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Monday, December 02, 2019

NEW BOAT NOW IN OUR LIVES

The purchase of our new boat has now been finalised and we take over ownership in the next few days.
While Envoy, as a full displacement vessel, was perfect for the Med, we never intended to buy such a vessel here. Instead we have been looking at planing or what are commonly called "semi-displacement", although I'm told this term is not technically correct as a vessel is either planing or it's not.
We planned to buy a boat around 14 metres and looked over around 20 without finding anything that really suited us in terms of either design, space or condition until we found "Awesome" by accident when we wandered onto the Westhaven sales jetty of a broker called Orams Marine.
We saw Awesome sitting there with a For Sale sign, went aboard and within minutes felt she was the right boat for us. At 16 metres she is a little larger than we intended, but she has the advantage of three separate sleeping cabins and two bathrooms/Heads. Much of our boating will be with other couples aboard (or Chris aka MacGyver of course) so this is perfect, She's powered by twin Cat 3208 diesels and has a generator and water maker.


Although Awesome has a leading designer - Salthouse, she's built from alloy, which was a complication for us initially as we knew little about larger alloy boats although realised that many rugged commercial vessels are alloy. A rigorous in water and out of water survey including ultrasonic testing of the hull detected very few issues and a sea trial with a GoughCat engineer aboard doing tests verified the engines as being sound. In fact both Cats and their Twin Disc gearboxes were reconditioned in 2014 and only have 600 hours on them since.
The previous owner has used her mostly for offshore game fishing and she's done many trips to remote places like the Three Kings as well as Cook Strait crossings and a voyage from Picton to Auckland. Awesome has additional fuel tanks for long range so can carry nearly 3,000 litres of diesel, which should give a range of over 500 miles at lower speeds.
During the sea trial fully loaded with fuel, water and five people aboard she achieved 21 knots wide open throttle at 2,800 rpm, but her usual cruising speed on the plane is around 15-17 knots and 2,200-2,400 rpm.
We expect to use her off the plane quite a lot, cruising around 8 knots.
We'll be berthing her at our preferred marina - Hobsonville (previously called Westpark) and will be changing her name to "Rapport", the same name as our last boat owned in Auckland in partnership with our always-missed great friend Brian.
Awesome doesn't have much gear aboard so we've been busy buying tools, spares, galley equipment, bedding, safety equipment etc.
Hoping to start a two week "shakedown" cruise this weekend.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

GOODBYE TO ENVOY

We're home in Auckland and Envoy is in Greece's Lefkada marina. 
Our involvement with Envoy is over as she's now under the control of her new Australian owners, Larry and Catherine.
We've been looking at buying a new (pre-owned) boat and have taken one to survey stage, so if we proceed with this boat I'll give more details next week.

It's early October and we're back in Lefkada marina with my brother Charles aboard. It's fitting that he's with us for our final days aboard Envoy as he's the reason we're here. In the early 2000s Charles and his French wife Marie sailed their 34ft yacht Acrobat from Brisbane to Turkey and invited us to join them there  in 2004 for a couple of weeks cruising. It was during that time Diane and I decided to do this Med cruising.
We came into the marina two days early because a “destructive thunderstorm” was forecast and we didn't want to take any chances – we've seen what they can do! However despite our caution this time the storm doesn't materialise.
The day before we come to the marina the generator fails to start – it turns over OK and runs provided the glow plug pre-heat switch is kept activated but stops when this switch is let go. 
Charles and I check it over and change a few relays to no avail. 
Sailand's electrician Velissaris comes aboard and when we explain the issue he nods his head knowingly, saying that probably the oil or coolant level is too low. I'm skeptical as I'd checked the coolant level the same day, however we check it again and find it's slightly low. We add coolant then lo and behold all is good.
The generator has always needed a very small amount of coolant added every couple of weeks, however we ask Velissaris to check the generator's cooling system during winter and the exhaust system while they're at it.
We have six days before catching the bus to Athens and this is plenty of time to prepare Envoy for winter. Our final short cruise is from our marina berth to the haul-out area – how many times we've stood by watching Envoy being pulled out or launched!

We watch Envoy being positioned on the hard stand for our final time

Maybe this will be our next boat?

