On the hard
18 April 2012 | Kilada
There's been some time since I last updated so time to catch up.
Andy was home for about 10 days and then it was my turn to head back to the UK. I was gone for four weeks, far too long for us to spend apart but I'd booked a sailing course that took up two weeks of my time back. I attended and passed RYA Yachtmaster theory and Coastal Skipper as well as getting my VHF licence and learning about the fine tuning of sail trim.
Once I returned to Crete it was time for us to start looking for a weather window so that we could set sail and reach Kilada in time for our booked haul out on the 11th April. We had quite a few farewell drinks and a lovely barbie hosted by Pete and Lynne, it was sad to say goodbye to all our Eloundian friends again but we'll be back next winter.
We eventually left Spinalonga on the 4th April and headed north west towards Milos. Our plan was to reach Milos and then have a couple of days off to explore before heading off again to Kilada. As we're fast starting to realise is the norm, the weather outside the lagoon at Spinalonga was entirely different to that inside and forecast! We sailed out in 20 knots of wind on the beam with the forecast for more of the same all the way to Milos. As we rounded the cape at the top of Spinalonga we were suddenly in 40+ knots with gusts up to 50. Luckily we'd anticipated a change in wind strength (it always gets worse when you go round corners) so we were reefed right down and had the staysail out. We battled on a bit but the wind wasn't abating at all so we decided to anchor off the coast and wait for the lull that was expected later in the day. As we got the main down we discovered that three of our batten carriers on the main had been snapped and the sacrificial strip had been torn off the staysail - a good start to the sailing season!
After a few hours looking at each other and repairing the main we decided to go for it again and headed offshore towards Milos. As is always the case the wind died down after a few hours and we ended up motoring for most of the night. As we reached Milos the wind picked up and we were sailing so well that we decided that we'd continue straight to Kilada, a few hours later we were motoring again! We arrived in Kilada at 5am on the 6th April and headed straight to bed.
Later that day we met up with Sue and Alain, friends we've made along the way, and had dinner with them after Andy went up their mast to do some jobs for them. We also went into the yard to see if they could lift us early and that was arranged for 9am the next day.
Norna was lifted with no problems and loaded onto a cradle which was on a trailer. We were then trundled into position beside the travel lift and the cradle was lowered to the ground before the trailer was removed. A different experience from our last lift in Preveza where the travel lift carried us to the cradle in the yard. The pressure wash removed all the growth from the hull, which wasn't too bad considering it had been three years since our last lift. Andy has been working hard since then preparing the boat for painting. After eleven days he has almost finished the preparation, just a bit of sanding left to do and then we can wash down and get our paintbrushes out.
We were a bit worried about Puss and Fluff getting off the boat but they've looked over the side at the ladder and decided that life is better on board. Luckily we're not next to any other boats so they can't hop from one to the other and get down that way. It's not unheard of for animals to be poisoned around here so we don't really want them off the boat. The main road is also right behind us so they are much safer onboard.
We're plugged in to shore power for the first time in over a year and that's a bit of a treat. I keep forgetting that I can use my hairdryer and we're watching lots of dvds in the evenings, if Andy can keep his eyes open long enough!
At some point in the next week we're going to hire a car and head over to Epidavros to collect the antifoul that we stored there over the winter, it will be a welcome day off for Andy.