Sweltering but cool
06 August 2017
Chris and Francis
Tuesday 18 July and we slipped into Nafplio port just before the storm hit yesterday, past the Bourtzi water castle (photo) in the middle of Nafplio harbour. Another windy day today so we just hung out on Clio for most of the day. Francis headed out to find a computer shop and managed to lose his way and got to explore Nafplion far and wide for an hour or two. But he was able to find a small router (network thingy) that would allow him to correct some problems with the Raspberry/Arduino-based system of sensors that keeps track of a range of variables such as location, speed, temperature, light, air pressure, boat pitch, yaw, and roll etc..
After a very nice pizza lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants we spent the afternoon watching a flotilla come in to tie up. Our neighbours turned out to be a bunch of Greek Cypriots who have lived in London for many years. They spoke with very British accents but sang very nicely in perfect Greek. They were good fun.
It is still so hot so we set off to the town square to again enjoy ice cream and watch the tourists and Greek families promenading. The perfect dinner in this weather.
Wednesday 19 July
This morning we caught the open air bus (no air-conditioning) to tour around the town and up to the castle of Palamidi.
The Palamidi castle on the 216m high very steep rock, at least looking up from the sea. You would think twice trying to attack it. On the land side the landscape slopes much more gently towards the fortress and allowed us to get there after a comfortable bus ride. It was built by the Venetians in only three years (1711-1714), and already fell to the Ottoman Turks one year after it finished. The castle consists of eight independent bastions, connected by walls. In 1822, early in the Greek War of Liberation, the fortress was taken by Greek rebels from the Turkish occupying forces, and proceeded to liberate the town of Nafplion. The Greek converted the central bastion of the fortress into a prison which was in operation until 1926.
After spending an hour wandering around these amazing ancient walls we caught the bus back to the port and found the AB (alfa-veta) supermarket to replenish our supplies. We were very unpleasantly surprised to find that this branch did not sell the one-and-only brand of chocolate (with hazelnuts).
After that disappointment, but much to Francis's delight, we found an air-conditioned coffee shop and sat for a very long coffee break, desperately thinking of other things to eat or drink,
On our return to Clio it was time to get out of this very bumpy harbour and so we headed back to the anchorage at the beach around the corner to spend the night.
Thursday 20 July and we moved on today making our way towards Kilada, stopping overnight at Drepanou Bay.
Friday 21 July
Arrived in Kilada today to check out the boatyard for Clio's winter sleep. We also have some papers being delivered by courier from Preveza, part of the never ending quest to open a Greek bank account.
We anchored out in the bay behind a small private island which appears to be a holiday resort for the rich and famous. People are transported to and fro via helicopter and on a private barge in large black vehicles with tinted windows.
Once we got ashore we were unable to locate the courier office, according to a local they are not in Kilada, we later discovered that the office was located directly opposite this locals establishment???
We then walked around to the boatyard and had a chat with the manager and checked out the facilities, particularly the chandlery which Francis has declared the best organised in Greece.
The courier had already tried to deliver the papers a couple of days before but failed because they arrived after the office was closed. Arrangements were made with the courier to deliver our package to the boatyard that afternoon, which they did AGAIN after the boatyard closed at 4.00 p.m., so now we wait until Monday and try again.
Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July
We’re trying to keep as cool as possible in this heat that now regularly keeps over 32 degrees for most of the 15 hour daylight period by putting up a tarpaulin over the main part of the boat, swimming and sleeping. We took advantage of this time to get online and organise our trip to the UK in October, so now flights are booked, car is sorted and we have accommodation for our first night in Edinburgh. We decided on not hiring a campervan. Apart from being expensive, it is not easy to drive a campervan over the very narrow and winding roads in Scotland. On top of that the suppliers often only accept a UK driver license and often don’t even respond to our emails. Stuff them! So a normal car and B&B’s must do the trick. In the meantime we are wistfully dreaming about being in the cold.
Monday 24 July
Still hanging about. This morning we took Cloe to shore to explore the Franchthi cave.
We are still waiting for our parcel to be delivered by courier. But unfortunately the courier was again not able to deliver the papers within the boatyards office hours.
Tuesday 25 July
At last we are able to collect our package, after Irene from the boatyard drove to the courier office and collected it for us. We will stay one more night in this nice anchorage. We’re not at all in a hurry as the Meltemi will be raging for at least another month on the Saronic side.
Wednesday 26 July: On our way now heading to Porto Cheli. After one and a half hour on motor we arrived at this very pretty village. It is a bustling bay filled with boats of all shapes and sizes, many on mooring buoys and anchored, it is a virtual floating boatyard.
We squeezed Clio between two big motor boats on the town quay. This is a really nice spot and we are happy to stay here for a week or so.
After three years of daily service, our three big batteries are all on their last legs so the process of replacement begins. The bow thruster battery is connected to the house batteries and we don’t like that. To separate them we need to replace the current two-output battery isolator with the three-output one we already bought ages ago but hadn’t yet installed. So before we replaced the bow thruster battery we need to extend the charging cable for another 5 meters to reach the battery isolator. Not a very nice job in this heat but needs must. After that job was done, we replaced the bow thruster battery. We got a good price for an unbranded battery from the local garage. But we also need to replace the house batteries and it took a couple of negation trips to the garage. When we could not get anywhere anymore and Francis walked out of the garage, the owner called him back and made his best offer, 5Euro above Francis’ ‘best offer’. As this reduced the price of the batteries by 30% we had a deal we had two large (180Ah) house batteries as well, so now we are fully electrified again.
It is bloody hot now, regularly around 35 degrees, so there is very little activity happening. A local came by selling fresh figs, so we treated ourselves to fig, yoghurt and honey desert, yum. A Pakistan man came by selling his wares and after a lengthy discussion he disclosed to Francis that he had been in a ferry that had capsized and left him partially paralysed down his right side, it is truly heart wrenching to see the suffering that some people have to endure while we really are surrounded by so much luxury, including our own.
Wednesday 2 August
After sweltering through the last few days and with more strong winds forecast, we have retreated in defeat to a hotel just around the corner to recover in air-conditioned comfort for a few days. We also had very sad news from home yesterday learning of the sudden death of a dear and very long-time friend. It’s later than you think! Have one on us in the Elysian Fields, Ton (1950-2017).