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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.
Aprils Blog. week 1
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.

One for "Kingy".
30/03/2012, Cleopatra yard, Preveza

Found this gorgeous Hanse 620e yacht in the yard. Ideal for Kingy. It's 62ft long, beam of 17ft and a draught of 10ft. A snip at £800,000
Come on Kingy get your wallet open!!!!

27/04/2012 | Stan
Ahoy there Jim glad to here your missing the british weather and all is well. as far as sleeping ear plugs or more mythos
Haircut at last??
28 degrees, blue skies.
27/03/2012, Barbers, Preveza town.

The free mini bus from the marina to Preveza town started running on Monday, it leaves at 10am and picks you up again at 12am. Which is just enough to do some shopping, have a coffee and sort out a few minor things. On Monday we went in and John managed to get some euros put on his Internet card, we also managed to find a bank to change some money. The first bank did not change money, the second had a huge queue. We took a ticket and it was number 263, we looked at the board and they were only at 140!!! so we left. The next bank was empty, but John had to convince them we were not drug barons on a money laundering spree. Luckily I had not had my hair cut then? We spent the remainder of our time trying to find a barbers, getting some shopping and having a coffee. A busy 2 hours.
Back at the marina and the office staff told me all hairdressers are closed on a monday? I spent the rest of the day playing with the electrics and John was getting his mast ready for taking down on Tuesday. I cooked dinner on Tulane and we went for our usual evening mythos.
Tuesday 27 March:
Up early and a shave, and we were the only two on the bus into town. After several attempts we managed to find a barbers who would cut my hair. The very nice lady did not speak any English, but when I said I wanted a "Kojak" she understood but she only took a little off at first until I said cut it thinner. John took the pictures on the blog, it was all over in a few minutes and cost a very reasonable 10 euros. Thats it now for the hair, it wont get touched again, I am hoping that in a few years I will have the "Gandalf" look I am after? Only time will tell. We did get some more glorious pasties and sat on the sea front where I saw a gorgeous schooner motor past. We had coffee in Johns favorite taverna in town, where they recognised him instantly and asked about his wife Christine also. a nice bonus was the coffee was on the house. That was the end of our two hours ashore, so back to Cleopatra's yard.
The weather was superb, blue skies and brilliant sunshine it reached 28 degrees in the afternoon. The crane guy turned up as expected and taking Johns mast down all went without a hitch, luckily he had already loosened as much rigging as possible. The crane is charged by the half hour, which is 160 euros, the mast was of Tulane and in the holders in 25mins. We managed to get the end fitting of relatively easily after John had drilled out the rivets and gently tapping it with a hammer. But the top wind vane fitting needed to be hacksawed to cut through the seized screws, which have been in place for 20 years. Passing the new wiring through the mast all went very smoothly. We could see where it had chaffed through, just about where the gooseneck fitting is. Hopefully it will take another 20 years to wear through again? A very successful day. So, dinner on Tulane and a few Mythos rounded things of nicely.
Wed 28th
Washing day on Nanjo, I have a small bag and when it's full of dirty clothes thats washing day? Two sinks, 1 bucket, a wash blob, conditioner, some rope and some pegs. Two hours in total and its all washed and dried and back in the holdall (wardrobe), ready to be worn again. I discovered that I need a new internet code every day from the marina office, there is no charge. But what a load of faffing about? The temp got up high, my gauge was reading 27 degrees, lovely. But to hot for work, so an early lunch. Greek salad, and a cold Mythos at the marina bar. Which meant only one thing when I got back to Nanjo, siesta time???? I can really get used to this more stress free life style. A 2 hour nap, shower, dinner on Tulane and the obligatory 2 mythos at the bar, and another day was over. I am gradually seeing a pattern forming to my evenings?
Thurs 29th
Had a glorious lay in until 10am, not sure why. But felt good. I decided to have a go at fitting my new echo sounder and gps repeater in the hatch garage. First job was to undo the multitude of screws holding the wooden trim on, then the multitude holding the hatch garage in place. It's only a fibreglass molding but weighs about 25kgs, well over engineered. The photos show what I am talking about. The wiring was a bit untidy so I thought I would make it look a lot neater after I had threaded through the new stuff. Next job was removing all of the rear main cabin deck head and wooden trim, more screws. Just to trace where the wires go, amazingly somebody had ran the echo sounder and speedo log transducer wires through the stainless steel tube in the galley, between the sink and deck head. Another major scratching of my bald head and I was wondering how to take it apart. Several hours later, I have found all the wires, put the new stuff in place, screwed it all back together, cut the new opening for the gps repeater and made a very good job of tidying up all the wires. It's now 7pm so time to stop work, tidy up and put the tools away. You have no idea just how smug and satisfied I felt? That is until I tried to close the hatch, Oh yes, clever clogs had done such a good job of re-arranging the wiring that the hatch would not now close!!! A few _uck_ were uttered to the yachting Gods as I went for my shower. It's not a big problem, just means I will have to go over it again on Friday. Doh!!