This year's cruise has been great and we've enjoyed sharing it with Chris, Larry and Catherine and Charles. We've visited Greece, Albania and Italy and cruised 964 miles. 
We recall some of the challenges we had making this an interesting cruise: a leaking bilge that took Sailand about a week to permanently repair, the major storm in the marina at Taranto, a large motor vessel hitting us in the marina at Gallipoli, getting our anchor stuck in a bay in Italy, a storm in Ay Eufemia harbour with other boats adrift, being detained by Coastguard for a week after our EPIRB inadvertently activated, losing and then finding our RHIB in Albania and being anchored in Vlikho Bay when an adrift yacht nearly hit us. All good fun!
So folks I see that our first post was in late 2006, so after 13 years that's the end of the Envoy Blog, although I will post a bit more material here, particularly regarding our new vessel. 
Envoy was perfect for this Med adventure, but our next boat will be somewhat different!
Thanks for following us.



Saturday, November 09, 2019

OUR FINAL CRUISING DAYS ABOARD ENVOY


Envoy's ownership is now transferred to Larry and Catherine Wood of Brisbane, Australia and we're sure they'll have as much fun and adventure as we enjoyed. 
Envoy has been de-registered from the NZ Shipping Register in preparation for her new Australian listing.
We've been back home in Auckland for three weeks now and busy searching for a new boat. We looked at about 15 before we found one we really liked and signed the deal last Wednesday, subject to survey, sea trial and engineering report. This should be all complete in about two weeks and then I'll provide some details.

Now back to the Med. It's late September and we leave Kastos Island to cruise through the Dragonera and Echinades Islands. There are several islands in this remote and barren group with many fish farms among them. 

The Dragonera islands


Although there are good day anchorages here it's not the place you'd want to move around at night if you needed to, so we head to the nearby mainland coast and anchor at a bay called Ormos Dhioni. This is nothing special but well sheltered and just a few hundred metres from the mouth of Greece's longest river – the Achelos, a slow flowing river passing through marshlands and forming a shallow sandspit where it flow into the sea.
Next day we cruise about 25 miles to Messalonghi. This is a very sheltered harbour about half a mile wide at the end of a two-mile-long canal from the sea.

The canal going to Messalonghi has some interesting dwellings


Here we find a handful of yachts anchored and the superyacht Christina O moored alongside the jetty. This is the ship formerly belonging to Aristotle Onassis and named after his daughter. The ship is a converted WW2 warship which saw service at the D Day landings and was beautifully restored and modified.

Christina O by day and night




Messalonghi is important in recent Greek history as a centre of resistance to Turkish rule. In the early 19th century the Turks attacked the town and 7,000 citizens escaped through a gate in the walls and fled into the hills. Unfortunately they encountered some Albanian mercenaries working for the Turks and were ruthlessly slaughtered.
Here my brother Charles joins us having flown in from Scotland for our final cruise aboard Envoy back to the marina.

Charles by gate through which 7,000 people passed before their slaughter

19th century hospital now a tourist spot


We cruise to Ormos Antissamos on Cephalonia Island and during the night there's a lot of distant thunder and lightning but no problem for us. Next day we head to Kalo Limani where it's very calm until midnight, but then another thunderstorm starts and continues non-stop until dawn with some very heavy rain but without the violent winds that normally accompany these storms. Charles wonders what he's got himself into having come here for some great Med late summer weather.
Next day we motor to nearby Ay Eufemia to find it's been severely flood-damaged by the heavy rain and the sea is brown to several hundred metres offshore. As we approach the harbour we're warned not to enter because of the large amount of driftwood floating around so we anchor outside and take the dinghy in. Many shops have been flooded and the locals are busy cleaning up and trying to get the thick mud off the roads and footpaths.

A very muddy Ay Eufemia harbour

And equally muddy footpaths


Next day we cruise to Ormos Vlikkho on Lefkada Island. Our anchor isn't free-falling very well indicating the windlass needs greasing, so we strip the above deck components and give it a good grease – then it's all good. We spend a few days here basically just filling in time before we go to the marina and doing wintering preparation.

There are hundreds of dinner plate sized jellyfish in Ormos Vlikkho

Ormos Vlikkho is a bit of a boat graveyard as you can see in following images








On Monday 7th October the forecast is for strong winds and “destructive thunderstorms” so we decide to go into Lefkada marina a couple of days early. On the way in we refuel for the only time this year (our new boat won't be quite so economical!) putting in 1,690 litres plus the Stanadyne fuel stabiliser that we use.
Next posting – our final days aboard Envoy.



