Mon 2nd July
Up early for a quick getaway, walked Nanjo back a few metres, let the bow line go from the shore, pushed off the bow and stepped aboard before the gap got to big, she fell back on the stern line, I let it go. Tiller to stbd and the bow came out nicely, enough to clear the catamaran in front, engine in gear and tiller hard to port, and we wafted out of the tight space beautifully. Bloody typical, nobody around to notce my expert seamanship? Bet theres a crowd the next time I screw up? All on my way for 06:40 and a beautiful sunrise over the mainland as well. Took my last photo of Benitses, not sure when I will be back to Corfu again, but it definately won't be this year. Absolutely no wind and no other yachts in site, beautiful clear blue sky and it's already 28 degrees. Made some brekkie and settled down for 5 hours of motoring. Nobody about so stripped of and made a start on my all over tan again! 09:45 and we are just of the Southern tip of Corfu, my log book reads: Wind-Nil, Weather- Very Hot, Speed- 5.6knts, Course-166 degs and Engine-On. The gap between Corfu and Paxos is very calm again, so I spend the time reading and dodging the fishing boats, who always seem to be in my way? Straight into Lakka bay and it's pretty empty, I anchored in virtually the same spot as last time, in 3.5mtrs of clear water, by 11:45 Nanjo is all sorted. Sun awning is up and I've already had my first swim, I inflate the blow up chair, attach the mooring line, throw in a bottle of lemonade and spend the next hour drifting about wearing my straw hat and sunglasses, waving to the holidaymakers who pass by. It must look the idylic life to them, and you know what, it blooming well is. My small gas cylinder finally runs out, after I make a cup of tea, no problem as I have a large full spare on board. No need to pump up the big dinghy as I'm not going ashore. Spend the rest of the day,swimming,napping and reading my book. Finally make some dinner at 10pm and have a warm mythos in the cockpit. I was planning to move on tomorrow, but no rush so will stay another day.
Tues 3rd July
Woke when I wanted to, cereal and bread and jam for brekkie and a lovely swim in warm clear water. The whole day ahead of me and nothing on my schedule to do, people spend there whole lives wishing they could be this free of the daily grind and hassles, I find it very hard sometimes to realise that at this moment in time I have achieved it. Spent the day swimming,reading and watching yachts come and go,had lunch when I felt hungry and dinner the same, much better letting my body clock dictate when it needs feeding, rather than the opening times of a taverna? Watched a large Italian yacht trying to find a spot to anchor, plenty of people shouting at him to go away as he was to close to them. Guess what, he came and dropped his hook just in front of me and by the time he had let out enough chain, and dropped back we could shake hands. I just smiled and said "Your close!". It all went well for a few hours until the wind shifted and everybody started to swing to there anchors, Nanjo being half his size and about a third of the weight started to swing before he did, and sure enough we were on a collision course, I got fenders out,all the Italians arrived on deck and started to run around. My stern was alongside his cockpit now, and one of them said to me "Captain, I think your anchor is dragging?". With my best English, I politely told him I had been anchored in the same spot for a few days and not moved at all, and it was his stupidity that put us in this situation. I then got a "very sorry Captain,we will move". No harm done, but I just wondered if we had both been ashore, how it would have worked out? As a side line, I do like it when I'm called Captain, either by other Captains or Greek officials, everytime I hear it I have to look over my shoulder incase they are talking to somebody else, does make me feel as if I should be in charge of a yacht bigger than 31ft. Checked the engine oils and belts before going to sleep, got a long day ahead tomorrow.
Wed 4th July
Slept really well, a nice breeze blowing through the boat all night. Up early, and anchor up and I'm out of Lakka for 06:40. It's a beautiful morning again, motor going of course, and I have set a course for "Two Rock Bay" just to go and have a look see. Settle down for a long day on the engine, book out,sun hat on,all over tan,and dodging fishing boats. Motor into Two Rock Bay at 10:05 and it's chocker with Sunsail yachts and I notice Gill and Dougs catamaran tucked up in the corner. The pilot book describes it as "an idylic spot, where you will probably be the only yacht enjoying the crystal clear waters, suitable for an overnight stay" good old Rod Heikell, it probably was before he put that description in his pilot book, which every yacht in the Ionian has on board now. Carried on motoring towards Preveza, actually managed to get the jib up for a few hours which gave me an extra half a knot. I had decided to anchor for the night, just of the funfair at a place John had pointed out to me, but instead I went further up the channel and anchored at Ormos Vathi, just past the boatyard and in 8mtrs. Only two other yachts here and Nanjo is all tidied up by 15:00. We have covered 41 miles at an average speed of 5knts and took 8hrs 20mins, hardly going to break the sound barrier, but fast enough for me. It always makes me laugh when friends e-mail me and say they will be in Crete or Kos and could I come down and see them, only if I wanted to take two weeks to get there, I reply! Dinner on board and I've discovered a very simple meal, tin of sweetcorn and some Blue Lagoon Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, the same sauce I love back in the Uk, and thats it? Couple of pieces of 3 day old bread and a mythos and it's superb. Finished reading my book, The Dead Sea Deception. A pretty good story. Sat in the cockpit till midnight watching the world go by.
Woke at 8am and a quick cup of tea, all my bread has gone,water tanks nearly empty, but worse than that, down to my last mythos. It's time to get ashore again methinks. I must be honest, I was really tempted to spend another day at Ormos Vathi, just to see if I could survive, as it's a lovely spot. Winch up 30mtrs of chain,(really glad it's the winch doing the hard work) and I'm on my way for 09:15. Motor round to Preveza marina, on the way I put fenders on both sides, mooring ropes both sides bow and stern, chug into Preveza marina and find a nice spot at the head of a pontoon, nobody about, so step ashore with both lines and secure Nanjo myself. All textbook stuff, and you guessed it, nobody around to applaud. Somehow I think I'm heading for a major cockup soon, all this textbook coming and going just can't last? Nanjo all sorted by 10:00, sun awning is up and I'm filling up the water tanks with my hose. Of to pay the man, and I'm staying for two days, he says "ok,you leave Sat morning" I say "no, I leave Fri morning" he says "that's one day", I say"no two days". He then shows me his callender, and he is right, I have lost a day somehow, oh the joys of not wearing a watch and not having a timetable. Gladly hand over my 18 euros and naturally get no receipt,don't you just love the Greeks there finance system, somehow I don't think the Government will be getting there share of my mooring fee? Back on board and wash a load of clothes, help a nice French couple moor up a huge motor boat and have a wash. Of ashore with the empty small gas canister, and the French couple offer me the use of one of there pushbikes, it's only a 10min walk so I decline. My gas cylinder is looking the worse for wear and is pretty rusty, but they exchange it at the supermarket without batting an eye, 5.99e and I have a nice new full cylinder in exchange. Pick up an ice cream, loaf of bread,spinach pie and because I've been good, I stop at a bar on the way back and treat myself to a large ice cold mythos. The warm ones on Nanjo are ok, but no substitute for an ice cold one, it goes down way to quickly. Back on board and sit under the sun awning and type up last weeks blog, my guest wants to see a copy of what I've written before it goes to the site. Have my afternoon nap, and wake at 7pm. Time for a bit more typing, a lovely cold shower, clean clothes and of to an internet bar with my laptop for a cold mythos and to catch up on e-mails. Leave the bar at midnight after watching the sidecar racing from Knockhill on there tv. Stop for a pitta giros and a sweetcorn from a street seller on the way back to Nanjo, all great grub.
Up early, and into town to the supermarket before it gets to hot.Pick up a spinach pie for later, at this rate I will be going home looking like Popeye? Back on board and finish of my clothes washing, it's 10am and 33degs. I had plenty of good intentions of going back into town and doing another shop, but made brekkie with the cold milk and used the rest of the pint to make a gorgeous Jimbo frappee, and after that I just did not feel like doing much. So, just read my book. I noticed Ed's yacht moored across at another pontoon, he was the guy who recommended the South Pacific anchor winch, so went over for a chat. Like me he had been sailing with a guest, but he was in the Gulf for a week, he mentioned cold beer and would I like one, I couldn't step on board quick enough. His mate Mike drove down from Plateria for a chat, he owns a charter fleet and the pair of them were swapping stories about the good old days when they both worked out of Gouvia, before the marina was built. Mike said the Yanks put up the money for Gouvia marina, apparently it was designed so it could be transformed over to a military base to take USA warships if needed? After a few more beers they invited me out for dinner, we went in Ed's car to a nice pizza place, then onto a bar out of town, in fact about 100mtrs from where I was anchored the night before. More beers and the waiter brought a large bowl of free mussels,then a large plate of fried small fish, I think the chef was having a clearout? Had a great night chatting to the pair of them and certainly learned a lot about the hay day of life in Corfu and the charter bussiness, before it all started getting cut throat with to many operators and to many boats. Mike was saying just how many firms have boats laid up because of lack of customers, it's going to be a tough season out here for everybody trying to make a living. They were a great laugh and the kind of people worth knowing if you need something doing or sorted in Greece. Finally got back to Nanjo at midnight, it's very hot and no wind at all. Crash out straight away.
Woke at 2am with no air in the back cabin, so put the cockpit cushion up and had a nap in the cockpit to cool of for a few hours. Then went back below and slept on the stbd settee bunk, think this going to be the way of things when it gets really hot? Up at 8am, felt like I hadn't slept at all, I was going to leave today and head South, but will pay for another day here. The 10 day weather forecast is for slight increase in the wind but getting hotter, I can see me heading for Vliho so I can swim when I like and keep cool.Pay another 9 euros for tonight then into town and pick up a small 12 ltr water container,some cream paint and 3mtrs of the green netting I have seen other yachts use to keep the sun out,at only 3 euros a metre it's worth a try.Pick up some fresh veg,all ready to make a Jimbo alad later. Back on board,it's sun shade up and get my book out and relax. The wind picks up and the awnings blowing about a bit, so take it down. Now what to do? Suddenly I have the laptop under my arm and am heading for an inrernet bar with air con and big fans, a cold frappee and a bottle of water and thats me sorted for the next few hours. Seems to be more rain in the UK, they are having a crap summer so far. Shower on board and clean clothes and of into town once the sun goes down. Discover a drag racing Honda C90 in a shop window, these Greeks have a great sense of humour. Stop for a special crepe and a mythos at a new fast food place, and the crepe is as big as a dustbin lid and full.It was hard going but I won in the end. Some folk singing on the town quay, with some really lovely voices. Back on board and it's going to be another hot night. Gauge reads 32 degs and 74% humidity at midnight.Strewth.
