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Thursday, December 06, 2018

ENVOY HEADS SOUTH FROM CORFU

Envoy is berthed at Lefkas Marina, Greece and we are home in Auckland.

Beautiful gardens of beachside bar at Petriti on Corfu

Envoy anchored at Ormos Imerolia, northern Corfu with RHIB alongside jetty

This Selene trawler anchored nearby

This unusual "yellow submarine" came by with some tourists

Cruising around Corfu I hear a couple of knocking noises while under way and initially think the noise is caused by waves crashing against the hull. But it doesn't sound right and we soon establish that the port side Naiad stabilisers are making a slight knocking noise when Envoy is in larger waves (much of the time it's been too calm to need to use the stabilisers so we hadn't noticed this issue). 
We send a brief audio-visual video clip of this to Internaftiki – the Naiad agents here. 
They ask us to do some further tests by disconnecting the arm from the potentiometer that controls the stabiliser fin movement so that we could move the arm and therefore the fins by hand. 
This replicates the issue without needing to go out into rough seas. Internaftiki soon advise that the problem is most likely one of the hydraulic valves and will come to Envoy, probably when we return to Lefkada. They also explain how to de-activate and lock the port side stabilisers while still using the starboard side. However we later find the knocking noise is still there, so it's happening on both sides and we lock both fins in the central position and continue cruising in the reasonably calm conditions without our stabilisers.

We anchor off Corfu's Gouvia Marina and early next morning go into the marina to lay alongside a jetty so that Angelos, the watermaker engineer, can fix our unit's slight seawater leak. Angelos says you have to expect small water leaks from water makers, but I have to disagree. Anyway he fixes the leak in about an hour and after testing it we set off again heading south towards Preveza, a medium sized town on the mainland where my brother Charles will meet us.

Corfu has two huge castles known as the "old" (top) and the "new" (below), both viewed from Envoy


Passing Corfu's wharves we spot an unusual looking aluminium naval ship – the USS Yuma. She's a 103 metre catamaran fast transport ship for carrying troops – up to 312 of them at a speed of 43 knots – that's 80 km/hr!

The sleek and fast USS Yuma

On the way to Preveza we spend two nights at Paxoi Island's Lakka Bay. 
In season it's often too crowded to anchor here but great at this time of year. 
Here we meet some old cruising acquaintances - Britons Graham and Linda from the yacht Obsession of Poole as well as meeting a bunch of Kiwis aboard Mike and Heather's yacht, Delightful Lady. Ashore a band plays live traditional Greek music until the early hours of the next morning serenading us to sleep.

We make a point of finding delicious treats for morning tea - below apple pie with ice cream and yours' truly with gigantic cream cornet


Preveza is calm as usual and we anchor off the town. This is a popular spot for fishermen to catch prawns and lots of small boats are active most of the time and setting nets quite close to anchored vessels. This can be a nuisance and their often very loud engines wake you early in the morning, however you have to remember this is their livelihood while we're just here having fun. 

Typical Greek fishing boat retrieving net

We meet Charles at the bus station and set off through the Lefkas canal's swing bridge for a few days cruising with him south of Lefkas.
In the last week of October we head into Lefkas Marina where Tassos, an engineer from Internaftiki meets us to check out our stabilisers. He advises our hydraulic system pressure is too low at 90 bar and installs a new valve that enables adjustment of the system pressure. After adjusting the pressure to 100 bar the stabilisers are much less noisy when worked at rest using the potentiometer arm and Tassos thinks the problem is solved. Charles and I are not so sure – if they've been working fine at 90 bar for the last 12 years, why would we now need to increase the pressure? We weren't able to do a sea trial while Tassos was there (in retrospect a big mistake) and will do this shortly.

Next Post - our last days aboard Envoy.



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