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

UNEXPLODED HAND GRENADE IN ENVOY'S ANCHORAGE


We're now back home in Auckland and Envoy is safely on the hard at Lefkas marina, Greece.
We're now in the process of changing legal ownership of Envoy to Larry and Catherine and associated matters such as converting insurance and taking Envoy off the NZ register.
However we still have three or four postings to do to complete Envoy's epic under our ownership.

I'm going to add some photos to this posting in a few days.

It's mid-September as we leave our anchorage at Ormos Varko heading further south to Syvota, mentioned many times on the Blog, and then on to Cephalonia, one of the most attractive of the Ionian Islands. The weather is still warm being in the mid 20s and the sea temperature is 25d, but as usual in September over here the weather is unstable with many thunderstorm warnings.
Here we anchor at a not-so-popular (because there's no tavernas or shops) but very sheltered bay called Kalo Limani. 
In the early evening we notice a few Coastguard personnel and what appear to be soldiers on the beach and somebody snorkeling around the shallows. We're anchored about 200 metres off the beach and see Coastguard personnel instruct the skipper of a yacht anchored much closer to the beach to move away. The yacht comes over to us and the skipper says he's been told to re-anchor behind us because they've found an unexploded WW2 hand grenade in the shallows and the bomb disposal team are going to blow it up. Apparently someone was snorkeling around earlier, noticed the grenade and called the Coastguard. Of course Cephalonia was the scene of much activity during WW2 including the events depicted in the great movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin. So we sip our wine and wait for the blast. We expect to see a fountain of water erupting, but the reality is disappointing, sounding like two fire crackers going off.
Next day we cruise south to one of our favourite anchorages – Ay Eufemia for a couple of nights and meet a nice couple Duncan and Julia from Falmouth aboard S/Y Rampage (what a great boat name).

Rampage


Ay Eufemia harbour


This season we've met many interesting fellow cruisers, mainly from Australia, NZ, UK and Italy.
One of the nights here we encounter a severe thunderstorm with winds up to 43 knots and the classic 180 degree reversal of wind direction. One catamaran and one monohull yacht drag, but as usual Envoy is OK, though the storm did keep us up on watch for a couple of hours during the night.
We spend a few days around the island of Ithica re-visiting some favourite haunts and encounter yet another thunder storm while anchored in Vathi Harbour. This one is prolonged, lasting about three hours, but with the wind only reaches about 20 knots with no boats dragging.

Stormy morning in Vathi


With an even worse weather forecast we head back to Lefkada Island for one night, anchoring in the very sheltered Vlikho Bay. The swell is close to 2 metres providing a good test for our Naiad stabilisers, which perform well and as the wind increases we take some spray over the bow for the first time this season.

Cruising back to Vlikho with foul weather behind


As usual there are huge numbers of dinner plate sized jellyfish here – I counted 30 around Envoy at one point so definitely not the place for a swim. 

Late in the afternoon the wind increases to about 20 knots and I see a yacht about 100 metres in front of us to windward turn beam to wind and start to drag towards us. We start the engine and start to pull up our anchor to move out of the way, but the yacht is moving too fast and I realise we won't pull up the anchor in time. Our only alternative is to let out much more chain and power ourselves out of the way of the yacht. It's a close call but the yacht passes by dragging her anchor and fortunately not fouling our chain. I notice that she drags at least another 200 metres before her anchor bites and holds.
We need to meet my brother Charles who's flying into Athens so head to Messalonghi, about 70 miles away on the mainland as here has good bus connections with Athens and is a place we've never been.
We spend the first night at Port Leone on Nisos Kalamos. It's perfectly calm here and we have a great night anchored off the derelict village, abandoned after an earthquake in 1953.
Next day we anchor off Port Kalamos and go ashore for a look around before heading to nearby Nisos Kastos and anchoring in very sheltered South-East Bay. It's deep here and we anchor in 23 metres.

Port Kalamos


Autumn is coming and we need to put a blanket on the bed for the first time since summer started and we're no longer needing our electric fans to keep cool.
We explore more of Nisos Kastos, which is a really nice island, before heading to Astakos on the nearby mainland, anchoring off the village and going ashore. 

Large open fishing boat at Astakos


The wind comes up to 25 knots, building a heavy chop and making this exposed position untenable overnight so we cruise down to nearby Port Marathia. It's very windy here too but it's offshore and we have good holding despite a half metre wind-driven chop.
Next Post is cruising through the Dragonera and Echinades Islands to Messolonghi where we see the superyacht Christina O, formerly owned by Aristotle Onassis.




