GREECE IS THE WORD….

The Greek adventure 2016 has begun.

A little late this year, due to feline related foster home problems, but that’s another story. Artemis the boat cat is fine, but she won’t be a boat cat this year, more of an Essex girl.

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I’m pleased to say that all our arrangements, including leaving the house, putting belongings in store and parking the car, went exceedingly well. The train to the airport was on time, the overnight Premier Inn was excellent, we had a nice meal. We had to get up at 4am, the flight left on time at 6.10am. The husband (TH) was too mean to buy any food or drink on board, so I didn’t even dare suggest he might like buy me a bottle of perfume or some jewellery from the onboard shop…..

We didn’t have to wait for a taxi at the Greek airport, and it is literally a five minute drive to the boatyard. The weather was lovely, not a cloud in the sky, quite breezy, about 23degC. I suggested leaving our heavy luggage in reception until the boat was launched, and thus it would be easier to lift aboard, but no. The hero that he is, TH insisted on carrying two awkward pieces of 20kg luggage up an upright 16 rung ladder on to the boat which was still out of the water at this point.

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The inside of the boat was not quite as bad as I anticipated, in terms of mess and carnage, so I breathed a sigh of relief. At the exact hour requested, 3pm, the yard tractor promptly arrived, and lowered Fandancer onto the big trailer. It is always a heart in mouth moment, as the trailer slides u dear the boat and the props are removed. 10 tons of boat were now sitting on a trailer, and pulled over 100 yards towards the launch pad. A huge hoist then takes over, slings are put under the hull of the boat, and she is lifted off the trolley and suspended in mid air under the hoist. The hoist is operated partly by remote control, so it is quite weird to see your boat being carried along by the hoist, and gently lowered into the water.

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Now, if this was the UK, or any other civilised country, all the yard workers and probably boat owners too, would have to wear steel toe capped shoes, fluorescent vests and a life jacket. And maybe a hard hat. The access road would be closed off with cones while the hoist crossed the five metres to get to the water, there would be a man with a flag keeping pedestrians away, sirens would sound, and a health and safety officer would be in attendance. Because this is Greece, people are sensible and don’t need ridiculous rules for everything to run smoothly, as it always does.

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One of my first jobs was to make the bed, as I need to know I have somewhere comfortable to sleep. This is not such an easy job on a boat, as there is only about three square feet of floor space and limited headroom in parts of our cabin. But the bed itself is lovely, with a new memory foam mattress, ten feet wide at one end, narrowing to about four feet right at the stern, with an opening window where our heads go, plus a big hatch above. Putting on a king size duvet cover in these conditions should be an Olympic sport…..

We had an early shower and later walked along to the next door marina for my first Greek ouzo of the year.  It was delicious.  At the end of the road is a single taverna which gets all the customers from the three boatyards.   They have lots of wonderful home made dishes.   I had fried kalamari and a tomato salad, then after we’d eaten, it was an early bed for me……

More news later……

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25 thoughts on “GREECE IS THE WORD….

  1. Hi George! All going splendidly by the sound of it and when the sun is shining, everything seems to be so easily accomplished! I can’t believe Fandancer weighs 10 tonnes! I hope she stayed afloat and didn’t go glug! glug! when she hit the water! What on earth is on board that weighs 10 tonnes – your bed maybe or perhaps MIRBS’s boiler suit full of tools!! Keep the posts coming – such fun! You make us feel as though we are there with you!! x

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  2. Hi Hevver! Thanks for reading. I’ve been doing this blog for a while, but a lot of the posts I have written are random rubbish or photos, or weekly themes. Yes, 10 tons! It’s a solid old boat, 43 years old, the fibreglass hull is inches thick! I will
    post when I can, depending on wifi.

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  3. Hi Georgie, I’ve been following you around ever since you left the UK on Fandancer via the sailblogs site. Loved your sense of humour and was ecstatic when you got Artemis as we have three cats on board our own boat here in Brighton. After the moonwriter blog false start I’m really pleased to see you being such a success as a writer and blogger. You’re really inspiring me to get cracking with a wordpress blog. I really also should update our boat blog which you can see at pensiongames.org if you’re interested. I see you follow me on pinterest. I’ll try to be a bit more inspired on there too. Good luck with the new sailing season. Lovely Greece, I just fancy a raki now you’ve mentioned ouzo!
    Lorraine

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    • Hi Lorraine, great to hear from you. Yay! I finally managed a WordPress blog, I’m hooked on it now. I’m drinking an ouzo as I type this! I’ll post when I can, depending on wifi. Artemis has her own Facebook page, search for KetchKitten, but she’s bring looked after by Tims daughter in Essex until we get back. I’ll definitely check out your boat blog. Where are you currently?

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      • Hi Georgie! Our boat is in Brighton at the moment, well it has been for just over two years. We divide our time between living on it and an apartment here. We are currently saving like mad for our big sail away which is hopefully going to be this time next year. I haven’t updated the blog in two years but you really have inspired me to do so as we did love doing it when we were sailing around the UK. Enjoy your ouzo. I am currently enroute to Waitrose!

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  4. I was holding my breath right to the end thinking this is all going so well. But mission accomplished and now to sail away into the sunset. Big sigh, I would love to be with you, but I will follow along in cyber space. Happy sailing…

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