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Barry's Blog #110 - Haul out day

With A B Sea securely attached to one of the mooring balls just 70 metres (229 feet) from Livaditis boat yard on the north west coast of the Greek island of Evia, we lowered our dinghy into the water and went ashore to introduce ourselves to Xaris the yard owner.

The yard is family owned and run and has a really relaxed vibe. Xaris gave us a quick tour of the yard and explained that he'd like to haul us out at first light the following morning when there was zero wind. I very much liked the sound of that plan because I'd never before had to drive A B Sea up onto a sled in 2 metres (6.6 feet) of water and I didn't want any wind grabbing hold of the bow either.

With all three of us agreeing on the plan Xaris showed us the huge sled that he'd be using to get A B Sea out onto dry land and explained what I had to do to get her in the right position over the sled.

The haul out

At 7.30am the next day Aannsha slipped the line from the mooring and then went ashore in the dinghy so she could film from the beach. I swung A B Sea around in a big arc and lined her bow up with where the sled was in the water. Slow and steady is my usual pace for this kind of stuff and I brought her gently towards the two guys in wet suits standing on the submerged sled.

I was slightly off centre and felt the keel bump something, Xaris later told me that it had hit a rear tire. With some assistance from the bow thruster the two guys were able to push her bow in line and I gave a short burst of power and she was soon nestled on the sled. It's quite unnerving aiming for something you can't see and hearing the incessant beeping of the shallow water alarms, but Xaris and his team had performed this manoeuvre countless times and it all went smoothly.

Once A B Sea was secured to the sled, Evangelos put the big yellow tractor in reverse and hauled her into the yard where Theo was waiting with a high pressure water hose ready to clean the growth off her hull, keel and rudder. The growth wasn't too bad considering she'd been in the water for nearly 2 years.

After her clean, she was relocated to a spot right next to a yacht called Calypso who we'd shared an anchorage with at the island of Milos. Calypso's owner Gerd was the guy who told us about this boat yard. Xaris and his team then placed the hard stands underneath A B Sea and the sled was towed away. One of the things we like about this yard is the super chunky iron stands they use. We've seen some yards that use aluminium stands and we've seen a yacht severely damaged when a strong wind caused the stand to buckle and the yacht ended up on the floor.

Home sweet home

Once A B Sea was settled in, Eugenia showed us the apartments and for 150 Euro (AU$242) per month we chose a studio apartment with a nice view of the sea from the balcony.

Back in the height of summer we met Jeff and Lena Bey at the hot springs on the island of Kythnos and they gifted us several bottles of wine. One of those was a bottle of real French champagne which we'd kept for a special moment and a successful haul out seemed like a special enough moment to us. The champagne was perfect.

We moved our day to day living items from the boat to the apartment and once we were settled in we decided to take the weekend off. We asked Eugenia about a doctor and some place to get an x-ray done on Aannsha's ankle. She told us that Monday was a holiday but she would organise a taxi for Tuesday to take us the 32 kilometres (20 miles) to the town of Istiaia.

The x-ray showed a hairline fracture of a foot bone and there were torn ligaments too. Recommended treatment was a moon boot for 6 to 8 weeks and as much rest as possible.

Wind and rain

Even though we were now land lubbers we still checked the weather forecasts and there was a prediction of 30 knot winds on the way so I went over to A B Sea and made sure that everything was secure and reduced the surface area by dropping down the spray hood and folding away the bimini.

After the wind had come and gone we got some rain, the first proper rain that we'd seen in 6 months. It was good to know that A B Sea was getting all the salt washed off her.

With boat jobs put on the back burner it was the perfect weather for editing videos and writing blogs and give Aannsha's foot time to rest.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

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