End of the sailing season for 2008

Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 1 Nov 2008 13:59

This is likely to be the last of my weekly blogs until next spring, so it was rather unfortunate that we have not been able to get WiFi on board, even though we are tied up alongside the town quay at Prevasa. However, Dick managed to obtain a password from one of the café’s along the quayside so we are in business.

For the most part, we have been able to use WiFi on board since we bought the aerial from one of the participants of the EMYR, while we were in Lebanon. When we can’t get WiFi, we have 2 other options, one is to use a local internet café and the other is to connect via the satellite phone. The downside of using the satellite phone is that it is too slow for us to access the internet so we can only use it to send and receive emails. Even that is restricted as we can’t receive attachments, or photos via the satellite phone.

I will occasionally post a blog when there is something to say but I don’t expect there to be many posted, this side of Christmas.

This is now the time, at the end of our sailing season, when everything has to be prepared for storing for another winter. There seems to be an interminable amount of work to be done. All the lines and ropes have to be washed and dried along with the sun covers, bimini and summer covers. All the toys that are attached to the guard-rails need to be unattached, cleaned and stored for the winter. I am looking at the curtains and wondering if they really need to be washed.

The trouble with the curtains is that those supplied with the boat are permanently pleated but those we had made, are not. As soon as they are washed, the pleats which have been put in with an iron will fall out. The pleats pose me a problem.What to do about the long, pleated curtain which is hanging against the door to the cockpit, should I just let it hang without pleats, or should I put off the problem until next year. I have the same problem with the curtains in the galley though at least they are shorter.

I went up the mast for the first time on Saturday. I don’t know how I have managed to avoid this task for 2 years. I only went up as far as the first lot of cross-trees. In fact, I went up twice. The second time was easier. Not only had I discovered that it is more sensible to wear trousers to protect the legs but I now know that it was also necessary to keep the arms and legs very flexible in order to avoid pain.

The reason that Dick pulled me up the mast was because I wanted to clean the rust from the stainless steel radar protector. I need not have bothered. The stainless steel was not suffering from rust, it had just become stained. The name stainless steel, as used on a boat, is a complete contradiction.

I subsequently pulled Dick up the mast and he went almost to the top, checking the blocks for the lazy-jacks and the flag halyards. He also repaired the chafe protectors at each end of the lower level cross-trees. One of these chafe protectors had fallen off a month or so ago, fortunately onto the deck. Dick has been up the mast a number of times. The first time was within about a month of taking delivery of Tucanon. 

We explored Prevesa town and were pleased to find a couple of decent sized super-markets towards the edge of town. We will be able to stock up with provisions next spring and save nearly 50% of the cost of having to buy the food from a more conveniently located super-market, for the cost of a taxi fare.

The quayside is a very popular place for the locals to fish. The first night we were here they woke me in the early hours of the morning with their chatter and laughter. After visiting Cleopatra marina, we moored in a different spot. There are still a lot of people fishing but they do not disturb us. Last night, on our way to a taverna for supper, we passed a group of chaps fishing. One had bagged a huge fish. The largest I have ever seen caught with a rod and line, so close to shore.

We surveyed the local hotels and found to our surprise, that not all of them will be open in November. The night before we travel from Prevasa to Athens, we will stay in a hotel in Prevesa town rather than an apartment at the marina. Either way we will have to get a taxi to the bus station and the route from the town is more direct than from the marina.

The tickets have been purchased and the seats have been reserved. I was surprised to find out that it is a 6 hour journey from Prevasa to Athens. It will give us a wonderful opportunity to see some of the countryside.

As the bus departs just after 9am, it will stop en-route for us to have lunch. I hope it will have a loo on board, otherwise it might also have to stop for comfort breaks.

People promenade along the quayside quite extensively and it is a shame that at present, part of the pavement is being repaired and spoiling the attractive vista. The workmen seem to have been working on it for a couple of days but the work doesn’t seem to be finished yet and of course, now it is the weekend, no work will be done before Monday. Meanwhile, the heaps of paving stones, the red and white striped bollards and the equipment still remain.

We moved back to the part of the quay we stayed at on the first night here. What with a nearby café blaring out music till 2 am and then the jack-hammer starting at 7.30 in the morning, it was too much to contend with, especially as there was no necessity to do so. Thankfully, since we have returned to the original mooring, although there are a profusion of chaps fishing, we haven’t yet had a repeat of the chatter and laughter in the early hours.

Another bonus moving back here is that we can also connect to the electricity supply which relieves the need to use the generator. There is a downside. Although we can pick up WiFi, we can’t always send and receive emails. The connection is too slow for us to even think about trying to log on to the internet.

Today, Tuesday the 28th October is a holiday. Local people wearing smart, lightweight clothing, lined the streets. The band paraded down the street playing jolly, rousing music for at least an hour before the people dispersed, promenading on this lovely, warm, sunny day.

The people on the mono-hull, which is moored on the other side of this concrete breakwater, lie in the sunshine soaking up the rays, adding another layer to their already mahogany coloured skin. 

Although all of the hatches on the boat have mosquito blinds, for some reason, there were none available for the windows in the galley or the door from the cockpit to the salon. We have managed to find a company that will make these blinds for us during the winter. The door was a bit complicated as the aperture is not square but we managed to find a compromise.

There are gales blowing in the north but we are sufficiently far away to be suffering no more than a force 7. At least we are tied up, with lots of big fenders between the boat and the concrete quayside. Fortunately the washing has been done and the sails taken down and bagged, so we don’t have to worry about doing those tasks under blustery conditions. We have done as much as we are able to do before reaching the marina when we will fill the tanks with fuel and put on the winter covers.


Below:- Dick nearing the top of the mast, having reached the higher level cross-trees