Thursday, 25 October 2012

The boat now known as Lesanda...

Once again we have the temporary "redeye" factory.
 Driving down to Vassiliki the other day we noticed that the temporary still for making tsiperou had started up again, which means the grape harvest is in full swing.  There were several locals Greeks sat chatting inside as the raw spirit fire water was being  produced.  They are selling off the product €5 per litre, I did think of buying some but I really do want to keep my eyesight as long as possible.

Who needs an engine or sails, this is Eco - fishing!
Saturday was Sandra's birthday and the day set aside to do the all important job of renaming the boat with no name.  We asked Kev to officiate over the proceedings which involved throwing into the sea an ingot bearing the old name of the vessel after having first removed from the boat all things which bore the name but prior to having anything on which had the new name.

Kev officiates over the renaming ceremony.
This is easier said than done so having already endowed her with her new decals, we covered them up for the duration of the ceremony.  Kev offered copious quantities of champaign to Poseidon and asked the ancient sea god to remove the old name from the records whilst thanking him for keeping her safe in the past and also for her safekeeping in the future.

A little libation for Poseidon
Then he turned to the gods of the north, south, east, and west winds and with yet more cheap champaign attempted to curry their favour.  Sandra and I had to drink the remnants of both bottles as skipper and first mate.  Then a little party with a few close friends and a few toasts to the boat and her future and also removing the covering from her new name so the world can now see her as she should be.  Following this Kev and I went to watch the footy on the TV!!

Liz has front row seat at the name unveiling.
I don't claim to know much about the superstitions around changing a boats name but we thought it would be wiser to be safe rather than sorry, and it was an excuse not to do anything much that day.  It was certainly the most unusual birthday that Sanny will ever have I think!

 On Monday we had arranged to move the boat to the next village up the bay to have her new steelwork and canvas work installed.

A new name for a fine vessel. 
So it was to Vlicho or Velcro as some people may call it because many of the people who turn up there never seem to be able to get away from the place!  The trip was eventful as when we set off we discovered that the anchor was stuck.  It had been set there by the Sailing Holidays people and we had not shifted it since taking ownership of her.

A bit of bovver.
At first we thought it was the guy moored next to us who has crossed our anchor as when we pulled on the windlass there was movement on his anchor chain.  We got the guy to un-moor and lift his anchor from ours but found he was in the same situation.  Fortunately he had a very powerful windlass and with both of us lifting we found the nature of the problem.  On this pontoon there had been lazy lines installed (for mooring without an anchor) this had almost vanished and through neglect had just rotted away.  This meant that all the kit on the bottom had just been left in-situ.  When we eventually got it to the surface we had five anchors, thirty yards of rope and about the same of chain dangling from our anchor.  Fortunately the owner of the pontoon came in a dingy and cut it all free for us but lost my very good knife in the process.  He was very quick to tell us that they are having proper lazy lines put in over the winter and this won't happen again! 
Bright shiny new steel work being installed.
Anyway we are now safely moored at Vlicho and the steel work is well on the way to being completed.  In the picture you can see they are just making templates for the canvas for the new spray hood and cockpit enclosure.  If all goes according to plan the next blog should be written from the good ship Lesanda.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Things nautical moving on a pace...

Storm damage to the Sailing Holidays pontoon.
The weather has been a tad weird this week on the island.  The great weather we had been having broke last weekend and we had a couple of quite vicious storms.  The one at breakfast time on Monday morning physically moved the pontoon we are moored to and also did some damage to other boats and pontoons in the Nidri bay area.  One of the sailing holiday's guys recorded winds of over eighty knots (92 MPH!) other than the pontoon itself no harm came any of the boats in the two flotillas moored there.   Tuesday was a little better although always had the promise of more rain to come and sure enough around four o'clock another storm passed across, not quite so severe but none the less angry.  However, the sun has got his proverbial hat on again and the temperatures are touching thirty degrees once more.

