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.

04 February 2016
16 January 2016
12 September 2015
10 September 2015
10 September 2015
08 August 2015
24 June 2015
31 May 2015
08 May 2015
24 April 2015 | Messolonghi marina
26 March 2015
06 February 2015
08 January 2015 | Me Northampton, Nanjo Messolonghi
01 January 2014
01 January 2014
01 January 2014 | Duston, Northampton

Aprils Blog. week 1

03 April 2012
Sunny, 25 degrees, Blue skies.
Sunday April 1st.
Thought it was time to start on the wiring for the back of Nanjo, I need to fit a plug for the autopilot and a 12volt accessory socket. So every thing had to come out of the stern cabin to give me access to the panels to hide the wiring, the picture shows the cushions and other stuff in the rest of the boat. I had a pleasant surprise after taking one panel down and found three cubby holes that had not been finished of. they do a more expensive deluxe Disco 3000 so maybe its a job for me later. The deck head panel came down with about 40 screws holding it up, it gave me the space I needed to hide the wiring. But was a nightmare to put back up. I must be getting old as I had a severe cramp in one arm, probably lying on my back with my head through a small hatch and holding a drill above my head did not help much? It all went better once I got the wiring back to the engine where I had left some string to help pull the wires through the bilges. It took 7hrs of bending and it was job done. I quickly threw the cushions back in the cabin so I could sleep later and had a gorgeous hot shower, which just made the aches and pains worse. The squashed tomato taverna was open and we had decided to go there for dinner, the packet pasta and rice is great but I think we were both in need of some meat. John ended up with 5 lamb chops and I had the suvlaki, all washed down with a couple of mythos and a free chocolate desert. Gorgeous. I slept like the dead.