Did not get much sleep, to hot below again so slept on deck. Maybe being at anchor is the way to go? Up early and filled the water tanks,washed Nanjo and dumped rubbish. Cast of the lines and away for 07:55, nice morning and no wind. While waiting for the 10:00 bridge opening at Lefkas, got chatting to a guy on a large Odysseuss charter yacht, had a good few minutes chatting about Dromors and how strong they are, the bridge klaxon sounds to say it's about to open, and he then tells me he own Odysseuss and has several Dromors on his fleet, wishes me happy sailing and motors ahead. One thing I've learned already is the Greeks love these yachts. Filled up the diesel tank at the marina,down thru the canal all by 11:00. Bit of a breeze behind me so out with the sails and I managed my best speed on a run of 6.7knots. Am anchored down at Vliho not far from the yacht club by 12:30, really hot, so first priority is a swim and the water is as warm as a bath at home, really weird at first. Pump up the dinghy, make a huge Jimbo salad with a mythos for lunch. Crash out for a bit then row ashore to the yacht club and watch the grand Prix, well done Webber, nice to sit under a fan with a cold beer, the place is packed. As soon as the F1 is finished they put on Wimbledon final, didn't realise Murray was in it till then, it bores me to tears, so only stayed a while. Very slow row back to Nanjo, up with the sun awning and try to keep out of the sun. Read my book until it got to dark, then fell asleep in the cockpit, woke at 1am, I must have been knackered?
07/07/2012, Benitses,Corfu Town,Gouvia,Sayaidha,Mourtos Sivota.Lakka Paxos,Benitses.
Had a friend on board, blog will be updated later.
Nanjos the small yacht in the middle with the blue sun awning, picture taken from the Venitian fort overlooking Mandraki harbour,Corfu town.
Up at 1am and had a gorgeous shower, it's still warm. Was all ready at the agreed time, and I could hear Nick and Rachael mucking about on "Yes M'lady". They both surfaced at 2am, Rachel was having a laugh as she had put felt tip marks on Nick's face while he slept and he had not realised, a nice easy drive to the airport, dropped them off and looked for somewhere to park. My guest's plane was showing on time so I did not have long to wait, it actually arrived 15mins early. She took another 20mins to get through the terminal, and we had a hug when she finally came out. I think the heat was a bit of a shock, and seeing me brown and with my weight loss. Last time we had seen each other was back in March. Got back to Nanjo no problems in the car. I had backed Nanjo on but even so, for someone getting on board for the first time and in the dark it must have been a daunting prospect. I showed her around Nanjo, which did not take long, and made up the bed in the bow cabin, plenty of room on board so she could keep her suitcase in the saloon. Must have been 05:30 before we both went to sleep. Up at 10:30 and I went for some cold milk and a spinach and cheese pie. A quick brekkie and I went over a few safety things on Nanjo, got her life jacket adjusted and safety harness, all just in case. We were away from Benitses for 12:00 and no problems, the sun was baking already and there was no wind. Once far enough offshore I showed her the man overboard drill, how to start the engine, steer Nanjo, make an emergency call on the vhf and a couple of other things. I tied a couple of fenders together, threw them in the sea and had her bring Nanjo round and pick them up again. All for both our benefits, her so she knows how to control the boat, and me to know that if I fall overboard, she can come back and get me? We motored around off Corfu town, then had a bit of wind so I pulled the jib out and we had a little sail with the engine off. I contacted Mandraki marina at 16:30 and we were all tied up bow on at 17:00, my first time here and the harbour wall is rough rock, so you have to go bow in, and stay a fair way of of the rocks. I had to use the plank and at a steep angle so we could get off. Quickly put up the sun shade and went to pay my 24 euros. A nice bar in the shade and a very nice restaurant all run by the yacht club. I then explained how she would have to get off Nanjo, and I saw a look of suprise and shock! I also explained that if she did not want to attempt the plank and climb over the bow then she would have to stay onboard and I will bring her a dinner? Really glad to say that she soon overcame her fears and shimmied over the bow onto the rocks, and went for a shower, meanwhile I took the oppourtunity to have a cold Mythos at the bar. Back on board, I used Nanjos shower, it's the best? Climbing back over was a lot easier the second time for her and we made our way into town through the old fort, it brought us out just of the main square. Plenty to see in Corfu town in the evening so we spent the time just wandering around the shops, and eventually ended up at a lovely little taverna up a side street which opened into a small square. My friend immediately took a shine to the waiter, and I had visions of going back to Nanjo on my own! The meal was delish, and I'm sure she made every attempt to keep getting the waiter over to our table at every opourtunity. A leisurely stroll back to Mandraki, took us past the main square, where we had a chat with a young English guy watching the tv, only then did we both realise it was the England match and both teams were about to take penalties. In typical fashion we got knocked out, must be honest I have absolutely zero interest in football and always have, but my friend suprised me with her knowledge of the game and the team. We left the fan dejected, soon reached the harbour, and I realised that a torch would have been handy, as I stepped into a Venitian built ditch, probably just like thousands of others before me over the years? The plank was climbed a lot quicker this time, now she has the hang of it. A long day and my guest was soon asleep.
Up early as we intended exploring Corfu town and my friend needed to look for some things. The place was heaving with tourists all jostling about in the small side streets, picking up that essential souvenir. My friend was looking for shorts and a different cossie, we tried most of the shops but after a few hours she had to admit defeat and give up. We got lost couple of times just wandering around. Stopped for a frappee and a fruit juice in the main square, then back to Nanjo. We were soon ready and I backed her out of Mandraki and we went for a sail around the islands, a short run upto Gouvia marina, so no need to rush. We did get a bit of wind and managed the jib again, I suppose thats the way it is out here in the summer, even the afternoon breeze amounts to nothing sometimes. But as I explained to her, I would rather we can motor in calm seas and go places than be harbour bound because of a storm! I filled up the diesel tank at Gouvia, the usual 1 ltr per hour of running time, cost 38 euros and was 25 ltrs. Gave the marina a call on the vhf and we were soon following a rib to our berth for the night. A new one on me over by the new floating pontoon. Backed on and all secure by 16:00, the heat was horrendous, so up with the sun awning, and I took my friend to the swimming pool, for a cold drink and a swim. We both sat there for a few hours in the shade, I paid the marina bill, glad that it's only one day this time. The temp went up to 36, hot for me, but for someone just arrived from the UK it must have felt burning. She went ashore for a shower as they seemed quite luxurious compaired to mine, while I had mine onboard. The sun was down as we walked the 10mins into Gouvia town, it was a lot livelier than my last visit.I took her down a side street to a noisy place I had seen on all my trips, and sure enough they do have theme nights,Elvis,Greek dancing etc, but typically nothing on a Monday. The Saturday entertainment looked good tho, and we agreed to come back then in the hire car and then go straight to the airport for her flight. After checking a few tavernas, she found one she liked, I think the looks of the waiters had a lot to do with her choices rather than the food and prices? A lovely meal, all followed by a free cocktail and dessert. On the way back to Nanjo, we stopped at a Mexican bar, she had a pina colada and I the usual mythos. When her drink arrived it was huge, with all the usual cocktail extras, umbrellas,swizzle stick,fan etc. She even said it was the best one she had ever tasted, so I told the waiter and we got free nachos and a dip. The temp had dropped nicely now as it was past midnight, a slow walk back to Nanjo, and asleep with all the hatches open.
