Dekpa – 10th May weds part1

It’s an on going saga.

We sent our boat registration off, the friday before bank hol, received a further form to complete by email which we did immediately.

Eventually it came – in the post to England Ben sent a photo via Whattsapp, Simon printed it and sought advice. He was told that nothing but the original would do. So Ben, (he’s so good) organised a courier to get it to us. We want to set sail on our travels and can’t without this Dekpa.

That was Monday. Tuesday morning it was in Athens. Great, should arrive weds. Weds came, no letter. So Ben set to work ringing the courier company and tracing it through. Apparently the Greek TNT read the perfectly clear address with postcode as going to some town called ‘Marina’!! Can you believe  that!! They also tried to say they tried to deliver it this morning  at 9.00am but  the security guards turned them away. A quick check with said guard proved them to be – let’s say ‘mistaken’!

So Ben spoke to the yacht brokers in Greece  ( recipients of our letter as we’re on a pontoon!!), Simon spoke to TNT, the guards, the yachtbroker, uncle Tom Cobbley and all. We want to get going, we’ve an appointment go keep in Mykonos.

It’s supposed to be arriving at an unspecified time tomorrow, when we were hoping to be underway. When we get it, we have to take it to the Port Police, to issue the Dekpa. Hopefully they’ll be open! Otherwise its another day. They’ll want to see other documents too, apart from our passports. Our insurance, the bill of sale, the contract of sale, the registration doc, Simon’s sailing certificate,  radio licence, god knows what else. We have to visit more than one place it could be quick or it could be….this is Greece. Lots of them seem only to work a half day, in the morning. They don’t make it back after siesta time. And they dont start till 10.00!! No wonder Greece is in economic trouble.  I have to say to balance that that they are so nice and friendly and helpful. Alan (in the wheelchair)  and Jean (pushing it) were treated very well and helped at every turn.

So we wait-again. BIG thank you to Ben, who I’m sure has his work to do rather than chase courier companies.

Meanwhile, we’re shopping for provisions. Wine, beer, tonic, essential supplies!! We know the shops here now so we’re stocking up. The boat will probably sit lower in the water.

Here’s some pics

It was so still this morning,  just beautiful- as I got ready for my morning run! Our boat on the left with the dinghy.

27/28th April – On board

Just noticed that this one dudnt get published  so it’ll probably be out of sync, not sure if i can move the posts around. Never mind, here it is anyway:-
So- the boat is in the water and is 20mins away at Cleopatra Marina. We have to actually sail it, round to Lefkas Marina, a more protected site and more lively for us.

We’d met a very nice Turkish couple called Yusuf and Asti, who are also here to buy a boat. They’ve owned a boat before so are more experienced than me. We enlist their help. Leaving the Marina at Cleopatra  was fine, we soon put up the sails, turned off the engine- peace, lovely. It’s not too warm yet on the sea so I wore my fleece, so did they but not Simon!

But it wasn’t so much fun when we arrived at Lefkas. We were given a spot far out in the Marina. Not pleased about that. . There was a wind and we had to park stern to,, next to another yacht, which was downwind form us. . The Marina sailors were on hand to instruct, even some in a little skiff and some on the pontoon.  I was instructed to be a ‘ roving fender’ , Simon did the reversing , Yusuf dealt with the lazy lines, Asti did the stern lines. There was still a lot of shouting.  There’s ONLY 2 OF US!!! How ARE we going to manage on our own!

I set to doing cleaning – once Simon had sorted the water and power- and we slept in the hotel for the last time that night.

Today we moved onto the boat. It did smell all nice when we arrived due to the cleaning, but there was and still is loads to do. Every time we open a locker it’s stuffed full of things the previous owner left. Today we found a Karcher   pressure washer, an electric polisher, a second fishing rod ( I hope some of you visitors are keen fishermen, you can teach us!), more tools, spare sails, spare propeller, 8 buoyancy jackets and loads more. 

We went shopping for provisions and had our 1st meal on board. We’re  fed up with eating out so it was really nice. We sat on deck, it’s very pleasant but not very warm yet, I’m sure it will be soon. 

It looks like we will be entertaining tomorrow,  it’s Asti’s  birthday and on Sunday they move to another hotel on the island, away from Lefkas. Transport isn’t so good and they don’t have a car. So tomorrow is convenient.

We’ll see how that goes!

Julie x  

Visitors

We’ve had a lovely week with our friends Jean and Alan. They stayed at the Ianos Hotel, which is in the Marina, as Alan is disabled now, we didn’t think he would appreciate the steep steps necessary to climb into the boat. We weren’t even sure that he’d be able to walk the plank onto the back of the boat. But he did! We had 2 days sailing and one day relaxing on the boat, when they helped with the preparations.

