A Year In The Ionian (2015 Retired, Cruising liveaboard)

Getting ready for a year in the Ionian from 20th March 2012. The company I work for has given me a career break. April 2015, Retired, pensioner and hopefully a full time cruising liveaboard.

04 February 2016
16 January 2016
12 September 2015
10 September 2015
10 September 2015
08 August 2015
24 June 2015
31 May 2015
08 May 2015
24 April 2015 | Messolonghi marina
26 March 2015
06 February 2015
08 January 2015 | Me Northampton, Nanjo Messolonghi
01 January 2014
01 January 2014
01 January 2014 | Duston, Northampton

The Gorgeous Weathers Back, Yippeeee

11 November 2012 | Vlicho
Absolutely gorgeous weather!
Monday 5th November
Slept really well, it was another cold damp night, so was wrapped in my sleeping bag and "Love" blanket. Awoke at 09:00 and it's pretty murky outside, brekkie in the cockpit and there are plenty of grey clouds about. Forecast is for force 4 to 5 Sw and possible thunderstorms? I was planning a run into Nidri, just for a walk, as I've not been swimming much (spotted the jelly fish back). Sitting around and wondered what to do? I suddenly decided it was time to sort out the damaged mirror on the back of the heads door. I had attempted to get it off before with a pallet knife, but it was well masticed on. So I cover the mirror with duct tape, take the door off, and not being superstitious at all,take it out into the cockpit and hit the mirror with my hammer. The pieces are disposed of safely, and to my utter amazement I don't cut myself (I reckon theres a piece of mirror lurking somewhere, that will cut me later though). Spend a fair bit of time scraping the mastic off the door, if they did this at the factory in 1987, somebody really got carried away? I could see the rain approaching now, so down below and carry on scraping, sanding and then a coat of mahogony varnish. It's then I have to close all the hatches as the rains hammering down, just hope the varnish fumes are healthy? I soon discover that varnishing inside with the cabin battened down is not good for your breathing, so open the main hatch, before I pass out! The good news is that it's soon dry though, and for a very brief moment, I was even contemplating putting a 2nd coat on. Spent the afternoon, up and down in the cockpit in between the rain, my window leaks seem to have slowed down a bit as well. Have a nap in my back cabin for a couple of hours. Wake up and it's nearly dark, I decide to make a large spag bol for dinner. I'm getting better with the soya mince and it's slowly loosing it's wall paper paste consistency. Enjoy the spag with a can of Fix, and have enough for tomorrows dinner. Spent the evening playing on my lap top and listening to radio Lefkada. It's been a busy day? Turn in at 23:00

Tuesday 6th November
Slept really well, and woke to a gorgeous morning, blue skys and all calm, the suns out and warming every where up. Brekkie in the cockpit, with the last of my bread. I need some exercise as I'm not swimming much now, so load the dinghy and row ashore. A lovely 25min slow row in calm water. I'm soon heading out of Nidri in just my shorts and flip flops, strange seeing the locals driving past all wrapped up, the temp when I left Nanjo was 24degs. It's a gorgeous walk into town, and I see nobody else walking at all. Into Nidri and although it's 11:30 there is virtually nowhere open and very few people about, and I definately stand out now,without a t-shirt on? Down to the harbour front, and there are only 2 liveaboard yachts there, Neillsons semed to have taken over a fair bit. There yachts are pulled of about 10ft from the quayside, so here for the winter I reckon? It's quite earie really, just a few fishermen about, what a difference a few weeks make. I will come back for a last look before I set of for Messolonghi in a few weeks. The walk back to Vlicho is just as busy, I see nobody walking and only a few cars pass by. Stop at the bakers in Vlicho for some bread and popeye pie, it's really hot and sunny now, so I have a sit down and eat the pie, just watching the world go by, magic! Row back to Nanjo easily, first job is to put another coat of varnish on my loo door. Then pack the guest bed sheets up, load the dinghy and row back to the yacht club. Tiffanys on and luckily she can wash the sheets while I wait, so I better have a cold beer to pass the time? Read a couple of magazines while I'm waiting, and 1 hour later, the sheets are done and I'm rowing back to Nanjo. Out with the washing line and they are soon drying in a nice breeze. The varnish is dry as well, so put on another coat, and sit in the cockpit reading my book with a large fetta/cucumber sarnie and coke for lunch. My temp gauge is reading 30degs now, and it's a gorgeous afternoon. Just wish the jelly fish would leave so I could go for a swim. The sheets are soon dry and folded away,and the varnished door is nearly dry as well. It certainly looks a lot better than all the other varnished woodwork now, theres plenty of wood below, so hopefully it will all get treated one day to a rub down and new varnish? Am absolutely shattered, so time for a nap? Woke at 18:30 and it's still lovely out, no big fuss over dinner as it's yesterdays left over spag bol, washed down with a Fix. Read my book and just relax in the cabin, the varnish fumes are slowly going as well. 23:00 and it's supper time, a mug of tea and some toast/jam eaten in the cockpit, under a glourious clear sky, just millions of stars about, a magic evening to be in Vlicho. Turned in and fell asleep very easily.