I was up early, as I wanted to get the impellor for the macerator pump, my first port of call actually had the part in and at 20 euros, then she tells me that they break on a regular basis and would I like a spare? Picked up some fresh milk,bread and some veg at the supermarket. Brekkie on board and we were all ready to leave at 11am, no problems getting out and I pointed out the multi-million pound motor boats in the marina. I think that she had already realised that Nanjo was the smallest yacht she had seen so far. I motored out past the liner terminal, then a bit of breeze and both sails up and the engine off. We headed across to the mainland under full sail and in the gentle breeze reached a max of 2.7 knots, luckily we were only going 17 miles and had all day? I made a Jimbo salad on board for lunch, and only after we had finnished, did I realise I had left out the onions. Approaching Sayaidah, I had decided on trying out my new anchor winch and long control cable and would reverse back to the jetty, so got everything ready. My friend had already said she would rather keep out of the way when berthing or letting go, which made things easier for me as I did not have to worry about her then. Got through the entrance all ok, turned Nanjo and lined her up, started to drop the anchor from the cockpit while going astern, then it started to go tits up. I could see the chain paying out, but had no idea how much had gone out, Nanjo started to veer off towards a fishing boat and no matter what i tried she would not correct herself. So, I started to motor forward and bring the chain up again, of course with nobody to flake it in the locker it soon jammed! So, I tried to reverse again and let the chain out, same thing happened, I think the fishing boat had a secret weapon attracting me to it. Tried to go forward again and bring up the chain but the winch tripped, so I'm now stuck in a very small harbour, held by my anchor. I told my friend she had to hit the trip switch then go to the bow and let me know what the anchor was doing, I assumed it had got stuck on something? It turned out to be the chain piling up in the well,and not allowing any more chain to fall down. Once she explained that to me, I motored very slowly out of the harbour with the chain hanging down, gave her the tiller and told her where to head to, it's very shallow of the entrance, and the last thing I wanted now was to run aground as well. Luckily all the helming she had done the previous day now came in handy. I quickly restowed the chain, re-arranged the fenders and got the stern anchor ready for a bow on approach. I should have done this the first time but in trying to be flash and clever, I ended up being neither and made a right pigs ear of mooring. Luckily for me apart from the fishing boat the harbour was empty, so back in again and everything goes to plan, Simples? The taverna customers must have had something to talk about tho. Put the sun awning up straight away, it was hot. Just finished helping an Austrian yacht to moor up and sat down with a mythos, when the port police come knocking, we all have to take our papers to the office for inspection. I join the queue behind the Austrian who is getting a bad time about his crew manifest being out of date,and not being able to prove where he's been? I watch him hand over some money, he looks at me and shrugs his shoulders and walks out. My turn and I have to hand over my folder with all my yacht paperwork in it, he checks my vat receipt,Cleopatra bill, just goes through the whole lot, and pulls bits out and asks about them. Then about my crew, I explain I don't have any but a guest on board, no point in denying it as I'm sure he must have seen her bra hanging on the guardrails? I then have to fill out an official guest form, which includes some of her personal details, rather than go back to Nanjo I made them up! Next, I'm questioned about where I have been since the launch in April and why I only have 3 port authority receipts for payment, give him some old story about being at anchor a lot. I then get lectured about attending the port office everytime I am in a new port, he gets out a receipt book and starts to fill it in, all Greek to me, bottom line is I have to pay 14.95 euros for my stay. I gladly pay up and walk away, chatting with the Austrian later, he got stung for 50 euros, so I reckon I got of light? Told my guest about inventing her passport,birth date,address and other details and she was not amused. She wonders if he does a check and comes back and arrests her? She has her first shower on board, while I lounge in the cockpit, not sure if she was impressed or not? My turn for a shower and she sits in the cockpit. Off ashore and I quickly show her the town, she then chooses the first taverna, where she orders a prawn/pasta dish, and it arrives absolutely huge compared to my souvlaki. The very nice man even brings us two free ouzo's, which I end up drinking as she hates the stuff as well,best not to offend the locals? Back on board and I fall asleep quickly.
I'm up early as we need to get to Mourtos Sivota at a reasonable time, to get a space. My friend has a lay in as I fill up the water tanks then back Nanjo out of the harbour. It's another gorgeous day and absolutely no wind again. She wakes and makes a quick breakfast for us both, I point out the fish farms on the way and other things of interest, but I think the sun is taking it's toll and she is trying to stay out of it by keeping below. It's a 5 hour motor to Mourtos Sivota, and my friend makes us her version of a Greek salad for lunch, and she even remembers the onions, tasted just as good as one of mine? Approaching the harbour a guy on a scooter waves to me to follow him, he directs me to a small space in between the small local motor boats, I go in bow first and drop the kedge no problem, he takes my bow lines and Nanjo is all tied up in a few minutes. Up with the sun awning straight away, and I go to the local supermarket and bring back a couple of ice creams and some cold drinks, I'm certainly missing that fridge. Up in the cockpit, and my friends suddenly getting interested as four young Greek lads turn up and start loading the speedboat next to us, two of them even look like the young George Michael complete with day old stubble and hair, needless to say all four are only wearing shorts. We spent the afternoon trying to stay cool and out of the sun and watching the newcomers moor up. My friend had another shower on Nanjo, think she is getting used to the idea? While I'm having mine I tell her to go and stand on the harbour wall and photograph the magical sunset, one of the best I've seen. Off ashore now its dark and the temperature is a lot better, a quick walk around the streets and we end up at a lovely taverna overlooking the bay. More good looking waiters for her to look at. The place really looks posh and the food was lovely, even getting a free melon dessert. On the way back we pop into the Bamboo taverna for a drink. Get back to Nanjo at midnight.
I'm up early again, leave my friend asleep and head of to the supermarket, and they are still closed. Go back an hour later, and join the queue behind the guys from the multi-million pound boat in the bay, who seem to be buying up everything. Luckily I only want fresh milk,bread and some cold drinks. Finally get away no problems and pull the kedge in ok. I take the short cut between the islands, wake my friend to have a look but I don't think she was really that bothered. The suns up and it's baking already, as usual no wind so another day of the engine. It's a bumpy crossing to Lakka on Paxos, which causes her some concern until I explain that it's nothing and Nanjo is built to take a whole lot worse. I think the thought of a 3 hour roller coaster ride was not on her holiday plans. But we are soon into Lakka bay and everything goes calm very quickly, plus the sea turns an amazing clear blue, which impresses her no end. I find a vacant spot up the far end as near to the tavernas as possible and drop the anchor in 3 metres. Put up the sun shade,pump up the dinghy and then blow up my inflatable chair, and time for a swim. The waters gorgeous, I check under Nanjo and make sure the anchor is dug in. Back on board, I explain how to get into the dinghy and take her for a row around the bottom of the bay, then she fancies a go, so I help her in and shout instructions as I cast her off. She manages beautifully and makes it back safely after her row, it's only then that she tells me that she thought I was going to come with her incase of trouble? Time for a float in my new chair and it works a treat, attached to a 12mtr mooring line and even space for a can of drink. We watch the bay slowly start to fill up with newcomers all trying to find a space to anchor & some newcomers bathing naked which we both noticed. Once the sun goes down, it's time for a shower on board, think she is getting used to the cold water and cramped space now? Then a 50mtr row to the small beach and pull the dinghy ashore. A 3 minute walk and we are in Lakka town, stop at the first bar for a couple of cold drinks and admire the view. Then off for a look around the back streets and she finds a taverna she likes the look of, looks like somebodies back garden, but really nice and simple layout. A very bubbly waitress shows us to a table in the corner & quite a romantic atmosphere. We both went for the home made mousakka, which was delish, and followed with a free melon desert. Pitch black on the way back to the beach and I'd forgotten to bring a torch, luckily neither of us stumbled so no harm done. The dinghy is just where we left it, much to her suprise, she seemed concerned that I would just pull it up the beach and not padlock it in anyway? I always reckon there are better dinghies than mine with outboards to nick, and thankfully most yachties are honest and most Greeks as well. Have a drink on board, she has her Archers and lemonade and typically I open another mythos, both drinks served slightly warm!
Another early start, i pack the dinghy away along with the chair. And bring up the anchor all with no problems, and we are away for 07:50. My friends still fast asleep in the bow cabin, really think she is missing the best bits with the cool early morning. By 10am it's starting to toast. No wind as usual, and the crossing back to Corfu is one of the smoothest I have ever had. She surfaces just as we are going past the Corfu headland and I tell her the worst is over now. She makes breakfast for us both, wheatties and a cup of tea, you do get used to the taste of long life milk, but it's no substitute for fresh. Approaching Benitses and the place looks full, I get Nanjo ready with fenders all round,mooring lines bow and stern and both anchors ready to drop. Going through the entrance, it's chocker,as I motor up slowly to the end all the obvious places are taken. So, I motor very slowly over to the side with all the small local boats, and suprised to find 3mtrs of water, very slowly come around and go port side to the quay, I pull Nanjo up as far as I can get her, so her bow is just feet of an old catamaran that looks like it's not moved in years. Nobody to help, and it all goes very sweetly, even my friends impressed as she can just step over the guardrails to get ashore. Just to prove how much she likes it she gives me a demonstration, and asks why we did not always moor up this way so she would not have to use the plank? Get the sun shade up straight away, and go and book a car for tomorrow. All the small ones are out so I end up with a Kia Rio,for the same price. I take my friend to meet Dimitri and Spiros for an afternoon drink, they are both on form and make her feel at home instantly. Think she would have taken Dimitri home given the chance? A couple of drinks and some laughs and I take her to the bakers for a couple of pies, then round to Argos to confirm she can use there shower. On our way back I notice a large UK catamaran has taken the spot behind us, I was hoping it would stay clear for the local fishing boats that were out. Oh well, maybe we will have to move later? My friend starts chatting to the owners Gill and Doug, a lovely couple who have been sailing in Greece for years, she explains that they just moor wherever they like now and the fishing boats have to find somewhere else. As far as they were concerned, no harbour has a reserved space,we paid for them with our UK taxes and the Greeks didn't, seemed a fair assumption to me. I was just worried incase a 40ft trawler decided to test her assumption? We both showered on board, her for the last time as she had promised herself a pampering at Argos for her last night. Dinner at Dimitris and Spiros taverna,and all served with there usual flair. Plenty of free drinks, for me the siprou in its little jug and my friend got some orange thing, which she liked. A stroll around town after and it was time for bed.