Name added but not official until Saturday.
We have more or less finished getting the boat ready for her renaming on Saturday, her new name has been applied along with her registration number and the flag positions altered to show she's a British ship rather than a Greek one.  We have had the quote for the saloon enclosure and rear gantry and the people have all been down to measure her.  Next week we are taking her to Nidri for while to make it easier for the steel fitter and canvas people to work on her.

We went out to the Katoghi last night for a well earned meal out.  Alison and Peter kindly gave us an ice making machine to go on the boat which we tried today and it works, so at least we'll be able to have ice with our G&T's darling darling....

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The boat formerly known as Trikala...

Lefkas near Chinese bridge at night.
 The girls, Jane & Pat, left us on Sunday well damn near Monday actually.  They were supposed to be at Preveza airport to book in at 11:45 am, we got told then that there was a flight delay and to return at 16:30 to get booked in but the did not expect the flight to leave until 22:00.  We returned at the appointed hour and got the girls through check in and was told they were now expecting the flight at 21:00 and gave them a meal voucher for a taverna across the road as a sweetener for the delay.

A tipple in Cafe Di Paris before a last supper.
This caused Jane and Pat untold problems as they couldn't get the last train from Manchester airport to York.  Fortunately Jane's travel agent came to the rescue and ordered them a taxi to pick them up at Manchester and bring them home.  The story doesn't really end there as the flight incurred further delays and did not leave Preveza until  twenty to one in the morning Greek time but they got back safely and the taxi was waiting as arranged, finally arriving home at ten to five UK time, just as I was getting up as it happens.  I know there is a tendency to double up on flights late in the season but you would think they could at least inform people before the day of the flight via txt or Email in this day and age.  Be careful of travelling with Monarch unless you have plenty of time on your hands.  All the same I think they enjoyed their couple of weeks with us and certainly gave us a laugh if nothing else.

Look Mum NO NAME!!
 So from Monday onwards it was all our attention turned to the new home.  We have been cracking on a pace this week and fortunately the weather has been cooler than of late, only in the mid twenties now.  Sandra has got her all scrubbed and polished inside and most of the soft furnishing have been taken back.

And no Logo either.
I have removed all the "Sailing Holidays" decals (thanks for the loan of the heat gun Kev!) and her name and Greek registration transfers from the hull and instead of being "the boat formerly know as Trikala", she is "The boat with no name".  But not for long, we intend to have a little renaming ceremony on Sandra's birthday (20th October) and then they can share birthdays. :-) which means I only have to remember one date....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Ee lad it's been waam...

The Girls in Ioannina.
 It's been hot weather for the last couple of weeks, we were talking to someone yesterday who had recorded over 40 degrees at the end of last week on their shaded balcony but in general it's been in the mid to late thirties.  It's a little cooler this last couple of days now about thirty during the day but feels much, much fresher.  In fact it looks like the weather may break in the nest few day as the clouds seem to be building in an evening, but this doesn't stop us eating al fresco as it's still shorts and tea shirts all night long.

Moon rise over Preveza marina
The weather has meant that work on Lesanda has been slow and I've had a couple of days with the girls out sightseeing.  We took them to Ioannina on Monday which I think they both really enjoyed, and it meant that at last I could get a picture to display on the blog.  We have had a real lazy few days since then, going to see David and Janet (the people who relieved us of our furniture) on Tuesday night as they were back on the island for a visit.  It seems that the furniture was made for their new house, I hope it lasts them for many years.
Clouds building from Lesanda berth.

Thunder is a coming.
Yesterday we went up to Vi & Les' for a BBQ in the afternoon.  It's the first time we have seen them since we returned and it may well be the last as they are going back to the UK tomorrow and probably will not be returning until the spring.

This morning, as it felt a little fresher, I decided to go and do some more wiring on the yacht while Sandra took Pat and Jane off to Meganissi for the day, we met up again for a swift cold drink when the ferry returned at five thirty and by that time I think I for one really deserved it.  Just had a phone call from sailing holidays to say I have some paperwork which they need to de-register the yacht from Greek ownership so I'm currently having to scan them all in in case they get lost in transit back to Corfu tomorrow, just can't get used to working full days any more - I know, I think I'll retire and sail off into the sunset :-)