Wednesday 7th November
Slept really well, it was a warm night, up at 08:30. First look outside and it's pretty cloudy but dry, my usual brekkie in the cockpit, and the old fisherman I see is bringing his nets in just behind Nanjo. A wave and a good morning to him, and I watch him pull in 100mtrs of net and not one fish! Maybe he should find some way of cooking the jelly fish as those buggers seem to have come back with a vengence today? My navtex is showing a gale for here in the next 12hrs of N Nw winds 7 to 8 with thunderstorms, oh well, here we go again? Luckily I got bread yesterday, so am stocked up with food. The loo door is looking great, just have to stick the new mirror on with double sided pads, then some silicon seal around the edges, re-hang it and it's job done, and I'm really chuffed with the result. Because of the very light winds the last few days I've been watching my battery monitor slowly going down, it was reading 11:7 volts for the main battery bank this morning, so went to start the engine and nothing on position 2, luckily the starter battery has not been drained of power, and a switch to position 1&2 and the trusty Yanmar fires up instantly. I leave it running at 1500 revs for 60mins to put some juice back into my batteries. Maybe it's time I went out for a motor around a bit, and looked at buying those solar panels I've been thinking about as well? Did my accounts this morning, and I only spent 47 euros last week, just over £5 a day. What a cheapskate? It's pretty easy when your at anchor here or I suppose any anchorage really, as long as you don't go ashore? I certainly feel I've eaten enough, and think I've put weight on? They are forecasting strong winds for the evening on the navtex, so better expect the worst? As it's all over Helenic seas and coming from Italy for me. Spent the afternoon having a nap, woke at 18:30 and it's starting to pick up, the wind and waves. Have plum peeled tomatos on toast for dinner, yummy. Spent my evening on my laptop playing games and listening to radio Lefkada on my wind up radio, which is now making a loud grunching noise when I wind it up? Turned in at 23:00.

