... last work on land
We have been looking forward to it for a long time. On April 8th, 2013 Alex and I will fly to Malaga.
Rental car booked - but this time one way
to La Linea / Gibraltar.
When we arrive at the shipyard in the evening, it's already finished.
Finally on board our baby, we are first shocked by the dirt the wind blows us from Africa
blew on deck.
4 months is also a long time….
Letzte Artikel von Jenne
On our maiden voyage, Neptune was kind to us. On April 12th, 2014, the day of our departure from Gibraltar, the wind turned west and gave us a nice thrill ride. First we went along the Spanish mainland coast. Due to the fact that we stayed more under land, we were spared the notorious shipping traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar. The first stage of 193 miles brought us to Cala de San Pedro on the evening of April 13, 2014.
The next day we were not to be moved to great heroic deeds. Slept a long time. So we got just 53 miles to the log and anchored off Aguila that evening. The outboard is on strike! It just can't be pulled through. Although he makes an extremely well-groomed impression, nothing is to be wanted. The next morning, refueling and getting outboards going is on our to-do list.
When we can't get any diesel in the city port of Aguila, we drive a few miles back to a modern marina. The harbor master is super friendly and provides us with diesel, gas and a mechanic for our outboard. With practiced movements, he revived the piece after just under an hour. Now the next stage can begin. The destination Formentera.
... somewhere between Gibraltar & Sardinia
1. Summer in Corfu
After we entered Corfu - Gouvia Marina on May 2nd, 2014, there was a lot of new territory to explore for us and the “Avalon”. We have already been to the Ionian Islands several times from Lefkas, but the Greek mainland coast as well as Paxos and Antipaxos with their wonderful beaches were completely new territory for us.
In the middle of the summer there was a 5 week detour via Albania - Montenegro to Croatia.
If we look back now, we can look back on a great first season in 2014 in Greece.
Yesterday evening we arrived safely and happily in Funchal - Madeira with the “Avalon” .
There wasn't much time to breathe. After a quiet night in the harbor, a good meal and a few beers, Alex knocked
this morning at eight to all doors.
I think I gave him a couple of animal names before I peeled off my bunk. After that, everything was “on track”. Shop quickly. Machine service. Clean the diesel filter and refuel.
At 11:50 am we were back on the water heading to Gibraltar. First there is again 30 knots of wind,
before it levels off at 21-22kn.
Well then ... off to Gibraltar!
We are fast!
... back in Gibraltar
On the night from Thursday to Friday the current washed us from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. After we initially had to drive a real slalom around the Fischer nets off the Moroccan coast, we later went into the Strait of Gibraltar at 9-10 knots. At 5:00 in the morning we were finally “fixed” and securely moored in the Marina Alcaidesa on the Spanish side in La Linea. Our broker and friend John had made a reservation for the Marina Bay (Marina) in Gibraltar, but there was only a place available for us from Friday noon. So it was time to sleep in. At 3 p.m. there was finally room for us in Marina Bay. But a first class SuperVIP berth directly at the bar in Town with a live band. In the afternoon we went to the city for a few purchases. In the evening we (how should it be otherwise) moved a bit around the houses until tomorrow our Enrico missed the jetty when jumping ashore and took a night bath in the harbor water. At around 5:00 a.m., the lights on the Avalon (and of course on us) slowly went out. On Saturday morning (... rather noon) we just cleared out quickly and off we went back to sea. Of course, fill up quickly beforehand
(for a sensational 60 cents a liter). Gibraltar lies again
40 miles in the wake. The evening is breaking and it is sleepy on board like seldom so far on our trip, because somehow the last night is still in everyone's bones. We have targeted Monday noon for our arrival in Alicante. The crane has been ordered for Tuesday morning. The Avalon goes ashore for a day. A few small repairs are due….
As we slowly got closer to Gibraltar, one or the other clarifying phone call had to be made. We realized relatively quickly that our original plan to take the “Avalon” out of the water in the familiar atmosphere of our “old” shipyard from the previous year would not work. For one thing, the shipyard was overbooked and Miguel could not confirm our crane appointment 100%. On the other hand, there was also the weekend when no Spanish shipyard worker could be persuaded to spend it with work.
In short, the “Avalon” had to be put ashore in another Spanish location in order to make a few more important miles in the right direction over the weekend. The “to do” list was long and we needed a reasonable infrastructure. In particular, the procurement of spare parts for our saildrives gave us a headache. After some research and some arithmetic for a reasonable arrival date without wasting time, Alicante emerged as the perfect place. The first shipyard was only amused by our last minute request, but was unable to provide any further assistance. We had better luck with the second request in Varadero.
Manuel, the shipyard's technical director, promised that we would be the first to be craneed on Tuesday morning. Ok, that sounded perfect. We arrived at the Varadero Marina at 7:00 p.m. the previous evening and everything now seemed to be going according to plan. From 8:00 a.m. we were ready in front of the shipyard office.
The first appointment was the dinghy repairer. 11:00 o'clock. So it was time to wait. The saildrive mechanics wanted to come over at lunchtime to make a statement as to whether they could do the repair, including getting the spare parts on time.
Manuel also promised us a polishing machine, paints and a lot more. Then after noon ...
