Two Hoots Sailing

Mark & Penny’s sailing adventures aboard S/V Two Hoots

B.O.A.T - Bring On Another Thousand!

We are back in 🇬🇷 having spent most of July in 🇬🇧 being proud parents at Emma’s Bristol Masters Graduation ceremony and helping Jack move out of his rather nice Manchester pad having completed his 4 years at RNCM. His Graduation will be in December but (spoiler alert) he is a BMus Honours (2.1) Graduan. Apparently you only become a Graduate once you have had your ceremony! Excellent stuff Jackers!

Anyway, back to boats!! During the first three months of the season, Two Hoots looked after us with great care. So I guess it’s only fair we return the favour and look after her. However the list of “failures” has been bigger than expected and particularly after the very comprehensive winter maintenance program, not appreciated. Apart from the dinghy failure and the toilet failure, in the latter part of the trip, the autopilot malfunctioned intermittently and the depth/speed instruments failed. Just as well the water is so clear that you can see the bottom and estimate the depth.

In 2021, we upgraded the Navigation MFD (Multi Function Display) to a new B&G Zeus 3s but left the old Raymarine, wind, speed, depth and autopilot in place. The Raymarine stuff is very old (2005) technology so, because of the failures, we decided to bite the bullet and do a full electronics upgrade.

Like everything it seems now days, sourcing electronics (B&G Triton 2 in this case) is a challenge but we managed to get everything we needed from 3 different suppliers in the UK. So lots of expensive electronics were carefully packed into the bags of clean bedding and towels (for protection purposes, not trying to hide them!!) that we were going to take back to Hoots. Fortunately, French customs at the Channel Tunnel were too busy being on a go slow and didn’t want to search our bag full of “clean towels” and as hard as I looked, I didn’t see any red signs saying “anything to declare” so we just headed south.

The day after we arrived back in Preveza, we had 4 guys from Pharos Marine Electronics on board ripping out the old stuff and installing the new. It was a long hot day, but they got my the job done with great skill and lots of laughs! Hopefully no more B.O.A.T for the rest of the season, the CAPEX Committee (That’s Penny) would not look favourably on any further major CAPEX Requests!

Anyway, to recap the season so far; we spent most of April, May and June exploring from Preveza up to the very north of Corfu and the islands off Corfu’s north west coast. It is very different up there as it’s a lot less protected from the prevailing winds and swells and generally speaking, the Charter boats don’t venture that far therefore it is a lot quieter! We were very lucky to have had periods of very settled weather making it possible to anchor off lovely long sandy beaches for days on end without fear of getting trapped on a nasty lee shore. It was quite surreal coming ashore in the dinghy and looking out into this huge bay with only one boat in it for days.

But when Storm Genesis (see previous blog) came along, that was the end of the north west adventure and was time to start heading back south.

Corfu Old Town is a delight with lovely little back alleys and squares to explore. Add to this, the plethora of super-yachts that come and go (always fun watching one super-yacht pull up the anchor of another super-yacht whilst they are trying to depart) and the proximity of the airport and it’s a very good place to hang out whilst waiting for visitors to arrive.

For our last 10 days or so, we were joined by my big sis Sue and even bigger (he is the oldest of us) cousin Karl who flew in from Seattle to be with us. It was an opportunity to revisit some of our favourite destinations as we made our way back to Preveza. our routing took us from Corfu to Kalami, Kalami to Gaios, Gaios to Syvota, Syvota to Ammoudia, Ammoudia to Two Rock Bay and then Two Rock back to Preveza. And wow, what a difference 6 weeks makes. We spent 11 days in Gaios on our way up to Corfu in early May. there were perhaps 3 boats on the town quay and most of the restaurants and tavernas were not yet trading. There was however, a lot of preparation taking place with much cleaning and painting and generally getting ready for the season. Fast forward to the end of June and it was packed. You could not squeeze one more boat in and the coffee shops, tavernas and restaurants (they are everywhere in Greece) were doing a roaring trade. It seems that if you work in that industry, you work 7 days a week from Mid May to Mid October then take the winter off.

So part 2 of the season we are south bound exploring from Preveza to Lefkada, Meganisi, Kalamos, Kostas, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakinthos and into the Gulf of Patras, hopefully all the way down to the Corinth Canal. It’s the height of the season so very busy and very hot. We are hoping that South (away from the major charter bases) will be less packed.

We also have Emz joining us in a couple of weeks until the end of August, then Jack and his girlfriend Carys are coming out for 10 days or so then our very old friends (as in we have known them forever, not that they are very old ) Martin and Helen (aka The French Tulip’s 🇫🇷 🌷) join us from mid September. So it’s gonna be a busy second half.

According to the new B&G Instruments, the Outside temperature is 34.6c and Sea temperature is 29.3c!

Time for a plunge!!