Yacht Pipit


A Mercedes-Benz, a roast chicken, beef stifado & jellyfish - 12th November 2013

Although it's a Mercedes and I'd like to take it for a spin round the block, on balance, all things considered, I think the Fiat 500 was more suited to our driveway and of more use to us. But then it's been pointed out that a Land Rover product may be more appropriate than a Fiat 500 for our off-roading adventures, so here are some gratuitous photos of some that perhaps I should have kept:

And possibly something different for the sunny days:

Or maybe this is the MPV for us...

Anyway, following on from our last update, my sister (who has been to Lima, not Llama) has pointed out that a llama looks a bit like a camel, and an alpaca looks a bit like a giraffe, and I am pretty certain you can't wash your hands in either of them... I do happen to know that you can go trekking with llamas in the Forest of Dean though.

The observant amongst our readers will have noticed that we are now "social media'd up" - so our more demanding readers (you know who you are!) can now follow us and our more frequent shorter ramblings on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the icons at the top left of each page.

Last Monday and Tuesday saw a change in the weather - 48 hours of spells of torrential monsoon-like rain and intense thunder and lightning (both fork and sheet), accompanied by strong winds - peaking at 52 knots in the harbour. We were glad to be in the villa rather than rocking & rolling on Pipit but the irony is that we can't help worrying about her when we're not aboard. Sadly this weather meant that we missed the Sail Ionian end of season 'do' as, although Vliho is only about 5 miles from Vathi, we didn't fancy making the trip in a thunderstorm.

The calm before the storm - reflections on a walk prior to last week's bad weather.

By Wednesday the weather had reverted to warm & sunny. In fact it was so nice on Friday that when we walked down to Pipit with the intention of a marathon deck cleaning session, we decided instead to slip the lines and go for a little sail. We have said in previous years that it would be nice to do this on pleasant winter days but the reality is, when you live aboard during the winter, it takes about half a day to stow away all the 'stuff' that comes out to make winter life aboard more comfortable, so it doesn't happen. As we are living in the villa, it took us only about 5 minutes to ready Pipit and slip two lines so, perhaps for us, we have the best of both worlds?

We pottered round to Kapali, which as expected was deserted, and then headed over to a small cove on the east coast of Lefkas, near Nidri, that we'd spotted several times but never visited as there is really only room for one boat and it has always been occupied when we have passed. This time it too was deserted, save some enormous jellyfish, so we dropped the anchor and had lunch in weather better than the best summer day you could imagine in the UK - not bad for the 8th of November!

Lunch stop.

White spotted jellyfish - beautiful, but perhaps not ideal swimming companions!

Returning to Vathi we realised that we had seen only two other distant yachts all day and so it felt like we'd had the Northern Ionian pretty much to ourselves - nice! We've recently been reading blogs of some of our fellow over-winterers from last year who are now over-wintering in Finike, Turkey. Although we didn't want to push on that far this year and knew we wanted to linger in the Ionian for at least another season, if not longer, we were slightly envious of the fabulous historical & archeological sites they have visited, and what looks like a beautiful cruising ground. But our brief trip out for lunch in a stunning anchorage on our doorstep reminded us how special it is here too - sometimes one can become blasé about the familiar.

Anyway on Saturday we did actually clean the coachroof, cockpit & teak decks - the decks were fairly grubby but with nothing more than a very soft hand brush so as not to damage the teak they have returned to their silvery hue, which we think looks more natural than the fresh teak look that can be achieved by pouring chemicals & acids all over them, not to mention the extra work and expense!

Because (I know, never start a sentence with a conjunction) we now can, on Sunday we had a full-sized roast chicken in our full-sized oven, complete with the usual suspects and flavoured with rosemary from the garden and local oregano. Talking of such things, it seems our meat & poultry haul from Lidl which we stashed in the freezer is going to last us about a month. So our plan of hiring a car one day a month to go to Lefkas looks like it might work out quite well.

And (I know, I know) today, in anticipation of more wet, windy & thundery weather for 24 hours we have, as we type, a beef stifado simmering away in our new slow cooker, courtesy of Mr Amazon. Talking of Amazon, it seems that they have put just about every CD I have ever bought from them onto my 'cloud', so I have completely bypassed that passé mp3 player technology and jumped straight from CD to cloud! Of course I used to have my own personal cloud that followed me around in the UK, but that just meant it was usually raining wherever I went... The upshot of this is that we haven't had to cart our CDs off Pipit in order to listen to our favourite tunes in the villa, which we can do via the speakers on the 'big screen'.

Thunder, lightning and heavy rain outside, beef stifado nearly ready for dinner - pour the Merlot!

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