Monday 2nd
Up late and it was a 10.30 start for me. I don't think my joints wanted to move much. I finished pulling the wires up to the fuse panel and that was it. The big moment had come and it was time to connect all my wiring up at last. I had tidied up all the old stuff, but now with all the new wiring it looked just as bad as when I first opened the panel?? I managed to break one of the connections, and I am glad to say it was not one of mine. Luckily John had a soldering iron and quickly did a superb job. It all went together really well, and I was impressed. Turned on the batteries and it lit up, all the old circuits were working, but there was nothing out of my new panel? I took it apart, checked all the wiring and nothing wrong? Started it again and nothing, think my jaw dropped. Then the light bulb in the back of my small brain came on and I checked the new fuse panel for fuses, and you have probably worked it out by now? That there were no fuses in the new panel!!!! A quick fix, and everything came to life as planned. You could see my smiling face from space. There is only the toilet macerator pump to wire up and the wind generator when I get the "A" frame in Lefkas and thats it done. I got the quote back from the marina for the liferaft cradle and it came within my budget, so ordered it. They reckon two weeks, so hopefully Nanjo will be launched soon after that. A well earned shower, a rice dinner on Tulane and for a treat I had 3 mythos in the bar.
Tuesday 3rd April
I slept really well, probably the relief that most of the wiring jobs are now over? Up early and we were going to catch the mini bus to town, we got chatting to a very nice lady from Denmark, she was out with her husband and they were going to go sailing for a week. When they got on board there Beneateau 42 footer it was full of water (sounds familiar). They had new hatch seals fitted the year before and they had all leaked, they have 7 hatches! So there holiday was going to be, take them all apart and re-seal them properly. They only had the week then back to work. Its hard to imagine I have already been out here for two weeks and still have 50 more before I am due back at work. There should be some interesting times ahead? I bought a car battery charger in the local hardware store and John picked up some epoxy to hopefully fix his navigators seat on Tulane. A quick trip to the supermarket, loaf of bread and two spinach pasties for later and we were all done. I had promised myself a treat for being so good, so it was a large pitta gyros all 2 euros 50 cents of it, as you can see in the picture, and believe me it was delish. We watched the old wooden Greek navy minesweeper being expertly reversed of the town quay with a strong wind blowing him onto the jetty, a lesson in using a front bow spring to kick the arse end out and then slowly astern. He had a large crowd watching and it was text book stuff, I felt like applauding.
Back onn board it was a bit of tidying up and a few little wiring jobs and put my feet up and relax. I scoffed the spinach pastie we had bought earlier, and it was not a patch on my gyros?? All to soon it was 7pm and shower time. John was still playing with Tulanes mast, the pin in the fore stay will need to be drilled out, not an easy job without a vice before the mast goes back up. I took my laptop to the bar for a change after writing up this blog and loosing my internet connection and everything I had written in the afternoon, had drove me nuts as I type so slowly with two fingers. A guy from the opposite table asked about the weather, as he was launching and going to Messalonghi, so I showed him on my lap top. He has lived on his yacht for 10 years and only comes out of the water every two years for a week so he can anti-foul. A great bloke, he recommended Messalonghi for my winter stop over, which supprisingly was on my list as a great place to stay and cheap as well. A couple of mythos and a rather nice sausage/veg and tomato dish in the bar went down well. Bread on Tulane rounded of the night.
Wed 4th April
Early morning rain shower and a bit of a breeze, I could not find any leaks on Nanjos windows or hatches, which is a good sign.
Went and confirmed Nanjos launch date, if the jobs are not finished she is still going in the water. Time to priortise my work sheet, only two weeks to lift in. Had a great afternoon, did the final install on the autopilot, epoxied in the strenghtener piece for the ram. Hooked it all up and it works a treat. I might need a 1inch extension but sea trials will confirm if I do. Feeling really chuffed, I decided to sew up a canvas bag for the autopilot. I had some canvas left over from Tulanes sun canopy, so happily sat in the cockpit sewing away ( I am very domesticated?). The sun was shining and I stupidly forgot my short hair and bald spot, funny thing I did not even notice the burning until I stopped sewing and tidied up. Ouch!! The hot shower only confirmed my head was sore. Dinner on Tulane and a couple of mythos in the bar and it was time for bed again. Slept wearing my hoodie on my head as it was still sore and did not want to bang it.
Has been a few busy days, the weather has been up and down, the forecast will say rain and wind and we get beautiful sunshine, and the forecast station is only 2 miles away? The weather is always difficult to predict mainly because of all the nearby mountains. One of the main jobs to be done before launching is the anti-fouling on the hull to help keep the barnacles and other marine life at bay. I had asked on the YBW website for recomendations, and got plenty. I have opted for the brand used by the locals 0n there fishing boats and tripper boats. Only available in Greece in 20ltr drums, but a company in the UK sells in in 5ltrs a more yachty size, it was brought out by Vernon in my load.
Hull prep was a rub down to remove all old loose stuff, wash with fresh water, a prep coating then two top coats. It's meant to last for 3 years and the tin was covered in skulls and toxic labels warning how it would kill me?? I figure it should do a good job on barnacles if it's that potent, only time will tell? It took hours to apply the paint, and after lying on your back with a roller above your head doing the bottom of the hull, my old joints were crying out enough. So glad Nanjo is only 31ft long, I would hate to paint some of the large yachts in the yard. The "cold" shower (I got to the solar showers late, and all the hot had gone) did absolutely nothing to make me feel 20 again. I would have paid a lot of money for a hot soapy bath, believe me. The job was finally finished on Saturday and she looks superb in her new black Jotun Sea Queen anti-fouling, just the propellor and shaft to paint and thats the bottom done so she can be launched ok.
The job list is getting smaller and only 11 days to launch, just hope the weather improves. I don't mind windy sailing, it's just sailing in the rain thats not very nice.
The evenings have been rounded of with the usual pattern of cooking dinner on Tulane, normally out of a packet so nothing hard, although I think it's time for a curry or sweet and sour dish with some chicken,peppers,onion etc, before I loose all my cooking skills??? Then of to the bar for a couple of Mythos, back to Tulane for cheese and crackers, and fall into my sleeping bag knackered after another busy day.
Sunday 8th April
Woke to a lovely morning, although the forecast had been for heavy rain and strong winds. So, I thought washing time. Everything went to plan and it was all drying nicely on the line, when of course the forecast rain arrived. Quickly take it all down and put up a makeshift washing line in the cabin. Time to tackle those little inside jobs now, one that has been bugging me has been the table, the leaves sit at a downward angle? Having bought some brackets in Preveza to cure the problem, it was out with the drill and it all looked very sturdy, but the leaves were still down! Problem was in the wooden supports being worn or cut to small. A quick rumage around and I found some plywood to cut up and shape, four little bits of wood that Chippendale would have been proud of, some glue and it's job sorted. Rain now a bit intermittent, so I found some hardwood lying around by Nanjo about 6in long and just enough to repair her hatch doors. Quite sometime later its got a nice groove and cut to size. Now heavy rain, so hiding back in the cabin, small leak from one window so put a cup under it and mark the spot for later. Time for a nap, as the damp is making my old bones ache, well thats my excuse? Woke up to rain and my washing still very wet. Of to see John on Tulane for dinner and catch up on how his days gone. A very wet run to the bar for a mythos rounded of the day. The temperature is dropping quickly now.