Shower time and I cooked dinner on Tulane, John had been going through the same kind of day, having spent all day trying to fix his mast head light. The cold Mythos went down well later in the bar, and as a treat we both had some of there superb chips.
Friday 30th
Up early, well 9.15 actually. So pretty early? We were going to catch the mini bus to Preveza for some supplies as we were not sure if it was running at the weekend. It left on time and it was a glourious morning, lovely blue skies and the sun was just beginning to warm up nicely.We decided to have a walk to the other end of town and have a look around the free marina, well it's free at the moment but the owner of Cleopatras yard has got it on a 25yr lease, so anything can happen? We picked up a stray dog near the marina who instantly took a shine to John, I think he could still smell the mail on me so I gave him a wide berth. That dog was to follow us all around town for two hours. It would sit quietly outside a shop while we went in, lay on the grass while we scoffed the obligatory pastie and even after spending 20 mins in the supermarket it was waiting for us? John even had plans to get it over to Cleopatras yard. It only finally gave up when we boarded the mini bus and it just did not fancy running after us in the sun. You can see it in the gallery album. My money is on it being there when we next get the mini bus to town? We bought some lovely ham and cheese pasties and eat them on the waterfront, despite what people might think, I am actually loosing weight? There are no choccy machines in the marina, thats the only thing I can think of. We stocked up on some supplies, mainly packet rice/sphagetti mixes for dinner, and some cheese and crackers for evening after the mythos.
I had arranged for the stainless steel man to come and measure up for a frame to take the emergency liferaft. Currently it sits on the hatch garage and it is compressing the fibreglass. He did some quick measurements and told me to go to the office on monday for a price and date it can be made by. I have a budget of 300 euros, so fingers crossed its that cheap? I spent the rest of the afternoon taking my beautiful wiring apart, and gluing bits back with some silicon glue I bought in town. I had done such a good job the first time that after 2 hours I only had half apart. That was enough work for one day. During the afternoon my neighbours on the Legend yacht behind me were going to be lifted into the water. They had only just bought the yacht, so a anxious time for them. Which was not helped because the yard guys could not find a strong point for the lifting pads to bear against. The yacht is mostly open plan and only has one baulkhead going across the width of the yacht, while Nanjo has four. They were worried about the fibreglass cracking under the weight. A typical Greek solution was devised, they placed long metal bars under the yacht near the keels and extra padding against the sides. I had a ring side view and I'm pleased to say they lifted her up without any other problems, and wheeled her round to the travel hoist to be launched. I had a quick gorgeous shower, dinner on Tulane and mythos at the bar. That evening pattern is fitting in nicely now with our time frame.
Saturday 31st
I enjoyed a lay in till 10am, it was a late night and I don't think I left Tulane until 1am after the cheese/crackers and some old red wine John found lying about. Breakfast of tea,jam and crackers and I was ready for work. I was going to concentrate on sorting out the new instruments in the hatch garage. It was tedious work, re-doing my wiring, but eventually I had it all done and the hatch opens and closes beautifully. I tested all the instruments and was so relieved to see them all work and the chart table Gps talking to the cockpit repeater instantly. I even have a working echo sounder now, which is something Nanjo was lacking when we sailed her in June last year. It all went back together pretty quickly after I had taken some photos. John came over and asked for my help on Tulanes mast, and apologised for damaging my electric test meter, he had left it in the sun and the digital gauge had changed colour? I had a look at it and could see no difference, John had a look and pointed out the problem and I still could not see anything wrong with the gauge. Only then did he realise he was wearing a pair of poloroid sun glasses, and it was them making the screen look funny to him. Problem solved and he did not have to buy me a new gauge. He had bought some new type of silicon tape, and we used it to wrap his now repaired anchor/sailing mast head light. He has spent probably 20 hours fixing the thing, much more than the actual reason the mast was taken down for in the first place. John has now discovered a problem with the mast vhf wiring, so it's not over yet. So much for 10 minute "little jobs"? Back on Nanjo, I was in the mood to work, so got out the jig saw and cut another hole in the fuse panel to fit the old three gang fuse back in place. The fresh water filter was next on my list and that was fitted in 20mins. It's amazing just how many jobs you can get through when you just keep going, but I had done enough work for one day? I know it's not like doing a 10 hour shift, but I am meant to be on holiday, and I felt it was time to stop, well thats my excuse.
A superb shower, a greek rice dish with mushrooms and onions cooked on Tulane (straight out of the packet, just add water and heat) and we were of to the bar for our mythos. The perfect end to another day in paradise.

