Plastic in Ierepetra
23 February 2012
The water tank arrived in time for Andy to spend two days getting it fitted and plumbed in before he went back to the UK. A huge sigh of relief could be heard all over Elounda (Steph) and Cesky Krumlov (Shelley)! We now have a smaller hot water tank (60 litres rather than 110) but on the plus side, the water does get hotter and heats much more quickly than before.
Andy headed back to the UK to visit his family in Whitstable and left me on Norna on my own. I struggled to get the outboard engine started for the first few days so rowed ashore a couple of times and then bought the miracle cure - 'easystart' - which enabled me to start the engine with ease. Shelley came out to visit for a week whilst Andy was away and we had a lovely week doing very little. Unfortunately the weather was poor for the whole time that Shelley was here, lots of wind and rain.
One day we went for a walk to Plaka, had a coffee in a taverna and started to walk back. After a few minutes we realised that the wind had really increased so called a friend for a lift back to Elounda. I didn't want to be off the boat in the conditions. We got back to the dinghy, got soaked getting back to Norna, managed to get Shelley on board and then I struggled for a few minutes to get myself on board. There was about a metre and a half of swell and wind gusting up to 50 knots from the south-east. The wind direction should have meant that the sea was still fairly calm, but as it was whipping straight across the causeway it had managed to pile up and was tossing the dinghy all over the place. We decided that we'd deploy the storm anchor (50kgs) that Andy had rigged for me so that we'd be sure not to drag. Luckily retrieving it wasn't too much of a headache once Andy was back. The wind did mean that we could take advantage of the films that Shelley had brought with her so we had a few movie nights and matinees.
A trip to Lato, an archaeological site of a Doric city near Kritsa, yielded excellent pictures of a rainbow which we were level with and could see right through.
Andy returned on the 13th February and I'm now preparing to go the UK on the 1st March. I'll be in Cornwall for a month as I'm going to be doing a sailing course for two weeks. Once I return we'll be heading up to Navplion to have the boat lifted on the 11th April.
We had a day out yesterday. We drove to the monastery at Faneromeni where we were instructed to knock loudly to gain admittance to the chapel built into a cave. After knocking very loudly three times we gave up and just admired the view before driving back down again. Unfortunately we'd picked a grey dismal day to go out so couldn't take in the views as well as we would have liked. We passed lots of large herds of goats and sheep, a few even posed for photos! We had a wander around Gournia, the most completely preserved Minoan town on Crete and then drove towards Ierepetra on the south coast. The Ierepetra area is the main agricultural area for the east of Crete, with miles of plastic greenhouses growing fruit and veg. We stopped for lunch at Myrtos and then drove inland, skirting the Dhikti mountains and driving through Anatoli, Kalamafki and Prina before stopping in Kalo Chorio to visit some friends of Mum and Chris's. The drive through the mountains revealed prime scrumping country: more almond trees than we've seen anywhere, figs, oranges, mandarins etc. Shame we're not here in the summer! Hopefully we'll get time to go back up there on a clear day before we leave.
This winter seems to have been colder and wetter than last year and the locals agree. Still beats the hell out of scraping ice of the windscreen though!