Season end

Season end

We finished our last report by telling you about storm Christian and the bad weather that came with it. The three days of rain turned into almost two full weeks of continuous rain and thunderstorms. We were very well protected in the bay of Nidri and spent most of the time below deck. A good book (thanks, Christina!), the series Fringe and some preparations for the winter made the time pass by. The weather granted us a brief break from the rain on the 12th of October, our first boat anniversary. We took the opportunity to go for an excursion and afterwards “celebrated” with waffles and milkshakes.

Our new boat flag

So now we have been living on our sailboat for a whole year! This is probably a time to sum up: In the last twelve months we have learned an incredible lot about our boat, about sailing and life on the sea, and not least about ourselves, acquired new skills, learned to get along with few things and little space. Highs and lows have sometimes reached out to each other. There are still days when we hit something repeatedly or discover new bruises in the evening while changing clothes. We now know that as typical “pleasure sailors” we both especially appreciate the rare days with moderate wind, little wave and lots of sun. Anything else, whether under motor or sail, is quickly perceived by us as uncomfortable. There were even brief moments when we thought about alternatives. But: we have so far been spared any major damage or injury. We have become accustomed to the fact that almost everything on a ship takes much longer and have learned to appreciate this slowness to some extent. We now know that as a sailor one has an enormous consumption of tissue and cable ties and at the same time we have already packed a whole bag full of things that we had carried with us on the boat but could not use at all during a year and which will go back to Germany at the beginning of December. We got used to the sometimes uncomfortable nights and the scavenger hunts for unknown noises and we can cope with them much easier than a year ago. Even unwanted guests like bugs in the flour can no longer terrify us. It’s amazing how much you can appreciate fresh water or other seemingly trivial things. Thus, boat life becomes increasingly familiar as time goes by. Initially unfamiliar actions and activities become a routine. Even the nearly continuous research of spare parts and repair instructions has somehow become normal. And in the end, the beautiful moments on the water, the fascinating dawns, the silence in lonely bays, the joy at the sight of dolphins and other animals, and the curiosity to experience the unknown outweigh them all.

One of the best anchorages we have been so far

For more than a week we have been waiting for our Pangolin to be taken out of the water. Right in front of our eyes, the travellift broke down two days before our appointment with a loud crash and the boat on the hook splashing into the water. There were two attempts to pull the boat out with a tractor instead of the crane, but this failed because of the size of our boat and the wing keel. So we wait in the bay in front of Preveza. Originally we wanted to have started the work long ago and so slowly we get into a bit of a time crunch. Nevertheless we enjoy doing nothing and waiting for a call from Aktio Marina. There is nothing else we can do.

Pangolin on the hook

Another distraction and at the same time a recommendation especially for sailing novices are the Trans-Ocean seminars. Starting in autumn, the club will again offer regular online lectures on various sailing topics, such as meteorology. The seminars are free of charge and take place after prior registration via Zoom.

Addendum

Meanwhile it is the end of November. We have been ashore for two weeks and feel like we are at a campsite. The only difference is that we have to climb up and down a ladder to reach our “tent”, crossing a small lake due to the constant rain. Craning out worked well, although the crane is broken again at the moment… At the last moment we realized that our seawater-cooled refrigerator is not working ashore. The freezer box we immediately ordered has not been shipped yet. Necessity is the mother of invention: Fortunately, we have been in possession of an ice cube machine since the summer, which now reliably produces ice cubes every day and keeps the refrigerator cold. Unfortunately, the Aktio marina is quite far away from the city center. There are no shopping facilities within walking distance and the surrounding area is also rather bland. A highlight was therefore our trip to the Pindos Mountains to the Meteora monasteries. The monasteries built on sandstone rocks can be visited in part, but also the landscape itself is definitely worth a trip. We visited the Agios Nikolaos Anapavsas monastery and the Agios Stephanos monastery. For film-enthusiastic readers, it should be mentioned that scenes from Indiana Jones, Tintin and James Bond (“For your eyes only”) were filmed here, among others, at the Rousanou Monastery.

“Rousanou” monestary
“Agia Triada” monestary
James Bond backdrop

We miss the time on the water a little bit and at the same time we are looking forward to the weeks that lie ahead of us in Germany. In a few days we’ll be heading for Cologne via Athens. Hopefully Corona won’t ruin our plans once again.