Friday, September 27, 2019

ENVOY CRUISING SOUTH FROM CORFU


ENVOY CRUISING SOUTH FROM CORFU 
Envoy is now at stunning Kastos Island on the way to Mesolonghi to meet my brother Charles.
Back to late August we've cleared in to Greece at Corfu after our return from Albania and heading south we spend time in Petriti and Syvota – both extensively mentioned in previous blogs.

Enjoying cakes at one of our favourite bakeries - in Syvota (Mourtos)

Cruising west from Petriti you need to stay well clear to the north of a large sand spit, covered with shallow water and well marked on charts but with no buoyage. There's a line of boats including us and several charter yachts keeping well clear of the spit and then I see a 45 ft sailing catamaran under motor veer out of line off to the south. At first I think maybe he has local knowledge and with his cat's shallow draught may be OK. He's well out of hailing distance when I see things go horribly wrong and the cat grounds. Fortunately the sea is very calm and I see the cat trying to get clear, but instead of trying to get out the way it came in the cat veers in another direction where it's shallower still. There's nothing we can do to assist as he's several hundred metres away from water deep enough for Envoy to venture safely. In any case I'd be reluctant to put a tow line on a vessel over here, not knowing the insurance implications.

We cruise on to Loggos on Paxxos Island. This is a stunning village we've been to with our friends Frank and Marie when we all decided it was one of our favorite places with a quaint bakery selling croissants, plus several nice tavernas and restaurants and quirky shops.

Envoy anchored in Loggos with superyacht  in background

Loggos's stunning waterfront


Our favorite house in Loggos overlooks the anchorage

Then we head to Lakka Bay on Paxxos, surprisingly finding three Kiwi boats there. We get together with Richard and Janet from motorboat Matariki plus Jeremy and Chrissy from yacht Fernweh for drinks aboard Envoy and dinner ashore. We find out that Richard is about 80 years old and still enjoying his boating, having a yacht in the Bay of Islands that he originally sailed out to NZ from England.

Interesting charter vessel moored close to us at Lakka

I planned to do a genset oil and filter change the next day. I had my new spare Shell oil stored on the top deck in 20 litre plastic drums and when I went to fetch it found that the tops of both drums had split – presumably with the heat and u/v. In retrospect I should have covered them for protection. We'd had a little rain a few days before and I wasn't going to risk using oil possibly contaminated with water so consigned these drums to the oil dump station where I looked with disgust as 40 litres of possibly perfectly good oil was poured in - about 170 Euros worth!

From Paxxos we cruise about six hours to Preveza on the mainland – another great anchorage where we've spent many comfortable nights. 

Having dinner out at Preveza

Before it got dark we notice this bird's nest of wiring on a nearby power pole

Here I buy some new 15W40 oil and change the generator's oil and filter, a job which if properly organised takes about an hour using Envoy's built-in oil change pump. On completion when I try to start the generator – nothing! Well obviously I think the problem must be connected to the oil change, but I can't see how - did I dislodge a wire?. The generator provides our only source of AC power for refrigeration so we need it. We head to nearby Lefkada marina where we can connect to shorepower while the generator problem is solved. Sailand's electrician – Velisaris knows Envoy well and comes aboard at 1800 hours, soon diagnoses the problem as the starter motor, removes it and takes it away for repair. He's back at 1000 the next day and says the starter motor needed a good clean out of accumulated carbon dust and new brushes. I check our Envoy manual and find this starter motor should be serviced every five years. Lo and behold - it's 5 years since our last service. While Velissaris is aboard I also get him to test the output of the Lugger's alternator and this tests fine.

Having dinner in Lefkada's main square with yachtsmen friends Mike and Keith

We leave Lefkada and head south through the canal stopping at Ormos Varko for two nights. This is a remote, peaceful anchorage well sheltered from prevailing northerlies and without annoying speed boats roaring around. One night we're on the fringes of an electrical storm, but apart from a few brief squalls up to 20 knots have no problem and see the main front pass away well to our east.
Then it's further south to Ormos Dessimou. This is a bit busier with many campers ashore and some small boats coming in and out.

Tavernas on O. Dessimou's tranquil shore

Next posting - unexploded WW2 hand grenade found in our anchorage

Saturday, September 21, 2019

ENVOY IN ALBANIA

Envoy is now anchored at beautiful Cephalonia, Greece.
Fingers crossed we seem to have sorted out our photo issue now.