Busy weekend?
27/03/2012, Cleopatra yard, Preveza.

I did intend spending the weekend doing nothing and just chilling with a book or trying to play my banjo?
But that plan never materialised, and I decided to have a go at the electrics on the boat instead. I intend fitting some up-grades, gps and cockpit repeater,weather fax,autopilot,wind generator,electric macerator pump, engine hour meter, battery monitor and a new echo sounder. So, rather wait until next week I took the fuse panel off, and the picture is what greeted me behind it! Just where do you begin? There is no wiring diagram with Nanjo, a lot of the wiring was household stuff so a mixture of colours. They had used the household earth (yellow/green) for the boats positive connections, which confused me to begin with. There was a lot of stuff just going no where and had been cut clean and taped up, I am assuming it was from instruments/items removed when Nanjo was sold?
Luckily I had brought out a negative buzbar with me in anticipation of the upgrades I was going to make, this came in handy for tidying up the old stuff. I cut into the fuse board and made place for another 6 gang fuse panel and the battery monitor, so a job done quickly with the jig saw I had sent out.
The wiring is getting sorted now, I have fitted and wired in the gps for the chart table and fitted the weather fax and wired it in, it's aerial will have to wait for the A frame to be fitted. Luckily John had a great collection of terminals and a proffessional set of crimps to make my life easier. The weekend was rounded up with dinner on Tulane and mythos beer at the marina bar in the evenings. Beautiful sunny weather and blue skies, I should have come out here earlier?

The first few days?
Sun, Sun and more Sun.
22/03/2012, Cleopatra marina, Preveza, Greece.

