Week following Greek Easter

Dick and Irene Craig
Sun 26 Apr 2009 10:59

Easter weekend in Greece this year appears to have fallen a week later than Easter in the UK and Spain.

A further anomaly was that the sun shone all over the weekend, with temperatures around 25-26 degrees at 2pm. The rain didn’t start until 10 o’clock on the night of Easter Monday. At first it was not easy to discern that it was raining as the drops fell intermittently and infrequently. Lying in bed, sleeping lightly as I do, I could hear the rain falling steadily during the night and it was still falling for most of the following morning.

The sun struggled out from behind the clouds about lunchtime and the mountains, to the south, came back into view. It felt quite cool and with the early afternoon temperature not rising above 21 degrees, I donned my thermals.

The rain gave me a respite from polishing the bits of boat that the workmen at the marina had not done. The marina had charged us the same price for polishing our boat as they charged for a monohull. Bearing in mind that only the smooth surfaces which could be reached with an electric polisher were actually polished, even that was probably too much.

A fishing boat moored in front of us and another rafted up to it. They filled their tanks with diesel, delivered to the quayside in a small tanker. Their catch was very meager, no more than a dozen assorted fish.

A berth in the marina became vacant, just opposite where we were moored on the outside wall. Rather than delay and miss the opportunity, we swiftly moved our boat into the more protected area of this unfinished marina, just in front of an old, fly-bridge motor cruiser.

The clouds disappeared and we could see snow on the top of the mountains when we looked NNE. Wow!

The old, fly-bridge, motor cruiser moored just behind us, had sunk overnight. Only the top of the fly-bridge is above the water. It is most disconcerting. The whole area has been cordoned off with pale blue floats. A diver went down during the morning and looped two straps beneath the hull, in readiness for the crane which arrived after lunch.

The fire brigade arrived with a pump. A digger, pulling a trailer, stood by, as did a police car.

The crane, lifting the boat, halted its operation until the firemen had pumped the water from inside, then continued to lift until the boat was out of the water. The hull was thickly festooned with muscles. They were so heavy that some clumps fell off into the water and onto the quayside.

Some of the muscles were thrown back into the water, they were still too small to be of culinary interest.

The boat was loaded onto the trailer, made secure and driven away, with police escort and flashing blue lights..

Within half an hour a monohull had taken up the vacated berth. It had been tied up on the quayside, outside of the marina. With the wind blowing from the south, it would have not been a very comfortable mooring.

Walking back from the supermarket, I picked an orange from a tree on the roadside. The fruit turned out to be mandarins rather than oranges. It was so sharp, like a lemon. These are obviously fruit trees of the ornamental kind. I should have guessed that there had to be a reason why there was still so much fruit on the tree.

A 62foot Azimut flybridge, motor cruiser arrived just after 6pm, flying the yellow Q flag. The boat, with 9 people on board, 8 men and one woman, circled the marina looking for a space. It eventually moored alongside, opposite us, on the outside wall of the marina, just where we had berthed before moving inside.

The motor cruiser rolled uncomfortably from side to side and when the captain returned, after an unsuccessful attempt to get his papers stamped, the boat was moved to the marina on the other side of the bay, where our boat had spent the winter ashore.

At 9pm, a trawler tied up in the space vacated by the motor cruiser. A load of goods were manhandled to the trawler, from a van which was waiting on the quayside. Then, over 4 dozen polystyrene boxes of fish were passed back from the boat and loaded onto the van.

The trawler left some time during the night but returned again about 24 hours later, possibly repeating the same procedure. Certainly the van was waiting on the quayside about midnight but when I looked out at 4am, the trawler was there but there was no sign of the van.

Meanwhile, the Azimut motor cruiser was back before 9am, the morning after it had first arrived from Italy, when the captain had tried unsuccesfully to get the travel log. This time the captain was more successful and the boat was off on the next leg of its journey.

With a dry, sunny weekend, we were able to wash and dry the winter covers. The light morning wind was of assistance, as we checked and adjusted the sails and sail-bag, none of which had not been done correctly by the marina.


Below:- Flybridge motor cruiser below the waves and being hoisted, showing the bottom festooned with muscles