Spring and early summer - 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
Over the winter I bought quite a bit of kit for TB - some to replace old stuff, like the anchor chain, and some for improving the boat, such as an anchor winch, new light-weight Fortress anchor and solar panels. I also had some parts from an old Volvo engine I had found on eBay to be used as spares. So we decided that we would drive down to Greece taking all the gear with us.
I also had an extensive work list for maintenance to be done with the main priority being to replace the ply on the transom where rain-water had got into the ply. When I built TB I hadn't sealed the chainplate entry through the deck and consequently very quickly rot had set in. In only a couple of years after launch, I had noticed the deterioration and had sealed the chainplates properly. But the damage had been done and even though there was no further deterioration and the structural effect was negligible, it was unsightly. By taking the car, I could take all my tools with me.
We took the Mitsubishi 7-seat with the seats folded down and loaded to the gunnels with gear, leaving on the evening of Sunday 31 March. The route was to Portsmouth, onto the ferry to Caen, then south on the first class roads in France through Le Mans, across the Loire at Tours, SE to Vierzon, S almost to Clermont Ferrand and E via Lyon to Chambery near the Italian border where we stopped the first night. The only navigational error all day was when I missed the turn-off in Lyon. We did see the correct exit but I was in the wrong lane and couldn't get across. We soon got back on track.
Next morning we crossed into Italy via the 13km long Tunnel du Frejus, crossed northern Italy south of Turin, past Parma, then south down the Adriatic coast to Al Castella near Pescara. Here we stopped in a delightful B&B just below the walls of the old castle.
Next stage was south to Bari, onto the Seafast ferry to Patras. From Patras it was a relatively short 2½ hour drive to Koilada. The whole trip was only about 2,400km (1,500 miles).
We had ten days in Koilada working on the boat. We stayed in the Pepista Sunset Apartments which has a lovely peaceful location just over the hill from the village itself.
Then we drove back! I must admit it was nice to get home.
As I didn't get all the maintenance done that I would have liked to, we returned to Greece on 15 May but decided to fly this time. Our friend Valarie who lives in the village came with us for a holiday. She had never been to mainland Greece before. Easyjet flew us from Gatwick to Athens. We hired a car and drove to Koilada arriving around 22:00hrs. We had arranged with Lepista Sunset for late arrival. For the next 10 days Judy and Val did the tourist bit with the hire car while I got on with the maintenance.. Epidaurus, Porto Heli, Ermioni, Spetses, Hydra were all "done". Judy also was chief "gopher" when I needed anything and wielded the paint bush when necessary on TB.
There are a few photos in album "Spring 2013".
We flew back to Gatwick arriving around mid-night on Sunday 26 May.