Thursday 8th November
Slept really well, the expected strong winds did not arrive. It just got a bit choppy for a while. Brekkie in my cockpit as usual. Did a couple of small tidy up jobs in the morning. The afternoon was absolutely gorgeous, with light winds and clear blue sky. It was just to tempting, so jumped in the dinghy and rowed over to the Sail Ionion pontoon,as soon as there yachts had left to go ashore, there was a rush of others to take there places, now rafted 4 deep and obviously here now for the winter. Tied up to the jetty and went to the new bakers for a loaf,popeye pie and then I spotted a large Danish, so bought that as well. An easy row back to Nanjo and I'm soon in the cockpit with a can of coke and the Danish, for lunch. It's a beautiful afternoon, I can see the Neilsons yachts that I had thought were parked up in the mud for the winter, now being taken ashore and propped up, all done on a sledge and very efficient to watch as well. I really fancied a swim, but the jelly fish have returned again, and the thought of being stung by one of them does not appeal. Finished my book, a really cracking sea tale at the time of Francis Drake, very descriptive. Time for a nap already. Woke at 19:00 and the suns gone down already.The wind up radio is really grunching now, so out with the screwdrivers and soon have the back off and the dynamo apart, pretty obvious the problem, the main cog for the dynamo is plastic and it's stripped most of it's teeth. I only paid a few pounds for the radio, probably 10 yrs ago and it got used a lot on my last yacht as well. Luckily it also takes batteries, so I can still use it, as it's the ideal size for the cockpit or below. Dinner was the last of my fetta and cucumber in a sarnie and the last of my olive oil, washed down with a Alfa beer. My usual evening spent on the lap top and listening to the radio, nice and warm below, so no need to be sitting in my sleepng bag! Turned in at 22:30

Friday 9th November
Had a great sleep, everything dead still and quiet. Bliss. Woke at 08:30 with the sun streaming through my windows, and it's a beautiful day outside alreeady. Time for a hot water shower,wash my hair and all clean clothes and a quick brekkie. By 09:20 I'm in the dinghy and rowing ashore for my 10am bus to Lefkada. It's the usual driver and no conductor, the next passenger we pick up is not until we are well out of Nidri. How things have changed, or maybe it's just the Friday bus? By the time we reach Lefkada there are 4 of us on board, and we pick the conductor up on the way as usual. I get of at the top of town and it's just as busy as normal, it's only when I walk along the town quay the difference is obvious, there are hardly any yachts here. Only 4 along the usual visitors spots and they are moored side on as well, maybe I should have sailed up? Pop into CYS for an inline diesel fuel filter and some fuses for the macerator, they have the filter in stock and with 6 fuses it only comes to 4e 70cents a great result. The filters for next year if I come out and will give the fuel system a complete clean out. Have a lovely walk around town, and notice only one other guy in shorts and t-shirt walking a dog, he must be a Brit of a yacht? Wandering around I find a bike shop,I'm still on the look out for one before I get to Messolonghi. He has no used bikes as expected, and the cheapest new one is 137 euros, for a very brief few seconds, I actually thought of buying it and riding back to Vlicho, but that soon passed as my budgets a bit tight at the moment. I did pick up a barrel bolt though, and of course my trip to Carrefour for supplies. Which seem to be mainly beers,cheap cokes (really good) jars of there cheap jam (very good) and some biscuits (my staple diet?). Back at the bus garage and I'm in luck a bus is waiting, a quick look at his clock and it's still showing a hour out compared to mine? Stow my bags in the hold and step onboard, and the clock on the bus is showing the same time as the bus garage clock? Confusing or what? This time the bus is fully packed and standing room only by the second stop, every woman loaded down with shopping bags. Must be the big shop for the weekend? I'm soon back in Vlicho and have a very easy row back to Nanjo, stow all my goodies, and open a tin of spam and have spam/hellmans sarnies with a coke for lunch. Eaten in the cockpit in glourious sunshine, it really is lovely and warm. Feeling I'm on a roll, I have a look at the barrel bolt and work out how to attach it to the cooker, it's to stop it gimballing when it's not needed, and lock it in place. Found some pieces of plywood in my bilge space, and some of the saloon infill stuff in the cockpit locker. Out with the tape measure,saw,sandpaper,screws,drill,drill bits,pencil,sanding block and I'm ready to make a start. A couple of very relaxing hours later and I'm quite chuffed with the result, just needs a bit of varnish and it will look like a factory option? The good news is it works a treat, and just to prove it I make some toast, which before was a wobbly experience as the cooker just wanted to keep moving, but now no problems. Have a good tidy up in the cockpit and get rid of all the sawdust and shavings. I'm thinking of going for a sail and swim tomorrow if the weathers like this again. Sat in the cockpit and started a new book, just soaking up the suns warmth.
Down below when the sun set as the temp drop is very sudden, did not fancy cooking, so used upo the rest of the tinned spam and made a couple more sarnies. My usual evening on the laptop and radio. Turned in at 23:00, and within 30mins I was having bad stomach cramps and not feeling at all well, I soon reckoned it was an overdose of spam and hellmans? Several visits to the loo later and I'm feeling a lot better, that will teach me?