I meant to mention that although Envoy has two aircons – a forward unit cooling the two sleeping cabins and an amidships unit cooling the pilothouse and saloon – we only use these to provide an AC load for the generator as to use them properly we'd obviously have to close all the portholes, doors and windows - something Di and I don't like to do. Also to use the aircons we need AC power which means being on shore power or running the generator or running the Lugger with the inverter.
While we're in Gouvia marina waiting for the epirb situation to be resolved it's hot – like up to 37d. It's generally hotter in marinas as there's less wind than at anchor and large expanses of concretes that soak up and then radiate the heat. Larry and Catherine are having a bit of difficulty sleeping in the heat and suggest we run the forward aircon all night. So we close the portholes and do this, finding after about an hour or so the temperature drops about 5dC and more importantly the humidity drops considerably. So this is a useful experiment and we find the slight hum of the aircon working on shore power not a problem, though we wouldn't do it at anchor as we'd have to run the generator all night.

We have already spent a few days in Albania with Chris earlier in the season but now need to spend another few days there to avoid over-staying our allowed 90 days in Greece. On our three previous trips we've stayed at Sarande so this time decide to cruise a few miles north and south of Sarande. To do this our agent, Jelga, needs to file a cruise intinerary with the Port Police. At the Sarande dock is a very traditional Arab dhow about 120 feet long with its crew all decked out in traditional long white robes and turbans. Jelga tells us it's owned by an Emarati princess and when the dhow arrived the authorities laid a long red carpet from the dock to the Customs hall.

There's very few boats anchored here, but one is a NZ yacht called Sparrow. We meet her owners Peter and Dash and enjoy a great dinner ashore together costing a ridiculously low 19 Euros per couple.
Next day we start cruising north and anchor at a very sheltered bay east of Cape Kiephali. Here it's very remote, accessed only by a dirt road. There's a couple of houses ashore and a fish farm taking up some of the bay's space. At dusk we see two guys ashore dressed in military style clothing acting rather suspiciously. Dusk turns to dark and they are still there - doing what? We find it slightly scary so lock our doors during the night for the first time ever.

Envoy anchored near Cape Kiepheli, Albania

Next day we cruise further north to anchor off Qeparo Beach, east of Palermo Headland. Here is also very sheltered and there's a few tavernas ashore, one of which we visit for a cold and cheap Albanian beer. The barman speaks no English but we all manage OK. At both of these anchorages we are the only boat.

Grotto near our Qeparo Beach anchorage

Peter and Dash meanwhile have cruised past us to go alongside the wharf at Palermo Bay. This is a disused military wharf and very rough with lots of protrusions and no proper bollards. Although it's only a couple of miles from where we were last night Peter says they got winds gusting 40 knots whereas we had none. The main attraction at Palermo Bay is Ali Pasha's castle, which we've already seen so we move on to anchor in Himare Bay. 

Ali Pasha's castle viewed from the sea

Tucked in close at the north end of the bay close to a wharf there's reasonable shelter from the prevailing northerlies, although a bit of residual swell finds its way here. The village is quite atmospheric, even if a little run-down and the locals are mostly quite friendly – even the local Port Police who visit us to check on our ship's papers. The main issue here is small boats moving at high speed very close. We take a taxi to Himare's ancient Kastro high in the hills for some spectacular views of the coast.

View from Himare's Kastro

Himare is the last sheltered anchorage for many miles heading north so after two nights here we head back south again

Envoy anchored in Himare Bay

There are some very run-down apartments in Himare

On the way, passing Sarande we notice our dinghy is missing – my fault as I was the one who secured it (not very well). We haven't cruised far so backtrack about two miles to find it drifting near a rocky shore. It'stoo risky to take Envoy that close to a lee shore so we anchor off about 50 metres and I swim over to the dinghy which by now is very close to rocks. I manage to climb onto the rocks, push the dinghy away, climb in and start it. I get a few metres away from the rocks and the engine stops – the painter is still dragging in the choppy water and has wound around the prop. I jump back into the water, manage to free the prop quite easily, get back into the dinghy and motor over to Envoy. A good ending to a silly mistake.

Laurie rescuing our drifting dinghy

The only really nice anchorage we found to the south of Sarande is Ftelia Bay, which is very remote and perfectly sheltered from all wind directions except southerly. Again we are the sole boat here and one side of the bay is Albanian while the other is Greek. Some years back it was a military zone and cruisers weren't allowed to anchor here but it's all much more relaxed these days. There's no tavernas or facilities here but Ftlelia would rank among one of the nicest anchorages we've found.