Vessel Name: Nanjo
Vessel Make/Model: Dromor Discovery 3000
Hailing Port: Messolonghi, Greece
Nanjo's Photos - Main
Some gorgeous winter weather and at least one job off my list! The wind indicator finally fitted.
22 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
Amazing maxi yacht, now being sailed back to the USA for restoration.
21 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
The last few weeks after Pete left. I had a great time. Picked up my new bike, and at Messolonghi my new crew!
31 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
My mate Pete onboard for a weeks sailing.
13 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
Joined by three friends at Kefalonia for a weeks sailing. Taken by the underwater camera built into a face mask.
10 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
My best sunrise so far, leaving Sami early. Keffalonia on my right and Ithaca on my left
4 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
A three day round trip to Benitses in Corfu for a Yamaha outboard engine
6 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
11 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
29 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
25 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
73 Photos
Created 27 July 2015
A great time with Pat and Nick, sailing back to Preveza.
51 Photos
Created 24 June 2015
Pictures taken on the trip from Messolonghi to Corfu
66 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
The last of my big repair jobs done and Nanjos launch.
23 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
Pictures from my first few weeks working on Nanjo.
33 Photos
Created 24 April 2015
7 Photos
Created 26 March 2015
Some pics that represent my year.
37 Photos
Created 8 January 2015
Some pictures of my time in the UK.
33 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
My week on Nanjo with my great mate Bon.
15 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
My weeks visit in May.
34 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
Some pics of my time back in the UK.
10 Photos
Created 17 May 2013
Nanjo safely ashore at last.
2 Photos
Created 13 May 2013
5 Photos
Created 10 March 2013
Taking the engine apart. Toms stew!
46 Photos
Created 19 February 2013
Suprise hail attack, and snow on the mountains behind town.
11 Photos
Created 14 February 2013
It's been a gorgeous week for sunshine and getting jobs done.
14 Photos
Created 4 February 2013
W/c 21st Jan. Been a few days of torrential rain.
36 Photos
Created 28 January 2013
Jan12/13th The local drag races, held at Messolonghi airfield. Sat:overcast/drizzle about 300 people. Sunday:Brilliant sunshine,about 2,000. A great weekend
56 Photos
Created 15 January 2013
46 Photos
Created 15 January 2013
Photos taken in and around Messolonghi Marina.
104 Photos
Created 8 January 2013
Bought these at a motorway service station. Brilliant scam, these are being mass produced somewhere, and I should think being sold worldwide, so beware. And don't hand over your money like I did! Anybody want to buy a cheap i Pad and phone?
20 Photos
Created 26 December 2012
Some pictures taken in and around Messolonghi.
38 Photos
Created 26 December 2012
I had a fantastic week with Andrea on board. The weather was not great, but we had hired a car for the week. In the end we covered 900 miles in it. Nafpaxtos in the south to Preveza in the north.
66 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
My last long trip, to Nanjos winter home at Messolonghi marina. I had headwinds all the way, so it was a motor job. But a gorgeous dry crisp day. Nanjos all secure now and will be lifted out in February and kept ashore.
62 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
I tried to head for Messolonghi or Limin Petala, but the head winds and storm coming was to much, so turned and ran for Kastos. Where I thought I would be safe! A big mistake. The damage pictures were taken at Kalamos, where I really should have gone when I had the chance. Which is a much safer harbour. Lesson learned.
29 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
I was hoping to get into the harbour at Astakos, but it was full of fishing boats, and the vacant spots had lines across. So, anchored just past the breakwater. Nice town
21 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
A lovely small anchorage.
13 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
Leg 4, a long trip!
49 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
I decided to walk to Port Leone. A deserted village after the earthquake in the 1950's. A gorgeous day and a 2 hr walk each way.
50 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
I decided to give my "Topclimber" a try out.
9 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
Leg 3
27 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
Leg 2
39 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
First leg of my trip to Messolonghi.
20 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
the sunshines over and the storms have arrived, torrential rain,thunder and lightning and gale force winds!
56 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
Pete Kings week on board Nanjo. A mixture of storms,sunshine,wind?
40 Photos
Created 30 October 2012
A weeks holiday, sailing around the Southern Ionian.
56 Photos
Created 25 September 2012
59 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
87 Photos
Created 3 August 2012
Alone again, it's Bye Bye Corfu and hello Southern Ionian.
25 Photos
Created 7 July 2012
58 Photos
Created 9 June 2012
75 Photos
Created 5 May 2012
Loads still to do????
92 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Arrived on Tuesday night to a flooded yacht. Not a problem as I have a year to sort it out.
61 Photos
Created 22 March 2012
All the stuff being delivered out to Nanjo. 15 boxs and 213kg!!! Unfortunately I could not wrap the motorbike up and post it?
1 Photo
Created 19 March 2012
I spent 3 weeks on a shake down cruise around the southern Ionian. Actually only 9 days on the move and 6 harbours. Everything went well, except the problem anchor winch!
29 Photos
Created 5 February 2012
Westerly Tempest, 31ft Bilge Keel. Master and Commander. John Shutler
20 Photos
Created 1 February 2012
The last yacht I looked at, and lying in a yard near Nidri, Greece.
24 Photos
Created 25 January 2012