27 November 2007
We’ve been offered a job. It’s exactly the opportunity that we’ve been looking for (or more accurately, hoping for). We met an English liveaboard couple in Lefkas, the morning of the Round the Island Race. In fact, it was their lovely lad, Orin, who followed and found John when he went cat chasing. We only spoke to Janet and Orin briefly – and didn’t talk to Sean at all – but they seemed very sound. You know when you meet someone who is alright. They were heading to Montenegro to start work there as Base Manager for a charter company.
They have emailed us to offer us a job there, working on 12 charter boats. General maintenance, body work, electrics, prep for the summer etc – and possibly work once the season begins if we want it. They know our level of experience and are happy to show us what to do. Free mooring, electric, water and enough money to live on and save a voyage fund for next year. We would be based in Kotor which is apparently the most well preserved medieval walled city in Europe (yes, another one), is a World Heritage site and surrounded by stunning scenery. It’s very cheap to live, the locals are exceptionally friendly and many speak good English. How can you say no to that??!
(It turns out there is only one job - so Tim's having it. I argued hard to get it so Tim could hang out all day doing nowt while I worked my ass off - but he was having none of it. So, I'm a kept woman! About bloody time.)
However, we have one problem. We have to get there. In December. There are a choice of routes. Either hammer it up from Corfu non-stop, keeping at least 12 miles off the Albanian coast (unless you want to arrested or meet a minefield), which would take three days or so continuous sailing. Not the best with our level of experience and the dogs.
Or we do it in hops from Corfu, over to Italy, up the Italian coast then cross back over from Brindisi to Bar. This last bit is what we are worried about. A 100 mile sea crossing in winter. Obviously we’d choose our weather window well and only go when it was set fine. But this is winter. If there’s enough wind to sail, there’s enough wind to chop the sea up. This may sound nowt to any seasoned sailor – but to us it seems like a huge undertaking. I’m scared of getting caught out in a storm. It is also going to be hard work with just two of us and I’m worried about the dogs.
I’m not happy about doing it alone (though I know that with enough reassurance from the “experts”, I may get there). I would, however, be much happier about doing it if we could take someone with us. I am sure, if we made a decent offer, someone may be up for it. It is worth it as an investment to get the experience that this job will give us and it feels like one of those “right place at the right time” opportunities. Plus I like the idea of being somewhere a little more off the beaten tourist track.
28 November 2007
Ruairie, who runs the Vlicho Yacht Club, has offered to sail with us to Montenegro. He is an excellent sailor and we will learn a lot from him. First leg will be to Corfu and should take around 17 hours. The second leg from Corfu to Kotor will take around 40 hours.
Sean, the guy who offered us the work, rang us today and said all is good at that end so we are off! Planning to leave on 11th December for Montenegro.
Most important job before we go – training Louis to pee somewhere on the boat. He still refuses.