|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.|