.... drive to the crane!
In the afternoon we were still standing there and couldn't do anything else, since it should always start at any moment. On the side I had to calm down Alex, who was getting more tense every minute and wanted to drive away in a huff.
We just lacked alternatives. If we couldn't get the boat out of the water now, the next option would be in winter. But we didn't know whether our leaky saildrives would still manage it.
The antifouling was also completely removed and urgently needed to be replaced.
At 6:00 p.m. the time had finally come. The "Avalon" was hanging on the crane and was on land a short time later. The engine guys wanted to go home first. "We'll start tomorrow at 10-11 o'clock"….
Manuel's promise to provide us with paints and a polishing machine was as follows: I write down where the nearest hardware store is, you take a taxi and you can buy a polishing machine and the paints there ......
We wouldn't even be allowed to brush on the antifouling ourselves. Due to the special underwater world around Alicante, this is only reserved for the shipyard.
OK. He persuades the engine crew - thank God! - still remove the defective parts. The man with the Kärcher just managed to wash the hulls until it was dark. Then we are alone on the shipyard site.
The Kärcher man explains to us again that all work below
the waterline may only be carried out by shipyard staff.
The owner may do everything above this on his own.
We have a beer with a nice guy from South Africa who has also just worked on his Wharram catamaran and are now wondering whether we can dare to paint the antifouling ourselves overnight.
Thanks to our previous owner, we already had this on board and Manuel said he would need 4 days for it - which was outside our schedule for us anyway.
When Richard then said "It's easier to get forgiveness than alowance"
did we say "what the heck" ?!
At 4:00 a.m. all work was done. The "Avalon" had a new antifouling and we fall dirty and tired in our bunks.
In the morning, the otherwise very nice technical director Manuel was pretty pissed on us. "I am waiting for you in my office".
The Kärcher man also had to go to the report and of course testified that he too had pointed out to us what we were allowed to do and what not.
To talk out of having not understood him turned out to be difficult.
After some liquorice rasp, he slowly calmed down. He explains to us that he will cancel the 15% discount that he had given us. But that is an evil we can live with well. The bottom line was that we still saved a lot - so there was something to Richard's saying….
At 4 p.m. we are back in the water after just 20 hours. The motor boys were even on time early! All important work is done. We say goodbye to our companion Enrico. It was a good time together and he really enriched our trip.
Shortly buy a few more things and off to sea. Sardinia course. Basti will join us there on Sunday. Meeting point Cagliari - Marina del Sole.
The new sailing season has started. Now the Avalon just has to go back into the salty water. Even if Alex, Matthias and Sven worked on board for over two weeks in March and a stylish new GFK Bimini was created in winter, a lot of work is still necessary.
We land on Saturday, May 7th in Preveza and off we go: grinding, painting , polishing and much, much more, in the evening we drop into our bunks like dead . We could get the crane appointment for Friday the 13th at the earliest .
So what the heck - will go wrong ...
When the weather thwarted us on Thursday, we just managed to finish our new antifouling coat at dusk.
Friday morning we start almost on time and an hour later our jewel is swimming again. When we arrive in Gouvia at 9:30 p.m. in the evening, nothing should stop us, the next day our 2016 sailing season
Final preparations for the 2016 season
2016 ... off to new shores! ...
Now that we have been sailing around Corfu for the third season, it is time again to digress from the familiar and well-known routes in order to discover “new territory” for us once more.
Last Saturday we left Gouvia Marina heading north in order to sail west later. Although we already made a stop in Othoni on our trip to Brazil in autumn 2014, it was cold and windy back then. Somehow that impression had burned itself into it, and now it was time to pay a summer visit to these islands.
The first goal was Erikoussa. The anchor drops in the southern bay not far from the small harbor. There were maybe 4-5 yachts on the large anchorage. The water was incredibly clear and the jump into the water was noticeably more refreshing than in the southern climes around Corfu. The place was dreamy and hardly a trace of tourism. We found a nice little garden bar,
where we ended the day after sunset.
Our next destination was Othoni. However, this time we wanted to drop anchor near the northeast lighthouse
and organize a small beach BBQ in the evening ashore . Isolated rocks line this truly wonderful place. We are and will remain the only boat
at this anchorage. The night is quiet and we don't go back to the Avalon until around midnight.
Next destination is Manthraki, the third of the Diapontic or Othonian Islands. Here we moor in the small harbor and are the only yacht here again. In the evening we walk to a nice little tavern with a fantastic view of Corfu.
In the morning there is some swell in the harbor so we prefer
to drive into the sunrise.
The next destination is the Bay of Afiona on the west coast of Corfu.
When I first saw a picture of Afiona's “Twin Beach”, I knew “I have to go there!”. Here, too, we were the only yacht. The beach kept what the pictures promised,
In the afternoon we drive to Palaiokastrita. This is the only port on the west coast and is picturesquely situated in a rugged rock landscape.
Here we spend another wonderful evening. In the morning it goes south along the west coast back to well-known area - destination Lakka on Paxos.
Even the dolphins insist on saying goodbye.
I've been sailing the entire Mediterranean for many years
but as clear water as on Erikoussa, Othoni or Manthraki
I haven't seen anywhere. I will definitely be back!