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J flys to Dublin whilst Andy stays in Greece

September 9, 2013

Well, our last blog closed with Lizzie leaving Greece for gloomy Kent whilst we expected Andy to arrive the following day. To his credit, he appeared on time and in the right place on 23 August, walking straight into some fun and games.

You remember from previous blogs that we’ve been having some problems with electricity supply this year. Lizzie brought out a box of tricks to try and resolve the problem and it did do half the trick – increasing the amount of power delivered to the batteries. However, the batteries themselves were no longer retaining the charge like they’re meant to, no matter how much energy is pumped into them. In short, they were not dead yet but dying on their feet. So we decided to replace them no rather than waiting for the winter to arrive. Before Andy got to Corfu, I priced up replacements and found some quality ones at a price that only made me wince a little.

Andy’s first job therefore was to help me in the business of collecting the new batteries from the shop, transferring them to the dinghy and then on board, fitting them and finally disposing of the old ones. These batteries are heavy brutes so it was no easy matter but we managed to do it that first afternoon, including using a very efficient crimping tool, loaned to me by the shop, for making a professional job of the cable terminals (we now have three batteries in place of the previous two, hence lots of extra heavy grade cable). The picture below shows Andy and I crimping a terminal on to the new cable.

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Once that job was finished it was time to rest and have supper. We then agreed that we should head for Petriti the following day before carrying on to Gaios and thence to Platerias before returning to Corfu the following Saturday evening so J could fly out to Dublin.

If you follow the blog, then you’ll know all about the places we were going to visit but just for a change, the picture below is taken with the new camera Andy brought out for us,which very cleverly takes panoramic views with minimal skill or human intervention. It shows Petriti from the boat fairly early in the morning.

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Gaios remained as crowded as ever and as full of only slightly competent crews, especially when it comes to anchoring skills. We stayed 4 nights there before heading off to Platerias; resetting the anchor once and rescuing other folks from their anchor nightmares 3 times! Whilst having a beer in town early one evening (always a good time to sit by the water and watch the chaos of arriving boats), we saw what we presume to be a bride walk past to her boat, escorted by sundry musicians.

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Platerias, where we went next, was packed out, mainly with Italians waiting for a break in the northerly winds. This meant we went on to the town wall rather than the sinking quay; no problem except there’s no electricity there. The winds were gusty and blowing along the wall, making life quite difficult when mooring. There is no substitute in these conditions for getting lined up early and dropping the anchor well off, using it to help steady the boat as you approach the quay. We saw all sorts of variations on the theme during the afternoon and helped out in a number of cases. One bunch of scousers more or less gave up and allowed a group of us to manhandle their boat into a berth whilst I wound up mooring a German crewed charter boat. As the skipper said, he can moor in the Baltic no problem but had never encountered this method of mooring before.

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Having spent two nights at Platerias, interspersed by windy days, we headed for Corfu town on Friday 30 August. We got a little bit of sailing in before the wind, which had blown strongly the previous 2 days packed in and went away. Corfu town was as busy as ever and we had an early night but Andy found sleep difficult with karaoke on one side and Zorba the Greek on the other. Then it rained, so we had to shut the hatches. That killed sleep for J but I didn’t have a problem, although Andy picked up some cracking mossie bites that night. Optimists and Lasers from the local sailing club as kids learn the art of dinghy sailing.

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The following day I decided it was time to clean the prop of all the growth it had picked up since our relaunch in March. J and I used the scuba gear and spent a happy hour or so cleaning the bottom of the hull and the prop; there wasn’t much growth on the hull but the prop had a fair bit of fouling. That evening, we went ashore for a meal before J departure for Dublin the following day.

We waved J off at the airport and then set off for Mongonisi on Paxos, about a 6 hour transit. However, when we arrived, we decided it was too full and went back up to anchor off the entrance to Gaios harbour. After a meal, we both had an early night before setting off the following morning at the early hour of 0740. A clear run down to the Lefkas bridge saw us having to wait about 15 minutes before the bridge opened on the hour at 1400. And so Rampage returned once more to anchor in Tranqul Bay, Nidri.

It was a bit of old home week for both Andy and I, as we met up with old friends from Gouvia and Messilonghi. Les and Tina on Locomocean were on the Nicholson pontoon whilst Claudio and Corrine on Levithia anchored in the bay as we shared a beer ashore.

The following day was spent taking it easy before we hired a car on Wednesday. Andy wanted to visit Simon of Sivota Yacht Services who has been keeping an eye on Curly Sue so we went there first. Simon turned out to be on holiday but we had an excellent fat boys breakfast in one of the local cafes before heading into Lefkas to do some shopping.

The following day we drove to Preveza to see Curly Sue, Andy’s boat. She’s been on the hard there since May 2012 and he was not looking forward to seeing her. In fact, she was in remarkably good condition and I think Andy was much heartened by seeing her. We then carried on to Igonoumitsa for Andy to catch the Corfu ferry; he was due to fly back to UK the following day and we’d decided that it was better for him to spend a night in a hotel rather than getting up at a really nasty hour in the morning.

I then had a lonely drive back to Nidri, where I will remain home alone for another 2 weeks until J returns from Dublin. For her accounts of the joys of being a grandmother in charge of 3 lively kids, you’ll have to wait until she returns to Greece and has had a chance to recover.

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2 comments

  1. Hi duncan its great reading the articles. I just came across an article suggesting the best way to link batteries so they provide an even amount of current, you might like to check it out if you havent seen it already. http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html


  2. I hope you’ll be ready to pipe Supergran aboard. She will require rest and recuperation ++, methinks.



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