Saturday 10th November
Slept really well in the end, once my stomach had settled down. Maybe the tin of spam had been to long sitting in my non working fridge, getting hot and cold during the summer months? Woke to a really gorgeous morning, even though my temp gauge was only reding 17degs?, brilliant blue sky and little breeze. Made a quick brekkie and I was soon rowing ashore for some bread,popeye pie and a danish pastry. Once back on board I started to stow stuff away, and get Nanjo ready for going out to sea, sounds pretty dramatic, but I was only going out for the day and not preparing for a trip around Cape Horn? Crank up the engine,plot a course for Scorpious and I'm soon ready to get the anchor up. 11:30 and the anchors brought on board, and as expected was covered in thick mud, nothing that a few buckets of water thrown over it does not get rid of. A nice slow motor out of the bay and pass the Neilson guys still putting yachts ashore, they are the only people I see on my way out. Nidri is pretty empty, and I turn right and put on the autopilot, which is making even louder grunching noises now, seems like it will be going back to the UK with me for a repair? The suns beating down and I'm just happy to be moving along again and sitting in the cockpit in just my shorts. There is only one small fishing boat about and a yacht motoring on the horizon by the mainland. 13:00 I drop the anchor in 4 mtrs of crystal clear water in Jackie O's bay, and it's all to myself, within minutes a small van drives down to the beach area and checks me out. He soon drives of when he see's me getting ready to go for a swim, the waters beautifully warm and clear, with not a manky jellyfish in sight anywhere? On with the goggles and snorkel, and a swim around, the anchors not dug in that well, but in the mild conditions and the few hours I will be here it's ok. The big suprise is the amount of growth around the prop and shaft, the engine intake is covered in weed as well. Out with my scraper and heavy duty glove, and I'm diving under to clear it all, the prop and shaft soon scrape off and look a whole lot better, the water intake goes the same way. I'm suprised to see some barnacles in a few places on the hull, the anti-fouling I used is meant to last 2 years, it's only in a couple of small spots, so can only assume it's places I only gave one coat to? They are soon scraped clean as well, the speed paddle wheel was well bunged up as expected, so I gave it a good clean. It's on my list of things to be taken out and glassed over, and replaced with a wind speed/direction indicator. The underneath is looking a whole lot healthier now, so time for a swim around Nanjo, my joints have been suffering through lack of use I reckon. 15 laps and I'm knackered and it's calm water as well, just shows how quickly my fitness level has dropped, by not swimming every day. A lovely cold water wash on the stern and I'm soon sitting down in the cockpit with a coke and my danish. I'm still amazed that there is nobody else out here, the only passing ship is the ferry from Nidri and I just think, what a great job that must be? Sit on the bow in the sunshine and read my new book for a bit, then at 16:00 I'm getting the anchor up and stowed. I head out for a motor about for a bit and give the holding tank a good flush out. As expected the macerator blows a fuse, even after I've given the shaft a couple of turns with my screwdriver. Only thing to do is to empty the cockpit locker, and give it a good turn and free of the vent valve. Luckily there is nobody about and no wind, so I can just drift about, a few minutes later,I pump some fairy liquid through the loo, it's in with a new fuse, and turn it on, and it's spinning away like a good un. Head back over to Lefkas and motor down back along the coast, looking at all the hotels that have obviously closed for the winter. I pass 2 fishing boats, no yachts or motorboats to be seen moving at all. Back into Nidri and I go and have a look at the new pontoon that's at the end of the quay, I've seen boats moored up there, so come alongside as close as I can without fenders and suprised to find 5mtrs of water there. Head on down to Vlicho and the Neilson guys are still putting yachts ashore, a slow motor around to find a spot and I anchor in 4 mtrs just of the Sail Ionion jetty at 18:00, with plenty of swinging room, put out 40mtrs of chain and dig it well in (Hopefully). Tidy Nanjo up and cover all the gauges and put her to bed. Time for my dinner, and it's the popeye pie and a beer, eaten in the still warm and light cockpit. I watch a large German catamaran approaching, a very nice looking one for a change, not one of the mobile condo's that are chartered out here. Now the bay is really empty, plenty of room to park wherever you like, in the summer there must have been 30 yachts near where I am now. This guy decides to anchor just of my stern, I'm just watching and listening to his anchor chain dropping, I reckoned he put out 20mtrs of chain, probably more than enough, but worries me just in case he drags? It's a bit noiseier here as I'm nearer the road than before, but once the sun goes down and I'm below with the hatches closed, I can't hear anything. Spent the evening my usual way, I've had a really great day today, just so glad that I'm out here and not back in the UK. Turned in at 22:00 knackered.

