All posts by Ian

Trevor the Turtle

We don’t see a lot of sea life in the Aegean so it was a treat to see this fella swim past the boat.

A waiting game

You would have thought our life style had very few time pressures, but if we want to meet up with friends and family from the real world, and we do, we have to be in certain places at certain times.

For several months we have had a crack in one of our spreaders (crucial bits for keeping the mast up) and have been trying to find an opportunity to solve the problem in a way that didn’t stop our summer sailing for too long. After several trips up the mast with the tape measure we ordered replacements from EuroSpars in Plymouth to arrive in Kavala as we dropped off Sam and Rory. The boat yard, rigger, and crane were all booked.

First spreader removed

UPS decided things were going too well and contrived to send our parcel via the scenic route to Kavala. After a weeks delay our new spreaders arrived. Stavros at Manitsas Marine orchestrated the troops in between telling us what was wrong with the Greek economy, government, port authority, and tax office, Adonnis sorted out the rigging assisted by “the fat man” skillfully maneuvering the crane. By 1600 hrs we were back at anchor, invoice paid and ready for the first of several hops south to meet-up with Sarah’s brother, Paddy, who had already arrived in the Cyclades. We were hoping another parcel of supplies would have arrived by now but DHL made UPS look efficient. Our parcel had left Germany 17 days earlier, DHL had no idea where it was and were only able to give us vague promises of delivery. We decided to abandon this parcel, it only contained spares for our VHF radio, who needs a radio?

Friday 28 July looked to be perfect for the start of our journey south, a 50 mile leg to Limnos.

The Meltemi is coming

We had a weather window to get south before the next Meltemi kicked in. The forecast showed wind in the right direction, not too much, not too little, clear skies, and 26 degrees. Mary Poppins, “Practically Perfect in Every Way”. We were up at 0530 to get the best of the day’s conditions. As I made Sarah’s tea I started my engine checks (multi-tasking), odd, the coolant header tank is empty. I opened up the bilges to find them awash with seven litres of coolant, not good. That’s the end of today’s sailing plans.

It’s definitely leaking

So we are once more waiting, this time for engine parts. Even this life style has its stresses.

Video – Corinth canal transit

We are aiming to spend much of the summer in the Aegean cruising the Greek coast and islands. To get there we decided to be extravagant and transit the Corinth canal rather than sail around the Peloponnese. The canal transit is the most expensive per mile in the world, luckily it’s only 3.2 miles long.

We had a great sail down the Gulf of Patras and Gulf of Corinth, passing under the Rion-Andirrion suspension bridge, at 2.2 kms long this is the longest cable-stayed in the world. After a stop in in the wonderful town of Galaxidhi and a trip to Delphi we arrived in Corinth to transit the canal.

In ancient times ships were dragged across the isthmus, which must have been a challenge as the canal cuts through a large hill. On the 13th May we were up early and ready to transit with about a dozen other yachts. The video below gives you a feel for the amazing engineering achievement that the canal is.

A winter in Val d’Isere

Our first winter season is drawing to a close. It’s been hard work but mostly great fun with just the sadness of my dad passing away mid-season putting a dampener on the winter. We are already contemplating another season, will it be Val d’Isere or shall we try another resort? Perhaps St Anton. No doubt a topic that will be discussed frequently over the coming months.
We have a couple of weeks skiing left, the conditions are fantastic, but our thoughts are now turning to the summer and our sailing adventures. Work that should have been carried out on the boat whilst away hasn’t been done so we will probably have to spend some time in a boat yard at some point but essential purchases, and a few non essential, have been made and it’s all getting very exciting. There are several days work to get Linea ready for sea but the aim is to depart Sicily around 1 May, head east to Kephalonia, through the Corinth canal and on into the Aegean.
I recently came across the Bryan Adams track “18 til I die” which gave me an idea for a little video montage of our season, here you go……

Sarah takes to the skies

After dropping not so subtle hints all season Sarah finally took to the skies over Tignes and Val d’Isere on a beautiful spring day with Felix of Tignes Air Experience. Enjoy the video…..