Left Gatwick on time, and arrived to a very sunny Athens. My first big mistake was putting me and John on the wrong bus! I am sure I asked for the correct bus terminal, but after travelling for an hour into Athens town center, our bus driver told us to get of as it was the end of the line. We both had no idea where we were. Asking at the local kiosk, a very nice man suggested we take the metro to Omnia????? which meant absolutely nothing to either of us. Luckily a very nice chap in a yellow cab asked what was wrong and offered to take us to the correct place. He did not need to twist our arm, for us to jump in his cab. The weather was sunny and 24.5 degrees and most of the locals were wearing heavy winter coats, gloves and scarves. We just wished we were in shorts and t-shirts.
We arrived at the bus terminal with 30mins to spare before are bus to Preveza, so we just had time for one cold Mythos beer and it went down so smoothly. The bus left on time and we settled down on the back seat, there were only seven other passengers. We were going to travel over 300kms and all for 37euros, I would hate to think how much we would have paid in the UK? The route is a nice one once you get out of Athens town, with plenty to look at. The main thing we noticed were the number of abandoned road improvements, must have been cut to save money? Once the sun went down, the journey takes on another phase, as you can't see anything outside. All you want now is for the trip to end. The scheduled arrival time was 21.15, that came and went and we still had over 100kms to travel on single carriageways and plenty of slow moving trucks in front. The guys that drive this bus route must be used to the stress and the road, but give me the M25 anyday. We arrived at Preveza bus garage at 22.15, all the local bars were shut so we got a taxi to the town quay. We stopped in the livelest bar we could and ordered two large beers, they arrived with a plate of complimentary sandwiches and crisps. Yummy. We spent some time trying to find a taxi as it was after midnight when we left the bar, John waited at one end of town at one taxi rank and I went to the other. Luckily one arrived at my rank and after the taxi driver got a young guy out of one of the bars to explain what I wanted we were on our way to the yachts. I must explain that John had over 35kgs of luggage and I was at 31kgs, the looks on all the bus and taxi drivers faces was priceless when they tried to lift the bags.
The security guard at Cleopatras let us in and we drove straight to Nanjo, Johns yacht Tulane was only 6 down from mine. We both said goodnight and I expected to be in my bed within 10mins. I opened the hatch to Nanjo, shone the torch inside and was greeted with a shiney substance reflecting the light. Nanjo was full of water, the floorboards were floating in at least 3 inches of fresh water. Luckily the handle to the bilge pump was within easy reach and the pump is mounted on the stern, it took me 90 minutes to pump most of the water out, I hate to think how long she had been in that condition and just how much damage has been done. The next few weeks will tell. All the cushions were soaked where we had stood them up on end, but I was so tired that I just crashed out on the stbd bunk and slept.
I was up at 8am with the sun shining in the cabin, the mess was all around me and a dirty tide mark up the sides. All the cushions went up on deck, then I found the sails were waterlogged, along with some brand new electyronics I had taken out in June. I thought they were safe on a shelf, but it had 2inches of water and the gear was soaked. I checked out the anchor locker on deck and it was full to the brim with water, I put all the chain over the side and cleared the two drain holes. I reckon they had got bunged up and the water had overflowed into the cabin bilge then gradually filled up the boat. Probably all my fault, I now have twice as much chain in the locker as originally?
I spent the morning clearing out every cubby hole I could find and wiping it down, Nanjo is now a very dry boat and hopefully she should stay that way. Vernon arrived as expected about 11am with all my boxs, these were just left outside in the sun while I carried on cleaning inside. It's suprising just how many nooks and crannies there are on a yacht for water to hide, I'm sure that more will appear when we are launched and Nanjo starts to move around.
Loaded all the boxs onboard just before the sun went down, can hardly move below now. Just hope it all fits somewhere. Went to Tulane for dinner and John found a couple of Mythos beers. The end of a busy day.

Thursday 22 March.
Up early and started to unpack the boxs, think I packed way to much stuff, the port side of Nanjo is now my entertainment section, housing all my books, dvds, cds, ukulele,painting set and a whole load of other stuff to keep me amused? All the technical stuff, pilot books, charts,repair books and tools along with spare parts now live on the stbd side. Stupidly I started to pack stuff away and then thought it would be a good idea to make a list after I had finished. Oh well another job for later?
We planned to get the bus into Lefkas so John could visit the bank and I could see the steel man and get a haircut. A nice 25min walk to the bus stop and we were 5 mins early for the bus. But this being Greece the bus arrived 25mins late, back home this might have caused a problem or made me irritable. But out here it just did not matter, we were in the shade and just carried on chatting until it arrived. 2euro 70cents was a cheap 30min bus trip and a nice route.
Lefkas was mostly closed so no luck for John or my haircut, as you can see in the pictures it was not a wasted trip. Buranos taverna served up large cold Mythos beers, a gorgeous Greek salad with fetta cheese and a large pitta gyros to finish. Food from the Gods? I even managed to find the steel mans shed and booked him for 10am on Friday for a quote, this guy had some amazing stainless steel stuff he had made on display in his yard, so hopefully he is the man for the job? We went back to the bus depot and funnily enough the return bus was running late as well, no problem. To end a perfect day on our walk back to the marina the marina bar was open, and it would be bad manners to walk past without saying hello and ordering a Mythos, so we stopped and had a few. The day finished with cheese and crackers on Tulane. I should have started this kind of life years ago, I think I am going to get used to it??

