38:20.1N 23:44.1E

Chris and Alison
Sun 21 Apr 2024 19:19
21/04/24 Almyropotamas

As we were on a deadline to launch from the boat yard, “Brizo", the Hydorvane, was not installed before we left. We did manage to do a lot of measurements to work out where the shaft and brackets would go on the transom, but we were not able to do any installation that we would have liked to have done while we were out of the water. Never mind, the instruction book says it can be installed on the water, with care not to drop the parts in the water! 
So we were hoping for some calm days at anchor to at least get the the shaft and brackets fitted. We had acquired an old plastic pipe from the boatyard to use as a dummy shaft to get the measurements accurate instead of having to hold the very heavy steel shaft over the transom with all the danger of dropping bits, or the shaft itself into the water. This went well, accept that we couldn’t make the measurements add up. No matter what we did or how we positioned the shaft, the measurements were not right and the bottom of the shaft was too deep below the waterline. It also meant the drive unit was too low, so the locking pin could not be inserted. All was not well for some reason. Chris spent hours going over the instructions and measurements to see where we had gone wrong but every time the answer came out the same. So an email was sent to the support team in Vancouver for some advice. To cut a long story short and after many emails backwards and forwards, they admitted that they had sent us the wrong size shaft. While this was not good news, it was such a relief to know it was not something we had done that was causing the problem. So now we wait to hear from them what is going to happen and how they will get the correct size shaft out to us. 

Up to now we have been swimming most days. While in the boat yard we swam off the beach then once back in the water, off the boat. The first day at anchor the water temperature was 20.4’c so we went for a quick dip. Then the air temperature started dropping and so did the sea temperature and worst of all, so did the barometer. My last swim was about 3 days ago, when the water temperature was 19.4’c but there was a chilly breeze. Since then we have had strong winds and much lower air temperatures. Yesterday we were woken early in the morning to the sound of the wind howling outside. Muskrat was pulling at her anchor and the rain was thrashing down. We quickly had to get up to go and rescue the spray hood that was threatening to take off like a kite and needed to be lashed down using the genoa sheets. The dinghy that had been lashed down since the night before needed further lashings to stop it being turned over in the davits. As I was venturing up the companion way steps the sea looked as though it was boiling, then suddenly I saw what I can only describe as a water spout. Just for a second, it had come up the inlet and appeared from behind the little island just outside our anchorage. No photos, it all happened so quickly but I am sure it was a small water spout. I rescued the life raft cover before it got blown off and Chris was on deck securing everything else that threatened to fly away. It was a manic morning. The anchor was holding well, although we did think it was dragging at one point as the wind was going round the compass quite dramatically, but it set its self again without needing more chain or re-anchoring.

We are now considering our next move. The wind is all over the place and there are more storms threatened but we need to move on towards Paros because now we have the opportunity to meet up with the owners of Hydrovane who are sailing their yacht through the Mediterranean on their way back to Vancouver. They are having their rig renewed in Paros and have asked us to meet them there. So we will be choosing our anchorages carefully and hopefully the wind will be kind to us over the next week or so. 

The day after the night before. Muskrat lying quietly after the storm. Nice clean decks though:)

The spay hood lashed down with the genoa sheet.

The plastic tube (used for measuring the shaft position for the Hydrovane) showing it under the waterline. The blue tape should be above the waterline if the shaft was the correct size.

The drive unit on the plastic shaft showing the locking pin too close to the transom so it is impossible to remove it when needed.