit. (More for the Mythos fund). I've sold my beloved Beemer to a friend, and to be honest, it will be the one thing I will miss the most.
I'm currently at my sisters, trying to squeeze all the goodies I've bought into three box's for the flight to Athens. Only a couple of days left in the UK, before the big adventure and the start of a new life. Hopefully it will be as a long term cruising liveaboard. I can't wait.

27/03/2015 | Tony
Congratulations on your retirement. I wish you all the best for the future as a live aboard. I shall continue to follow your blog. One day, may meet up in the Ionian.
Jobs to do !!!

I thought I had better write down the jobs to do before Nanjo gets launched again. Luckily I'm giving myself a month from when I arrive to complete them all, and typically I'm sure, others will crop up as well.

Finish 240volt wiring.
Cut / fit / paint plywood for anchor locker.
Glue / cut to fit lining to lockers.
Re-fit and wash out water tank bags.
Epoxy glue holding tank outlet.
Re-fit wind generator and wire up.
Apply 3 coats of anti-fouling paint.
Re-paint green coach lines on hull.
Make wooden top for cooker.
Fit new top life line.
Attach new mainsail and check fit.
Remove teak strips in cockpit and side benches, fill holes and paint grp. Re-attach with new extra strips.
Re-paint bow anchor and mark chain.
Fit new copper gas pipe and test.

Two person jobs:
Re-seal leaking windows.
Remove old stanchion bases and fit new stronger ones.
Re-seal lifting seams on the Avon dinghy.
Run engine after a full service and filters.

Climb mast and fit NASA wind indicator, new halyard for cruising chute, new bulbs in anchor light and steaming light.

Strewth, and I thought I was going to sit around and relax with a mythos or two!!

10/02/2015 | Mike
Will be interested to hear how you get on with the wind indicator Jim - planning to fit one this year too.

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