Friday, 27 February 2015

I think it may be raining... AGAIN!!...

Sorry it's blurred Keith, Sanny and Angie having a sup.
 It was carnival weekend last Saturday in Nidri and Sunday in Lefkas town.  Saturday was fine but Sunday a real blowout and washout but I am led to believe it still happened, us? we were tucked up in the boat keeping warm watching telly.
White Beach doing their thing.

Strange dress sense?  Spiros playing trumpet in the background.
On Saturday evening we went to Mama Mia's with Keith and Angie to have a meal and watch White Beach perform.  The band had a couple of guest musicians, the first was Karen (I think?) who bought Tony's house.  She did the sax solos on Baker street.  The second was Spiros who owns Mama Mia's he normally plays his trumpet in the islands brass band but put on a show with the band and also proving that trumpet is a versatile instrument.  Well done both.  We all had a great night with good food and good company.

Since then the weather has been lousy apart from one day when the sun managed to get itself out of bed.  However, the excess of moisture has shown us that we have a couple of leaks one of which is quite bad.  It'll have to wait for an improvement in the weather until anything can be done until then we'll just have to keep mopping out the locker.

We have also got a really noisy back wheel bearing which hopefully Tony Goodhall will be fixing for us in the not too distant future, one of the downsides to living on a small boat is that the tool box isn't as comprehensive as it would be living in bricks and mortar so you have to find someone who can!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

What's that strange yellow thing?....

Common sight of frost on the pontoon this week.
 We have had some fabulous weather during the day for the last couple of weeks and feeling very warm in the sunshine.  We had almost forgotten what the sun looked like for a while but it seems to be back where it belongs for the time being at least.  The downside of this deep high pressure is the nights are very cool indeed, in fact we have had several mornings where, for early birds like us, we have arisen to find the pontoon white over with frost.  Hey you can't have it all ways.

No so cold in front of this at Mama Mia's
Last Thursday evening we decided to have a look at Nidri for something to eat and where very suprised to find Mama Mia's open for business and with a roaring fire outside to welcome the customers in.  They had a Greek trio playing traditional music for the evening and whilst this isn't really my cup of tea we did have a great time and the restaurant was packed with people both Greek and foreigners.
Mama Mia starting to get packed last for "Burnt Thursday"
Lefkas town illuminations ready for carnival.

We have been taking advantage of the better weather and power washed all the decks in an attempt to shift the winter grime.  This has not been entirely successful as we still have some black marks which are proving very stubborn.  I think these may have come about with people in the town now using much more wood as heating fuel over winter, the resulting smoke being delivered to our boat in the rain.  Never mind, when we remove the winter awning we'll get some acid at the black bits, that'll cure it.

We've also replaced our mooring lines with new ones and new rubber shock absorbers as the snatching we have been experiencing during the recent storms had frayed our old (less than a year old) ones.  At least we have no more creaks and squeaks.

A walk through town the other night showed us that preparations for this weekends Carnival was well under way and the lights near "Chinese" bridge are particularly pretty.  All the shops and restaurants and bars are all decco'd up ready for the event which precedes the forty days of fasting in lent.  There will be an enormous quantity of meat eaten this week "just to stock up" as one Greek guy said to us.

Little Taverna in Menidi on the Amvraticus Gulf
Shock cord on the passerelle modified yet again.
Yesterday, we had a ride around the gulf looking for a particular place we had spotted on Google earth which with Allen and Jean in Cyprus.  Although we have located the area we cannot get to it from the land so a real exploration will have to wait until we take the boat in that area.  Whilst on our travels we stopped at Menidi between Amfilochio and Arta on the gulf side.  Just nosing about as you do.  We went into a little Taverna for a coffee and spent a marvellous hour of so talking to a couple of local people in pigeon Greek and pigeon English.  Politics is very much the subject on all their minds at the moment or rather the lack of money resulting from politics.  Things are hard for all the ordinary people here and you only really get a taste of that when you get away from the real tourist destinations and you find electronic and engineering graduates can't even get jobs doing very menial things, things have got to change here I think I just don't know if the people can survive long enough to see the better times which might result from it.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Better weather - More work!...

Accumulator and water pump out for service.
 The weather seems to have finally cleared through after an horrific weekend of high winds and lots of rain which ended in snow on
Where they normally live minus the H2O.
 on the island above about 500 feet.  The snow is still here and it's bitterly cold overnight with a couple of morning frosts but glorious sunshine during the day and warm without the wind which we have all endured for the last few weeks.

The improvement in the weather has meant that at last we can get on with some of the jobs we need to do on the boat.  The first of which we had not planned for.

We had known for a few days that we had a slight fresh water leek and we were just mopping it out of the pump locker until the weather improved and let us find the cause.  However, as usual the cause had different plans and on Monday morning we arose to find the fore cabin carpet awash.  A look in the pump locker instantly told us the problem was worse, it was full of water, two and a half buckets full.  The problem was a bolt had come out of the pressure switch assembly all cured and back in now.
New Curtain need rails, clamped 'till the epoxy goes off.

We now have curtains properly fitted in the stern cabin and the heads.  Sandra and I made them whilst we were in England and we've fitted the rails this morning, just the fore cabin to go now and that's another job out of the way.

Bravo Kostas and Bravo Tommy.
Last Friday when it was blowing force seven and peeing down with rain, two Bulgarian guys rolled up to do some steel work on a catamaran just near us (My Zen).  They could not get on the boat so took the passerelle from the boat next door (Smitten). They then proceeded to drop it in the hog wash and being effectivley a long board it didn't sink straight to the bottom but went off at an angle.   Fortunately, Tommy saw them and remonstrated with them about it but to no avail they didn't even try to get it out.  Tommy, being the persistent person he is called up the company in Bulgaria and told them what he had seen, he said he would try to rescue it but it  may need a diver and they didn't seem keen to pay for this option.  After trying unsuccessfully to rescue the three meter passerelle he reported it to the marina management.  They said that they would get a diver to have a look and bill the owner (or the steel company) direct.  This morning Kostas the diver took almost a hour to find it but find it he did.  I think it was admirable of Tommy and the marina for what they did, and despicable that the steel guys didn't even attempt to retrieve it let alone ask before they borrowed it in the first place.  Rant Over.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

We're still bouncing....

flood barrier on the french doors
 Since getting back to Lefkas the weather has been pretty bad with lots of rain and high winds.  We have been having gales consistently, at force nine last weekend but currently about force six or seven.  The barometer has been as low as I've ever seen it in Greece, about 990 at it's lowest but normally well over a thousand even in winter.  Today is very sunny though with twenty degrees here in the marina and twenty two in the town where it's sheltered from the wind, very pleasant for February.
And front door

CG Constructions have finished the flood prevention work on the house back in Yorkshire and we hope that we really don't need to ever use them in anger but at least we can tell the insurance company that we've taken preventative measures, they may bring our huge excess down a little now.

Front at Vlicho last Sunday.
We had Sunday lunch at Vlicho Yacht Club to get off the boat for a while and get some land legs back.  It was smashing but it looks like Rauri has his work cut out down there with the weather situation.  He has had to move six yachts up here to the marina and is standing night shift looking after the others he is responsible for.  The water was very high there even for this time of year.

somewhat higher water than usual.
We needed some diesel for the car yesterday and decided to get off the island and take advantage of the lower prices on the mainland.  We paid €1.065 (£0.80) per litre.  It's means people can afford to travel about once again.

We are having a guitar concert night in Remezzo's in about a months time and I still have to decide which songs I am going to play (or more the point, which one's I can make a stab at singing).  Oh the life of a rock star!!