Up early and I go for some cold milk,cold drinks and bread and pies. Brekkie on board with fresh milk, gorgeous. I pick the car up at 10am, a rather nice Kia Rio with a great air con system. They had given me a road map yesterday and marked places to visit all up in the North of the island, Dimitri had mentioned others and Doug and Gill had warned us about going to Ipsos. Threw some things in my rucksack and we are off, the hire place said to only put in 10euros of petrol.The thing was on empty,so not even 2 gallons worth? My friend navigated us onto the road for Paleokastritsa,but only after I did the typical bloke thing and went straight ahead after she had said turn left. No problem, we got lost plenty more times. Paleokastritsa came up quick enough, very touristy. But I was interested in the harbour, so we parked up and I took plenty of pics, a nice place to moor up on the West coast. Onto Sidari next, and we got well lost, ended up virtually back at Corfu town. Before turning around and trying again. The fuel gauge was showing empty again, so this time I put 20 euros in, which at least gave me a 1/4 tank. Found Sidari in the end, very British, just about every bar and taverna advertising British beer and food. We found a sandy beach,parked up and had a drink at a lovely place, a bit off putting was the suckling pig turning slowly on the spit behind us,obviously just been put on and still looked alive?? We had a nice paddle and scoffed the pies. Next place was Roda, well, we could not find it? Neither of us saw any town signs, but we think it was a place we drove down to and passed a lot of shops and bars, we drove along the sea front and it was a dead end. Turned around and we got back on the main road again, by now my navigating friend has realised the map is only just someones impression of Corfu, it's not to any scale and the roads don't mean anything. We drive through large towns with no names shown, leading in or out. We are taking the coast road back to Benitses and there are some fantastic views. Next stop Kassiopi harbour, it's a small place and the yachts are all moored a fair way from the rough jetty, more pics for me just in case I bring Nanjo here. Driving through a large town, my friend fancies a drink, so I park up and we head for the nearest taverna on the sea front. It's only soft drinks for me as I'm driving, she has an Archers, I asked the waitress where we were, she looked suprised then said Ipsos. Well, the town we were warned against, seemed all ok to us, but maybe at night when the drunken Brits come out to play it's different? Ipsos harbour is full of local boats who have all built there own jetties for getting on and off. Heading back to Benitses now and we hit a dual carriageway, must be the only one on the island, the driving of the locals seems to get worse as they all jockey for position and race between the traffic lights. A guy and a girl on a scooter cut me up and pull in front, only for the clapped out scooter to have a top speed of 20km, we spend the next few kms swapping positions, it seemed to make them both happy? A quick stop at the supermarket for me to stock up on some essentials and then back to Nanjo.Doug and Gill have gone already in there catamaran. A relaxing time in the cockpit as the sun goes down, then walk my friend to Argos for her shower, while I sit and have a beer with the owner. She comes out looking refreshed and orders another drink, it cost her 4 euros and she was given a vacant room to use. Back on board I have a shower and get ready for our last meal together, we were originally going to drive back to Gouvia for dinner, but she prefers to stay in Benitses, so I take her to Femias taverna for some simple food. It's great to see them again, my friend orders the chops and she gets a huge plate full, all week her dinners have been bigger than mine, no wonder I'm loosing weight? While she is eating I buy her a going away pressie, the same one that Nicks mates bought for him, I get it well wrapped and tell her to open it when she gets home. After a lovely meal we go for a stroll, and she suprises me by buying me a new straw hat, mine is starting to fall apart badly,so I'm well pleased. Walking back to Nanjo I notice a huge steel ketch moored in the space behind me,how he managed it I don't know, but there is no damage to Nanjo, his bowsprit is only feet away from my A frame. Back on board and we have time for a quick nap.
Sun 1st July
Up very early, 01:30 to be precise. She is already packed and ready to go. It's still hot, but I hate to think what the temp is in the UK. In the car and she gives Nanjo a last look,I'm really glad she had a good time, think she would have liked to sail more and a bigger boat? No traffic about, so we are at the airport for 02:15,drop her off and park the car. Inside she has already checked in her bag, so we go for a farewell drink upstairs. Soon time to say goodbye, and I give her a hug as she goes through to departures. It's been a lovely week, and it was great to have some company. Shame she did not manage to pull any young Greeks though. A slow drive back to Benitses and park the car as instructed, leave the keys under the drivers floor mat! I'm asleep in minutes once back on board. I got a text from my friend saying she had arrived in the Uk ok and her daughter was picking her up, she also mentioned it was only 9 degrees,Ouch!! Nights here never went below 27 for her stay. Slept really well and woke up at 10am, off to the shop for some milk and a pie,I notice the cars gone, hope it's the car firm picked it up?I visit Argos and swap some paperbacks I have read for some new ones. Brekkie on board and a lazy day is planned, and a quick tidy up. I watch the ketch pull out, he has a bow thruster and makes it look just so easy, he must be 50ft and about 30tons. Thats a guy who knows what he is doing? Rather him than me tho. Spend most of the day reading my new book and keeping out of the sun. Shower once the sun goes down and a farewell dinner at Femias, say goodbye to everybody. I will miss seeing the really cute waitress. I won't be back to Corfu again this year. Final mythos in the cockpit and off to sleep.
Monday 18th June
Up early, got lots of little jobs to do as I'm setting of tomorrow for Corfu. Got in the dinghy and took some pictures of Nanjo at anchor,then touched up the hull white where it is starting to rub away with some white gloss. Pulled the dinghy onboard,give it a wash in fresh water and left it to dry before deflating and stowing away,and all this before breakfast? Lovely brekkie, wheaties,tea and fresh bread and jam, oh what a life? Deflated the dinghy and it and even managed to get it back in its bag, all nicely stowed in the cockpit locker again. Went for a swim to cool of after all that hard work? Washed my dirty clothes and put up a line on the bow, my shorts were dry before I hung my last t-shirt out to dry, 36 degrees and 31% humidity with a gentle breeze helps. It's going to be hard wrenching myself away from this place. Sat in the cockpit reading my book until it just got to hot. Siesta time for a couple of hours. Woke and checked the engine over, all fluids are ok. I have just done 100 hours since the oil change, so will try and change the oil in Preveza and fit a new filter. Cooked something different, pan fried tinned luncheon meat,fresh tomato,tinned tomatos and some bread, much better than expected, so will put it on my menu again. Sat in the cockpit eating dinner,having a warm mythos and reading my book. Had a 15min swim just before it got dark, great way to cool off and wash away the sweat after a busy day,final shower and buff with some shower gel on the stern and I'm smelling like a new born?
Up early at 07:15, have a leisurely breakfast, get Nanjo ready and have the anchor pulled up at 8am. Not many people awake as I motor out of Vliho and past Nidri. Empty the holding tank and settle down for a relaxing trip to Lefkas. Pick up 40 ltrs of diesel at Lefkas marina, not bad she is still burning 1 ltr per hour of running and it cost me 65 euros to fill up. Have missed the 10am bridge by 5 mins, so drop anchor just outside the marina and wait till 10:45, up anchor and catch the 11:00 bridge. Plenty of depth in the channel so no problems. Arrive at Preveza and am tied up in the marina for 13:15. Get out my new engine oil extractor pump and change the engine oil and filter, it works a treat, absolutely no mess, sucks it out in seconds, drained,new filter and filled again in 20 mins. Now thats the way the job should go,if you remember the trouble I had with that cheap pump? Well worth the 66 euros, cleaned it out and stowed in the bow locker,ready for the next oil change in 100 hours.
Paid my 9 euros marina fee and went into town, stopped at the internet cafe for a couple of cold mythos and a club sandwich, bought some groceries and back on board for 6pm and a well earned nap. Slept for 90mins, still very hot. Went back into town to the hardware shop for a brass spring catch, they even had one in stock and only 1 euro. Just made a cheese sandwich and a mythos for dinner, sat in the cockpit till late. Seemed to be plenty of high speed jets in the night sky,all heading North?
Up early and the wind is howling outside, not what I expected at all. Had my brekkie and got Nanjo ready to leave, cast off and on my way at 08:10 no problems. Nobody else on the move, but at the Preveza channel bouys there were small fishing boats everywhere. Turned right for Parga, settled down for a long slog, the only wind was on the nose, so a motoring day. Sun was baking and the water was pretty flat, finished reading my book.After 6 hours I started my approach to Parga harbour, it's up from the main town, the pilot book did not give the berthing arrangements much encouragement and I found out why when I entered the small harbour. It's been made using large boulders and looking at the other yachts they were all a long way off the quay, some were anchored then had a long line taken ashore to keep them in place, the recommended anchorage by the old breakwater was another long line ashore job. So not really a one man moor up, I decided to give Parga a miss. Maybe another day when I have crew on board. Changed course for Mourtos/Sivota another 10 miles of motoring. The sun has been starting to burn me so I got out my long sleeve work top for protection. Passed some interesting looking coves/anchorages but the pilot book did not recommend them for overnight use. I took the short cut between Nisis Ay Nikolaos and the mainland, it says minimum depths of 2 mtrs, I draw 1.6 so should be ok? The lowest my echo sounder read was 2.5. Got all my lines and fenders out ready and the stern anchor. Entered the harbour and found a spot on the East wall, even had a trailing line, a nice Norwegian guy took my lines and passed me the trailing line,and I was all tied up and sorted by 17:30. Certainly been a long day at sea, total trip distance was 42.3 miles, really don't want to do to many of those again? Baking hot below, I have been used to being at anchor and Nanjo always turns to face the wind, so there is always a stream of fresh air coming through the boat, problem being tied to a quay is you only face the one way,and are normally hemmed in by bigger boats, so the wind below can be fickle. Had a gorgeous cold shower on board and went ashore to the Bamboo taverna for a cold beer and a burger, sat there watching the sun go down, glad to see the town and tavernas are busy, amazing the difference a few weeks makes. Turned in at midnight, absolutely shattered, to long a day and I missed my siesta nap? I must be getting old??
Slept till 9am, woke to a gorgeous day and feeling refreshed. Bought some fresh bread and cold milk from the local shop for my brekkie.Had wheatties and made a cold frappee with the milk, delish. It's a short days run up to Sayia'dha only 18 miles, Nick reckons he gets his Disco in no problem,it's a very small harbour so time will tell if I make it? Left Mourtos/Sivota at 10:30, let go no problems. Typically wind on the nose all the way, so another motor day with flat seas. Made a detour to Sayia'dha avoiding the large area of shallow water, spotted the harbour and made my approach, depth went down to 3 mtrs. Very narrow entrance and the harbour only has 2 mtrs in most of it. Arrived at 14:30, only one other yacht here so plenty of space. Dropped the stern kedge and went bow in, nobody to give me a hand, all went ok, and I stepped ashore with two bow ropes and made them fast to a long chain running the length of the quay. It's really hot, and I'm dripping. A quick tidy up and a cold water wash and of ashore to have a look around. Half a dozen tavernas and thats it, small village behind the harbour. Have a couple of cold beers and a chat to the owner, he reckons they have had 15 yachts inside some days,but normally just 1 or 2. Back on board and I decide to re-connect the electric macerator pump, a hot job inside the cockpit locker, plumb it in and its still blowing fuses, dissconnect again and it's not sucking at all. I will have to take it apart, could be the impellor gone? Reconnect the old Henderson hand pump again. Have a long cold shower, notice two large yachts anchored outside the harbour. Go ashore for a souvlaki and a beer, sit next to four Brits off a big yacht, the poshest sounding people so far, and one of the women is called Margo, and sounds just like her, and even one of the blokes is called Tom. I thought it was a episode from "The Good Life"? All I could do to stop laughing every time Margo spoke. Back on board and a relaxing sit in the cockpit, and watching the local kids jumping 20ft off the top of a old fishing boat into 6ft of water. Amazing what kids will do when they don't have a X box? Nice easy sail/motor tomorrow to Benitses 18 miles.
