Life on board

Filling  Aquarella's tank with water from jerry cans
When I'm on my boat I don't sail every day.  I often find inspiring surroundings to paint and stop up even for weeks at a time. However, living aboard a boat all summer without tying up to shore has it's own challenges.
 I choose not to go into a harbour, marina or quayside for several reasons. Firstly, being alone on board, an attempt at harbour manoeuvres involves a great risk of hitting something expensive.  It's obviously not the same as parking a car. My boat is long keeled which means it steers very badly in reverse. To counteract this I would have to go with the pointed end first ( opposite almost everyone else) Then the stern anchor has to be dropped about 3 or 4 boat lengths from the quay. At the same time I'd have to leave the steering wheel and engine controls to rush 10 meters forward to throw the mooring lines ashore with the hope someone will be there to catch them. In the meantime I would actually be needed at the stern (back, blunt end) holding and braking the anchor rope to avoid a hard collision with the wall/jetty/other expensive yacht.
Another advantage of keeping my distance is I have more privacy by staying away from harbours. No noisy neighbours, only a little loud music from the nearest bar and no tourists taking selfies in front of my boat.
No rats and cockroaches.
No uninvited visitors.
Much cooler and nearly always a breeze.
I can also jump in and swim whenever I want from the boat as the water is cleaner further out.

So I either stay away at anchor or tie up to a mooring buoy. Typically this would be about 100 m from shore, not too far to go by dinghy for provisions.
I fill up my jerrycans with fresh water from a local cafe and diesel and petrol from the nearest tank station. For this I use a little trolley as it's often a long walk from the jetty were the dinghy can be tied up.
Walking, climbing, balancing, lifting, pulling, pushing and carrying loads is all part of everyday life living on a boat. At first I had difficulty with this but now I'm stronger, healthier and slimmer ( yeah!) and don't think about it so much. 
It's cheaper too.  In a marina there is nearly always a considerable extra fee for electricity, water and wifi. But the free Greek sun bakes down on my 5 solar panels fully charging the batteries to run instruments, lighting, the fridge and computer. My wifi booster picks up signals from any cafe within 5 km. and the password for this can be disclosed for the price of a cup of coffee. 
5 canisters of water can be collected for the price of a glass of wine and all my washing done for the price of a Greek salad. 

So I have peace and quiet on board to sit all day and paint under the sunshade.

Solving problems

Out at sea between the islands

At the end of May I returned again to my beloved Aquarella in Kilada, Greece. As before, I had the help of my brother in law Uffe for the first week. He did a great job painting the anti-foul and helping me polishing the hull. He made sure everything was shipshape and in order before I took him by dinghy to the hydrofoil for the first leg of his trip home to Sweden. It was no sooner than I waved goodbye that the first problems emerged. The dinghy engine died on the way back to Aquarella lying at anchor a few hundred yards away. I rowed the rest of the way. The problem was fortunately only a lack of petrol. A small insignificant detail. Next problem was the head ( boat toilet). The pump was suddenly taking in air instead of water. After contemplating changing the pump ( a major operation) I thought that maybe some sort of marine life was trapped in the intake hose. I poured a kettle of fresh boiling water and added washing up liquid into the bowl. I then pumped and pumped until finally it answered back by burping, belching, spluttering and swallowing. Problem solved.
I had to wait a few days in the bay of Porto Heli while the UV strip on my headsail (Genoa) was replaced by the sailmaker there. The next problem was mounting it, single handed,onto the furler. The headsail halliard goes up to the mast, down through it, across the cabin roof, through the sprayhood to the cockpit where the winch is. The edge of the sail itself has to be fed into the aluminium profile on the forestay. So normally it takes two people: one to hoist the sail with the halliard from the cockpit while the other feeds the sail into the furler. I had to wait until there was a dead calm as any kind of wind would fill the sail and make life complicated. There was no room for playing around since a french yacht had kindly anchored 5 meters in front of me while another was 10 meters behind. I waited for the wind to drop all day, it didn't, but at 6 the following morning it was calm. By pulling the halliard out of all the fixtures except the mast, I could stand on the foredeck with it and hoist it with one hand while feeding the sail with the other. It went fine whilst half the weight of the sail was lying on deck, then it got too heavy to pull without the help of the winch in the cockpit. I had to then run backwards and forwards winching the sail half a meter a time until the top stopped at 12 meters above deck. Finally I could furl it in breathlessly around the forestay before the wind got up. 
After a cup of coffee I weighed anchor and inched myself out of the tightly packed anchorage to the freedom of the open sea.

The original UV strip on the headsail had lasted 20 years so, if this new one lasts that long, I don't have to change it before I'm 90!
The first voyage alone this year, from Porto Heli to Poros. The red arrow shows where I was when I took this image from my ipad which I use for navigation. The trip took 7 hours.