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

Winterize the engine.

19 February 2013
Sun and Rain.
Monday 11th Feb
Slept like a log, and just managed to drag myself out of bed into the cold cabin. I must work out if I can put that fire on a timer so it warms the boat up? It's a dry morning, so brekkie in the cockpit. Then a shower, plenty of hot water to get my joints moving. The big thing to do do today was a bike ride out to the bus depot and buy my ticket for Athens, luckily I had written all the details down and gave them to the ticket clerk. 23e 10cents later and I have my 06:30 bus ticket and seat No5. Everybody said to book up early, just incase it's full, as it makes a couple of stops along the way. It should get me to Athens for 10am then onto the airport bus for another hour. Plenty of time to hang around the airport, reading a book before my flight. Stopped at Carrefours on the way back and picked up some tin toms, called into the bread shop as well for another loaf and a pie. Met Dave and they confirmed what I already knew, I would not be lifted out for the 18th Feb, and will be lucky if I get lifted by March 18th as well. At least I know that Nanjos secure on the pontoon where she is, all the past storms and she has not moved much. Had a word with Tom, and he will keep an eye on her, and when she is lifted as well, so thats sorted. I decided to order some new uniform for work as I've lost 4 stone. I then spent the next few hours, phoning my office,and the uniform suppliers, to sort things out. The whole system had changed while I was away, and they had no record of me at all. I ended up just sending e-mails as my skype phone bill is getting silly. Too much stress, and aggrovation for my liking. Then I get an e-mail from the credit check company doing the checks for the flat, more phone calls and more e-mails. I'm beggining to wonder if going back is really worth all the hassle. Shame that I really need the money, but I've had more stress in the last two weeks than in the previous 48. I can see why some liveaboards never go home, I can see me joining that happy band once I'm out here full time as well. I made a big sausage thingy for dinner, tasted superb, but I'm getting fed up with the sausages already and still have 4 left? Spent the evening listening to radio 4 and having a glass of wine. The temps still down, so, gave the stern cabin a good 40mins of heating before turning in, It was gorgeous!

Tuesday 12th Feb
Woke to a lovely day,sun shining through my small porthole. But still didn't want to get out of my nice warm bunk! Brekkie in the cockpit and watching the fishing boats come and go. Have a lovely shower, and then decide to go for a walk around town. No sign of Mutley and Fang anywhere, they must be out with somebody else already? It's always nice wandering down a new back street into town, you never know what you will see. There are some very old buildings here, with walls a couple of feet thick, some look like they are about to collapse though. Stop at a small shop and pick up a cheese pie, on my way back. Have a word with the yard guys about the cradles, but they don't know whats happening, they are waiting to move yachts about as much as us. Spent the afternoon in the marina office, getting on the internet and trying to sort out more on renting the flat, I have to wonder if it would be any easier if I was in the Uk and had not been earning any money? Made a large throw together for dinner with a few more of those sausages, I'm beginning to hate the taste of the things now. Luckily a couple of cans of Alfa helped take the taste away. Another cold night, so the heater spent 40mins warming up my stern cabin. It's just the best climbing into a warm bed?