The 1st time we went out was our first time out too. There was a bit of argy bargy with what to do with the tender. Most boats tow them, but it isn’t recommended as if the rope breaks….gone! Unless you notice! Simon managed to balance it on the swim platform with great difficulty. So, we had lunch in a lovely  peaceful cove in Vliho  Bay, which is further down the coast of Lefkada. When we arrived back at our home Marina, I was a bit nervous as it’s the 1st time we’d moored up ourselves. But without people shouting conflicting instructions, it went ok. I threw the mooring line to the one sailor waiting.  (2nd attempt it got there!)I picked up the Lazy line with the boat hook, worked it to the front of the boat, wearing my sailing gloves and attached it to the cleat.  Jean helped by being a roving fender as the wind  took the boat towards another. Simon did the reversing. Job done! What panic?! Where?!!

The next time we went out we went to Abelike bay on Meganisi. Jean had a go at helming, she’s now an old hand at many jobs including tacking (“ready about? Lee Ho”) and really got stuck in. Alan too enjoyed a bit of helming, getting really interested to the point where he stood up, by himself to get a better view! A joy to see!

The people on the next boat, after we anchored,  we’re swimming.  We thought it would be too cold, being so early in the year but they reported favourably regarding the temperature.  So after lunch – had to be done didn’t it? Me, Jean and Simon swam around the boat in clear clear deep aquamarine water. Heaven.. “That’s what we’re taking about”!

On the way back the wind got up (20mph). Whereas we had been enjoying peaceful sailing, suddenly, the boat heeled right over, things flew about the cockpit and mostly landed on Alan – and boy, were we slicing through the water,  we got up to 8 1/2 knots just sailing, no engine. It was glorious! Simply glorious! For me that is the best bit of sailing, the water sloshing up to the guard rail, the sails full of wind, the sun shining, the boat heeled right over just holding at that point (I like to helm it, you can really feel the boat). Jean and Alan weren’t too sure at first but soon got the idea and were pleased to have experienced it and sailing generally.

They’ve gone home now, we shall miss them greatly.

Here’s some pics of them, with their permission.

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Alan

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Up the mast

Simon had to go up the mast today. We were short of an essential Halyard, so it had to be rectified. He enlisted the help of a young Sunsail person called Jacob. He was ropes in to help one day  whilst in the bar( Porto). He came along after his work at about 5.30. Simon had prepared by removing the Genoa, thereby releasing a halyard  that could be used to hoist. He also strapped himself into his newly purchased bosun’s chair and pur heard a mousing line. 

Pictures and video to follow.

  • It was quite scary to watch. He took the mousing line up with him, it had a weight tied on the end and he dropped it down inside the mast. Jacob, at the bottom of the mast with a hook, when he saw it he hooked it out of the slot in the side of the mast. The he taped and wired the new (very expensive) Hayward to the housing line and Simon pulled it back up through the mast and kept pulling till it reached back down to Jacob, who tied it off in a convenient place. Job done! Oh, then he lowered Simon back down to a round of applause.  All in a day’s sailing work. Jacob told us he’s been up 25 masts in 3 days this week. And at Sunsail, they just hoist the to the first cross trees and then they have to climb! They hold on to the shrouds(wired that go out in a triangle from the top) and kind of walk up the mast. I’d like to see that!

Julie x

Liferaft

Everything to do with boats is hellishly expensive! The survey that we had done of the boat identified that we needed to get the liferaft serviced. So we duly discovered somewhere that does this and took it along- Simon did-it weighs a ton-he put it on the crossbar of his bike! When we got there they said they would’ve collected it, pity they didn’t say that when we saw then first time. Anyway, they needed to know what type it was to quote. We were pleased to find that it was a six man raft instead of a 4 man raft, but shocked to discover the service would cost €500!!! Just for a service!!

The Eperb. The thing that send a signal if you sink. It has to be registered to you. It has to have a battery that works. Batteries last 10 years. The current battery expired in 2010!! That means the previous owners weren’t covered at all. Plus it was still registered to the owners before last. To replace , €400 at least, we’re still waiting for the proper quote. Not sure we’ll do that. 

New compass €300- I’ve got my walking compass, won’t that do? Our ships compass has an air bubble in it. We’re not sure how accurate it is. You need one in case the power on the boat fails and you have to resort to basic navigation. We’ve got Simon’s sextant, won’t that do?

Just a rope -bloody €50 – for a bit of rope!

And the switches  – some of the boats light switches were faulty. We spent an afternoon going around Lefkas looking for .likely shops. €25 here, € 25 there, but in a supermarket €1 for 2 switches! Lesson learnt! But supermarkets don’t sell boat compasses or ropes!!

