The goal is to die with memories, not dreams.

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Nisos Leros - Lakki Marina

02 June 2022
Jane Paulson
MARINA LIFE

Now that we are back in the water, we had a couple of weeks to finish off jobs while we are waiting for Jack. The biggest task is to finish off the massive re-org of the back cabin and the cockpit locker. You may recall that when we returned to the UK in February, we filled the car with ‘stuff' that we felt we no longer needed and some in fact, we hadn't used at all!

I wanted to soak some of our ropes, particularly those that have been subjected to the hideous orange sand that was dumped on Stiletto while we were away. A 24 hour soak in a solution of mild detergent does the trick and they feel much nicer and not ‘stiff'. The galley sink needed re-sealing, the oven cleaned, new rugs for the saloon purchased, reorganizing cupboards, laundry – I like to start each season with EVERYTHING clean - this includes curtains, cushions and throws.
Andreas serviced our winches (we have 4). He has it down to a fine art now – (I'm thinking of renting him out).
We thoroughly check all our systems - chart plotter, instruments, radio. All are good. We also do a check of all our navigation lights – the steaming light bulb needed to be replaced which meant Andreas going up the mast ( the bow light was replaced while we were away.)

We will fill our water tank up just before we leave but will leave filling our 20 x 10 litre water containers (stored under our bed in the front cabin), until we get to Ikaria as the water there is free. Here it is not !!!!

I had previously polished all the chrome above decks while we were in the yard but our old gel was desperate for a really good shampoo before we left and so the list goes on........ , but at the end of the day, prep is key. Whatever you do in life, good preparation is essential. In our case, it's also a safety issue.

The marina is now a real hive of activity. People arriving daily, most have not seen their boats since the start of the pandemic. A few are visibly distressed at what they find. Two years worth of orange sand and dust. Sparrows that have nested in all sorts of places and canvas work that has either been shredded or worked its way loose. Deflated dinghys that have been subjected to two summers of intense sun . A lot have had engine issues and the marina engineers are flat out.

Our pontoon is like the United Nations. French, German, Swiss, Italians and British. Everybody is polite and quietly gets on with the work they need to do. But as is the way in life, there are the odd one or two who upset the apple cart. In this instance, an Italian couple 3 boats down on our pontoon. I watched the husband heave two very large and very heavy fuel containers from the boot of his hire car which he had parked at the end of the pontoon. He got them down to his boat but I noticed he did not have a passerelle so I was intrigued as to how exactly be would get them into his cockpit. He stood for a few moments, obviously thinking the same thing, then suddenly launched them one by one into the cockpit and swiftly followed by jumping onto the transom. He then proceeded to lift said container and pour diesel via a small funnel into his tank. One of the worst things either in a marina or at sea is a diesel spillage – we all know that. I could tell this was a recipe for disaster and I was not wrong. The diesel cascaded out of the funnel, into his cockpit and consequently into the water. The tiniest drop of diesel, when it hits water will expand with great speed and within just a few minutes, this large spillage was working its way along the surface. The smell was horrendous and made me feel quite nauseous. His response was to mop it all up with paper towel. His wife appeared and instantly started to get very verbal and started pouring water around the cockpit. What they should have done was fill a bucket with water, add a large glug of washing up liquid and swilled it around the cockpit. The best way to get rid of it. They didn't , but continued with the paper towel and lots of expletives. After a while, they were preparing leave their boat. The husband sort of step- jumped off onto the pontoon (that's a real no-no) but the wife was balancing on the folded swim ladder, in strappy sandals, yelling at her husband because she couldn't step off. It turned into a full blown slanging match and caused others sitting in their cockpits to see what the commotion was. Eventually, husband got back on board, loosened the bow line which enabled him to physically pull the boat back to the pontoon and she got off. They left. By next morning they hadn't returned!!! Ironically, shortly after they had left, the local diesel delivery tanker arrived and filled the German boat next to the Italians. The driver was very concerned about the very strong smell and the quantity of spilt diesel. He asked what had happened and the German chap explained. The drivers response? “why didn't they call me “. Why indeed. Later that evening, the German couple returned to their boat. She looked across to me and said “ ahh, all is quiet". We laughed but we both agreed that we would have words with the Italians about their loose lines that were slapping against their mast , would keep us all awake and DRIVE US MAD!!!

That my friends, is all part of marina life. We're ready to leave.

We started walking again around Xerokambos bay and were keen to see the dog that we befriended prior to our departure to the UK. He was constantly chained up and got very excited when he saw us coming because he got plenty of treats. Now, to our delight he is no longer chained up and his enthusiasm when he saw us was very infectious.

It was on Xerokambos beach that we met Maggie. A retired teacher, she has been visiting Greece, specifically Leros, for the past 30 years. A truly lovely lady, very down to earth with a fantastic sense of humour. We spent time with her during her last week here, eating, drinking Ouzo and chilling on the beach and we thoroughly enjoyed her company. She lives a few miles from Woodbridge, one of our favourite places visited on our East Coast Cruise back in 2016 and we promised to meet up there when we are back for the winter for fish and chips in the best chippy in Europe, ironically owned by a Greek!!!!

So now with just a few days before Jack's arrival, the car is once again fully loaded and will be parked up with the cover we bought from Halfords and the battery disconnected until our return in November. We did a major shop, will give Stiletto a thorough clean inside and out and slip our lines on Saturday and anchor in the bay and wait for Jack, but before we do......John (Brown Bear) has arrived to his boat which has been parked in the yard for the winter along with Peter (Silini) from Australia (he's actually a New Zealander). Both of them arrived together on the same day and we have planned a get together on Friday evening for a catch up before we all go our separate ways.

Muse for this post: life only comes around once, so do what makes you happy and be with people who make you smile.
Comments
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 15 years and have owned Stiletto for 13 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]