The Good, the Bad and the not-so Ugly
Sunday, 7th May 2017
The Good - all the designer outfits (aka boat bits) arrived intact and have already been put to good use - the Rocna's stainless steel extension is perfect. The sun is shining, the temperatures are in the mid-20's, Myrica is polished, painted and titivated, and has been put gently into the water by the yard chaps who greeted us like long lost friends. A modest trip of 10nm down to Lakki for dinner with Colin & Shirley off Silent Wings and we have been in the "marina" for a few days dealing with things.
The Bad - whether it's the age of the boat, the length of time we have been out here or just Sod's Law, but we have had a few little problems…. First up, we got back to a complete set of dead batteries. Not just ailing, failing or low, but dead as a dodo, ex-batteries; they are no more. Now in the UK that is an inconvenience and a major expense. In Greece it is a major logistical problem as well as expense, especially on a bank holiday weekend. Luckily, we had a car - scouring the island to find the right sort and equally important, the right size, was a challenge. Panos (from the opposition's chandlery) got on the blower immediately, convinced someone to get 4 domestic batteries loaded onto the overnight ferry at Piraeus docks, and we could have them Saturday pm. The local garage did us a deal for the starter battery and gave us a handsome discount on all 5 dead ones for recycling. Richard installed them all that afternoon and we were back in business - a fridge is a necessity after all. But lifting out and back in 5 x 20kg weights when the boat is on land is hard work…..
Other Bads discovered in Lakki - dead outboard, seized engine with one screw sheared off. It has been sorted by clever chaps in ramshackle engineering workshop up the road for €5, but new head gasket ordered to arrive in a few days' time. Alternator regulator also dead, new one also arriving in a few days. A few other minor glitches but the boat is gleaming as it hasn't for years due to the electric polisher that found its way into my luggage.
The Not so Ugly - large Panos, who moved heaven and earth to get us our batteries, Yannis the canvas man making us new longer cockpit cushions, the ever helpful young man in our chandlery who procured all the other necessary bits and pieces, the long-haired hippy-ish waterman at Lakki marina and last but not least, the wife of the man who fixed my Brompton bike last year and from whom we hired our car. We were still in the boatyard when we returned it. She said to ring her if I needed anything like milk or bread and she would drive them up to us. Everyone is so kind and obliging. And the place itself - once you scratch the surface, it has everything.
We have worked hard, and now have escaped to lovely little Vathy on the island of Kalymnos. We will head back to Leros to pick up the last remaining bits and pieces in a few days. But it feels like we have now started - Richard has even had his first swim. The fun and games can begin.