Up at 7am and had a quick breakfast, hot already and no wind. Departed Sayaidha at 07:50 no problems,nobody around so sorted it myself. Motored all the way to Benitses,on a flat sea. Arrived at 10:45, plenty of space, noticed one with a lazy line attached to the quay, so backed up, jumped ashore and made two line roughly fast, back on board with the lazy line to the bow and Nanjos secure, no body around again, which helps give me the confidance. Sorted out the stern lines and thats it? Very hot now, so put the big sun shade up, and I could feel the difference straight away. Washed all my clothes and ran a line from the jib to the mast, everything dry in a few hours. Got out one of the cockpit cushions and had a nap in the cockpit,slept well. Woke just as Nick was coming in with "Yes M'lady", he had his girlfriend Rachael on board. Helped him tigh up and got invited on for a cold beer and a chat. Rachaels a fellow postie so was good to talk shop for a while. Nick suggested a few places I should try I have not been to before up here, so will give them a go.Gave Nick the covers Orkide had made for his hatches. He told me about the motor boat that had been here and was slowly sinking by the bow, apparently it got really bad and the locals complained, somebody got on board and started the engines to run the bilge pump, they then started looking into who's yacht it was. It seems that the owner had done a runner with it from Gouvia marina owing them a lot of money, they sent someone down and they towed it back to Gouvia. I assume to sell it or hold the owner to ransom? Ended up having 4 beers and then time for a shower on Nanjo and back into town to Femmias for dinner. The Greeks were playing football against Germany, plenty of local interest obviously. unfourtunately Greece lost! Had a lovely meal as always, booked the car for tomorrow, and Nick gave me the phone number for Mandraki yacht club, just round the corner from Naok, who have no space for Sunday night.Got back on board and went to sleep.
Up at 9am and straight to the bakers for some fresh bread,spinach pie and a pint of cold milk. Scoffed the pie on the way back,made a gorgeous all cold milk frappee, and some bread and jam. Breakfast sorted,had a chat with Nick and Rachael, they were taking some friends out for a trip for a few hours. Got a bag of goodies of Nick for my food store. Then it was time to clean Nanjo ready for my first guest, took me ages to clean the inside, had not done it for ages, checked the engine,bilges over. All ok. Packed some clothes into my big bag and placed them in a cubby hole under my stern bunk. Put Nancys new covers on the cockpit cushions, they fitted brilliantly and really do look good, I'm going to be paranoid now about spilling something or getting them dirty now. Finnished cleaning down below and started up on deck, washed and got the Cif out, can't remember when Nanjo last looked so clean. Did a bit more washing and tried to stay out of the sun. Went and picked up the hire car,as expected I ended up with the mini bus a Fiat Scudo. Quick check of my licence and I'm ready to drive. Brand new car, soon got used to the controls and went into Corfu town for some groceries, was great to be back behind a steering wheel again. Had a final meal with Nick and Rachael at the Argo taverna, place was really nice but buzzing with mossies. Nick had helped build a water feature he was proud to show off. Back on board for 10pm and alarm set for 1am.
Up at 1am and had a gorgeous shower, it's still warm. Was all ready at the agreed time, and I could hear Nick and Rachael mucking about. They both surfaced at 2am,Rachael was having a laugh as she had put felt tip marks on Nicks face while he slept and he had not realised, nice easy drive to the airport, dropped them off and looked for somewhere to park. My guests plane was showing on time so I did not have long to wait, it actually arrived 15mins early. TO BE UPDATED AFTER MY GUEST HAS READ MY BLOG.
17/06/2012, Vliho, Lefkada
Monday 11 June
Had a fantastic sleep, no noise and dead calm. Woke up really refreshed to a gorgeous morning, blue sky and at 9am it's already 28deg. Cornflakes,bread/jam and a mug of tea for starters in the cockpit, and I just look around at the beautiful view, I have all around me. Back home you would have to be a multi-millionaire to have these views when you wake? I still find it hard to realise I'm here and have a long time to go, before I'm back at work. First job on my list was to fill in the hole left by the old anchor winch, found some plywood, 5mins with my saw and some sandpaper and a perfect fit, cut up an old coke can,mix some west epoxy with a spoonful of micro balloons, and epoxy it in place, job done. I will get some non slip paint and repaint the foredeck and it will look as good as new.With some left over epoxy, I blocked off a hole that had been drilled in the anchor locker at some time and served no purpose,it,just seemed another way of letting water get below. It's now 35 degrees and time for a rest, it's suprising just how knackered you feel in the heat. Early lunch of a fresh Jimbo Greek salad and some crusty bread,delish. Read my book and time for my siesta. Up at 6pm and sort out the anchor locker drain pipes, that gave me so much trouble when I first got out to Nanjo. I noticed they were full of swarf and muck,my good plan of using clear pipe,meant it was easy to spot after taking of the bow locker lid. Another 10mins undoing the hose clips,after lying on my back upside down, with my head through the hatch and they were cleared of muck. I'm on a role now, so go round Nanjos deck and tighten all the stanchion bases that hold the lifelines, then below and replace my dodgy fuse markings with some proffesional stickers. Finally get a phone call fron Nikos about my liferaft, it's been condemed, no surprise there really? Apparently it had been opened by somebody and not packed back correctly, the gas cylinder that inflates the raft was completely corroded, they managed to inflate it, but most of the seals leaked and it did not stay up for long. He has destroyed it in case somebody takes it out of his trash bin. The good news is I owe him nothing, it should have been 120 euros for there inspection, but because it's been so long and I have been so patient, no charge. A replacement new one would be 1,800 euros, oh well, I will just have to make sure I sail near enough to land that I can swim ashore,or better still, make sure Nanjo does not sink to start with! Dinner on board and it's Greek baked beans,fried onion and pepper with crusty bread and a mythos, Yummy. All eaten straight out of the saucepan, saves on washing up ans stays warm longer. Read my book and make a coffee, sit on deck until 11pm, it's a beautiful evening and warm,just wearing my shorts. Down below, I put disc No3 of my opera set on the cd, I recognise the song from the film "Shawshank Redemption" the one he plays over the prison stereo and locks himself in. I'm not sure if it's the same singer, but what an amazing voice, am tempted to open the hatches and blast it out over the quiet anchorage, but resist this time?
Tues 12 June
Slept great, warm enough now to have the hatches open at night. Another gorgeous morning,take my time over breakfast in the cockpit. Do the washing up, and the water is calling me, so go for a 30min swim/float around Nanjo, I'm always impressed how good she looks at sea level. Got some oil to wipe off the stbd side on the waterline. Will be a dinghy job? Shower on the stern and start my first job of the day, painting the bow plate around the anchor winch and while I have the white paint out I give the anchor locker doors a coat as well. Give Orkide a ring and she has finished the hatch covers for Nicks boat, but does not know the price yet? So will ring her later. Time for lunch before I know it,salad and a fruit juice, all this healthy living? Really hot now at 36 degrees, so stay inside and read my book for a bit before my siesta. Up at 6pm and ring Orkide again, 50 euros for Nicks hatch covers. Get the dinghy out and pump it up on the bow, have not seen it out of its bag since last July, everythings ok and I launch it over the side and secure it to the stern. Will get up early tomorrow, row ashore,walk into Nidri to a cash machine,walk back get the covers and row back to Nanjo, sounds like Wednesdays going to be a busy day? Cook a packet pasta dish, tasted ok, but they do overdo it with the salt in those things, all washed down with a mythos,spent the evening sitting in the cockpit relaxing and watching the sun go down.
Wed 13 June
Up early at 07:30, and its flat calm, perfect. Quick cup of tea, pack my bag with a bottle of water, load the dinghy and I'm away at 08:00. A suprisingly easy row, only problem was as my hands started sweating they could not grip the painted alloy paddels. Made it across to the shore in 25mins, pulled the Avon up onto the quay,then a leisurely 35 min walk into Nidri, got some cash out of the nearest atm,picked up a fresh loaf and a spinach pasty to eat on the way back. Arrived back in Vliho, went into the boat yard and bought some non-slip paint for the bow,not bad at 4euros,popped into see Orkide and picked up Nicks hatch covers, next door then to the Vliho yacht club for a cold frappe and to put my name down for the Ionian Regatta in September, they will e-mail me when they are taking entries. Get some groceries and row back to Nanjo, am back on board for 11:30, and feel I have had a busy day? Time for one of those cold mythos I just bought,then have a gorgeous 30min swim to get rid of all that sweat?
It's really hot, so decide to put up the large sun canopy that covers from the mast to the bimini. Took me a while to work out how to put it up as it's been a year,but sorted it eventually. Even got out one of the foam cockpit cushions that Nancy made last year at last, still have not put on the new covers though. Laid in the shade reading my book until 5pm then had a nap. Woke at 6:30 and decided to tidy up my nav desk and do my accounts, my monies still going down to fast, but fingers X my big spending is now over? Cooked a packet pasta meal and a mythos for dinner, chilled out in the cockpit. Winds are picking up,so took sun shade down.
