12 April 2018 – Dolly, Kim & Giel
Since Dugi Otok we have stayed in contact with Kim & Giel, the last days have been more intense again, they are close by, that has to be exploited. Now that we are officially in Greece, equipped with DEKPA and thus able to move freely, we get the anchor up early in the morning (or later, who knows exactly). It is 25Nm to Plataria, on the Greek mainland. Kim and Giel see us long before we can recognize them. When we moored Tiki and the joy of reunion is great and we have 1000 things to tell each other. Wolfgang arrived a little later and so we spent 2 beautiful days together in and around Plataria. The two land nomads do insist on a little ride with Dolly and us, the ingredients for the evening BBQ on the beach have to be bought.
When we returned to the beach, with a view of the bay and Tiki, we quickly cut our hair (Eric, Wolfgang and mine) and then go for a short round in the water. At this time of year the clear, turquoise blue water promises much more than the temperature can hold. The air temperature, on the other hand, is very pleasant and we enjoy a cosy evening at the campfire and barbecue our yield from shopping in the afternoon. When it was already dark for a while, Wolfgang brought us back to Tiki with his dinghy, and it turned out that the ashore lighting of the taverns was very misleading. Red-green lights, which normally mark the entrance to the harbour, are attached to house facades and turn the entering into a little adventure at night.
Attention to all who arrive in the dark! The entrance to Plataria is NOT illuminated (as of April 2018) and the breakwater is covered with water at high tide and can’t be seen either! At low tide it is mostly dry.
At “Ela” you can have gas bottles filled and if you ask nicely, you can also fill the water tanks. We paid 12Eur for 3 nights (2+1 free), someone came to the boat and we even got a receipt.
April 14th – on to Syvota
In Syvota we anchor between the offshore islands, opposite the “Blue Lagoon” and go by dinghy to the small fishing village. Of course we also have a look at the lagoon opposite our anchorage, but it is still too cold to go for a swim.
April 1st – off to Paxos
for the first time we tow our banana boat, the distance is relatively short, the waves gentle, so we give it a try. Everything goes well, we sail with a pleasant 5kn, the dinghy nicely following us. At least it did when I had to go below deck. Shortly afterwards, once again, an outcry on deck. A wave, probably the bow wave of the speed ferry, partially flooded the dinghy, Eric reduced the boat speed as a first reaction, but unfortunately this turned out to be another mistake. The dinghy is now finally full of water and we fight, swear and curse for a good two hours before we had it on deck again. Apart from a short marriage crisis and a bent railing foot nothing happened. Fortunately. Oh well, we can now confirm that the practical folding boats do not sink even if they are full to the brim with water.
In the meantime we have learned that you have to tie this type of dinghies close to the water, i.e. as far down as possible to Tiki, then you can tow them without any problems. We have also tested it and can now confirm it from our own experience.
We planned only a short stay, but everyone who knows Lakka Bay on Paxos in the low season already knows what will happen. Of course we stay a bit longer than expected, but this Caribbean looking idyll is really hard to escape.
April 24th – Ambrakian Golf/Vonitsa
After a night on Antipaxos we head towards Preveza and arrive in the Ambrakian Gulf. After a few miles we reach our destination Vonitsa. We docked for the first time with a bow anchor. So anchor out, drive backwards to the pier (just driving straight backwards with a long-keeler like Tiki is a challenge) and then tie the lines to the pier. Everything works out right away, only the anchor chain is somehow too loose. To fix this, I go up to the bow again and catch up some chain to be tensioned to the front. The chain does not tighten, Tiki turns to the side, fortunately there is enough space to the other sailing boats that are here. The anchor does not hold, such a crap and for us completely incomprehensible, since it was so far very reliable. Shortly afterwards I see the problem clearly in front of me. Directly at the anchor to be exact.
We found Davy Jones’ last shirt. I dropped the anchor exactly on it and the solid material of the shirt was not torn, but covered the tip of the anchor and prevented it from digging in. Shirt from the hook, Klaus, from the neighboring boat takes one of our lines and pulls our bow back in the right direction. Everything back from the start, hopefully we won’t find the matching trousers from the devil of the seas. No, this time the anchor is holding, the chain is tightening, the stern lines are fastened and we can breathe a sigh of relief. This is the first day of almost 13 months in the Ambrakian Gulf.
April 30th – Rouga Bay
Today is the day. Tiki comes ashore. The planned 6-7 weeks of boat work quickly turn into 10 weeks, 12 weeks and at the end it takes almost 20 weeks until we can get back into the water on 15 September 2018.
A postscript: after we have worked in the time on the dry almost non-stop, the blog has been somewhat neglected. Friends and family have asked us several times when we will continue. At the moment a good internet connection is unfortunately not self-evident, so I ask for your indulgence. I will of course hand in the report of the refit, but the next contributions will be more up-to-date again.