Getting ready for winter - last entry for this year :(
31 Oct 2019
|September 18 – 21 2019
Well No. 1 has been reunited with her mast – Gen spent most of the day reassembling the mast and on the 19th the mast was refitted and then she was moved to the boat yard down the road from the technical area.
We are a bit disappointed with the facilities – the power supply is quite a way from the boat (and we are concerned that the extension cable might be stolen or damaged should they bring other boats into the yard. We were paying a bit extra per month to be in this yard for the electrics as we wanted to run the dehumidifier over the winter. Oh well – this will not be the case). Also there’s no water supply in the yard which makes it a bit uncomfortable staying on board – need to be frugal with water usage. If you need the toilets then it’s a bit of a (hurried) hike to the portable loos (which are in the technical area) and there are no shower facilities. At least we’re not spending a lot of time living on board whilst she’s on the hard. But there will be at time in the new year where we will need to visit and complete some maintenance before putting her back into the water and, at this stage, take her back to the UK.
Our flight back to Greece is on Sunday morning so we left La Harve on Saturday to make our journey to Paris. Our hotel is near the Olay airport. Took the train to Paris – nice journey as most of the route criss crossed over the Seine, so we saw from land the our travels from Paris to Rouen at best.
Then it was a short metro ride from the train station to another train station where we would pick up a bus to take us to the airport hotel. The metro ride was interesting as being a Saturday there were the usual Yellow Vests protests so the train did not stop at some to the more central /tourist stops. Loads of police about. Also there was additional police about as there was the climate change protests going on (which ended up being in violence in some areas due to the Yellow Vests taking opportunity to marr a peaceful protest).
It took us a while to find how to get the hotel from the airport. My google map directions were for driving rather than walking (and I didn’t spend enough time researching the hotels website re directions) and there were quite confusing signs in the airport (which consists of 4 terminals). We eventually (after an hour wandering back and forth with our heavy luggage) found the hotel.
Sunday 22nd September
On Sunday morning we took the short walk to the terminal, dropped off our luggage and then proceeded to departures. Our cabin luggage was selected for inspection – in mine I had some cheese which was duly confiscated and not sure what the issue was with Gens.
Our departure was delayed by 45 mins through some sort of electrical fault in the pilots cabin dashboard. The flight itself was rather pleasant. The view was pretty good. However, when it came to the landing in Corfu it was aborted at the last minute – not too far from touch down – must admit it was pretty scary. So that delayed us a further 20 minutes. This would mean our connections from this point on was cutting it a bit fine.
Got through the arrivals pretty quickly and made a dash for the taxis stand. Luckily there were many taxis waiting and no queue. Got to the ferry terminal in good time and there happened to be a ferry at 14:30 which would have been the latest we could catch in order to get the only bus from Igoumenitsa to Preveza (there are only two a week – hence all the worrying re timings – if we needed to it would cost 150 euro to take a taxi).
All good on the ferry. Then it was a mad dash to find the bus station, which thankfully is not far from the ferry terminal. Managed the bus with 5 minutes to spare.
It as a nice ride to Preveza – a lovely day – great visibility and this time I was a passenger so could enjoy the views.
Once we got the Preveza it was a taxi ride to the marina / yard where we were reunited with No. 2 and her freshly and professionally copper coated bottom.
Monday 23 September – Wednesday 2 October
Gen had lots of projects going, some planned, others cropped up. Most of it was plumbing related (and he just hates plumbing). Loads of trips (sometimes multiple times in one day) to the chandlers (of which there are 3 – one in each of the boat yards).
I would on a nearly daily basis take the (free) mini bus from the yard to Preveza town to complete provisioning – we basically needed to restock from scratch. Needless to say there were daily visits to either the Cleopatra marina taverna or the taverna down the road (which served the most delicious food – generous portions at very good prices).
Thursday 3 October
In the morning we had an almighty thunderstorm and a deluge of rain – the yard was flooded. I got a bit concerned that this was going to last all day and we either got relaunched whilst there was another storm or not at all.
By the afternoon the storm had passed but there were still ominous clouds around, but thankfully no strong winds or rain.
Relaunch was ever so efficient. It was nice being back in the water. On our way we were greeted by up to 7 dolphins swimming around the boat – beautiful.
We anchored in the bay behind the little island near Vonitsa. A very pretty anchorage.
