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


14 February 2013 | Messolonghi
Sunshine and Hailstones?
Monday 4th Feb
Slept really well, and woke to a gorgeous morning again, with a banging head. My first job was to have a long hot shower, and try and wash some of the smoke off from last night, my clothes stink! Had a large brekkie in the cockpit when I got back, usually involves 4 pieces of toast nowadays, thanks to the toaster being so convienient. Hanging my jacket up outside helped to shift the tobacco smell. Jumped on the bike and into town for some supplies, the large Carrefours always has a few gypsies outside holding out there hands and always with some very young kid as well, looking so scruffy. It's a dilema I face every time, I'm trying to get by on as little as possible at the moment, just so I have enough cash in my bank account for going home. But I always end up giving the scruffiest kid a few euros, I've driven past the shanty towns they live in,and I always think that no matter how much Nanjos windows might leak, I might get bounced about in the strong winds, I will always be 1,000% better of than they are. It does put into perspective the lives most of us lead back in the UK, where we moan about wi fi going down and the cost of petrol? Thats my monthly rant over I guess. I popped into the office to ask about the cradle problem, and it's true they have ran out of cradles but are hoping to find some by Friday? Nanjo is due to be lifted out in two weeks and I'm home soon after that. I would prefer to see her chocked up ashore before I leave. Called round to see Dave and Alwin and ended up spending a few hours with them having a coffee and a chat. It was only when I left that Alwin mentioned going to Colin and Maggies yacht the nexst evening for a drink, to be honest I had forgotten about it, I must have had to much to drink on Sunday? Made a throw together for dinner, and luckily the internet was working, so had radio 4 on all evening, which made the red wine go down nicely.

Tuesday 5th Feb
Slept like the dead, and woke up quite late, so I'm getting back into my routine. Gorgeous morning again, it's great to eat in the coickpit and just have a look around and seeing others doing the same, mind you, they have mostly had there breakfasts hours earlier! I've been having problems renting back in the Uk, and have to contact the agents again, skype has saved me a fourtune in calls. The latest is a copy of my career break docs proving my return to work date,and a big problem, my bank as sent back a duff credit check. Basically stating my monthly income would not cover the rental! Not bad when I've not earned any wages for a year, and am living mostly off my savings while away. A long call to my bank to sort it out, and they agree that there is a note on my account about being away. They agree to contact the agents for me again. It seems that if there is a box to be ticked on somebodies form and they can't tick it, the whole system falls apart. I called into the marina office again and thankfully Mata copied my docs and mailed them to me, so I could mail them to the agent. Frustrating does not even come close to the hassles I'm having. 17:30 and I'm on my way to Colin and Maggies yacht, they are bows in and have a plastic stool on the jetty to help climb onto the bow. I stepped up, and promptly put my foot through the stool, which broke with a loud crack. I'm down to 15 stone now from my last years weight of 19 stone, seems I still have more to loose. To make amends, I went and got the stainless bow ladder of Nanjo for them to use, after a bit of jigging about it fitted pretty good, and Dave ut some bungee around it to keep it in place. Luckily Colin and Maggie thought it was funny, I then got the grand tour of there Oyster 35 center cockpit ketch. She's a lovely yacht, and seems way bigger than her 35ft, there is a cockpit locker you can easily climb down into, and it even has an access door to it from the galley? Down below and it's a tardis, with the largest owners state room in the stern I've seen so far. To call the stern suite a cabin would not be right, Colin did mention they only built 17 of them. She must have been a very expensive yacht when new, and still be now. We ended up staying really late just chatting about everything and drinking there booze. It was a great way to spend the evening and the time really flew by. Back on Nanjo, I made a sarnie and spent an hour on e-bay looking at cheap furniture? You can tell, I'm getting my head around going back now?

Wednesday 6th Feb
Slept great, and didn't really want to get up to be honest, it was only the sunshine coming through and the thought of somebody banging on Nanjo that convinced me in the end. Shower then brekkie in the cockpit, is always a nice way to start the day. I needed some supplies from Lidls so jumped on the bike, then noticed Tom over on Alba Voyager,so popped over and spent an hour having coffee and chatting about sailing and going to Turkey. Tom and Anne are going back there now the Turkish government seem to have sorted out, tourist visas and people living on yachts. From what people have been saying here, most of the marinas in Turkey must have been pretty empty. It was a lovely bike ride to Lidls and typically I went for a couple of items and ended up buying an arm full. After all the horse meat scares in the UK, I wondered just what is in my favourite cheapy meat balls? But, I've eaten horse in France and it was delish, so I've no problem with it. I guess if it was labled horse meat we could at least make a choice? Back on board and I've got an e-mail from the letting agents, more docs to sign. So, I forward them to Mata in the office and say I will pick them up tomorrow, what a palava. Once the sun goes down the temp as taken a very sudden drop, it's been forecast, so I've stuck an extra euro on the meter so I can run my fire longer. Dinner was a very large spag bol, with soya mince (contains no horse?) and the obligatory glass or two of red wine. Dave had lent me a Sidney Bechet cd, who I had never heard before and I really liked it. Crashed out about midnight, after sticking the fire in the back cabin for 30mins to take the chill off.