Friday 23 March.
I was up early, had a hot shower. The first since I got here so it was needed? Then had a look around the yard at other yachts A frames, plenty to look at, some obviously home made and some very elaborate proffessional jobs with everything hanging of them. I met Kosma on time at 10, he had to park his car outside Cleopatras as he is not allowed to work in there yard, they already have a steel fabricator and he is meant to get all the work. But I have heard nothing good about him, so it's my money and my choice who works for me. Kosma had plenty of photos of frames he has built, and they all looked great. After some quick measurments and a few drawings, he had an idea of what would fit. The big problem is fitting the wind generator, Nanjo has twin backstays holding up the mast, so the fitting had to be angled outboard a few inches so the 1metre blades will clear. He gave me a great quote which was in my budget, I will have to sail to Lefkas to get it fitted, which is no problem and only 20 miles away. He had a look at Tulane as John wanted a bow protector made, a quickly made template and all was done. They will be available in 10 days, I am hoping to launch in next two weeks.
The rest of the day was spent putting up the mainsail and letting it dry out. I had to replace the outhaul rope, but no other problems getting it up and down again. Next task was the dreaded anchor winch, which came apart easier than expected as only one bolt was holding the top on instead of the three in place, one had snapped a long time earlier and was corroded, one with no thread and one doing all the work?? I cleaned everything out, but don't expect the winch to last to long.
Dinner on Tulane and then to the marina bar for some Mythos and an excellant plate of chips, rounded of the day. We are both planning an easy Sat as it's the weekend, so maybe the banjo or just a book to keep me busy.

Preparations for my year sailing?
15/03/2012, Milton Keynes!!

I started to prepare in earnest when my employers finally gave me the go ahead on my career break for the year. A big list of wants and would like to haves started to take shape in my notebook. I was constantly on E-Bay looking for 2nd hand bargains which would make my life easier on Nanjo. Plus I was buying up what I thought would be a good selection of spares to take out. The postman over the next months was going to get used to dropping of packages at my house.
My original plan involved driving my old Ford Fiesta down to Nanjo then either selling her or taking her to a Greek scrapyard. After posting that question on the YBW Liveaboard forum, to check its viability, I quickly realised that it was not a good option, the fact that nobody would give me breakdown cover clinched the deal and a alternative was sought. The same forum threw up the name of a reliable company doing monthly trips out to the Ionian and after a quick e-mail I had booked 2 cubic metres on the March van. Problem solved. Picture shows all the boxs ready for collection.
The last month has been filled with putting my life in order, sorting out the house I was renting and handing it back, taking my motorbike to a friends to ride and look after and saying goodbye to family, friends and workmates.
The last weeks at work were a laugh, with me counting down the days each night I went in, and giving out details to this web site. The lads from Distribution on my Night shift had arranged a collection and all signed a card for me, the cash will be used in a taverna for a good night when I can drink to there health. Thanks to all of you, don't forget you can leave comments and are welcome to join me for a holiday. Thanks to everybody at work for your best wishes and the great times I have had working for R.M all 33 years of them.
Saying goodbye to my girlfriend of 3 years was hard, but Nancy will be coming out for a holiday in May/June.
It's the 19th March, and only 1 day to go before my flight to Athens, I have just handed the rented house keys back. I am now officially homeless, car less, motorbike less, almost job less and nearly mobile phone less. Never felt so free of stuff in my life. Final jobs are repacking my flight bags for the 4th time and trying to get the weight down to a decent level. The weather forecast for Preveza is for sun and temps of high 22 and low of 13 degrees. So, hopefully it will be shorts for me from the day I arrive? Hopefully I will be able to update my ramblings once every week with pics and comments. I am expecting the first 3 weeks to be spent updating Nanjos electrics and getting her ready for a year in the Ionian.

The Sailblog position finder does not match my current position, I am in the boatyard up and on the left?

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