Sunday 11th November
Slept like the dead, it was all peace and quiet in the bay. Woken up by my singing priest and the sun shining through my porthole. No point in staying in bed, so got up and had a look around me. It's another gorgeous day here, brilliant blue sky, no wind, my barrometer is showing it's highest yet at 1030 and saying "set fair", even the navtex forecast backs it up with winds of N ne 3 to 4 and outlook of "a further decrease in winds". Sounds ok to me, maybe I should be setting of to Messolonghi this week and not next weekend? Brekkie in the cockpit and I'm just in my shorts and suprised to see my temp gauge showing just 19 degs, it certainly seems a lot warmer. The Sail Ionion jetty is full of guys fishing already, eat my toast while listening to the singing priest, and it dawns on me that this will probably be the last time I hear his voice until I return. Spent the morning writing this blog and downloading pics I've taken, It's a hard life? Went ashore to the yacht club in the afternoon, and had a gorgeous big burger and a couple of pints, all served by Belinda. I decided that I had better ask her the time, just to confirm the bus garage guys were out? To my amazement, it's been me thats out by being 1hr ahead of everybody else? I've been working on the time given to me by the girls at the bakery, two weeks ago now. So, I've been waking up far to early and going to bed to early as well. At least, this lets the bus guys of the hook, it could also explain why my 9am bus has been so empty and the shops have still been closed? So, what to do with my spare hour? I thought the best option is not to leave the yacht club, just incase something might happen, and have another beer to fill in the time? Just shows how important knowing the correct time has been to me the last few weeks, I'm so glad that my social callender was empty and I did not have to be anywhere on time. Had a lovely row back to Nanjo, and just sat in the cockpit reading my new book. Only trouble now is, it's pitch black at 6pm instead of 7pm? Went below once the sun had vanished and read somemore of my book and listened to radio Lefkada. I made sure that I drew my curtains before turning in, as that suns going to be streaming through my windows at 06:30 now!
Vessel Name: Nanjo
Vessel Make/Model: Dromor Discovery 3000
Hailing Port: Messolonghi, Greece
Nanjo's Photos - Main
Some gorgeous winter weather and at least one job off my list! The wind indicator finally fitted.
22 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
Amazing maxi yacht, now being sailed back to the USA for restoration.
21 Photos
Created 6 February 2016
The last few weeks after Pete left. I had a great time. Picked up my new bike, and at Messolonghi my new crew!
31 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
My mate Pete onboard for a weeks sailing.
13 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
Joined by three friends at Kefalonia for a weeks sailing. Taken by the underwater camera built into a face mask.
10 Photos
Created 20 January 2016
My best sunrise so far, leaving Sami early. Keffalonia on my right and Ithaca on my left
4 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
A three day round trip to Benitses in Corfu for a Yamaha outboard engine
6 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
11 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
29 Photos
Created 12 September 2015
25 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
73 Photos
Created 27 July 2015
A great time with Pat and Nick, sailing back to Preveza.
51 Photos
Created 24 June 2015
Pictures taken on the trip from Messolonghi to Corfu
66 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
The last of my big repair jobs done and Nanjos launch.
23 Photos
Created 8 May 2015
Pictures from my first few weeks working on Nanjo.
33 Photos
Created 24 April 2015
7 Photos
Created 26 March 2015
Some pics that represent my year.
37 Photos
Created 8 January 2015
Some pictures of my time in the UK.
