01 May, 2010

Summer has started

Iain and I arrived in Athens after an easy flight with Emirates from Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai and finally into Athens. Having once used the Greek Metro it seems second nature and checking into the same hotel in the Plaka made all the difference. Unfortunately the winter timetable applied at the Acropolis so everybody had to be out of the site by 14:30. One can see why the Greek economy is in such need of money but the connection between work and income has not been made so while people were asking to get in to the gates the guards were determined to knock-off at the designated 15:00.

The Acropolis Museum made up for the actual site and the National Museum has some lovely pieces which Iain enjoyed. Saturday saw us arrive at the bus station early to get a seat on a quarter full bus to Preveza. Six hours but an easy run.

On arrival at Preveza Marina the power was switched on and a ladder was ready for us to climb aboard. We did not have much time before the sun set but we did wash the boat down. Inside everything was spick and span with not a drop or water and no visible mould or damage. The cover for the cockpit really does work.

The next day Iain washed and polished the top sides. I must say with my saw arm I would not have been able to reach up to do that task. Malua looks great. The next day was below the waterline. Dressed up in overalls and a well fitting mask Iain sanded the antifouling. Not a hard job but dirty and quite tiring on the arms. We washed the residue off and set about applying the Micron Extra antifouling I purchased in Venice the previous years. As usual it went on well but we seemed to use a little more than previously 3.5 l for the underside. I then set about sanding the Autoprop furling propeller to get it as smooth as possible. After a wash and greasing the bearing it was time to apply the Australian lanolin to the blades. I also applied heat from the heat gun to get a nice smooth finish. This form of protection has been very good. Much better than long life antifouling. Last year we got not a single barnacles on a blade. After three days of intensive work we were both ready for an early night.

Launch day. Only the sails to bend on and we are ready to go in the water. I walked to the office to settle the final account to find that they owed me some money. What a surprise! We had agreed to launch at 12:0 noon. Having experienced Marmaris launch fiasco I was ready to settle down for an afternoons wait when there was a knock on the hull, "Are you ready?" Yes it is exactly noon. With great efficiency the low loader was manoeuvred into place, the struts removed and we were moving towards the water. The travel lift was then positioned over Malua and the belts tightens and we were moving towards the launch dock. Malua was gently lowered into the water and we were free all in less than a hour. What joy and lack of stress. If only Marmaris could learn from this. The difference is that here they launch six boats a day while in Turkey they launch 20 boats before lunch.

Start the engine, turn on the instruments and the summer has started. What joy.

We came alongside at Preveza town and set about adding to the provisions. The major outstanding is to have the fridge gassed. I have contacted the fellow who said he would drop round tomorrow with the 134a gas and fill the fridge workings. It sounds easy so we will have to wait and see.

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