Really pleased to arrive in Greece and begin preparation for our new life …. lets start with sorting the internet out

 We now know that our journeys take much longer than we anticipate. If we know we want to arrive at our destination in the daylight and we know that we will want to have a sail even in very light winds, it will increase our traveling time by quite a few hours. Sailing to Greece from Italy was no exception, we had to have the engines on quite a lot of the journey as the wind just refused to blow more than 10 knots.

 “I rang Three to ask how much data we usually used. I was astounded. We would quite easily use 100gb a month. It was not surprising that 13gb had run out. Even without the videos. How were we going to manage?”

 Sailing in quiet seas is only restful if you are not wishing to rush anywhere. Learning to relax and slow down is, I have decided, part of this journey, the journey of life. Lilly was loving the boat, the space, the warmth and the breeze up at the front of the boat. She had really made herself at home.

 We were heading for Gouvia in Corfu. A large marina with port police so we could check into the country. This time, we hoped for an easy time. The sail was easy, we were getting used to the overnighters by now. We saw a few dolphins but not a lot of other wildlife as we headed into Greek waters. We arrived around lunchtime and decided to top up with fuel before getting into the marina. This we did, surprised that the diesel was more money than Italy, and both more than Falmouth (which is really overpriced)…. We topped up the tanks and radioed in to be escorted to a berth.

 Our timing was not good, the marina was hosting a large race and had no room for us. I was secretly a bit glad because the weather was really hot and being crammed in next to lots of people without a breeze I find rather claustrophobic. We saw there were quite a few boats anchored outside the marina in a little bay. Perfect … lots of room and beautifully clear water. Hurray … we could swim at last.

 What a bonus! the anchorage was perfect. We could walk the dog on a quiet part of the town, we could dinghy into the marina and the town for supplies, we could call in at the chandlery. This was a top spot. We had arrived in Greece and already everything looked promising. That first swim was heaven!

 We spent the next few days doing some boat jobs. Mending the loos (by now both had broken), checking equipment, making mosquito defences, checking the internet in preparation for work and of course cleaning and sweeping. (We now have the daily pleasure of brushing up dog hair … always amazes me how much hair a short haired dog can produce).

We sailed around the corner to Corfu town to go and find out about buying a local sim for the phones and our internet router. Corfu town has beautiful buildings, pavements, squares and lots of trees and park areas. It was a shame that on the Saturday we arrived every 100 yards there were piles of rubbish around the bins, whin I say piles I mean mountains of rubbish around the bins. We wondered how long the rubbish had been there. It was very different to Falmouth, can you imagine piles of bin bags…. The seagulls would have a field day. Luckily there didn’t seam to be any rubbish loving gulls around or even cats scrabbling after the rubbish. We hoped this was not a sign of the times (the rubbish not the lack of gulls or cats.

The next day was a Sunday and walking Lilly in the morning we realised the rubbish had gone. Wow, they must have been working all night to clear that lot. We were amazed and delighted.

 Buying data for our internet router was not an easy process. It actually took me 3 days to buy something … and then it didn’t work in the router. By this time we had begun to realise our internet usage was going to have to change dramatically.

In the UK we had a great “all you can eat’ data package from THREE. For £23 we had had as much internet as we wanted in our router. This provided us and our appliances (2 computer, 2 iPads and 2 phones) with internet. We had no idea how much we used.

We knew that when we were abroad Three would restrict our data to 13gb. This sounded plenty but after 2 weeks it had ran out. And we hadn’t watched any youtube videos. In the UK whilst planning our trip, we had been watching 2 or 3 youtube videos a night (we don’t have a television). We had found lots of great videos of people sailing around the world, families, friends, couples, this had really put fire into our plans, feeding the dream, helping us learn about all of the things we would need for our own mini adventure.

 I rang Three to ask how much data we usually used. I was astounded. We would quite easily use 100gb a month. It was not surprising that 13gb had run out. Even without the videos. How were we going to manage?

