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 reality have been about 50% of the time.  I do however now realise that paying more for a good, sheltered marina with more facilities may well be worth it.   

We choose this location (Lakki marina in Leros) for our winter stay because it was half the price of the other marinas and it had space.  We now know why.  All this said, we have enjoyed Leros and our time here has not been wasted.   Paul has made amazing progress through his list of jobs and the company we found to work on the Bimini and canvas are doing a fantastic job.

So our plan is to head to the island of Patmos at the beginning of February and stay there until the  middle of the month.  We have arranged to be hauled out of the water on the 15th February so we will need to sail back down to the north end of Leros to come out at Artemis marina.

I am a little worried about this …. (strange to have something to worry about)  there are about 6 or 7 dogs wandering around the marina which will drive Lilly nuts.  So will I let her run around with them? (I have visions of her running headlong into a chock (the sea legs holding the boats up) and the whole row of boats having a domino effect as they topple over each other. (Imagine the bill if that would happen). Or will I have to shut her in the boat and put up with her whining as the other dogs stalk the boat like a pack of hungry hyenas waiting for their prey to tire (or me to give in). 

I guess worrying about the dog situation has meant that I haven’t even considered the work we are set to do while the boat is out of the water.  Paul has requested my assistance for the full 2 weeks which is rather ominous.  I am pleased though that he now knows the importance of booking me in advance so I can block my diary.   I did manage to negotiate 2 days of homeopathy work however … just to keep my sanity, and so I expect that I will be scrubbing, polishing and antifouling until I am too sore to move.   

This is the time when I am grateful the boat isn’t wooden, it was this time 2 years ago when Paul had us removing the paint off our wooden motor boat and repainting the whole boat.  It was quite a feat, luckily we had our good friends to help us, it was a mammoth job and one I am pleased we don’t have to repeat.

I have found a little apartment we can stay in during our time on the dry.  We will need to hire a car as there are no shops in the area at all so we will have to travel to go shopping or pick up parts.  It won’t be half as comfortable as the boat but it will be a change and means that Paul can spend more time working and less time clearing up whilst getting through the jobs.

Paul has spent the last few weeks collecting all of the things we will need to replace the seacocks and do the other repairs planned whilst we are out of the water.  The seacocks are all of the holes through the boat that let water out and doesn’t let water in (for obvious reasons).   It is one of the jobs that you always need to check when the boat is out, and it would be usual to replace them every five or ten years.   As everyone, who has ever worked on a boat knows, once you begin a job you find that the fittings (either the old ones to be removed or the new ones you have purchased) are not as expected or the job you think you are doing is only a fraction of what needs to be done.  With this in mind, we have carried out a recce of all of the chandlery’s, plumbing shops and hardware stores on the island, I guess we are as prepared as we possibly can be.

We had a big parcel arrive from Dom in the UK.  He had kindly been collecting things for the last few weeks to put into a box and send in one go.   We have found that some of the parts needed are more than double the price out here and so it makes sense to put together a parcel when you can.  The cost of box to send, ended up being over £50 because of the surcharge to ship to an island and the surcharge to get it here within 2 weeks etc etc.  So you do have to do your maths before you buy.   We reckoned we still saved £200 so it was worth it.   I also jumped on the bandwagon and had some new underwear sent out … courtesy of Marks and Spencers.  I do find that underwear just does not last long when you live on a boat.  It obviously doesn’t like the salty air or something!   Anyway, the switch panel, the underwear, the new wifi aerial, the new kettle and various other hatch covers, bulbs and paraphernalia arrived safely.  Thank you Dom.

We had ordered a new one litre kettle which will work on the inverter.  This means that we can use it during the summer when we are at anchor with no mains electricity.   As we have so much sunshine during the majority of the year, we are trying to see how we can maximise our solar usage.  We did find a couple of 1 litre kettles that were 1000watt but they were plastic and poor quality.  This one is stainless steel and so we hope will last longer in our salty atmosphere.

So we seem all set now for our final month of servicing and repairs.  We (when I say ‘we’ I mean Paul), has diligently gone through the maintenance jobs that we are doing while the boat is out of the water.  He has bought the spare parts, planned the execution and I have every confidence that it will all run relatively smoothly. (I know there will be a few hiccups – I jut don’t expect them to be ones we can’t work around).

The Bimini refit is going well.  A little behind schedule but we are nearly there.  We hope to get the sides completed and the sail repairs done before we leave at the end of next week, then the few remaining bits and pieces, the sail bag, the BBQ cover, the paddle board cover and the rope bags can be delivered to us while the boat is out of the water. 

Paul has stormed through his job list, with only a few jobs that will roll on for a few extra months but we don’t want him to be bored do we.

Seems like a plan is coming together.

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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