The last few days afloat were successful. The sun shone for most of the time and we got the mainsail off the boom and made a rather better job of folding it on the side-deck than we had previously managed. This time we pushed the fabric onto the port side of the bimini/coachroof as we undid the loops and batterns that normally support the sail and then, once the sail was free, gradually pulled it over the boom to the starboard side-deck where it was folded. The problem is that the drop from the bimini to the side-deck is about 2m and the sail has always fallen down on our heads before as we were trying to fold it. This time we added additional temporary ties at various points to control the amount of sail that was falling and it resulted in a better folding process. Another learning curve!
Chris also managed to replace the pulley on the d/c side of the water-maker and it seemed prepared to work after the surgery, producing a stable run for 45 minutes without the pressure drops we were finding before.
We made a short dinghy trip to the other side of the bay at Kilada on one of our last days aboard. There's a large cave there where archeologists have found remains of human habitation from as long ago as 40,000 years BC. They think habitation there continued until around 3,000 years BC when the seawater had risen too close to the cave to allow grazing and agriculture. Parts of the cave roof have now collapsed but you can get an impression of the scale of the original space. Particularly when you read that to reach the level of habitation of 40,000BC they had to dig down 11 metres!
The interior of the cave
We were actually ready to lift when the time came around and Splice was eased out of the water at Basimakopoulos Yard with a large travel lift. This has been the normal process at other yards but here they don't transport the boat on the travel lift but put you down and then run a smaller powered trailer under the boat and support her underneath for the move to the hard berth.
Splice lifts from the water in the travel lift
They were very careful and took quite a while to make sure Splice was supported on the stronger parts of the hull before moving her. Whilst this process takes longer than using the travel lift it means the boats can be placed much closer together (no large machinery outside the hull sides) and presumably enables better use of the yard space. It would be interesting to see the cost benefit of the two methods.
The trailer in position. Note the supports under the central section and the blocks supporting the two hulls on steel poles
Splice moving on the trailer
The yard guys were both professional and helpful and we were very happy with the process and our 'winter berth' on the hard right next to the owners house, some very vociferous dogs and with the facilities a short walk away.
Over the course of two days remaining to us we did manage to get all the trades we needed to come and talk to us and sorted out the remaining winter closedown jobs that can only be done at the last minute. We usually only have the canvas/plastic surround for the cockpit up over the winter so inevitably we found a very last minute issue when one of the main zips wouldn't stay closed. This happened just as we were supposed to be meeting the rental company to pick up the car and resulted in a frantic 30 minutes of trying to get the teeth of the zip to engage. It wouldn't, we even tried to sew it up to strengthen the bond. That failed as well. Then Chris remembered a conversation with a previous sailmaker who had recovered a useless zip by replacing the plastic 'pull' with a metal pull. We removed the plastic item and used the metal 'pull' from the sail-bag.......success. The internal structure of the plastic pull clearly degrades over time and is unable to compress the teeth sufficiently to engage well. We just made the rendezvous with the car hire company!
Splice in her 'winter berth'
With finally Splice all ready for the winter and the car delivered we managed a rather late last night meal at taverna 'To Mouragio'. There was another sailing couple at the next table and we had a good chat to Mike and Denise of S/Y Heather who are based in the same yard.
The yard is getting quieter at this time of the year as many boats are tucked up for the winter months and crews return to their home countries. Our journey home was fine if rather long with a 3 hour drive to Athens Airport, wait two hours, a three hour flight to Gatwick and around 3 hours of waiting and train travel to get home.
The blog will take a rest now until next May. We plan to get out to Greece during April and had already booked our launch date on 30th April 2020.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog this year and hope your'll find some interesting stuff in our travels during 2020.
Main Photo: Don't leave your boat unattended at anchor for too long..........someone will find a use for her!