Week 1 at Prevasa

Dick and Irene Craig
Mon 20 Apr 2009 12:36


I always find that packing a bag, in preparation for a flight, is somewhat stressful. This is because I know that the luggage will be overweight. Invariably the hand luggage weighs more than the check-in luggage. This is to ensure that the baggage that will be weighed at check-in, will not exceed the maximum weight permitted. When asked to show the hand luggage, I nonchalantly lift the bag, almost to shoulder level, almost dislocating my shoulder in the process.

It is no coincidence that, on more than one occasion in the past, the person who weighs in the luggage to be deposited in the hold, has commented that it is exactly on maximum. Not for the first time the bathroom scales let us down and our luggage was found to be overweight.

“No problem”, says the guy behind the desk, “Remove the excess weight from the check-in luggage to the carry-on luggage”.

I do not understand the logic of this manoeuvre. It all still ends up on the same aircraft.

Another thing that I don’t understand is why do I, when I weigh only 55Kg, have the same baggage allowance as someone who weighs 100 Kg?

It was he pilot made up 20 minutes during the flight. We had left Gatwick 40 minutes late because a couple of passengers didn’t board the plane until after it should have already departed. Amazing, I suppose, that we managed to get another slot so speedily.

Had we arrived on time, it would have still been dark. Greece is 2 hours ahead of UK time and the plane hadn’t been scheduled to leave Gatwick until nearly 5pm for a flight of nearly 4 hours duration.

We collected our luggage. Unless it is one of the first bags onto the carousel, I always have a nagging feeling that one of the bags will be missing. To circumvent this causing a major shortfall in clothes or toiletries, I make sure that there are some of everything in each bag.

I only recall having lost a bag on one occasion and that was some years ago. It eventually turned up at home a couple of days later. It hadn’t caused any real problems as the bag had been misplaced by the airline on our return trip from an annual holiday. Those were the days when holidays were of 1 or 2 weeks duration, unlike now when we are permanently on holiday. Viva las pensionistas!

We took a taxi from the airport, though our driver seemed to have some problem finding our hotel. I am sure that the hotel mainly catered for Gay men. The walls in the bar were adorned with suggestive pictures of naked men and framed slogans, such as “I am not gay but my boyfriend is”.

Easter in Greece is a week later than in the UK and Spain. We hadn’t realized this when we arranged for the boat to be put back in the water on Thursday, the day before the Easter holiday began.

As we had not been able to book on-line, seats on the bus to take us from Athens to Prevasa, we tried to make a booking en-route to our hotel. Unfortunately this was not possible as the office was closed.

We were advised by the male receptionist and his colleague that failure to have made an advanced booking meant that we needed to make every effort to obtain tickets before the bus became fully booked. We set the alarm for 7am, ate a speedy breakfast and departed the hotel by taxi, which took us to the bus station for 8am.

The journey from Athens to Prevasa took 7.5  hours, with a brief comfort break adjacent to the bridge of Patra. This was 2 hours longer than when we did the trip from Prevasa to Athens last November.

On the way, we had crossed the Corinth canal but unlike the 2 previous occasions when we had crossed, there was no boat to be seen traveling between the Gulf of Corinth and the Aegean.

The sun was shining when the bus pulled out of the station in Athens and was shining when we reached Prevasa. However, there had been quite a down-pour for a short period, during the course of the journey.

On arrival at the bus station in Prevasa , a taxi driver accosted us. We had been ripped off by the taxi driver who had driven us from the airport to our hotel and again when we took a taxi from the hotel to the bus station in Athens. This didn’t allow for the additional charge, advertised in each taxi, because it was Easter.

We agreed a price for the taxi to take us to the marina, bought some bread and milk from a nearby supermarket and arrived at the marina about 5pm.

The marina office closes at 3.30pm but the security guard showed us to the room we had booked for the night.

Thursday morning we busied ourselves about the boat and a workman applied the anti-fouling top coat to the propellers. Then, at the allotted hour a huge crane arrived and straddled our boat.

Dick had vanished into the office, negotiating the final bill, when the boat was deposited into the water. We are not permitted to travel on the boat while it is being carried to the dock or while it is lowered into the water. This posed me a problem. How I could get back onto the boat? The guy with the control for the crane moved the boat off centre and by taking an enormous stride and a huge act of  faith, I managed to bring my other leg over and climbed aboard onto the port hull bow.

Dick and a “techie” boarded the boat with ease. Both are taller than me, with longer legs.

We were glad that we make a point of having an expert on board when we first switch on the engines following a winter ashore. There was a problem with the starboard engine and required enlisting the assistance of 2 more expert experts to identify the source of the problem. It appears that a solid state amplifier had failed.  The good news is that we can still use the engine while we await the replacement part.

Dick had been told by a dealer in Holland that there are only 3 spare units in the entire world. One doesn’t expect a solid state item to fail. The price, though he had none in stock, was half the price of the part, which was in stock and which we could purchase from the UK. Fortunately, the part was also available in Australia, at just over half the cost of buying it in the UK. When the shops open again tomorrow, we will attempt to get a price and availability from the local dealer.

Late afternoon we were tied up alongside the outer wall of the marina, at Prevasa town quay, just behind a Swedish monohull. The couple aboard, both younger than ourselves, are teachers on a gap year, which started last June. They departed Saturday morning, traveling northward into heavy weather, planning to reach Croatia on 1st May.

Friday evening, in the nearby square, about 8 o’clock, chanting was broadcast from loud speakers, reminiscent of the Imam. This was calling the local people to take part in a parade which didn’t reach the square until almost 10 o’clock. A man carrying a large wooden cross, on the top of which were 4 lighted candles, passed us by, followed by a priest, in full regalia, with supporting cast.. Behind the priest was a construction covered in flowers, supported at shoulder level. This construction resembled the framework which carried the ark, in Raiders. Bringing up the rear were a multitude of people, many carrying lighted candles. The chanting over the load speakers continued.

Fishing with rod and line, or just a line, appears to be a very popular past-time in the Mediterranean, not least on the quayside against which we were moored.

After we had made the boat safe and while Dick was still ashore, one of the fishermen asked Dick how long we were planning to stay here.

“We have only just arrived”, said Dick, amused by the question, then went on to say that we expected to be here for a week.

A huge groan went up from the all the men fishing nearby. We had taken up a large portion of the quay which is used by the fishermen.

I went shopping and was thrilled to find a baker shop where I could obtain a 5Kg bag of bread flour. Subsequently, I believe that I have found the wholesaler and will check it out tomorrow when the shops open.

I tend to make my own bread when we are on board. It is wonderful to wake up to the smell of freshly cooked bread. It is also more convenient than having to take a dinghy ashore, when we are at anchor, to purchase fresh bread.

On Sunday afternoon a monohull with 3 chaps aboard arrived and we helped them to tie up their boat in front of us. They had sailed from Dubrovnik and were en-route to Turkey. Next morning they were gone before it was light. They were on a tight schedule.

We received an email from a couple that we had met here last year. They were in Corfu and would be arriving in Prevasa later today. The forecast was not good, with strong winds, increasing to force 7, in their face. We reserved the space in front of our boat, ready for their arrival.


Below:- Good Friday, night-time picture of "ark" ;  relaunching of Tucanon ; Good Friday, night-time picture of man carrying cross