After the strong winds had passed we made our way back up through the Levkas channel. As we passed through the bridge we were able to see the mast of one of the boats sunk in the recent ‘Medicane’, our CA contacts tell us this was the only home of a UK sailor who lost everything when his boat went down. The sailing community responds to this sort of thing and there is a growing fund of donations from other cruisers, including us, to help him get re-established on the water.
The sad mast of the sunken boat in Levkas channel
Whilst we had 20 knots on the nose to start the trip by the time we reached Preveza Marina it had dropped to around 12 knots and we berthed easily in a nicely sheltered corner of the harbour.
We have given ourselves eight nights here before Splice is lifted for the winter so we can do all the jobs to close her down for the season and some we have been meaning to do for a while! We have used up five of those nights so far and have progressed fairly well. All the sails are off and folded. The engines and generator are partly winterized, this time by the local Volvo dealer. For the last few years we have done our own engine servicing, but this year Splice’s two Volvo D55hp engines are due a major service and that is somewhat beyond our skills, so we’ve called in the professionals (and will no doubt receive a bill for more that we expect at the end!). The oil and filters are now changed and they will return after our lift to finish the job on the hard.
We have also managed to solve one of our ongoing issues with the passerelle. It has always been too short given we have the extensions on the stern of the boat, meaning we have to berth too close to the wall or use a plank to the lower step which is then too steep for comfort. Having spotted a similar idea on a recent neighbours boat we found a stainless steel guy who has made a bracket that is now bolted further out on the curve of the stern and gives up another 35cm or so of reach. This makes a big difference and also means the passerelle starts higher up giving less of a slope to traverse. As he only charged E140 for the four visits and the work, we think that was very reasonable. If you need stainless work done here we would recommend him. He’s a nice guy too and speaks very good english. (Nasis Thanasios : +30 6944 844 056 /www.nasis.gr)
Our new passerelle set up
One day when we strolled into town to do some shopping we saw ‘Imagine’ one of the other Broadblue 345’s we know moored on the town quay. As usual we then spent a while over cups of tea catching up with David and Lucinda who were hauling out in Cleopatra marina a few days before us. As we walked on after this Chris noticed a couple that looked familiar but couldn’t place them. When we got back to the boat they were in the marina and by now had recognised Splice and then re-introduced themselves. We had met Bill and Helen from ‘Bubble O’ another cat back in Syracuse in Sicily and they were actually moored next to ‘Imagine’ on the quay but we hadn’t registered the name, it’s funny how you know someone but can’t place them until you get a boat name to jog the memory! Another round of tea (it was early afternoon after all) and we caught up on their activities and those of mutual friends ‘Cativa’ who are further east.
On another trip to town it rained somewhat and following this we were treated to a lovely view of Cleopatra Marina opposite (where we will lift out) with the boat masts bathed in sunlight and a rainbow curving right across the sky. You could clearly see both ends and the colours were very vivid. A photo doesn’t show the full effect but it was very impressive - the main photo for this blog shows our effort to record the image.
It’s been a quite sociable time as people come in to use the marina to prepare for lift and everyone is chatting about their season. ‘Bubble O’ and a number of other boats have now moved in to the marina as stronger easterlies today will be making the quay unpleasant. We have met a number of other cruisers and shared tips for next seasons sailing and compared problems and options to solve them.
As we now have the main tasks done we are happy that we will be ready to lift out on Monday and will then have just the Tuesday to do final jobs and have the Volvo guys back on board before we fly back to the UK on Wednesday 10th October. There’s still plenty to do so we will be busy but the end of the season is now drawing near!