The Adriatic and Ionian
08 June 2013
Planning for our 2013 sailing adventure started one week after I got home. 2012 had taught me many things, two of which were; slow down on the travel and go shorter distances, and 8 weeks is about the maximum I can spend on a boat. This year we will stay only in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The areas we will cruise are the Southern 1/3 of Croatia, Montenegro and the bay of Kotor, and all of the Greek Ionian Island group.
Palarran ended last year in pretty good shape. We didn’t have many repairs that needed to be made so I planned on launching her from Messolonghi and heading out in short order. Nick and I flew out of Kalamazoo on June 4th, arrived in Athens the next evening, and traveled by hired car to the marina. It was a long day of travel – 32 hours to be exact. The goal was to do some minor tasks for one day while Palarran was out of the water, launch her the next day, and head to Corfu where Jeanne and Elaina would meet us.
A wind that blows in the Mediterranean in the winter called the Sahara Wind had deposited a large amount of red dust on the boat that became clay when wet. The exterior of Palarran was coated in it and cleaning up the fiberglass was very time consuming. We also cleaned all the through-hull openings of barnacles. Upon launching, we found two problems. The starboard engine starter had frozen up over the winter and our inverter/charger broke. The marina mechanic quickly and easily repaired the starter. The inverter was definitely a problem. We use this to convert 12 volt battery power to 120 volt power for all our “stuff”. In Europe the voltage is 220 volts so getting a replacement inverter here was not an option.
Fortunately the inverter was under warranty and the manufacturer really came through for me. After several calls to their technical representative he determined that the unit was not repairable as is and sent a totally new unit to Jeanne so she could bring it with her. Modern delivery is absolutely amazing. He sent the unit out at 3:00pm from Seattle for a next day Saturday delivery and it arrived at our home in Michigan at 10:00am. The unit weighs 55 pounds so with packing it was overweight and cost an extra $300 for the airline but it’s a small price to pay for such an important piece of our equipment.
Nick and I left Messolonghi early Saturday morning heading to Lefkas Town. I had arranged to pick up a new, much bigger anchor there and also a two person kayak. Because of our late start we didn’t make it before they closed on Saturday so we had to wait until Monday morning to pick up the stuff. Bummer? Well, not really because our favorite town of Nidri is on the way so we headed there for two nights. This short delay gave us time to make many small repairs. A quick recap are; rebuild carburetor on the dingy motor, replace the water maker cores, install solar panels for charging the battery, and wash down the boat again.