Envoy anchored on the Albania/Greek border in Ftlelia Bay


Old fisherman's cottage on Greek side of Ftlelia Bay

So we clear-out of Albania and head back to Corfu's Gouvia marina to clear-in to Greece for the last time. The cost is 60 Euros for both clearing in and out, compared to 150 Euros to clear in and the same to clear out of Greece.





Thursday, September 12, 2019

ENVOY DETAINED AFTER EPIRB ACCIDENTALLY ACTIVATES

Envoy is currently anchored at Lefkada Island.
With Envoy's new owners, Larry and Catherine aboard we have left Italy's Santa Maria di Leuca at first light bound for Greece.
For those who don't know, an EPRB is an emergency position indicating radio beacon and when activated provides rescue authorities with your vessel details and position. You wouldn't use it unless in case of dire emergency combined with inability to give your position by VHF radio.
Just north of the Greek island of Othoni our old EPIRB with an expired battery, which I had kept on board activated by itself. This causes a Coastguard boat to come out from Othoni island to check we are OK as well as radio calls from Olympia Radio, the Greek rescue authorities. We explain both by VHF radio to Olympia Radio and in person to the Coastguard people alongside us that the EPIRB had activated by itself with no human intervention and I thought that might be the end of it – but no such luck. The Coastguard said we would have to go to the closest port - a small but lovely village on the south side of Othoni island called Ammou and would not be permitted to leave until Envoy had been surveyed for safety. 


Port Authority building at Ammou where the Coastguard are based

Well obviously there are no surveyors on Othoni and there's only an infrequent ferry service to Corfu. I ask the Coastguard if we can go to Corfu for the survey but they say no. I imagine this situation drawing out into many days and having to hire a water taxi to get a surveyor out to us. I'm also concerned about Larry and Catherine - although we're at a lovely bay they wouldn't want to spend the whole remaining time of their trip here and how would they get to Corfu to catch their ferry back to Italy? I also have concerns about the "survey". Few boats would pass a comprehensive survey without some preparation and we don't have that opportunity.
So I get our agent A1 Yachting involved and once again they perform great, putting me in touch with a Greek/Australian surveyor based in Corfu who soon manages to get permission from Coastguard for Envoy to move to Corfu's Gouvia marina. Even for this to happen he also had to get a letter of approval from the NZ Consulate in Athens. After arriving in Gouvia we find that our berth is very close to the Port Police base and assume they want to keep an eye on us. It takes five days for the necessary checks to be made and paperwork completed. The "survey" in fact turns out only to involve de-registering our old EPIRB, registering the new one we already have on board, checking our VHF and making some modifications to it. You can't rush bureaucracy but Larry and Catherine weren't fussed as it gave them a few days to see Corfu and for Catherine and Di to enjoy doing some shopping together.
We also hire a car and visit Corfu's west coast village of Paleokastritsa and the remote mountain village of Palia Perithia. Here we have lunch at a taverna patronised by Rick Stein, but unfortunately on our visit all find the meals a bit under-whelming, even though the taverna itself is atmospheric.

My final involvement with the epirb situation is to go to the Coastguard's Corfu office to pick up our clearance to leave. The surveyor says this will take 10 minutes but in fact it takes about three hours, mainly waiting around for people. Corfu's main Coastguard office has about 80 people working there and it's hard to find the right one to deal with. Finally I manage to find the right guy and he is reasonably friendly, even organising a coffee for me. He initially seems to find complications, but suddenly hands me some documents and tells me Envoy is free to leave.
So we leave the marina - free people again and have a nice few days cruising the bay's north of Corfu.  During this time we're anchored in  a large bay when two large twin-engined seaplanes come zooming down and skim across the water filling their sea water tanks for fire fighting. They do this several times and we jole that we've put this show on especially for Larry and Catherine.

We never did get an explanation on how the EPIRB may have self-activated, but the local expert said it was unlikely to be caused by the expired battery. Anyway I think the lessons here are don't keep an EPIRB with an expired battery aboard, but de-register and dispose of it and make sure you register your new one immediately after purchase.
After several more days cruising in Corfu Larry and Catherine leave us, looking very much forward to starting their very own Envoy adventures.

This unusual vessel noticed in Corfu has a helicopter hanger on its stern

Next day we clear-out of Greece to spend a week or so cruising in Albania.

We thought this rock looks like a bear sitting down