Ionian Islands with T&J and the Heat ON

Posted Aug. 5, 2013 at 00:47

Our old friends from NS T&J came to spend a few days with us cruising the Ionian islands…  They arrived to Preveza where we had just gone out into our anchorage after preparing (euphemism for fixing) the boat for a week in Cleopatra's marina in the water.  No sooner had they arrived when a major and indispensable kitchen utensil broke - the corkscrew came apart…  J, a mechanical engineer who loves to fix things was eager to help and we had it fixed in no time…

We also had to wait until Monday so that the tax office would be open to pay our boat tax (650) for the 9 months the boat was sitting on the hard. With the boat tax added, Greece does not look cheaper at all than the combination of Italy (winter storage) and Dalmatia (5-6 months at anchor)…

After stocking up on fresh fish (Preveza had amazing fresh fish markets), fruits and veggies and other groceries we headed straight for the Levkas channel arriving just in time for the bridge opening… We headed straight down to picturesque Desimi bay, just south of Nidri for some clear and cool waters, caves and gravel beaches…
As we were dropping anchor, the windlass started freewheeling… After stopping the chain manually at the right scope and investigating, it turned out that the drive key had fallen out at the bottom of the shaft…  Luckily it hadn't dropped too far, but there was no trace of the cir clip (it must have rusted away).  The Lewmar user manual doesn't mention anything about it's existence or periodic checking… now I know about it, and it is in the Lewmar parts list diagram.   With this began the windlass drive key securing project… it had gone through three versions in the next three days.  First I tried titanium epoxy that has been working so well on our Honda generator exhaust pipe, but it fell out at the next anchoring since the shaft slot was too smooth and probably oily (even though I tried to clean it dry with alcohol).   Second version was a circlip like ring with thinner stainless wire holding it closed. It came off after two operations.   Then J suggested a different version of the ring which is held by twisting its own tails together - and that one is still holding - thanks J!   Every one of these was done at a different and beautiful anchorage….

We spent a night at Fiskardo on Keffalinia, followed by two nights on Ithaca beaches before entering Vathi, the 'capitol' of Ithaca in the morning.


Toasting to windlass drive key hold fix version 3...

(Voluntary) Crew duties...

We rented two 50cc scooters for only E13/scooter plus gas…!  We scooted around Ithaca in the next 6 hours looking for its famous nymphs (someone forgot to lock the gate to the cave so they must have escaped) and of course high up the mountain for amazing vistas…  We stood on Odysseus' castle wall (what's left of it) in the scorching heat and jumped back onto the scooters for air-cooling… By the evening, after some grocery shopping, we were anchored near a beach again…

Nymphs Cave: Admission Free (if you can find it)

Ithaca harbour from high above

In the morning, we visited our "Goat" bay with its crystal clear deep water and nice reefs for snorkelling then we headed over to Papanikolis Cave (the hideout of a namesake WWII submarine) on Meganisi Island, followed by a stop at Dora's favourite from last year's cruise when we had to pass it as it was occupied.  Gorgeous ancient ocean sedimentary rock formations turned sideways… with a turqoise little cave underneath.  For the night, I chose a perfect anchorage a little distance from the 'Bay of Acts' (as it is named on the Greek charts) true to its name as we found out last fall while we were there…


After another day/night in the popular NE corner of Meganisi, we headed back to Nidri for T&J's randezvous with their bus back to NS… :-(


August is upon us and the heat is ON!  We always pray for a little breeze, cabin temperatures reach 35C, we're staying low and put in a little less wavy corner of NE Meganisi well moored to shore…  We're hoping for no squalls as the charterers and some cruisers that come and go around us, drop their anchor regularly with a 1:2 scope (too short) and a shoestring to shore.  So far the weather has been fantastic!! (ally hot), calm every night.

And this just in... the Spectra watermaker drive pump just decided to throw in the towel - adding a third and major issue to the watermaker story. No more free water. Yours truly has to take things apart again on a sunny hot and humid Sunday to see if anything is fixable without resorting to calling California (again)...  No time for panorama stitching... Cheers and stay tuned (not more than once a week ;-) !
- Z -