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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CRUISING WITH OUR FRIEND CHRIS


Envoy is currently under offer to an Australian couple who will visit Lefkas marina late October for an inspection and survey.

Envoy being launched at Lefkas Marina

Laurie enjoying a Greek Mythos beer and giant beans

After a few days cruising by ourselves we anchor off Lefkas Marina to pick up Chris who's flown into Athens and caught the bus to Lefkas with just two minutes to spare after a super-fast taxi ride from the airport to the bus station. 
We visit some of our favourite local places, especially Sivota, before moving on to Cephalonia – Ay Eufemia and Ithica – N Ay Nikolau. Here we meet three kiwi farming couples from the Manwatu cruising aboard a 50 year-old 60ft displacement motor vessel with loads of character called Lochinvar. 

Laurie and Chris by dinghy at N Ay Nikolau

Chris and Di at N Ay Nikolau with mobile taverna in background. They store all their beer outside with no security overnight and it's still there in the morning


Dog on waveski

At many of these places wasps are a bit of a problem and I get a sting on my hand. 
Now we find out that the BandG wind indicator parts aren't coming after all, so we decide to head up to Corfu and get another instrument technician to have a look.
On the way we anchor off Lefkada again and visit a local carpenter who's making some mooring line rat guards for us. On some islands rats are a problem and these guards prevent rats from crawling along the mooring lines. I wasn't able to buy these in NZ before we left and the carpenter charges a very reasonable 30 Euros for four. Later we take these ashore and spray them black.
Stopping in Preveza we meet Ross (a Kiwi) and Cindy from yacht Antares and visit a great restaurant ashore called Apagkio where I have one of the nicest ever pasta dishes together with the inevitable, predictable but delicious Greek salad. Di notices some tomatoes on display and asks if she can buy some, but the staff give them to us for free. Greek tomatoes are particularly tasty as well as being much cheaper than those in NZ. 
Ross is looking for some scuba gear. I won't be needing mine again and it takes up quite a lot of room aboard Envoy so we come to an arrangement for Ross to take it.
On the way north we stop and anchor for the first time at the island of Andipaxoi, having a beautiful bay all to ourselves overnight. This brings the number of Greek islands where we've over-nighted to 65 (plenty more to go as there are about 227 inhabited Greek islands and more than 6,000 in total).
In the morning another Nordhavn called Moxie (from Florida) comes into our bay and of course we meet up for a chat. Bob from Moxie tells us they recently went to Montenegro and tried to clear-in but Bob doesn't have any form of skipper's qualification. Not only would the authorities not let Moxie enter, but wouldn't let her leave until Bob hired a commercial captain to take them out of Montenegro's waters. Sounds like a pretty tough policy.
We spend a couple of days anchored off Petriti and then head to Gouvia marina. On the way we pass a very strange looking yacht, like something out of a sci-fi movie, called “A”. Apparently A is owned by a wealthy Russian and the lowest deck has a transparent hull so those aboard can see under water.

Yacht "A"


Chris and Laurie getting water before the watermaker was running

Chris pumping water from the plastic containers into Envoy's tanks

All of the time we've been here the temperature has been around 30d with light winds and smooth seas - definitely motor boat weather! The sea temperature at 26d makes swimming a real pleasure.

Ay Eufemia's fire brigade

A classic looking motor boat at Agni

And a classic sailing ship

Mates enjoying a beer together


Technical
The main reason for our visit to Gouvia is for technician Angelos to install our watermaker's reconditioned main pump. This is done and the watermaker works fine. We don't want to run it too long in the impure marina waters but a few days later run it for three hours and all is OK.
Our Nautica RHIB has been losing some air, requiring a few pumps every 3 or 4 days, so A1 Yachting arrange for someone to check it over. A few days later it's returned hard as a drum and has remained so since.
Our dual trumpet air horn has failed due to water ingress and electrician Leo orders and fits a new unit for us.
He also arranges for an instrument technician to look at our B&G wind gear. The mast's sender unit has been removed and is still being looked at.
Envoy has a SeaFire heat activated engine room fire extinguishing system. Nordhavn recently contacted all owners advising that some units have an interlock that shuts down the engine in case of discharge. This is deemed not a desriable feature and they offered a solution to bypass this interlock. Leo has some experience with SeaFire and checked our system out, determining that we don't have this interlock, so no problem.
Envoy has a vacuum gauge connected to the Lugger's Racor primary fuel filters. As filters become clogged they create a vacuum, telling you that it's time to think about changing them. We've never seen any movement in the vacuum gauge and wondered if it's working. So with Leo we checked this out by gradually reducing the fuel supply to the Lugger while it's running. Sure enough the gauge showed vacuum, confirming that it's working. Because Envoy has a fuel polishing system and all fuel is filtered through a 2 micron filter even before going to the primary Racor filter, the filters just don't get contaminated.
Our secondary GPS - a Northstar - has been working adequately, but not well for some time. Now it's definitely not working to our satisfaction and will need repair or replacement. This unit dates from pre-2002 so we can't complain. 



Saturday, September 01, 2018

ENVOY IS CRUISING AGAIN

We departed Lefkas Marina on Friday morning and anchored in a bay off mainland Greece about 15 miles south. Weather is fine with temp in low 30s, little humidity and sea water a beautiful 28d. This was pretty fast progress seeing as we didn't arrive here until one week before, but Sailand and Yachtpaint had done a good job of getting things ready. Everything seems to be working well except
for our B&G Network wind speed and direction gear which powers up OK but doesn't read wind speed or direction. The local B&G specialist has inspected the system and says the sender unit on the mast has failed. Wait for it - we can't just replace this 15 year old sender because the new model apparently won't work with our old instrument, so we need a new sender, wiring loom and instrument, all of which has been ordered and will be here week of 10 Sept. I guess it's not too bad to get 15 years life out of a product continuously exposed to weather. Haven't done a whole lot of relaxing yet as have been sorting out gear etc, but another few days and most things should be done.
On Tuesday we return to Lefkas and will anchor off to pick up our friend Chris, aka McGyver who will be cruising with us until late Sept. After that we'll quietly cruise north to Corfu's Gouvia marina, where we'll get a couple of other jobs done including re-installation of our newly reconditioned water maker main pump and reconditioning of its seacock and strainer by Angelo. More to follow plus pics shortly.