Yacht Pipit


Donner und Blitzen, a scale & polish and a DEKPA - 3rd December 2013

Since our last update we've had periods of extreme thunder & lightning and spells of unbelievably heavy rain, with and without very strong winds. This has lasted for days (and nights) with brief respites allowing quick trips to check on Pipit, go shopping and retrieve firewood from the log store. Neither of us has ever known thunderstorms last so long - usually they come & go in an hour or two, here they seem to drift away briefly only to return a short while later.

All of this meteorological activity has caused something we didn't consider when deciding to live on Meganisi for the winter - power cuts. The power comes via submarine cables from Lefkas and it seems the distribution system is pretty old and in strong winds and/or heavy rain and/or lightning, blackouts are likely. Other than for scheduled works, I don't think I can recall a power cut in the UK since the Three Day Week, so this is something we need to get more prepared for - we currently have only two candles, but we think we may need four... We do have a portable single burner gas stove in the villa which we need to check works. On Sunday evening the power dropped out a couple of times for about 5 minutes, yesterday morning we had partial power (enough for lights but not enough to boil a kettle or use the hob) for 3 hours, then full power for a couple of hours followed by a total outage for a further 3 hours. By this time it was dark and we were sitting by the fire warming our Merlot contemplating an extremely early night when somewhat unexpectedly full power was restored. Ironically if we were aboard Pipit we would have LED lighting, diesel heating and gas to cook on! But we would also need ear defenders during the intense downpours...

Power, light and heat!

In between the stormy weather, we have had some glorious days too, allowing us to don our walking boots and explore the island a bit more:

Meganisi II

The black goat of the family... Incidentally an alpaca looks a bit like a sheep, not a giraffe as we wrote last time! That Merlot is pretty good...

A local fisherman going about his business.

Miniature wild cyclamen.

Well camouflaged butterfly sunning itself.

Above Kapali looking across to Abelike with Kalamos Island and the mainland in the distance.

Presumably the beginnings of a new villa...

...they'll be needing a Land Rover though - attempted tow seems to have been less than successful.

Two Fridays ago we finally managed a visit to a dentist. We had been recommended a practice in Lefkas Town and this turned out to be a good choice - two dentists with excellent English who had spent part of their training in London. We had the expected scale & polish and need a return visit to have a couple of old fillings replaced, so not too bad as we've not seen a dentist for nearly four years. We've also found an English speaking ophthalmologist with whom we've booked overdue eye tests for this Friday. Having to say whether the green or red is brighter, or it's better with or without etc in Greek would be very difficult. We have learnt another new Greek word though - the Greek for umbrella is, um, umbrella. Even Andy can manage that one...

Last Friday we at last obtained a DEKPA, a cruising log, required for Greek waters. Regular readers may recall we tried on our arrival in June at Argostoli, but there were none to be had. Our second attempt in Preveza was unsuccessful because, although the Port Police there did have DEKPAs, it was a Saturday and the tax office was closed, so we couldn't pay the fee and therefore not receive a DEKPA. So third time lucky - we'd phoned Lefkas Port Police so knew they had the forms. A visit to 5 desks (one of them twice) in two different buildings (the tax office and Port Police office), dealing with 6 state employees for the fee of just under €30 resulted in us holding a pristine DEKPA, even though its first stamp was accidentally placed on page 3 instead of page 1. Perhaps it will be worth something one day... I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions on the above.

It was a lot colder here last week, but we were still surprised to see snow on the distant mountain tops on the mainland as we travelled towards Lefkas. After today's rain and grey skies the forecast for the next week or so is for bright sunny weather by day (ideal for walking) and single figure temperatures by night, so we may be having to put more logs on the fire. If it gets really cold we may even light them...

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