Alas, my dream of stepping on to the boat, untying the lines and sailing off into the sunset didn’t materialise.
Of course it didn’t. Good job I’m a pessimist. When you charter a yacht for a sailing holiday, or join a flotilla, you usually do exactly what I was hoping for, but sadly I didn’t achieve. But when you are a boat owner, the reality is very different. We had to get up very early this morning, as we were berthed in the space where the huge hoist lowers the boats into, and as the next boat launch was imminent, we had to move.
Anyway, we just moved to the other side of the little pontoon at 7.45am, so not a problem. At 9am the little shop in the other posher boatyard/Marina opened, so we could get fresh bread, of which I had two slices, with marmalade, for breakfast. At 10am we caught the free minibus to Preveza town. It only seats 8, so you have to adopt the British habit of queueing early, to make sure of a seat.
This is the best map I could find, to illustrate. The three boatyards, and the airport, are on the southern end of the lagoon/inland sea, and the town of Preveza is on the northern end. (I am the blue dot on the map, with a short stretch of water between me and Preveza). So it is not easy to get to Preveza town, but luckily, a few years ago they built a road tunnel under the sea, so it is less than ten minutes by car. Many years ago, there was a tiny ferry which made the trip. But you can’t walk there. The town is tantalizingly close across the water, I’m looking at it now, but the delights of the shopping emporiums are denied me, unless I get the minibus. There is only one trip a day, leaving at 10am, returning at noon.
When we got to Preveza town, Tim walked round to the town ‘marina’, as we might consider spending three nights there while the boat gets ready for sea. Last year, I think we spent a week there, not the best place to be. It calls itself a marina, but it is very desolate, with no facilities, and a hot and dusty walk round to the town. But we might also consider mooring on the town quay, which means you are only steps away from the tavernas and shops, so it could be noisier, but more fun.
I’m not a bit fan of boatyards, men love them though, as there’s a big chandlery here to satisfy their cravings to buy boat related items which I generally can’t identify. A bit like the female equivalent of a John Lewis department store…… It’s very dusty and noisy in the boatyard, with tractors, hoists, and other machinery around. But I must say that the showers and toilets are excellent, and very clean. There is also a laundry – well, two washers and a tumble drier, with which I am well acquainted.
I did a load of laundry today. That’s another difference with living on a boat and chartering a boat for a holiday. You don’t have to wash the bedding or towels on a holiday boat! I gathered up everything I could find, some of which had been left over from last year, and from the two weeks Tim had been working on the boat, then I asked Tim if he had anything else that needed washing. He hummed and hah’ed about a pair of navy blue trousers which he’s worn to death, and made his usually comment – “I’ll just squeeze them through later in a bucket….” which is his idea of washing. This involves putting one inch of cold water in a bucket, soap powder if he can find it, or usually washing up liquid, then quickly getting the clothes wet, then wringing them out by hand. So after much persuasion, a bit like a tug of war, I managed to get him to relinquish the trousers, and they enjoyed a superwash in a machine.
I must leave you – Tim has tracked me down and found me, and requested my presence while he climbs up the mast to do whatever needs to be done. If he’s still alive to tell the tale, I’ll tell you about it tomorrow…….