Rant over

Xx

Ps, the liferaft came back serviced and only cost €350 ish. So, not so bad- still a lot tho.

Mankini


Every hour on the hour, the bridge between Lefkas and the mainland swings open to allow boat traffic to come through. This hasn’t hasn’t been particularly eventful till now because it hasn’t been busy. But now the airport, Prevesa, has opened and today we had the first flight in from UK. The waters are suddenly busier and when the bridge opens we see Flotilla’s and a stream of boats coming through from our advantage point way out in the Marina.

Well this afternoon, I looked up, there was a Flotilla, one boat has 3 Britain, blokes, wearing Mankini’s bright yellow! A sight to behold! Exhibitionists!So I got my phone out, they noticed, they saluted, I took a pic! It wasn’t such a good pic but I shall include it.!

Ok, so they were green!

The flight also brought our friends Jean and Alan, who we were very pleased to see. Our 1st visitors, although they are in the hotel.

This is them in the Porto bar which seems to be the hub of social life in the Marina. We’re looking forward to setting them to work/- I mean , a great week with them!

Trying pics

Simon has shown me how to add pics so I’m going to try. If it works there’ll be no holding me back!

Yes!! 

 that’s our boat on the left. Across the water is the Porto bar, centre of the social scene here.

The 2nd one is the view from the stern, 

Then our boat as it looks today

Part of our long walk along pontoons back to the Marina.

I’ll take some inside pics later  I’m sitting in the shade at the Porto bar ( having coffee) to do this as they have free WiFi. 

Julie x

How it looks today

Simon preparing the dinghy – we both went across to the Marina in it and didn’t sink.

And tonight’s sunset 

Xx

Sunday 30th  – post entertaining

We sent off the online registration form, naming the boat, declaring ourselves the owners. As you know, we were tosssing round the idea of naming it SiJu, using our names. At the last minute we wrote Sea Dew, it was John S’s fault!! But i really like it and it does sound like SiJu anyway. So SEA DEW it is. Thank you to Elaine K  for the original idea, it was a good one. Once we get this we have to apply at the Port police for a Decla permit without which we cannot sail. We’re hoping to get this done in the next 10 days or so as we have an appointment in Mikonos on the 24th May and it’ll take us 7 days to get there. Passing through the Corinthian canal without one is a No no. They’re very tight on the paperwork in these Marina’s. You have to prove you have insurance too, which we have. Fingers crossed. 

We knew we’d be busy today, so we got the shopping out of the way 2nd up. The fold up bikes came in handy here, mine with a basket (Simon hasn’t had time to attach his!!), off we went to a supermarket we think is quite good. We had fun trying to buy steak from the meat counter and weren’t quite sure what we had bought. It entailed a lot of pointing and Greek/English from the assistant who wanted us to buy bone in steak (for a fondue?) We kept saying ” for the grill?”and she said “for the grill,” with a nod. Eventually we found what we wanted and rode home with both backpacks full and my basket. (Hmmm?!). 

It was overcast today. There was a street market near the Marina with local producers, market gardeners, selling their fruit and veg and HONEY, which is obviously a speciality. All manner of honey. I’m attracted to the flowers honey and intend to try some, there seems endless varieties  but we just bought strawberries,  which we didn’t see in the supermarkets( although they are very well stocked – it’s easier if you can read Greek, which we can’t but there is still a lot of English on many products)

Back at the boat we cleaned and sorted. I had a lovely call from Ben from Scotland to Lefka, way out in the Marina on the boat,  clear as day. 

We managed to make the Saloon look clear before our guests arrived. Yusuf and Astli a very nice couple from Turkey that we met in the hotel who are also buying a boat here. It was Asti’s birthday so we gave her a card that I bought with me from home. She was very pleased,  we had a lovely evening – they cooked their own dinner, fodue, for dessert we had strawberries and melted ice cream with chocolate liquer from Stockholm, what could be better?! Conversation was not a problem, we have a lot in common and enjoyed hearing about Turkey amongst other things. Yusuf has spent a lot of years as a highly qualified tour guide ( until tourism and Turkey fell out) and is very knowledgeable. Astli is a lovely lady who has been a fitness teacher, ground staff at an airport amongst other things. They speak English,  we don’t speak anything but English really, wish we did. They are buying a boat they hope to charter for skippered tours, as an alternative income stream. If we run out of money we could do that too although I think there’s red tape involved (coding?)

