New crew?

May 12, 2015

Well, our launch nearly didn’t happen, as when I tried the engine before we were moved to the sea, it wouldn’t start. Battery knackered. Rude words. Luckily, the yard has a well stocked chandlery on site who just happened to have a suitable battery….. Never fitted one so quickly! 20 minutes from discovering the problem to having the trailer take Rampage to the travel lift!

Our first night back afloat was spent in the anchorage near Preveza town, all of 15 minutes away from the yard. Despite a dire weather forecast, it was a quiet night with little in the way of wind. We took the opportunity to give the outboard motor a decent test: it is an old two stroke one that is much easier for J to start than the four stroke. If it hadn’t worked properly, we could have gone back to the yard to pick up the other one, but it was fine so the following morning we set off for Corfu with an overnight stop in Gaios. We arrived in the anchorage south of Corfu town two days later and spent the night there, intending to pick up Terri and Iain by dinghy. Once again, however, the weather forecast was giving significant winds from the south. It wouldn’t have been dangerous to stay in the anchorage but it would have been uncomfortable, especially making a dinghy transfer, so we decided to go to Mandraki Marina which is tucked in under the castle, using the Venetian quay as part of it’s structure.

We picked Iain and Terri up from the airport, doing a shop on the way there and taking a taxi back. The driver breezed through the gate to the Citadel and took us right through to the Marina entrance: quite a treat to be driven along through the tourist pack as if we were some sort of dignitaries and quite an impressive arrival for our guests.

We set off the following morning for our week with Terri and Iain; we went to Petriti (lovely supper in the Leonidas Taverna and a geocache walk early the next morning), Gaios (two days there, one spent exploring the island by car, including meeting Bern and Al of Sanuk in Lakka), Platerias (met up with Steve and Tanya of Corfu Sea School and had a splendid session putting the Greek economy right) before we returned to Mandraki Marina for their final night aboard.

The week was all too short but we did get in quite a bit of sailing: Petriti to Gaios, some of the way from Gaios to Platerias and a fair chunk of the trip from Platerias to Corfu – this last with the cruising chute. Not bad when we often go days later in the summer without any sailing at all . Terri and Iain both joined in with the business of sailing the boat, Terri in particular learning to tie knots and fiercely claiming ‘her’ bit of practice rope… Indeed, they learnt so much we felt moved to present them with ‘International Certificates of Nautical Incompetence’ as their parting gift from the boat. There was lots of laughter, much chat about the election, (not much laughter there,) and they also got us swimming far earlier in the year than is our normal practice. They didn’t manage to dodge the geocache walk but did skillfully avoided being inveigled into any games of Mexican Train, Rumikub or Quiddler!

We are now on the quay in Gaios, in the town as opposed to our normal haunt on the northern quay. It is quite busy with work going on putting final touches to bars and restaurants as the tourists begin to re-appear. There are a number of new ventures here this season, including a laundry room and a mobile phone shop, which should make life more sustainable for the likes of us yachties.

Finally, a word on the Greek economy and the potential for a Grexit (Greece leaving the Euro Zone)….. Like everyone in the country at the moment, we are keeping a close eye on what is going on in the world of high finance. Greece seems to be edging closer to an exit from the Euro Zone; the worry for us is that a financial crash could lead to problems getting hold of the basics like food and fuel, along with a possible freeze on ATM withdrawals. We have therefore taken to keeping more cash on board than normal (no, I won’t say where we’ve hidden it) and topping the fuel tank up more often (we usually let it get down to ¼ full before refuelling, now we tend to top up at about ¾ full). These two things combined give us the opportunity to do a runner if required, although I have to say that the likelihood of needing to do so seems remote to me.


One comment

  1. The incompetent crew had a fabulous time thanks to J and D. Greece was wonderful if a bit hot at times. Hope you don’t need to leave any time soon! T x

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