Thurs 14 June
Windy night, and Nanjo being blown around. Was up at 2am, somebody in the bay was playing the trumpet really badly, plenty of yachts with there lights on, so, not a popular bloke I think? Woke at 9am and the wind is howling of the mountains, my navtex did forecast force 6 to 7 winds today, even though its beautiful clear blue sky. Glad I rowed ashore yesterday, as it would have been a hard job today. Quick brekkie, and decide to paint the foredeck with my new anti-slip paint, I soon discovered why it was only 4 euros? Oh well, it will look ok later I hope. Dug out my shortwave radio and tried to get the BBC but no luck, it would pick up Chinese stations no problem though? Had a play for an hour with my uke and a bit of a clean up, I was hoping to get in the dinghy and clean the oil of the sides but would have a job as Nanjo is swinging wildly, along with all the other yachts in the bay. Good news is my wind generator is whizzing round charging my batteries. Had my usual nap for a few hours. Woke to more yachts at anchor and the wind gone, really lovely outside now. Time to spend 20mins on my tan. Cooked a sweet and sour for dinner with a mythos, all scoffed in the cockpit straight out of the saucepan. Put my opera cd on, up to disc 5 now, just loud enough to hear it in the cockpit. Was watching the fishermen trying to spear fish, next thing I realised it was 01:30? Time for bed.
Fri 15 June
Up at 9, quick brekkie and decide to row around Nanjo and clean the oil of the waterline, came off a lot easier than expected, also noticed that some of the white hull paint has come off as well around the bow. Maybe a touch up with some gloss enamel is called for. Sorted the galley light out, it's been flickering for ages, turned out to be a duff bulb, the filament had broken in half but they were still touching, all ok until Nanjo leaned then it would flicker. Next was having another go at loosening the mast cap shrouds, so they could be adjusted. I soaked them in wd40 before sleep last night, and unbeleiveably they both came undone with not to much effort and grunting on my part. Had another go at setting the mast up again, the caps are a lot tighter now after following Seldens recommendations on setting up your mast. Did half and it was getting really hot, so siesta time. Woke at 6pm and finnished of the rest, only sailing will tell if it's any better? Simple dinner, tin of beans,tin of sweetcorn and half an onion a bottle of mythos and thats dinner sorted. Sat in the cockpit till late and listened to the poor sod next to me trying to pull start his outboard engine, he had just got it back yesterday from being repaired? Sometimes I think I would like one, then think of the cost of buying one,stowing it,carrying petrol,on going maintenance and spare parts and getting an outboard bracket for the dinghy, and I think I will stick to rowing?
Sat 16 June
Up at 9, seems to be my wake up time, no matter when I go to sleep. Breakfast in the cockpit and watched the usual waterborne traffic, a Dutch and French yacht ferrying there dogs ashore for a crap, French guy next to me having a naked wash on the stern then walking around his yacht to dry off,the British couple on the Sadler 32 arguing on the phone (every day),yachts pulling up anchors and leaving,while others dropping theres and arriving, I just love this place. Had a really easy day,swimming and relaxing. Decided to get the rear seat I had sent out for the dinghy out of the bottom of the locker at last, and typically it did not fit? I bought one for my make and model, but either they sent the wrong one or my dinghy has been upgraded/downgraded as I have no idea how old it is. Caused a bit of headscratching at first, but came up with a way of mounting it with rope, all took ages to sort out but works fine, and easy to attach. If it will take my weight then job done.
My usual siesta was followed by a lovely evening swim and a pasta meal and a couple of mythos. Started my new book, so many choices. The copy of The Qur'an kindly given to me by Farouk at work was calling, but I think it will need my undivided attention once I start to read it? Had to laugh at midnight, all the outboards start up from the nearby tavernas to ferry people back to there boats, and there are always a couple that just don't want to play ball. I could hear one approaching close and could see it was full with 4 people in it and well loaded, they were using Nanjo as a reference to find there yacht, when suddenly the motor died. They had run out of fuel, nothing I could do to help as they struggled to attach the oars and then try to row, they dissapeared into the darkness, hopefully they arrived ok?
Sun 17 June
Disco ashore kept me awake till 2am, I wouldn't mind if they played some decent music, there was a flash of Pink Flloyd for 30 seconds, but obviously did not go down to well and soon got changed. Up at 7:30 and a quick cup of tea and into the dinghy for my row ashore. A gorgeous morning and flat calm, seemed to row a bit quicker this time, pulled it ashore and walked into Nidri. Picked up a gorgeous spinach pie and had that while sitting on the harbour front watching the yachts,really nice to see a lot more people about and the tripper boats were filling up nicely. Picked up some supplies and two loaves of bread, walked back to Vliho and popped into the Vliho Yacht club for my first full fried English breakfast in 3 months, I'm glad to say it was delish and with a mug of tea and some fruit juice made my morning. The news was full of the Greek elections today, it's to decide if they are in or out of the Euro, no Greeks I have spoken to seem bothered either way, as I'm sure there life will carry on regardless. The main people that are concerned seem to be the fat cats in bussiness,politics and people around the world with investments. I really hope the Greek people make the choice thats right for them and not the rest of Europe, they are a proud people who have been around civillised a lot longer than we have and I'm sure they will continue to do so.Picked up some cold mythos and rowed back, that did take me a lot longer, but the promise of a cold beer when I made it spurned me on. 30 mins later I was in my cockpit having that beer. Had a long swim and put the big sun cover up, it's already 36 and going to get hotter. Read my book for a couple of hours then siesta time. Woke up and decided to have a look at the Vetus engine control, lately the throttle lever has not been staying at the rpm position I choose, looked on the internet and apparently the newer ones have two screws behind the plastic cover which act as friction dampers. Took mine apart and as expected it's the older version, so a replacement at some time is on the cards, just under 200 euros. Another item on that wish list? Packet rice in the saucepan and a couple of mythos had dinner sorted. It's a beautiful evening, very still and quiet, stayed in the cockpit till midnight, was thinking of sleeping on deck,but started to chill.
Monday 4th June
Slept really well, woke at 9 and opened the hatch to some gorgeous scenery, very still water and brilliant sunshine, temp is already 27 degrees. Brekkie in the cockpit, and I make up a list of jobs to do, totals 15? I will probably add more later though. Wash all my dirty clothes first, then attack the non-slip paint on the bow. Took me 90mins to scrape it off where the new anchor winch is going to fit, am still deciding wheather to mount it on a plywood base or direct to the deck? Have a small tidy up and it's lunch time already, I bought a cheap packet of 30 frankfurters for 3 euros, so chop up half a dozen,a tomato, some fetta,olive oil and a glass of juice and thats lunch sorted. Read my new book for an hour and I'm shattered, so time for a nap! Slept for 3 hours, I must be over working I think? Cup of tea to wake me up and back to reading my book, washings all dry now, all neatly folded and back in my bag. Before I know whats happening, it's 8:30pm and I still have to cook dinner? Gave cooking a miss, had a frankfurter sandwich instead with a warm mythos (will have to get used to them with a duff fridge). Sat in cockpit reading under my anchor light till 11.30. Hope tomorrow is not so busy?
Tues 5th June
Slept really well, dead calm outside all night. Woke to a stiff breeze and plenty of clouds about. Navtex says winds 5 to 6 and thundrstorms? So, decide to give washing my sleeping bag and towell a miss today. Make a start doing the screws in the cockpit teak,countersinking the heads,after 60 I have had enough! Start to fill in the dents and scratches using gel coat filler,then rubbing it down. The whole of the topsides can do with a re-paint, and the pure white filler shows up against the cream topsides,making it look even worse. Heavy rain and thunder forces me inside, so it must be time for lunch? Spend the next 20 mins mopping up the window leaks, it's howling outside and visibility is just yards, then just as suddenly it stops and the sun comes out, but still the strong winds. Decide best option is a nap. Up at 8pm and cook a delish vegetable curry, my treat after seeing a jar of Uncle Bens in the supermarket. It went down a treat even with no naan or mango chutney. Read my book under the anchor light in the cockpit,its windy and cold so end up digging my fleece out. Time for bed and Nanjo is getting blown all over the place by the winds, I end up thinking of the hurricane that came through here last September and did so much damage. About 50 yachts in the bay tonight,just hope all there anchors are well dug in and nobodies drags? Go to bed wearing my clothes, just in case I have to get up in a hurry during the night?
Wed 6th June
Slept well,despite Nanjo moving around a fair bit. Woke to gorgeous blue skies and a stiff breeze. Brekkie in the cockpit, and had the last of my cornflakes,bread and jam. Was hoping to get the dinghy out and row ashore to get some supplies, but the wind is to strong and it's a bit choppy, don't think I would make it just rowing? Settle down to do some jobs on board. Do another 60 screws in the cockpit, only another 72 left!! Do some washing, finally get round to doing my large towell, just did not realise how much water it would soak up, 3/4s of a sink full of soapy water and it dissapeared in the towell? Think I will give doing my sleeping bag a miss,I did see a laundry in Nidri advertising a 5euro wash,so will take it there. Decided to do some varnishing in the saloon, I had it all worked out which bits to do, but as usual got carried away and did a lot more. Which meant I couldn't remember what I had done, so tried not to touch anything made of wood, which on a boat Nanjos size is pretty impossible, after several sticky hands placed on wood, I decided to go and sit in the cockpit and read my book for a couple of hours,taking my lunch with me. It's amazing how quick the time goes when your reading a good book. Back below and most of the varnish is dry now. Finally get round to getting my banjo out of its case, and start to learn "Duelling Banjos" nothing like jumping in at the deep end? After 45mins I decide to give the neighbours a repreive, and time for a nap. Up at 8pm and cook a packet meal with a tin of sweetcorn,yummy. Eat it in the cockpit with a warm mythos, stayed there reading my book till 11pm.