Sunday- diet day! We need to get back on the 5-2 diet. Really. We did a run ( check out the app- couch to 5K), we restarted that, a 30min run/walk. Then more cleaning sorting. We have 6 life jackets and 8 flotation jackets. Do we need the flotation jackets? We’re gearing ourselves up to ditch them. But they’re in good condition but  they have the boat name I like on them. We have 2 dinner sets, both good. Everything is good quality stuff, but so much of it. It’s hard to ditch things. 

Let me know if I’m boring you, I’ll write less. 

Julie x

Weds 26th, ownership passes to us!

IMAG0100Over the last couple of days, Simon has been chasing and checking to get the things done that need doing before the boat goes back in. It was an uphill struggle.
Simon- “has the work been done?”

Boatyard employee- ” yes, it’s all done. The bill will be ready today”

Simon checks – hasn’t been done!

Boatyard employee- ‘”when I said it’d been done, I meant it would be done soon”

Simon – “When? ”

Boatyard employee – ” the engineer will be there maybe 3 maybe 4 this afternoon”

He wasn’t

It was a struggle but finally, the anti fouling paint was applied, with about 5 mins to launch the anode was changed (don’t ask- I do know where it is though and it would be under the water), Simon helped a nice Liverpudlian called Andy to ‘bend’ the sails ( they were overwintered in a cabin and so had to be attached to the mast), which took 2 hours of hard labour in the burning sun. I watched.

Finally the trailer turned up, collected the boat ( Ooer!), drove it down the line to an open space, transferred it to a cradle ( fully captured on video which may find its way on here later after editing) and then drove it over the chanel and lowered it in. Then it was driven off of the belt by Kevin the surveyor and Stephen the yacht broker plus Simon. I joined them for the sea trial.

The sea trial took about 2 hours and entailed a lot of engine work,  testing the boat at various revs both forward and reverse. Kevin observed the engine. Then they put the sails up ( I just watched although I did helm), did some tacks and then came back. Everyone thought the boat sailed ‘ beautifully’ through the water, with higher speeds than expected. I was just pleased it didn’t sink!

The stressful moment was parking (yes, they say that too). We had ‘accepted’ the boat by then so Simon took control. We had to come in ‘stern to’ next to another yacht that had no fenders. Ours is quite a big yacht when you are manoeuvring and there were other yachts about. It’s not easy to reverse, control isn’t that good. If we dent it, it costs a lot, practically the boat is now ours- it’s our risk. I couldn’t look! It was scary. Our fenders were out but to see the side of our boat seem to make contact with the next one- I waited for the crunch- but it didn’t come. Simon did well. I breathed! Simon and I will have to do that on our own soon, I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew…

So, it seems a grey area as to exactly when ownership passes. We have the keys and plan to sail it from its temporary berth to another one tomorrow- that’ll be a test. But we don’t yet have the bill of Sale and so can’t proceed far. All Marinas require you to prove ownership and show insurance. But we can move it to Lefkas Marina which is where the broker is, on his say so. So we’ll do that.

Julie x

Now at Lefkas

Mon 24th April

We took the long ferry from Venice to Patras. 2 days, we had a cabin. Had we been wiser, as all the other Lefkas bound people were, we would’ve got off at the stop before Patras and arrived at our hotel several hours earlier…you live and learn. We met 2 interesting boaty couples _Vida and Mike, who lived aboard a catamaran for 14 years and have owned a boat for 28years. They are selling up their land based house, which they built willy nilly over the years, due to ill health and no longer own a boat. They were travelling in a beaten up old camper van and were aged about 80 and so interesting! They invited us to contact them if we get to Flehoe Bay, on Lefkas. Then the German couple who own 2 boats, rent 1 out bareboat and the other skippered by them. The wife was also a sail maker. 

I read 2 books on the ferry.

Today we’ve been chasing up the work that should’ve been done on our boat, some of which we were told HAD been done:-.
Lubricating the propeller- not done

Replace the shaft seal- done

Repair the gel coat-done

Replace the anode on the propeller- not done

RE installation of the windows- not done

Bending the sails -not done

Anti fouling -not done

Some of this needs to done before it goes back in the water and we definitely need the Sails!  And windows! Good job we got here early to check and chase. The sea trial is weds. More chasing tomorrow. 

We painted the propeller with egg white – a little tip we picked up, it’s  supposed to keep it from getting encrusted with barnacles and other growth. 

I’m looking forward to getting a home back. My own little territory.

It’s sunny, warm in the sun but there’s a sea breeze. I need my fleece, Simon doesn’t!

I’ve started another book, I bought plenty, but there’s a room here where you can leave books or clothes for others. I picked up a pair of denim shorts that looked good, yet to try them.. 

Internet connection isn’t easy..

The sun is shining…

Julie