Big thunderstorm about to hit Licata with strong southerly gusts and lots of rain.
Hope the waves in the harbour don't get too big this time!
Yes, our washing machine is that old. Made in Belgium in the 1980s. We found it abandoned by the trash bins two years ago. And yes, it makes us as happy as that lady.
Needed another round of maintenance - the drum bearings are worn down to the point where the gearwheel driving the drum was slipping, but after some contemplating the fix was easy - shim the bearings so the drum rides a bit higher again.
Back in our winter berth.
This season started late and ended early, but we were worried about getting locked out after Italy returns to school on the 21st.
Lots of Covid related paperwork to fill out, online forms to submit and we're required to wear masks in public and keep a daily log of body temperatures, both of which we were doing anyways.
Still, at least we did get to cruise and explore some new places. We'll see what the next season brings.
We'd like to go another 65 miles west, but weather says no.
Perhaps Sunday, starting at the crack of dawn. Unless the forecast changes again, which still seems to be rather wobbly due to the massive storm that's now moved to molest western Greece.
Made it! It was quite a bit rougher and windier than forecast on Monday when we left. What was a simple 1012 hP depression then, is now officially Medicane Cassilda and we just sailed through the edge of it 😮
Knackered, hungry and covered in salt, so will eat, shower and then pass out 😴
Boatcat Viwitt illustrates how I'm feeling today. Didn't sleep well. Scared myself googling ear infection + swollen face at 4am, then struggled to sleep.
Seems the swelling is going down a bit today? Pain is reduced too.
Went for an afternoon sail to dump the Trump* and then back to our old anchorage, which is slightly windy.
* Modern sailing lingo for emptying the holding tank (letting the collected 💩 drain out of the boat).
Minor surgery time! 💉 ✋ Had to operate a splinter out of my finger, with help from Doctor @vaviurka. Not aided by the boat rolling from the wakes of others returning home for the night.
And my ear infection (otitis externa) came back with a vengeance too. Right cheek swollen this morning, seems to be going back slightly now. Was getting a bit worried. Maybe I need to dive with earplugs or something. At least we stocked up on painkillers in town the other day.
The evening was a bit rolly at anchor, so we took the dinghy ashore for a wonderful meal.
Had hoped the swell would die down later as it had done the previous night. It didn't, so not much sleep was to be had and by 5am we decided it was enough and only going to get worse, so we raised anchor in the dark and moved 10 miles to a better anchorage, arriving by sunrise.
And a long nap!
Sailing just for fun! We rarely do that, because we usually have places to go and want to get there before dark, or jump in to cool down, or get somewhere before the weather turns, etc.
But sometimes we do sail just for fun. And this one was very relaxing. Even though the wind was light, the sea was flat to match, which makes it very pleasant to silently glide through the water.
Small upgrade to our watermaker - a transparent filter housing, so we can see when the pre-filter needs changing, rather than having to guess.
As filter lifespan depends on seawater turbidity, simply counting hours doesn't work. Some places you get really clean water, others it's what we call "turtle soup" (because sea turtles are living in it, and they seem to prefer murkier waters for some reason).
We're anchored below mount Pantokrator (lit. "ruler of all" or simply "almighty"). The tallest mountain of Kerkyra (Corfu) at 906m elevation.
There were some thunderstorms creeping around in the area yesterday, so we hid near a cliff (always good to have something taller than your mast nearby in that weather). Didn't come near us this time though. It's a nice spot, and some wind funnels through, providing welcome ventilation in the afternoon heat.
Corfu - Igomenitsa Roro ferry. The front didn't fall off this one (yet).
Recorded their AIS tracks last night and then plotted a route slightly north of theirs, so we wouldn't have to spend the entire morning dodging them as we were going parallel.
Managed some provisioning and a fuel trip in Kerkyra (Corfu) city, but like last time had to skip the second round as the place was getting choppy.
Back for more! Must fill all the Diesel stores before Sicily.
One last shot of the forest of a thousand masts at Aktio (Preveza).
Yesterday we finally escaped the Kolpos Amvrakikos glue to sail northwards. Need to get fuel and do some serious provisioning as we're starting to see the bottom of the food storage boxes.
Our trusty onboard washing machine got some servicing.
A Nova Miniwash Sirocco from the 80s. Rescued from a marina bin and easily repaired thanks to being very well designed, it has served us for two seasons now and was a real game changer to our off-grid life.
Since we fitted a watermaker, we can do our own laundry on board anywhere we like. This means no more hauling around heavy bags of laundry and paying silly prices for some washing.
Actual sailing happened today! Nice downwind run with just the Genoa up - reefed later on as the wind was picking up to 22 knots and we were going to turn into an anchorage so it would be on the beam.
It's been weeks since we had a good sail. After the boatyard, we mostly just chilled at anchor, meeting friends and maybe motoring a few miles from one anchorage to the next. There was either no wind or it was too short a distance to bother getting the sails out.
Last night and this morning.
We're anchored at Vonitsa, a nice little town in the Ambracian Gulf. Around ten boats are sheltering here from a spell of unsettled weather.
It's quite rural here. There's even a herd of cows going up the hill every evening, taking the route along the shore while mooing a lot. In Greece, cows and goats find their own way home in the evening and often block the roads doing so. Be patient :)
Maximum power! Yesterday we were doing laundry (110W plus inverter losses), running the watermaker (100W) and our big AC fan (40W), plus all the other regular boat and electronics stuff.
That's our 600W solar system maxed out. In hot weather, the panels perform much below nominal power as the efficiency drops with rising panel temperature. Additionally there's less irradiance due to the haze from the evaporating sea and backstay shadow.
The biggest complaint amongst long-term cruisers is always the same: Other boater's lack of anchoring skills.
These Sunday sailors are often both incompetent and inconsiderate. This skipper had no clue, set his anchor in the wrong direction (backing into the wind), then went to the beach with his tourists in the dinghy.
Of course his boat swung within poking distance of ours and we had to spend a few hours watching the stupid thing until he came back.
Back in the water at last! All went well and we launched this morning.
Finally time to rest and recover. @vaviurka is napping on the couch and I'm nursing a skin rash I got from the combination of sweat and fibreglass dust.
What a week! Maybe our next spring haulout won't be in July 👅
New cockpit drains done! I'm very excited about these two holes 😏
And the boat should be immeasurably faster now, because they're perfectly flush with the hull.
Just need Coppercoat. The ball valves and hose are all installed inside too.
Also totally indestructible and immune to corrosion!
What our bedroom looked like today. Yes, I had to tidy all that up again so we can sleep later. And then drag most of it back out again tomorrow.
This is the glorious cruising life on the hard. Oh, and grinding fibreglass in 33°C heat. I was dripping itchy sweat everywhere.
Got the old cockpit drains removed though and the holes cleaned up for installation of the new! 😅
Hauled out at Preveza today. This is our somewhat belated spring haulout, which we now have to do in the brutal July heat 😓 💦
Managed to get the saildrive seals changed and also installed two SKF Speedi-Sleeves over the worn areas on the propeller shaft. Had to improvise a little with the installation tools but it worked well in the end.