Thursday 7th Feb
It's blooming cold, inside Nanjo and I can already here the rain falling down. We had some strong winds during the night as well, which even managed to wake me up a couple of times. Brekkie was down below, it wasn't even worth opening the cabin doors as the rain was blowing straight up my stern. The internet was on and off all morning, so it was cd's time. About 11:30 all hell let loose, the sky went really black, a loud crack of thunder and some lightening and then for ten minutes we had the largest hail storm I've ever been in. The noise inside Nanjo was unreal, thousands of chunks of ice hitting the cabin top. I videoed 3 mins of it, through the windows, then took some still pics when it ended. Nanjo had ice everywhere, as I looked around outside, I could see others coming out with cameras as well to take pics, it was pretty unreal. I think the forecast was for a dry but cold day?? The rains kept up all day and evening, I did manage to make a run to the office and see Mata. A quick signature on the docs she had printed for me and then she faxed them to my lap top. Walking back to Nanjo I noticed that Carel and Martha my Dutch neighbours of Atlantic had returned, a quick chat, and it seems they have brought the Dutch weather with them? It's nice to see them back, as they had left just before xmas. It was a case of keep the hatches battened down all day, as the wind and rain kept up. I'm just so happy the windows have not leaked at all, making life below a whole lot better. I spent the evening, cooking a mashed spud throw together, reading my book as the internet just was not reliable enough, and trying to stay warm. The heater was on and off all evening. I figured the warmest place to be was in my bunk, so I put the heater in there fo 40mins to warm it up with the door closed. When I opened it, well, it was like climbing into a blooming sauna, but Oh so nice.

Friday 8th Feb
The rain and winds kept up all night, but only woke me a couple of times with the noise and rocking about. It was another hard choice to get out of a warm bed, but I dragged myself out at 10:30. A big brekkie down below, I did manage to open the cabin doors for a few minutes, and could see Colin sitting in his cockpit, under his spray hood and rain cover, well protected. It must make a nice change to be able to do that, rather than be trapped below? I was going to chance it and make a run for the shower block, but to be honest, I very quickly decided that a hot water wash out of the galley sink would surfice. I had enough food on board and the rain looked like it was going to last all day, so no need to go ashore apart from the loo? The rain finally stopped in the afternoon for a while, and the sun came out. Despite what I wrote earlier, I fancied getting of Nanjo, so packed my rucksack and cycled to Carrefours, I was only intending to get some beers and coke, and ended up picking up a bargain pack of sausages, no idea what they are made from, (I will be eating them all next week) and stopped at the grocers for some veg on the way back. I made it just before the sky opened and the rain fell, which managed to carry on for the rest of the night. Dinner was sausage,spuds and a fried pepper, absolutely delish. The internet was up and down, so it was a book and some music.

Saturday 9th Feb
I woke up late again, the rains still falling, so no need to rush. Went ashore for a gorgeous shower before all the water went.The rain stopped about 10:30 and I had a visit from Tom, over a coffee he mentioned the rugby was on and he was going to stream it through his laptop onto the tv in the bar. Scotland/Italy. I had to make a quick bike ride into town for some dosh, as I was down to my last 20 euros, and that would probably be needed in the bar? Cycling in and going down some new back streets, I finally found another XJ600 parked up, and the bugger even had the original exhaust fitted. The rest of the bike looked like it did not run, I was sorely tempted to bang on a few doors and ask about the exhaust? Picked up a spinach pie on my way back to Nanjo and scoffed it sitting by the harbour wall. The sky then turned a dark black and I only just made it back to Nanjo before the skies opened up again.16:30 and I met Tom and Colin in the bar, a round of beers and we settled down to the rugby, unfortunately the internet could not keep pace and it froze everynow and again. Then luckily Memi found the rugby on a Greek channel, and we had a much better picture. I'm not a rugby or football fan, but it was a good game and great to see Scotland hammer the Italians. Tom had offered to cook me fish and chips on Alba Voyager, so we went back after the game. She's a lovely yacht and has a great atmosphere below, Tom did the fish and chips in a deep fat fryer out in the cockpit. It was delish, and the first I had had in ages. I mentioned that my laptop would not play dvd's so he told me about XP Codec and I should download it later. We spent the rest of the evening, until after midnight, looking at Toms pictures of the Greek islands between here and Turkey and the bays around Turkey. It's certainly on my list of places to visit once I'm out here full time, and can be mostly done in day hops as well. I left Tom and the marina was in complete darkness apart from the office block. Back on Nanjo, I put the heater in the back cabin, cranked up the lap top and downloaded the XP Codec program. I would try it out in the morning. I ended up watching a film on You Tube and finally ctrashed out at 3am, luckily the heater had only been on the first setting, and my cabin was lovely and warm. It suddenly dawned on me that this time in 3 weeks I will be sleeping in the UK. Doh!!!

Sunday 10th Feb
Obviously, I slept really well, and woke to a cloudy but sunny day. A quick brekkie as I was out of bread, I fired up the laptop, and plugged in a dvd, I'm glad to say that it played perfectly. So, a great result. The suns up now, so after a quick chat with Dave, I'm on my bike and heading for the bread shop, and luckily grab the last loaf on the shelf, along with a pie. On the way back, I notice the fishing boat dock is really busy so cycle over, and look at some of the fish for sale. I've mentioned it before, but they do catch some big fish out here compared to the rest of the Ionion. Scoffed my pie, while watching the bargaining antics of the women buying the fish. It ended up being a busy day, of doing absolutely nothing really. Gave the cabin a good clean up, just where does all that dust come from? Sun down and I cooked a throw together of sausage,mash and onion, all washed down with a glass or two of wine. The internet was down, so I watched "Walking the Line" dvd about Johnny Cash,great movie. Stuck the heater in the back cabin for 40mins before turning in.
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