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.

Weeks of Wind 39

Weeks of Wind 39

We thought it would be a great opportunity to go to a homeopathic course by George Vithoulkas on the island of Alonnisis.  He is a very famous homeopath and so this was an opportunity not to be missed.  The problem was with weddings and visitors we were...

Morning Deliberations 38

Morning Deliberations 38

When planning to have guests on board there are a number of considerations we have to ponder.  The first one being where will we be in a particular month so visitors can arrange flights and the second one is what will the weather be doing so that we can arrange...

Sailing to the Wedding 37

Sailing to the Wedding 37

We were over the moon when Ben (Paul’s son) announced he was to have his wedding in Rhodes.  We had planned our year around it and it was a great opportunity to visit the Dodecanese area of Greece.  In truth we were a little worried about the availability of...

Sophie in Symi 36

Sophie in Symi 36

Our sail from Kos to Symi was terrific.  We waited for the wind to die down a little from the 25 to 35 knots we had had in Kos and now we were sailing in 12 to 16 knots with the wind behind us.  It was such a lovely sail Sophie and I decided we could do a meditation...

Sailing South for Sophie 35

Sailing South for Sophie 35

We had a really enjoyable stay in Pithagorian on Samos.  We had a full 2 weeks tied to the town quay which was free during March.  We then had to plan our sail south to Kos to pick up Sophie.  We were still getting 5 days of wind to every 2 days of calm and it quite...

Man Overboard – I fell In! 34

Man Overboard – I fell In! 34

All that talk of walking the plank was really tempting fate wasn’t it.  After three years of living on a boat … I fell in!  Shopping and all!It was one of those days, the wind was blowing, we were safely moored up, we decided to go shopping.  Usually I hate shopping...

A Perfect March Day

A Perfect March Day

We awoke to blue skies and the sun coming in through our overhead window.   Great, I wasn’t working today so we could have a relaxed day together. I began by taking Lilly for a walk.  We have a lovely walk in Lipsi, when the sun is out we can follow the coast line...

2 Weeks Ashore

2 Weeks Ashore

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...

Mushroom Mania

Mushroom Mania

We are loving our new Bimini and extra canvas work that is now completed.   We hope that by changing from bright (and dirty) yellow to “mushroom”, we will be less attractive to wasps and more able to keep a cleaner and tidier appearance for the next few years. It has...

Focus on February

Focus on February

As we near the end of January we begin to finalise our plans for February. We negotiated with the marina here to cut our stay here down so the it finishes at the end of January.  We were paying too much here considering it is so open to the southerlies which in...

Winter Food on a Boat

Winter Food on a Boat

Eating in Leros Greece We had hoped that Leros would provide us with somewhere nice to eat out during the winter as it is our one treat we both really enjoy.  Generally we have found eating out to be really reasonably priced in Greece with a good meal being about £40...

A Very Quiet Christmas & A Happy New Year

A Very Quiet Christmas & A Happy New Year

A Very Quiet Christmas They told us Leros would be quiet and they were right.  The weather had closed in on us in the weeks leading up to Christmas and we had battened down the hatches to keep warm and dry.  Most of our sailing neighbours had gone off for a month or...

November in Leros

November in Leros

I thought I would tell you a little more about our winter so far in Leros.   We have chosen the small harbour (Lakki Marine) and there are only three or four boats staying here over the winter period.  So far, the weather has been amazing although we have now got...

November 1st … is this really winter?

November 1st … is this really winter?

November 1st …. Our winter Season Begins We had arrived in Leros a few days early.  Of course, this is when the wind dies and the sun comes out.  We have a few days plugged into electric and with the use of hot, (unlimited water) showers, great walks, etc etc when we...

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