Wednesday 13th Feb
Slept really well, and woke up at 10am. Luckily I did, has Tom came over and said he had some spare chicken stew he had made, and to bring a container over when I'm ready. I've never been known to turn free grub down. Jumped onto my bike and went for a couple of loaves of bread, had a chat with the girls there, who seem to enjoy trying out there English. Even pointing to things and I have to tell them what they are, they then tell me the Greek, and to be honest, I instantly forget. As it's normaly unpronunceable to me. Once back and unloaded my bread, call over and see Tom, who has had the "white van man" from the Uk just drop all his goodies off. It's the ideal way to get large items brought out here, this guy does a trip once a month, bit like the guy who brought all my stuff out last March. Toms cockpit is full of box's but luckily room for me to squeeze by and for him to fill up my large container with chicken stew. Once back on Nanjo, I was going to save it for dinner, but it just looked to good, so I warmed up 50% with some crusty bread. The picture says it all, it was superb and certainly made what I've been eating for the last few weeks seem pretty tasteless. 19:30 and we are in the marina bar, Tom has organised a comedy evening. Mrs Browns Boys played through the bar tv, I've never seen it before, but was cracking up with the jokes and comedy in the sketches. There must have been 12 of us including Swiss and Swedish Peters, who seemed to enjoy it has well. Toms plan is to show 2 episodes each week, which made a nice evening for us all. Back on Nanjo, and I soon had a couple of boiled spuds on the go and the rest of the stew heating up, it was even better than the first bowl full. All washed down with a glass of red as well, the end to a lovely evening here in Messolonghi. I had left the heater running in the back cabin, a bit to long and it was stifling in there, seems 40mins is ok, 1hr 10 is to much.

Thursday 14th Feb
Slept till 09:30 then, went for a shower and brekkie after. Decided today to make a start on winterising the Yanmar as I won't be neading it again. My first job was to change the oils, the engine started easily enough, considering it had not been run for 5 weeks. While it was ticking over, I had to shift everything out of the bow cabin, that I had been stowing there. The main cabin looked a mess, has the pics show. This was all to get my deluxe oil extractor out from under the cushions in the bow. The oil change was soon carried out, and new oil and filters fitted. The extractor makes it a 5min job, the only mess is from taking the filter off, even having a plastic bag around it, only helps a bit. I'm glad that I have such a small engine, as it only takes 2ltrs of oil to fill up. I will change it all again when Nanjo goes back in the water.The gearbox holds even less oil and no filter, so was a quick suck out and re-fill job. The gearbox oil leak, has got no worse during the year,so I won't worry about getting it fixed just yet. Tom called over and offered me a home made burger for lunch onboard Alba Voyager, I soon downed tools, and made my way over there. Toms burgers certainly beat the cheese sarnie I had planned, and was delish. I also picked up the tv set he gave me, has he had replaced it with a new flat screen jobby. To get it onto Nanjo, I had to loosen the stern lines and let Nanjo come toward the jetty,so I could climb up with it. A quick tension on the stern lines and all was well again. I had left Nanjo with all the main cabin in a mess, so managed to stuff as much as possible in the bow storage as I could, it won't be used for a while. The bow looks a lot neater now thats been done. I spent the afternoon, trying to get a picture on my new tv, but without any success, seems an aerial up the mast is the only answer? Made a sausage throw together for dinner, and I'm so glad that it's the last sausage left. Chopped up with some caulli/brocalli/curry powder? Somehow it worked and tasted ok. A couple of glasses of red, while watching an"InspectorMorse" dvd, rounded up my evening nicely. Heater in the back cabin, just before I turned in.