 With one router sim and two phone sims I then realised we could have 39gb a month on our current plans. But they informed me that after 2 months of continual use abroad they would stop our plans. If we were to come back to the UK it would reset it and our allowance would start again. So in the long term this was not going to work anyway, we had to find another solution.

 I investigated the local companies, Wind, Cosmote and Vodafone. The best I could find was €80 for 40gb and you can top up on line. We bought one but then found we couldn’t use it in the router. We could use it in the phones and we could tether the computer to it but it was less than satisfactory. I then realised I could buy a usb data sim for the same money. This would work for my computer so we just needed to decide what would be the best way forward for the phones and would we be able to have something in the router that would allow Paul to use his iPad with all of our weather and navigation apps.

 We had never even considered this being an issue. We had always taken our internet for granted. I just can’t imagine life with restricted access. I just wonder how people can watch tv on their phones???

 As I work online it is important that I did find a solution. No solution means no mini adventure …. so I wasn’t going to except no for an answer. We had come this far I wasn’t going to be defeated by an internet issue.

 I knew that Vodafone did a 50gb sim in the UK but the best I could get from Vodafone in Greece was 6gb (for about the same money).

We have not yet got our final solution to this problem … I will keep you updated. We are trialling various methods, we will see how things go. For now I am allowed 2 x 1 hour computer sessions a day plus my video calls for work. What is annoying is I have unlimited phone calls and unlimited texts, which I hardly use any of, why I cant have unlimited data I just don’t know. We have a router with a big antenna which we currently cant use. Luckily everywhere where we have stayed has had good 3g usage. I am positive the solution is just around the corner and I am just about to bump into it!

 Meanwhile we are enjoying the swimming, the fresh tomatoes and the hot weather. Do you know, I haven’t had cold feet in well over a month.

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...

Feeling Grateful 52

Feeling Grateful 52

I have just arrived back from a great trip back to the UK.  I had a fantastic time visiting my mum right up in the north of Scotland and my son and his family right down in Kent in the south east of England.   Arriving back in Samos I realised I needed my...

Boat Mended….Panic Over 51

Boat Mended….Panic Over 51

Arriving in Leros, we made the preparations to get the boat lifted out of the water so our hole could be mended.  We tried to organise things so we wouldn't be out of the water for too long but we knew they would need to dry the boat before fixing it.  They arranged...

September Sailing South- 48

September Sailing South- 48

We have had another fabulous 2 weeks.  We were actually sailing in the right direction with the wind behind us, not too many waves and generally great conditions for gentle sailing.  Fair Winds and following seas on the nail.   We juggled sailing with work days, we...

Family Treat … 47

Family Treat … 47

We have had such a great week with the family.  Dominic and Robyn and their two children Florence and Freddie with their good friend Sarah and George were great company in Alonissos.

Christmas Comes Early 46

Christmas Comes Early 46

We were very excited to see our family coming to stay and for an extra bonus we had arranged a parcel to arrive at the same time.   So I thought I would run through the traumas of shopping whilst living on a boat. Because we don’t have an address a lot of the time, as...

Leaving The Gulf Of Volos – 45

Leaving The Gulf Of Volos – 45

For the first time I feel sad about leaving a place.  The Gulf of Volos has been our home for six weeks.  With no sailing (because there has been no wind), we have just settled into a summer life of swimming, writing, relaxing, swimming, reading, planning, joking and...

Propeller? What Propeller? 42

Propeller? What Propeller? 42

We have been battling against the winds for months, now is the time we decide to change our tactic and go where the wind says we go. Instead of going to explore Lesvos and Limnos as we had planned to do, we head west with the wind behind us.  It is a beautiful sailing...

The Evia Channel 40

The Evia Channel 40

We timed the crossing of the Dora Strait well and we got across without any dramas.  The wind and waves were actually higher coming up the first part of the Evia channel so we decided to take a break and have breakfast in the lea of the first island.  We then set off...

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