To Preveza & The Yacht
Wed 11 May 2011 17:13
Position: 38:56.96N 20:45.82E
Hi Folks, Pictures show the hotel we stayed in on Venice Lido - it was small and friendly. Had parking for the car and we were able to catch the small ferry into Venice and wander around for a day. (We did not go on a gondoler as they were very expensive and we spend the next five months on the water!)
Next picture shows Graham on the big Anek line ferry on our way from Venice to Igoumenitsa. We were not sure what to expect as we had booked an inside cabin and were spending 24 hours - possibly on a glorified truck stop with greasy spoon as well! It didn't help that one of the first anouncements over the tanoy was that they were selling hot dogs on some deck outside! (However I never saw one hot dog and they kept trying to sell them all day and the next morning as well)
We actually had a nice quiet cabin with good hot shower and we sat down in the evening to a lovely meal at tables with cloths and smart waiters! (Not a truck driver in sight!)
It was all very relaxing and a bit like a mini cruise. We walked the decks, sat in the "distinguished lounge" and read our books and felt very refreshed by the time we came to leave. (Bit of a free for all when the car deck emptied but somehow we all got out in one piece!)
We followed the signs to Preveza (very simple) as we had not got the Greek bit of the European Tom Tom! We arrived at the boatyard about 2.30 pm (Greek time which is 2 hours ahead of U.K. time) and the ladder had been put in place for our arrival and we got to work unloading the car (all that anti - foul and tea bags etc..) We found Gilly B just as we had left her but a whole lot dirtier! There was a lot of red/brown sand deposited on the decks and the first job was to hose her off!
We made up the bed and ate in the restaurant to the marina in the evening.
On the Monday we hired the platform - a precarious thing that wouldn't pass health and safety in U.K. - and balanced upon it to polish the topsides. Next came the anti fouling and the re polishing of the propeller.
On Tuesday we took the car into a local village and did some more shopping (more milk and items to fill the fridge). Later we took our ships papers and drove into Preveza town (There is a toll tunnel under the water) and went to the customs office to have our papers stamped so that we were legally o.k. to go back into the water.. We have no idea what it is for really but it keeps the Greeks happy!
That done we had an ice cream and went to buy a new electric kettle as our old travel one was taking hours to boil. We were successful but didn't think through the cordless bit and the plugs! Graham had to re do the plug so that I could still stand the kettle on the fridge. Anyway it is a whole lot better now and I was also fortunate in finding a little shop with a young lady in it that was repairing watches and she put a new battery in my sailing watch (for 4 Euros) while I waited.
On Wednesday we were up early and it was a beautiful morning and the tractor arrived to pull us out of our parking spot and then it transferred the boat to the Hoist (see picture) and dropped her gently into the water! Very smooth - exact reversal of last October with the same expert doing the remote control bit.
We then jumped on board (literally - about 3 feet!) then went around into the marina where the same marineri handed us the lazy line and took our warps.
The girls in the office remembered us from last summer and all our comings and goings and asked after the grandchildren! It is all very friendly and we feel we have hardly been away. Except that once in the marina we had to put on the furling headsail, the mainsail and reefing lines and the bimini. (We'd already put the spray hood on in the boatyard) and suddenly we are looking from one bit to another and having to remember which line goes where!! Luckily Graham took photos and we get them out so he can remember which reef goes through which pulley. In the middle of putting the mainsail back on (with the lazy lines first) the sunny day suddenly became a windy squall with big black clouds! Luckily It didn't last long and eventually it was sunny again, we finished putting the sail on and later we enjoyed our first supper in the cockpit under the bimini!
The boat is looking smart and clean again and all the work we did last autumn has certainly paid dividends. We have had to do lots of scrubbing of the decks and hosing of the teak etc but the fact that the sides and the propellor etc were polished before we left last year and re polished this week means that we will have only taken four or five days to get her all ship shape and ready to go sailing again - SOUTH very soon.
Bye for now