Friday 15th Feb
Slept really well again. Brekkie in the cockpit as usual, then called round to see Dave and get my Yanmar manual back. He showed me his engine.it's a huge 4 cylinder Yanmar, and there is hardly any space to work on it. There is a little service hatch on the side for the salt water pump, I wouldn't fancy changing an impellor in a bumpy sea to be honest. Back on Nanjo and I had the side and top covers off in seconds. First job, flush the engine with fresh water, it's amazing just how much water it sucks up at tickover, the buckets are soon emptied. Turn off the seacock and take the raw water strainer apart. I'm glad to see there are only a few bits of small gravel in the mesh. Take the belts off and then remove the raw water pump,it only takes a few minutes,the alternator belt looks worn so will be replaced, and I'm pleased to see the impellor is in good condition, so remove it and put everything in a plastic container for later. Next job, drain the fresh water, which is another easy job because of the little drain taps placed on the engine. Then a first for me, is taking the heat exchanger apart, the manual reckons do it every 2 years, I have no idea when it was done, so worth checking. Taking off the end caps was easily enough, and the first thing I noticed was a piece of broken impellor blade stuck in one of the end caps. Obviously broken at some time in the past, as mines ok. A light tap on the back of the heat exchanger with a rubber mallet and it comes out easily, you can see it in the pics. I'm well happy to see all the tubes are clear and hardly any build up, to clean them out i drop a 5mm drill bit through each one, it's a slack fit, but got stuck a few times and a quick shake freed it and brought out some crud. I will order the new gaskets back in the Uk so I can replace it all later. I gave the engine a good wipe over, and blocked off the air cleaner inlet and exhaust outlet. One suprising thing I noticed was the Vetus water lock in the exhaust had been fitted the wrong way round,there is a mark on one end saying "Inlet" which was connected to the outlet? Draining it down let out an amazing amount of water. It's been working ok (I assume) since I bought Nanjo, but the inlet and outlet are at different heights, which I assume makes a difference? It's now back round the right way, so I will find out when I next run the engine. I removed the main 20amp engine start fuse and taped over the ignition key, so there is no way the engine can be started or span over. I will drain the diesel tank down later, has it should only have about 5ltrs left in it. The feedback from a question I put on the YBW web site, seems to come out in favour of draining the tank, rather than fill it up, which I would normally do. It didn't take long to put the engine covers back on and tidy up my tools, I'm so glad that I have a simple little engine with great access. I remember looking at the Dufour Les was going to buy and the engine was beneath the floorboards, and only the top visable, that can't make people want to service it? Had a long shower, and made a big spag bol dinner with a few beers later, all washed down with some wine as a night cap.

Saturday 16th Feb
Woke late and all my joints ached, I must have been bending over to much yesterday? The forecast is for a dry day tomorrow, so a run to Carrefours for some meat and potato salad is on the cards. Brekkie in the cockpit, then of into town, decide to walk so I can stop at the market. As usual plenty of lovely fruit and veg on show, just to tempting, so buy a few euros worth. Pick up a large pork chop at Carrefours, 1e 30c a bargain. It's about 2ins thick and the size of my foot? Pick up a couple of loaves of bread and a popeye pie, scoffed at the side of the fishing market in the harbour. Spend a few seconds thinking, I will be back in the Uk in 2 weeks. The time seems to be speeding up now, and I'm still having hassles sorting a flat and trying to find out whats happening with my job. Just get the typical we will e-mail you and so far nothings happened. Maybe I really should stay out here and get used to eating free fish? What started out as a nice day, went down hill quickly in the late afternoon/evening. We had heavy rain and strong winds, I don't remember seeing this on the forecast. Made a quick throw together for dinner, and put my heater on, has the main cabin was really cold. Watched a dvd and had a couple of glasses of wine, a nice relaxing evening. Heater in the stern cabin as usual, for 45mins, and it was just superb to climb into a warm bunk. Oh boy, the simple things in life always are the best.

Sunday 17th Feb
Slept like a log, and woke up to my birthday. My sister had sent me a card earlier, which was really funny and she put some money in for a drink as well. Cheers matey. I also got an e-card from Andrea which showed a lovely boat. Thank you. I called round to say goodbye to Colin and Maggie who were flying back home for a while. Colin handed me a bag of goodies they did not need, so a big meal later for sure. Hopefully I will see them again soon. The dry weather did not last long, and it was heavy rain for most of the day afterwards. That put the dampers on the barbie has planned then, which was a shame. I spent the day onboard, keeping dry and warm and only venturing ashore to use the loo and put some more money on my electric meter. I watched a few dvds, slowly working my way through my boxed set of Predator, excellant films. Dinner was the pork chop, cut into chunks and fried along with the veg and spuds Colin had given me, and thanks to him and Maggie I had Mythos to drink as well. It wasn't my most energetic birthday, but I had a lovely chill out day and it means I'm another year nearer getting my pension? I turned in after leaving the heater on in the back cabin for 45mins. Superb.
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