Thurs 7th June
Up at 9, brekkies consisted of a cup of tea and biscuits, that should help my weight? Still to windy to row ashore, so will be a low food day? Decided to have a go washing my sleeping bag in the big bucket, it worked a treat and with the sun and winds it actually dried in 3hrs. Result. Finally finished the last of my cockpit screws, it certainly all feels a lot nicer to sit on, and nomore snagging my shorts. Had to stitch them up again. Decided to cut my spare piece of plywood to make a base for the anchor winch, my trusty battery circular saw made short work of the 20mm ply. A bit of epoxy glue and then shaped the piece to fit, covered it all in epoxy and a coat of white paint, that should make it last. Rang Phil the Steel and he is ok for tomorrow, drilling my bow. A simple lunch, I do miss my bread tho. Quick nap and its time for a swim, skinny dipping is just so liberating, but when you hit a cold spot you certainly feel it more? Dinner was a packet of tomato sauce, fried onion and a pepper,it was delish. Stayed in the cockpit reading my book and having my last mythos by the light from the anchor light. Of to Nidri in the morning, I can see the jetty from here, so not a big trip?
Fri 8th June
Up at 8am, quick cup of tea and some bikkies. Get Nanjo ready, fenders out both sides and mooring ropes bow and stern. Pull up the anchor and its well dug in, glad its in mud and hopefully this will be my last time by hand? Motor the half mile to Activities pontoon and come alongside my old berth, a couple of Slovakians come to take my ropes and make things worse, luckily they leave and I can tie up properly. Into town for some supplies, back on board have my breakfast, wheaties and fresh bread. I bought what I thought was marmalade but turned out to be big chunks of orange peel in jelly? Tasted ok tho, and at 80 cents for a big jar, I will be buying it again. Give Phil the Steel a ring and he is coming down. Call in to see Con and treat myself to a cold mythos. Have my cheese pastie, and get all the chain out of the locker. Phil arrives bang on time, and tells me he does not use special drill bits, just reshapes the tips of ordinary ones and "you need a feel for the steel" is how he describes his technique. He drills the holes like going through wood, really nice bloke and a reasonable fee as well. I show him the stern anchor arrangements I like, he reckons at least 600 euros. Oh well, it's back on my wish list again? Try to wire up the remote i brought out, but stupidly I bought one for a car winch which only operates my solenoid and winch coming in, it dawns on me that you normally pull the wire on car winches out manually. Not much good for my anchor winch then? The main wires will need re-arranging but not a big problem, join everything together loosely and it all works. Yipppeee. Bolt the winch and wooden mounting plate down on some silicon, and it sure looks good. Got to re-arrange the wiring, but thats a job for tomorrow. Guy on boat next to mine is having a clearout,so I take a hammock,cool box,boat hook,some stainless tube and a hand pump, never turn down free stuff? Have a good wash, and clean clothes, of to Cons for my pizza, and the bugger has locked up? It was 9:30 so maybe he thought I was a no show. 5 min walk into town and pick up a giros and a cold mythos, scoff them back on board.
Sat 9th June
Kept awake by the disco half a mile away, until 02:30. These yachts have no soundproofing at all, and the constant same drum beat just kept bashing my head! Oh to be back with the peace and quiet of Vliho? I must be getting old? Up at 9am and really nice to have breakfast stuff in stock again. make a start on the winch wiring, I have run all the new cables through some plastic tube to protect it, fingers X it does. Of to Nidri marine and get 10mtrs of 3 core wire to extend the winch remote and 3 mtrs of 3 strand 14mm rope to splice onto the anchor chain, it's for emergency use only and means that I can run out all 60mtrs of chain until the rope comes up, then cut the rope if I have to let the chain go in a hurry. It's 34 degrees and way to hot to work, so of to the bar for a mythos and a greek salad. The flotilla yachts and the two cats come back in and I have a chat with Harry,Phil and Allan. Allans of for a two week flotilla trip to Corinth on Monday and asks if I wanted to tag along, really tempted but have to pick up my first guest from Corfu, Allans running the same trip in July tho, and said I would go if nothing else comes up? Have a nap on board for a few hours, then splice the rope to the chain in a few minutes, all that splicing in the merchant navy comes in handy. And extend the remote wires, it all works a treat,so start the engine and feed the chain back into the chain locker. It's a lot better than before, and a lot more space. Re-fill the water tanks and solar bags, have a lovely wash and all clean clothes, and of to the hotel for Cons Aussie burger. I was impressed, as it was even better than he described it to be, and I had to admit defeat and could not finish it all, my stomach must have shrunk? Posted my blog and did some work on the net while in the hotel, and of to bed. Thankfully the disco was not noisy tonight.
Sun 10th June
Slept really well, and up at 8:30. Wheatties and a mug of tea, and I settle my bill at the hotel. Into town for some fresh groceries and I'm leaving the jetty at 9:30, Phil casts of my bow rope and I say goodbye to all the skippers again. They are scrubbing the boats and are expecting more people out later today, don't really think I could do there job? Motor out and head well into the bay so I can pump out the holding tank, I have spare fuses on board now, and will re-connect the macerator in Vliho. Motor over to the mainland and pop into Vathi Vali, but it's a lovely spot ruined by fish farms. Then motor down to Ormos Varko and anchor in 5mtrs in the Eastern corner, a lovely spot and well protected from the prevailing wind. The anchor winch worked a treat with no jams of the chain, so a success so far. About 10 yachts here already, have a gorgeous swim and make a Greek salad for my lunch and read my book. It's really hot so between 3pm and 6pm I have a nap and read inside. Wake up to another 10 yachts at anchor, I decide to leave though, so winch mine in at 7:30pm and the winch does a great job, and I flake the chain as it goes into the locker. Motor sail back to Vliho and am all anchored again by 8:45, that winch makes a difference already. Tidy up Nanjo and cook a packet rice dinner, and have a couple of mythos, I'm just anchored down from my previous spot. Reckon I will be here for a week at least, have a long list of jobs to keep me busy, and I can relax.
Monday 28th May.
Up early,and give Nick a shout as he wants to swap lazy lines when I go. Let go bow ropes and pull myself out on the lazy line. All goes really well,thats my first singlehanded cast of a success. Out of the marina and stow all ropes and fenders, it's a gorgeous morning, and for once the wind is behind me, so up goes the jib. It's pulling well and gives me an extra half a knot. It's great to be on my own sailing, seems such a long time since I last took a boat out on my own. It's 28 miles to Lakka so at least 5hrs away, settle down to looking out for fishing floats and driftwood. Decide to make a start on my all over tan, now that is refreshing,just glad nobodies up this early and no other boats for miles. Chilling out nicely and I notice the Paxos Star bearing down on me at a great speed, back on with the shorts and top, and am ready to wave at the holiday makers as they pass by. Wind fades so, just the engine on,lucky really as the crossing from Corfu to Paxos is really lumpy, my wind gauge shows a force 6 and the sea is in a right state as it's got nothing in its way since Italy. The autohelm is having trouble so I hand steer the 7 miles, and really enjoyed it, once Nanjo got in the groove she handled really well. Only my lapses of concentration caused her to bounce around a lot. Motored into Lakkas natural harbour and suddenly all is calm and crystal blue sea, it's a beautiful place to visit, already about 20 yachts at anchor, so I find a spot up the top in 3.2mtrs of clear water. Dropping the hook and let out 15mtrs of chain, weary that it's me who has to pull it back in again. A tasty lunch, and I sit on the stern and clean the crap of the fenders with some Cif, then in for a gorgeous swim. Warm blue water, I swim out to the anchor and it's well dug in, so no problems. The bay is filling up, and just when you think there is nomore space a Sailing Holidays flottila arrives. I noticed "Threshold" at anchor,the American yacht I liked at Cleopatras, and she looks just as good afloat? Afternoon nap, and a packet rice dinner and a few beers on board, sitting in the cockpit reading a book. What a great life. Thats my first solo maiden voyage ticked off now. Of to sleep early, but don't get much as the wind has picked up and sending a swell into the anchorage, Nanjo and all the other yachts are rolling from side to side, and everything that can move and rattle has decided nows the time!
Had a bad night, very little sleep. Up at 6.30, have a quick breakfast and listen to the weather on the vhf, forecast NW 4 to 5. So, am pulling up the anchor and leaving Lakka by 07:30, everything went very smoothly. Of to Preveza and it's 38 miles away, so a long day ahead. Nobody else is awake as I motor out of the bay. Only need one waypoint on the gps and thats the outer bouy for Preveza channel. But rather than sail straight there, I head straight over to the mainland and pick up a small breeze, out with the jib and my speed is up to 6.1 knots, with a little help from the Yanmar, and I'm still heading the right way. It's cold and overcast, on with the fleece, any thoughts of all over tan topping up have gone for today. Settle down to eating biscuits,doing some lunch,reading my book, playing the thumb piano and of course keeping a good lookout. The tillerpilot mounting block I made is moving about a bit and making life hard for the pilot to steer, I found some of the 20mm scrap ply from the settee infill and shape a bit to use as a stronger replacement. A nice way to spend an hour? Seven hours after setting of, I am motoring up the Preveza channel. Fenders and ropes out on both sides, will save me a lot of ponsing about when I approach the jetty as I can choose either side. Head straight for the free marina at the end of town, and it's virtually empty, so slip into a berth. Nobody to give me a hand,so tie Nanjo up on my own with no problems. Another one to tick off my solo list. Tidy up and make a start on replacing the autopilot mounting. The old one virtually fell away as I pushed it, another of my jobs not done very well to start with. There are all new electric and water meters on the pontoons, and a bunch of guys turn up and start wiring mine up. Then the Dutch couple on the yacht opposite tell me they now charge to moor here, mine would be 10 euros a night, but once all the services are in place it will all go up. That explains why there are no liveaboards here, seems the boss of Cleopatras has decided to sort the place out? Finish the new autopilot mount, and decide to have a go at the screws holding the teak slats down in the cockpit,take screw out, a quick twist with a countersink bit and put screw back and it's job done. Tackled the cockpit floor, that went well but took ages. So, maybe do a bit each day? Wash and brush up and walk into town for some suplies. The marina is all fenced off now to keep people out and there is a porter cabin at the gate, so I go and try the door but it's locked. Oh well,at least I tried to pay? Honest. Looks like I will be leaving early. Buy some suplies and of course get sidetracked and stop at the Giros shop for a large one and a frappee. The town quay is full of yachts, some even rafted up? Fill the water tanks up when I return, that should last me a month I reckon? and get chatting to Ed a Brit who has just signed for a berth at the new marina. Apparently it all happened last week, all boats had a notice slapped on them to contact the new owner, those that didn't were apparently towed to the town quay. It seems it's illeagal to leave a boat unattended in Greece without notifying the authorities who the guardineage person is. So, if the port police had no record of you and you were given 21 days notice your boat was moved. There were some expensive and big yachts left here and chained up for the winter.Now all been moved. It's going to have a big impact on the local liveaboards for sure. Had a mythos in the cockpit and early to sleep, it's so nice and peacefull here.
