Marina days

Marina days

Again a whole month has passed since we posted the last report and so it’s time to report how we spent the last weeks.

We spent a few more really nice days on Trizonia. We liked this sleepy island very much – and this was not only due to the fact that one evening after a little small talk with locals we were invited for delicious cocktails with the words “Enjoy Greece”. But then we wanted to go a little bit further into the Gulf of Corinth. Our next destination was the port city of Itea. A day trip took us from there by bus to Delphi, where a museum and an excavation site bear witness to the influence and work of the most important oracle of ancient Greece. Oedipus, Croesus and Alexander the Great are just a few of the famous greats of antiquity whose fates were prophesied and guided by the cult site in Delphi. First around 400 AT the prophecies were put to an end by the increasing Christianization.

Delphi amphitheater

There was so little going on in the port of Itea that we took the opportunity to perform a series of training maneuvers. Usually, Christian does the mooring and undocking maneuvers, but of course it’s good and useful if Annemarie also knows how to handle the ship. And once again it became clear how close euphoria and disappointment are. After a supposedly well done maneuver at the quay wall, we both heard an unpleasant “Pfffffffffffft…” – the dinghy had caught on a rusty electrical box and now had a nice long crack. If we hadn’t just patched the dinghy three days earlier on Trizonia, things might have been a little less frustrating. Being dependent on our dinghy, we extended our stay in Itea by a day, hoisted the broken boat ashore and patched it again – fortunately with success.

Flat tire
The electrical box we hit – electrical craftsmanship at its peak level

From Itea we sailed with stops in Galaxini, Messolongi and Petalas through both gulfs back to Meganisi. Since a long time we had a visit from dolphins one morning again, which is always a great joy. At times we had to motor against 40Kn wind, which again is less fun. Because we had visited Meganisi only briefly on the way south, we now spent a few days here, hiking around the island and made use of the clear water to clean the log and propeller from barnacles and dirt.

After much consideration, Annemarie decided to fly to Germany for a few days for a wedding and a birthday. Both were nice opportunities to see friends and family again. We coordinated the trip so that Christian could be in Nidri at the same time with Pangolin at the “Ionian Boat Assistance” pontoon, where a new stainless steel frame was mounted as a support for an additional solar panel.

Our new 400W solar panel

Additionally, we have replaced our ageing 4x95Ah AGM batteries with 4x150Ah lithium batteries in Nidri. This sounds trivially straightforward at first glance, however, it is not at all. As so often, the actual implementation was preceded by weeks of research to find the optimal batteries for our boat. In addition to capacity, price and delivery options to Greece, the size of the batteries was also crucial. In fact, Christian was able to find suitable batteries that were the same size as the previous ones, so that we did not have to extensively rebuild the battery tray in which the batteries are installed for safety. The new LiFePO4 chemistry also required a new charge controller. And as always with boat projects: Once you change a part, it entails many other changes – so we also “treated” ourselves to a new inverter (an upgrade from 1000W to 3000W), shore power galvanic isolation, and a DC-DC charge controller for the (also new) starter battery. The installation took two and a half days, which we had to cover without power and water for the most part. Especially the configuration of the new inverter was more challenging than expected. This required software that may only be operated by specialists and was also new to the IBA personnel… But now, with the new solar panel and the new batteries, we have a self-sufficient power supply, which also gives us the luxury of hot water independent of the engine, a ready-to-use electrical heater, and maybe one or two other amenities in the future. The old relay on the engine was also replaced at the same time.

Our new LiFePO4 batteries (yes, pole caps are still being installed 🙂

The sailing season is coming to a definite end. For three days straight it has been raining almost continuously, and a storm named Christian has also passed over us in the last week. Until Pangolin goes into her winter berth in Preveza at the beginning of November, we will therefore only sail small legs and continue to plan and prepare for the winter tasks.