Yacht Pipit


Hot oar what? - 27th July 2014

So Wimbledon came and went, and so did we, to and fro between some of our favourite anchorages. During a return visit to Ormos Varko, a yacht dropped its anchor in a strange position and then proceeded to tow it half way through the anchorage before finally stopping too close to us and two other yachts. Despite the three pairs of eyes glaring at him, the skipper seemed quite happy with the situation and, when I suggested he was a little close, promised to move should his anchor drag. I wasn't really placated by this as I'd already spotted that there was very little engine cooling water (and quite some smoke) issuing from his exhaust and I could foresee the scenario of his anchor dragging and his engine being disabled rendering him incapable of extricating himself. When I alerted him to the lack of cooling water, to which he seemed oblivious, after a cursory glance over the side he said "well it's not overheating". Yet, I thought. Anyway, persuaded by another boat he did move a little later and the next morning, it transpired that his impeller was indeed broken and he'd spent the previous afternoon fitting a new one, and thanked us for pointing it out.

They float!

Urchins - best not stepped on!

We returned to Vliho quay to collect our new accumulator tank and I then did my second good deed in two days. The owner of the yacht next door was having problems with his anchor windlass control and I was able to offer a suggestion that led him to a quick diagnosis. We then did something I was slightly wary of - we anchored in the bay for a few nights. The holding is very good, but it was in this bay a few years ago that there was a microburst during a thunderstorm that capsized a catamaran and caused severe damage to many other yachts, including €30,000 to a Bavaria 38 whose owners we met recently. We anchored in the eastern side of the bay, deemed a better bet in gusty conditions, and all was well.

Vliho Bay.

We then spent two nights (only one intended but there were thunderstorms all around so we stayed put) on the Neilson pontoon in Nidri to attend to shopping, washing, filling with water and having haircuts. Next on to Lefkas for a night, to collect antifouling paint and a few other bits & bobs. We were ready for the 0800 bridge opening and made our way out through the (now noticeably wider & deeper since dredging) canal and motored north to Preveza, where we anchored for a night prior to lifting out.

This is actually last year's photo, but nothing has changed!

There follows quite a few gratuitous photos of equipment - like Ann with her trees, I have a penchant for taking pictures of 'big boys toys':

Then followed a week of extremely hot, hard work. I'm not sure which is best, or rather least bad, working on the boat in Plymouth in January in 3° C or Preveza in July in 33° C! Whilst it's not especially physical work per se, in the sun and heat being up & down ladders and dragging a work platform (at least we had one on which all four wheels went round this year!) through the gravel for 6 - 8 hours a day we found very draining. The saving grace was the air conditioned room we had, where the a/c stayed firmly on 'min' all day and so was bliss to return to after work. That and the ice cold beer at the taverna... How people stay on their boats on the hard in this heat is beyond us, especially after working all day - the cabin temperature on Pipit must have been about 40° C. Each to their own I suppose, but it's not for us.

For anyone interested, here's how it went:

Room with a view of our workplace...

Said room - Ann on the balcony above the 'o'.

Work in progress.

No reference to the Antipodean artist's catchphrase this year...

...although our Dutch neighbour's effort was rather more artistic!

Two's a crowd, three's, well, pretty fast I'd imagine - 825 hp!

Andy spraying the prop & saildrive leg with Mille Drive - in the shade!

Did we mention the room was air conditioned?

Looks too good to put back in salt water!

Nearly ready.

Can you see your reflection?

All set - Shipshape and...

...we don't just throw this thing together...

Finishing touches to where the prop pads had been.

Afloat again - very nearly. Step aboard now.

And so that's that for another year. Someone in Plymouth once bet me a pint of Tribute that the first year we antifouled Pipit ourselves would be the last so Nigel, if you're reading this, you currently owe me 7 pints!

We spent one night in Cleopatra Marina to wash the coachroof & decks, clean and re-stock the fridge etc and are currently alongside in Preveza Marina, where a 54 foot Amel has just crashed (ok, nudged, but still annoying) into our pulpit - three quarters of a million pounds worth of yacht and thrusters going in all directions, but not a spring line to be seen on their approach :-o Fortunately I think no damage done.

We now plan to spend some time in the Gulf of Amvrakia, and perhaps venture a little way up the mainland coast towards Paxos - more on that next time...

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