Slept really well, made up for my night at Lakka. Up early and a quick brekkie, but not early or quick enough. The girl was round for her money, had to take my papers to the portacabin. Had a lpng chat with Ed first, he has had a South Pacific Australian anchor winch for 3 years and no problems,they are only £459? Had a nice chat with the girl in the office, they have some serious plans for the marina, and that will mean serious money as well. My night cost 9 euros, better than expected, and I did fill my water tanks up.Pop into town for a loaf and a spinach pie. Back on board and a quick check and I have let the bow line go, and the gorgeous Dutch woman of next door, pulls my stern line in so my bow goes out to clear the two yachts in front, and I'm safely away. It's a beautiful morning, motor to Lefkas channel, but on the way have a coast guard rib come flying over, telling me to go further ofshore as they are firing live ammunition at Preveza airport? Make the 12 o'clock bridge, and decide to carry on going, I have enough diesel and I can see Kosta another time. Oh yea, I phoned the liferaft guy, he is going to do it tomorrow? Wind is up at the end of the channel, so both sails are up and the Yanmar put to rest. Had a cracking sail, wind got up to a good force 6 and it was great to see other yachts taking there sails down. Nanjo handled it all brilliantly, spent 5 hours just sailing about, my arms were pumped up with all the tacking between the islands, even sailed into Nidri under full sail and doing 6.5 knots, wish I had a picture of her bowling along. Rolled the jib,and motorsailed through the moored yachts down to the southern end of Vliho, dropped the hook in 3mtrs of murky water. Stowed everything and had a well earned beer. Dinner and drinks on board,and finally got to play one of the discs from my "The Best Opera Album in the World" set. Some amazing voices, made a big change from my usual stuff, well impressed. Have arranged to go on the Activity Holidays pontoon after talking to Alan for tomorrow, Nanjos old flotilla base, bit of a home coming for her? Vernons going to look at my fridge, fingers X it will be cheap?
Up at 9, quick brekkie and put out all fenders, rig two bow lines and get the stern anchor ready. Pull up the anchor and it's only 5mins to the Activity Holidays pontoon, getting all ready, reach behind me to pull the pin on the rope that holds the stern ladder up and it comes apart! I normally stand on the stern step and drop it while stering. A quick turnaround and get it sorted, back again and come alongside a big cat. All goes text book,even nobody to take a bow line,so have to jump of myself and do it all. When it goes right like this,it probably looked easy to people watching, but when it goes wrong,oh boy,and I'm sure it will. Pop into the hotel and speak to Con an Aussie who had worked on Nanjo in the past. It's 10 euros a night but free electric and water and the use of the hotel pool and facilities, not bad. Vernons down within the hour and tests the fridge, plenty of gas, after spending some time and bringing back gauges and spare controller. He declares the compressor motor has seized, apparently they can get stuck in one position, Nanjos fridge has not been used for at least 2 years. Options are £600 for a new unit,or to give the casing a whack with a hammer everynow and again and it might free up? Guess which option I'm taking? He takes away my saloon infill for Gill to make my cushion. All the second hand boat stuff is now stored at Nidri marine,it's full of usefull stuff. In a corner are the anchor winches,and all the ones like mine seem to have failed with the same problem. They have only two 8mm in and both don't look to good,so I pass on them. Into town for a loaf and a spinach pie, well I thought it was, but turned out to be a pizza pie? Imagine a pizza wrapped in fillo pastry and cooked, only in Greece can you get these. Have a long chat with the mechanic working on the cat, it charters for £2000 a week for two people, with a skipper and one crew and all the charterers can eat and drink,Deal or No Deal? He might know of a second hand compressor for my fridge. Have a walk to Vliho with two of my hatch covers and call in to see Orkide, great to see her again, and she remembers me and Nanjo. Two weeks to get Nicks covers made up so no problem. Have a long chat and speak to Horatio as well. I plan to spend another day at Nidri then back down to Vliho and anchor for a week,and do very little,except swim,play my banjo (so I will have to anchor a fair bit out) and chill out. Have a salad and a few beers at the yacht club, catch up on all my internet stuff,and have a nice 30min stroll back to Nidri at midnight.
Friday 1st June
Slept really well. Went into town to Georges chandlers, he gives me a good deal on a South Pacific 900m anchor winch, a bit more than the Uk price but will be here tomorrow, all the right ups in the magazines and people I have met using them say they are good, with a 3yr guarantee. Pick up some fruit and a salad roll, eat them on the town quay watching yachts coming and going. Back on board and Gill brings my new cushion down, a lovely job and can't wait to try it out. Pop up to the hotel bar for a cold beer and use there internet, have a long chat with Con about Polikos. Have a nap on my new bed, then have to move Nanjo around to the other side of the jetty as the other cat is coming back on Sat. Am all prepared then the wind picks up and suddenley there are boats all over the place? A 10min wait and I let go,pull myself out on the kedge, re-arrange the fenders and ropes and come back alongside this time. Alan gives me a hand to ty up, then dinner on board and read my book till 11:30. I'm going to have to tighten my belt as the anchor winch has made a big dent in my budget.
Sat 2nd June
Have a lovely hot water wash, and into town, get more money out of the bank and George has my winch ready. I buy a 6 euro stainless steel drill bit as well, pick up a roll and also find a chandlers selling the engine oil extractor pump I have been after and only 66 euros, just had to buy it as the cheapest I have seen was 87? Oh well, another week living on sawdust? Back on board and I'm keen to fit the winch, but go for a cold beer first and to read the instructions. All clear now, hook it up loosely to my present wiring and it works a treat, even the remote control unit. Get all my stuff ready up on deck and mark the holes, I can't use any of the old ones at all. Start to drill, and it's obvious pretty soon that I'm not getting anywhere fast, my battery drill is overheating as it's only meant to be on for short bursts. After 20mins I have just about scratched the surface of one hole, try other drill bits, try my hand drill, all no good. God knows how I will cut the hole for the anchor chain? The mechanic of the cat gives me the number for Stainless Phill,give him a ring and he is very busy but can do it next Friday for me. So decide to leave here tomorrow and stay at anchor in Vliho till next Friday then come back here. Put everything away again, and head of to the bar for a cold mythos. Stock up on food tomorrow and fill my solar showers, am looking forward to spending some time at anchor.
Slept really well, up early at 9am, and everybody is already busy on the charter boats, the new guests are due out today, so plenty of last minute preps for them. Really don't think I could do there job, it's two weeks on and one off? Pop into see Con and pay my bill, a very resonable 50euros, and book my space for next Friday. Into town to get more money out and some groceries, spend 35 euros, which should last me the week. Say good bye to everybody, and Harry and Allan take my lines as I back away from the jetty. All goes really smoothly and Nanjo makes me look good. Motor out of Nidri and head for some open sea to empty the holding tank.As far from land as I can get, I flick the macerator switch and it all seems ok, then it blows a fuse? Put a new one in and the pump runs again for 30 seconds and blows the fuse, something is jamming up the motor and causing it to overload. I take out all the locker gear and climb in, so I can put a screwdriver on the pump, sure enough it's pretty hard to turn, but soon frees itself and seems to be ok. Back below and put another fuse in, runs for 30 seconds and blows that fuse. It's clogged up again. Free it off and decide to take the tank inspection hatch off, the tank is still virtually full, and the smell is not that pleasant, believe me. So, I decide to detach the pipes from the macerator and re-connect to the old Henderson hand pump. It soon empties the tank no problem, so I take the oppourtunity to flush it through several times. I'm out of 20amp fuses now, so I leave the hand pump connected until I can get some fuses. Motor around to Skorpios island and anchor in the bay, where Jackie O used to swim, it's a gorgeous spot and another dozen yachts already here, I find a space just opposite the old bathing huts and anchor in 6 mtrs of very clear water. Time for a lovely swim, shower on the stern, read my book, feed the fish,eat and have a nap, all that takes me up to 6:45. I up anchor and motor to Vliho, passing the Activity holidays jetty, give a wave to Harry and Nigel who skipper the big cats and are going out tomorrow. Find a lovely little spot opposite the tavernas on the west side, and drop my hook in 3 mtrs, time for another swim, although the waters a lot murkier here and no chance of seeing the bottom. Cook a packet sphagetti carbonnara, and to be honest at 1.80 euros it's not bad, washed down with a glass of expensive red wine at 2.60 for two litres, the first mouthfull is a killer but after that it's drinkable. God knows what the wine expert Gilly would have to say about it? Up on deck till 11pm, and play my 2nd opera disc on the cd. Magic. The end of an eventful day.