Friday 4 - 7 October
In the late (Thursday) evening and early hours of the morning we had huge thunderstorms and strong winds. Lightning flashing every couple of seconds at some point. It was almost 360 degrees around us – some very close, others in the distance. Having kept anchor watch for a while we knew we were well dug in but I remembering those times in Croatia was I unable to go back to sleep – so spent quite a number of hours in the cockpit watching natures spectacular light show.
At some point, before sunrise the skies were clearing – I was curious as to whether there would be red skies in the morning – and I was surprised and delighted that there wasn’t.
Re-anchored near the town quay and went ashore and provisioned. Enjoyed a lovely bbq one evening. We had brought our beloved bbq we had on board No.1 in our luggage – best decision at the cost of leaving some items behind.
Sunday 7 – 10 October
Left Vonitsa and headed for Vlikho where we would stay as bad weather was forecast and we know the holding there is good.
On the Tuesday we took the bus from the quayside and went to Lefkas where we would catch up with Pete and Kerri and Gwen and Pete (before they head back to the UK). Had a lovely day.
Thursday 10 – 16 October
One of the reasons for going through the French canal system rather quickly was to get back to Greece and enjoy what is left of the great weather and get some swimming in and chillax.
We spent time visiting new (Paleros, Port Sarakiniko) and revisiting (O. Varko, Tranquil Bay, Astakos, Limini Patala) some anchorages which was great. We got in a couple of swims and even a proper short sail.
We’ve been getting to know No.2 better.
Thursday 17 – 31 October
Spent a couple of days (at anchor and alongside on quayside) at Messolonghi – great place and great shopping / provisioning. The chandlers here are very reasonable priced so we took advantage of that (got a new compressor installed to get the second fridge working).
We’re taking every opportunity to fish and this has paid off. So far caught a Mackerel, Mahi Mahi (50 cms and just under 1 kg) and a Bonito (just under 50 cms and nearly 2 kgs). So we have put the second fridge in use to act as a freezer. Lets hope it continues this way for the rest of the month.
We’ve seen some great wildlife – a kingfisher (beautiful bird) on our safety rail, a turtle swimming passed very near the boat, and the best sight was a swordfish jumping, at least 5 times, out of the water.
We anchored at Kilini on the Pelopennese, which wasn’t the best of places as the swell started rolling in in the early hours of the morning. So mid morning, instead of waiting for the afternoon seabreeze, we headed for Zakynthos and anchored in O Keri. A very pretty place although you could see the damage the summer fire some 6 weeks earlier had caused. Gen got in a dive, the only one for this year and we took the dinghy to the island nearby and explored the cave – magic.
Stayed at this anchorage for three nights and decided it was time to press on. Took the east coast of the island (which we hadn’t been around in previous years) and headed for Cephalonia were we anchored off Argostoli. On the way we managed to catch 3 Bonito’s within the first two hours on the way. Needless to say we are very happy.
Went ashore to provision up and in search for lunch. Provisioning was really good and managed to find some other bits and pieces e.g. cleaver (for fish amongst other foods), blankets (as it’s getting colder now but not too cold for duvets yet) etc., for the boat.
Couldn’t find any suitable restaurants except for one which was closed for a private gathering which we managed to some get ourselves invited to join them. It was a birthday party with people coming and going as they pleased. The meal consisted of salad, cheeses, potatoes and some of the best grilled meats (pork, lamb) and sausages we’ve every tasted. All just simply amazing. We offered to pay for the meal but were flatly refused. We offered to help with cleaning up and again were flatly refused. We were hoping they were going to open on the Sunday so we could eat there again and pay for the meal but they had closed for the season.
On Sunday we anchored off Lixouri, a short hop away. Wandered around the town which was very atmospheric – a lovely sunny day with families and friends gathering in the main square. We now understood why Sean and others love this place.
After provisioning and lunch we pick up anchor and headed for originally Fiskardo, but changed our minds and went to Vasiliki on Levkada. On the way we took the west coast of Cephalonia another coast we had not previously visited. We popped into Assos which was very interesting – too tight to anchor there and it was quite deep.
We got a cracking sail in as we were crossing the channel between the islands. Up to 7.7 knots at one stage. She sails beautifully very different to No.1 (although they are very different boats). Needless to say Gen was very happy.
As the end of the month is approaching and thunderstorms are forecast we headed back to Nidri and anchored in Tranquil Bay. Not too many boats.
The thunderstorms were pretty spectacular – a lot of rain and not too much wind.
Tomorrow we’ll move to Lefkas marina, No.2’s home for the winter. Looking forward to it as we will know quite a few people overwintering and its a great town and quite lively during winter.