33 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
My week on Nanjo with my great mate Bon.
15 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
My weeks visit in May.
34 Photos
Created 1 January 2014
Some pics of my time back in the UK.
10 Photos
Created 17 May 2013
Nanjo safely ashore at last.
2 Photos
Created 13 May 2013
5 Photos
Created 10 March 2013
Taking the engine apart. Toms stew!
46 Photos
Created 19 February 2013
Suprise hail attack, and snow on the mountains behind town.
11 Photos
Created 14 February 2013
It's been a gorgeous week for sunshine and getting jobs done.
14 Photos
Created 4 February 2013
W/c 21st Jan. Been a few days of torrential rain.
36 Photos
Created 28 January 2013
Jan12/13th The local drag races, held at Messolonghi airfield. Sat:overcast/drizzle about 300 people. Sunday:Brilliant sunshine,about 2,000. A great weekend
56 Photos
Created 15 January 2013
46 Photos
Created 15 January 2013
Photos taken in and around Messolonghi Marina.
104 Photos
Created 8 January 2013
Bought these at a motorway service station. Brilliant scam, these are being mass produced somewhere, and I should think being sold worldwide, so beware. And don't hand over your money like I did! Anybody want to buy a cheap i Pad and phone?
20 Photos
Created 26 December 2012
Some pictures taken in and around Messolonghi.
38 Photos
Created 26 December 2012
I had a fantastic week with Andrea on board. The weather was not great, but we had hired a car for the week. In the end we covered 900 miles in it. Nafpaxtos in the south to Preveza in the north.
66 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
My last long trip, to Nanjos winter home at Messolonghi marina. I had headwinds all the way, so it was a motor job. But a gorgeous dry crisp day. Nanjos all secure now and will be lifted out in February and kept ashore.
62 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
I tried to head for Messolonghi or Limin Petala, but the head winds and storm coming was to much, so turned and ran for Kastos. Where I thought I would be safe! A big mistake. The damage pictures were taken at Kalamos, where I really should have gone when I had the chance. Which is a much safer harbour. Lesson learned.
29 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
I was hoping to get into the harbour at Astakos, but it was full of fishing boats, and the vacant spots had lines across. So, anchored just past the breakwater. Nice town
21 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
A lovely small anchorage.
13 Photos
Created 18 December 2012
Leg 4, a long trip!
49 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
I decided to walk to Port Leone. A deserted village after the earthquake in the 1950's. A gorgeous day and a 2 hr walk each way.
50 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
I decided to give my "Topclimber" a try out.
9 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
Leg 3
27 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
Leg 2
39 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
First leg of my trip to Messolonghi.
20 Photos
Created 17 December 2012
the sunshines over and the storms have arrived, torrential rain,thunder and lightning and gale force winds!
56 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
Pete Kings week on board Nanjo. A mixture of storms,sunshine,wind?
40 Photos
Created 30 October 2012
A weeks holiday, sailing around the Southern Ionian.
56 Photos
Created 25 September 2012
59 Photos
Created 5 September 2012
87 Photos
Created 3 August 2012
Alone again, it's Bye Bye Corfu and hello Southern Ionian.
25 Photos
Created 7 July 2012
58 Photos
Created 9 June 2012
75 Photos
Created 5 May 2012
Loads still to do????
92 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Arrived on Tuesday night to a flooded yacht. Not a problem as I have a year to sort it out.
61 Photos
Created 22 March 2012
All the stuff being delivered out to Nanjo. 15 boxs and 213kg!!! Unfortunately I could not wrap the motorbike up and post it?
1 Photo
Created 19 March 2012
I spent 3 weeks on a shake down cruise around the southern Ionian. Actually only 9 days on the move and 6 harbours. Everything went well, except the problem anchor winch!
29 Photos
Created 5 February 2012
Westerly Tempest, 31ft Bilge Keel. Master and Commander. John Shutler
20 Photos
Created 1 February 2012
The last yacht I looked at, and lying in a yard near Nidri, Greece.
24 Photos
Created 25 January 2012