After Astros we paid a short 24 hour visit to Porto Heli and its A&B supermarket to ensure we had the supplies for the remaining week of our time in Greece. Kiladha is small and has only basic shops. With no wind the following morning our last passage of the year was under motor around the headland to the north. Kiladha is only about 6 miles as the crow flies but by sea it is more like 10 miles as you skirt the coastline. We arrived with a week to go before our lift date and with plenty of time to do the key jobs and maybe some of the 'we really ought to' ones as well.
The bay and the small town are fairly quiet at this time of year. The yard only lift boats in the morning, so a pattern emerges as you hang at anchor and watch. Each afternoon a few yachts enter the bay and anchor. Most then launch their dinghies and motor over to the yard to have a look at the hoist and facitilies, we did the same when we arrived. The next morning some 4 or 5 of the 6-10 yachts in the bay are called on VHF and take their turn to motor down the short channel through the shallows to the hoist and then disappear off into the forest of masts on the yards hard standing. There they will rest for the winter season. Then the 'afternoon entries' take their place and the cycle repeats.
Quite a few people only arrive the evening before their lift, others like us hang in the bay for a few days getting ready. It's better for us to prepare in the water as we can't use our fridges on land (and you cant use the toilets either) so spending a week living on the hard is less pleasant than being at anchor.
We dinghied ashore to find dinner the other evening and were greeted on the quay by Cherie and Gerhard of S/Y Pepino. We had noticed an Amel in the bay but it was on a buoy a long way from us so we hadn't recognised them. We spent a pleasant hour catching up over a beer before eating at Mouragio where the meal was very good. One of our tests of a better quality place has become that there is an option other than chips! Here we were offered mashed potato with our pork tenderloin in orange and honey sauce. The house salad as a starter and the main were very tasty. A bit sad though to be getting excited about mashed potato!
In the time we have been here the genoa has come off and been folded and a number of other small jobs have been sorted, eg soaking and drying the lines to get the salt out - in between showers! We have had quite a bit of rain and this has held us up as it's not a good idea to take a soggy mainsail off, both as it's hard to handle and also it will mould and rot over the winter if left damp.
Kiladha bay, the white travel-lift that will hoist Splice out is behind the yacht in the foreground
We hoped to get the local trades people to come out and give us quotes for work we need, but so far only one out of the three has been willing to hop in the dinghy, the others prefer to say 'wait until you are lifted' despite us explaining there are only a couple of days before we leave for the UK. The local sail-maker consented to come out. Looking at the mainsail on the boom makes it much easier to design a new 'lazy-bag' for the sail than just photos. We spent an hour with 'Jutta' talking through the options, let's hope the quote is reasonable as our current bag is past its expiry date!
Whilst ashore, we have managed to locate the baker, the butcher, a very mini market and a fruit and vegetable shop. We also stopped off at the post office to re-confirm with Mrs Matoula or rather her husband (she doesn't speak English) our reservation for an apartment when we return next April before Splice goes back in the water. We plan to do a couple of weeks work on Splice before we launch her.......always jobs to do!
The sun is due to be out for the next three days which should allow us to get the main off and maybe handle the other big job which is to change the pulley on the DC side of the water-maker.....Chris has been avoiding doing this as the AC side still works at present...but it might not if he starts taking it all apart! When we only have a couple of days to go in the water (and full water tanks) will be the time to try that task.
Main photo: a rainbow over the town of Porto Heli