We toasted our last night on board – in a golden Greek sunset – thanking all of our subscribers, followers and patrons who are with us “two old farts” as we live our wet grey nomad lifestyle.
After a decent night’s sleep, we woke up to a pretty windless day with calm sea and hazy purple pink light on the horizon as the sun began to rise. Today was the day A B Sea was getting hauled out. I was pretty excited at the prospect of living on terra firma for a few months, but also a tad nervous about my particular job in the haul out manoeuvre.
Unlike other boat yards we’ve been to, Livaditis Boat Yard just north of Limni on Evia Island in Greece doesn’t have a sling type lift, but uses a sled that’s driven into the water, attached to a robust tractor. Baz as Captain actually had the difficult task of manoeuvring A B Sea onto the sled, which, when you look at the video that comes out tomorrow, you’ll see is pretty narrow. From Baz’s position at the helm at the stern of the yacht, the sled wouldn’t be in view, so he’d have to rely on the hand signals from Xaris, the boat yard owner to guide him.
So why was I nervous? I certainly trusted Baz’s boat handling ability and the boat yard’s 30 years of haul out experience. I was nervous because with my damaged left ankle/foot, I had to:
Get off our moving boat, into the dinghy.
Beach the dinghy on shore by myself, carrying the Sony video camera.
Get out and walk around the pebbly beach on my injured foot and capture as much usable footage (lol ‘footage’) as possible.
I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to do that, given that I couldn’t comfortably put weight on my foot, never mind move quickly over the pebbles to capture relevant shots. But I was damn well going to give it my best effort.
My first job was to untie the line that secured us to the mooring buoy. Baz assisted by using the bow thruster to position the yacht well enough for me to do that and soon, the line was free and so was A B Sea.
I hobbled (walking on my left heel keeping my foot rigid) to the side deck gate and scrambled down the step fender into the dinghy. Baz handed me the camera. I managed to wedge myself against the dinghy well enough to lower and start the engine and then off I tootled. I accelerated slightly so the dinghy would beach onto the shore (the engine was tilted high enough so that the propeller wouldn’t be damaged).
Eugenia, one of the boat yard owners, met me and welcomed me in a mix of German and English which I appreciated at is reminded me of working at Pasta d’Vine with our good friends Sue and Oskar who often conversed in German. She saw my damaged foot wrapped in an elastic bandage and as I limped my way towards the tractor and sled, I told her what I’d done and that I needed to see a doctor once we’d got settled. She very helpfully began telling me about where the x-ray place was, but I was watching Baz manoeuvre A B Sea closer towards the sled, so I focused on the tractor and said, “I need to film this”. I felt a bit rude walking away from her, but I was on a mission and I hoped she would understand.
Walking on one’s ankle over pebbles isn’t really easy, so I had to place weight on the foot. I just trusted that the bandage would support the ligaments, while any breaks would be fixed once I got to a doctor. The show must go on!
Evangelis, the father-owner of the boat yard was driving the tractor and gave me a wave and a bright, warm, welcoming smile saying “Welcome! Welcome!” I grinned back and said “Efharisto” (thanks) and limped around, filming interesting tractor parts as I found a good vantage point to film Baz slipping A B Sea onto the sled.
Baz did an awesome job, only slightly off centre on his first attempt, but quickly corrected A B Sea’s position with Xaris’s guidance and soon our yacht was on the sled. Baz attached a sturdy mooring line to the starboard bow cleat, dropped the end to Xaris who threaded it through the sled and handed it up to Baz who tied it off on the port bow cleat. With A B Sea now firmly attached to the sled, Evangelis reversed the