Friday, 12 October 2007

Progress - there has been lots

Well, enough of this navel gazing and bragging - I need to record what we've done since we've been here so these pages can become a diary rather than a monthly blether.

  • our first job was cleaning the filth from Monty B (or Perky Puffin as she was then) which took around a week, below decks all day and night, in 32 degrees and marigolds. I reckon we filled around 15 sacks with rubbish, no lie.
  • day 2 - decided to go for a swim whilst filling water tanks. got back on boat to see inside under several inches of water. water tank lid had no seal and had come off, flooding boat. Learnt how bilge pumps worked and what it feels like to see your boat full of water.
  • within a week, Tim learnt how to unblock and service the heads which involved removing poo sludge which had been stuck in the pipes since the winter.
  • within 2 weeks Tim learnt how to bleed the fuel system when we broke down with less than an hour of daylight left and no clue as to why the engine wouldn't work. What a hero! We still ended up anchoring in the dark though (twice) which was quite scary.
  • discovered that most hatches and the windshield leaked really badly during storms on our second week. Learnt the joys of removing old sealant (incredibly messy), the wonder of white spirit and how to use a Sikaflex gun. Took a whole week to complete. Windshield and hatches now almost leak free - but not quite.
  • De-Puffined Perky Puffin on our first weekend away - removed the Puffin name and cartoon pictures from the hull.
  • Took us 2 weeks to get the place into a fit state to move all our stuff on board.
  • Had a renaming ceremony, anchored off in Tranquil Bay. In attendance were Sarah from IBA, Scottish John, Danny the Chandler, Martin, Maggie and Martin's son who were our new neighbours. After Poseidon and the winds had their share, we downed 4 bottles of Moet, 4 bottles of Friexenet, wine, beer then into town for dinner, more wine, then the Byblos where I was last seen dancing to Status Quo covers with the dogs. Next day clothes were filthy and wet and I was covered in bruises. Some things never change. Tim did us proud as Master of Ceremonies - a top job done and Monty B was born. See
  • Lesson learnt from the above - dogs do not come with us on nights out which involve alcohol and getting back to the boat.
  • Discovered we had a rat on board (after a few days of things mysteriously disappearing). finally managed to trap it and to everyone's amusement/horror, took it in the car to the mountains to be freed. discovered it had chewed through the transducer cable (depth meter) which happens to be the only instrument on the boat that works. After over a week with no depth meter (not good), K found chewed wires and mended them. Also found the empty packet of her Agnus Castus (madness pills) which the rat had legged off with and eaten.
  • Getting to grips with the art of anchoring - we now have faith and understand how it all works.
  • Learning to manouvere astern and handle the boat under power - it's a big boat. K does all the close quarters helming as T has to operate crappy old and dangerous windlass.
  • Getting to grips with the crappy old windlass (nearly took Tim under on week one).
  • Witnessed a storm pass, literally, overhead while at anchor (a few nights ago). Have video. will load up soon. Unbelievable. By far the worst storm either of us have ever seen.
  • Learning what happens when you pull a bit of tissue paper out of a hole - litres of diesel pour out into the bilges.
  • We have been doing a bit of work for Neilsons, cleaning charter boats - work together, takes 4-5 hours and we get 100 euros. Only one day a week. ha ha!
  • Discovering that even when up to armpits in diesel and filth, it's still more enjoyable than sitting at a desk all day.
  • We haven't sailed anything like enough as we spend too much time working on the boat - but we are finally getting there and can now sail in light winds. Need to get more experience behind us before winter kicks in though.
  • Made some friends.
  • Made a few contacts for possible work over the winter. We need to start making a bit of money.
  • Have decided we are going to stay in this area (Lefkas) for the winter as it's a great sailing area and we haven't done enough sailing to confidently go that far afield at the mo. Anyway, it's a beautiful place and there's a good balance here for the winter so it's a good decision.
  • Discovered that our outgoings are even lower than we had dared hoped. We only need 200 euros a week to live happily. I thought we were being a tad unrealistic before we got here - far from it. This means we only need to work a couple of days a week.
  • I have learnt to ask for brown bread in Greek.
  • Tim has serviced engine and cooked tea once.

Next priorities are to service the engine coolant system, somehow drain the forecabin fuel tank and isolate it so hole can be repaired, remove rust from toe rails, stantions, pushpit, pulpit and guardrails, put up safety netting to stop dogs falling overboard, recommision Billy the tender so he can be rowed and has a rope to hold onto if we fall overboard. That's next week's jobs.

See photos at

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