We were a few days late coming out of the water because every time the wind abated enough for us to travel north, I was working.   This hasn’t been an issue for us much before but I have a feeling it might be more of an issue here in the Aegean because the wind is much stronger than in the Ionian.

Our main issue is that  Topcat has a bridge deck which has not much clearance above the waves.  This means that if we head into the waves, the boat is slammed by the waves crashing between the two hulls making a noisy ride.  It isn’t half as bad with the wind and waves behind you as she surfs down the waves they don’t bang and make the tables thud.

We managed to head north on the Sunday so we carried on and stayed the night in Lipsi ready to motor back down to Partheni early on the Monday morning ready for a 9.30am lift. 

Our night in Lipsi was heaven.  We had stayed here for several nights before our winter in Leros.  It is a beautiful island, much cleaner and better kept than Leros, although only a small local population so very quiet during the winter.  It is very open to the Westerlies and so not suitable for a winter stay, but we were treated to an amazing sunset in the entrance to the bay.

Our lift out went according to plan, although a very long, drawn out affair.  We had had to choose this marina as they lift from the bottom rather than the top which means they can take much wider boats than most other marinas.  However to do it, takes a long time and many people, I now realise why we were being charged 4 times the amount of a lift out in the UK.  With 8 people needed for 3 hours and 3 or 4 for a further 3 hours to get her safely blocked up in the yard was a colossal amount of labour cost, including a diver to set the beams in the right place to lift.

By mid afternoon we were in place and set up so we put together our plan of action.  We were now down to 9 days instead of the 14 we had anticipated so we needed to crack on.  The weather was balmy, we set to stripping off everything that could be washed was going to be.  They have some nice big washing machines and were a lot cheaper than anywhere else we have been so it seemed sensible to do mattress covers, cushion covers, curtains and anything else we could find.

I had two arduous days of polishing the topsides, there were 7 stages in this clean and polish regime.  I set myself up with visions of the Karate Kid in my mind, knowing that technique of polishing made you a much better karate champion.   (If you haven’t seen this film it is worth watching just to see them catch mosquitos with chopsticks).

Paul set to pulling out the the loos and all of the plumbing in order to redo the whole system.  In the Mediterranean you are required to have holding tanks which you can empty when offshore.   We had been under the impression that whilst in Harbour you could have your tanks emptied, a bit like emptying a cess pit.  How ever in reality, this does not happen, except, we had been warned that in Turkey it did happen and you had to use the emptying service.   We therefore had to ensure we had multiple ways of emptying the tanks depending on where we were.

Paul had spent weeks planning a much easier design and then several more weeks finding the parts he needed to achieve his plan.  All of his hard work paid off and he had soon stripped out and re-plumbed both heads (bathrooms) and replaced all of the skin fittings that were on their last legs.

Because of all of the work Paul was planning we had decided to take a holiday cottage for the duration, we had to hire a car anyway because the yard was in the middle of nowhere and supplies and shopping were about a 5 mile drive away.  We hadn’t got a lot of choice, but had been pleased to find a couple of rooms in Pantelli, a lovely beach village on the other side of the island.  Our apartment was high on the hill overlooking the sea, a fantastic position and a lovely walk down the hill to the beach each morning with Lilly. In truth, we don’t much enjoy being on land, our boat is so well equipped, we found the apartment dull and uninteresting.  Of course in beautiful hot weather it would be fine but we found we were bringing more and more things over because there was always something else we needed.

It made us realise how lucky we are to be able to take our house with us wherever we go.  Everything you put into the boat, you choose carefully. You have to need it, it has to be practical, it has to fit, it has to bring you pleasure to look at and use it.  So every bowl, every mug, and utensil is special.  You can’t keep buying new things when you live on a boat because there just isn’t room for lots of things that don’t get used, so everything is carefully considered, planned and measured before being allowed on board.  We also have a rule that if you buy something new then you have to get rid of something old, so you don’t keep adding more weight to the boat.

We are now back on the water, all of the seacocks were fine when we launched so Paul can now relax for a few days.

We love our boat!

We are Free to Sail 57

We are Free to Sail 57

We are back on anchor and free to sail.  (In the image above is the bay we are now sitting in). Well that is the theory anyway!  In reality we need to do another shop and we need to pick up a parcel that hasn’t arrived yet So in the meantime we can test all of our...

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

Overwintering on a boat in Samos Marina, on the beautiful Greek island of Samos could be quite a lonely affair if it wasn’t for the live-aboard community, let’s refer to them as the ‘exuberant partakers of the odd libation’.... so one naturally forms, The Sunday Lunch...

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