I very much dislike the last week of being in Greece after living on the boat for five months. It’s the same every year. The boat is booked to be lifted out of the water this coming Tuesday, and we fly back to England on Wednesday. So before we get to Tuesday, there are a million things that have to be done to prepare the boat for winter.
Our current location – Vonitsa
We are currently in Vonitsa, a harbour town in the inland sea. Lots of boat people come here to prepare for their lift out, as it is only an hour from the boatyards in Preveza, it is free to stay here, and there is free unlimited water – a yachtsman’s dream. The town is what I would describe as ‘very greek’. They do not cater for foreign tourists, although it does attract a large number of Greeks who take a holiday here in August. There are no pretty tavernas, gift shops or picturesque streets. I think it’s quite a tatty place – many disused shops, half-built buildings, it’s all rather scruffy. But it has a certain charm, and the food and drink is certainly much cheaper than up-market Paxos! There is an all year round Greek community here, with schools, banks, supermarkets and other shops. And it’s very close to the airport.
Yesterday was a sunny day with virtually no wind, ideal for removing the sails. First we had to haul them up, washing them with a hose, then left them to dry for a couple of hours. We put the dinghy on the quay, filled it with water and detergent, and threw in lots of ropes to get rid of the salt. Then emptied the dinghy, filled it again to rinse them. We also washed the sail covers.
I’m sorry if you are one of these ecologically minded warriors who thinks we shouldn’t pollute the sea. Last week when we were in Gaios, on Paxos, a Greek policeman walked past the boat and noticed a few bubbles from where Tim had emptied a bucket of dirty water into the sea.
“Vat eez thees?” he asked me. I shrugged my shoulders, claiming innocence.
“Zuh zee eez not a zink!” He shouted at me. I thought this was some curse in Greek, until I understood what he was saying.
I didn’t suggest that he should look at the boatyard where tons of anti-fouling paint and debris is washed into the sea regularly, and I apologised to him, as he walked off.
Now we use the catchphrase “The Sea is not a Sink!” frequently, whenever the situation demands it, like when I accidentally dropped a towel into the water, or when we saw a seagull drop an apple core into the sea ……