Aannsha’s Blog #123 – Serious boat jobs, more serious virus

Coronavirus Covid-19 stops play

Aren’t we living in interesting times? If you’d asked anyone a month ago if they thought we would see a virtual global lock down, how many would have said yes? And now it’s happening. As you know, we’re in a small boat yard at Sipiada on Evia island, Greece. As Europe is currently the epicentre of the virus, the Greek government has been proactive in trying to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As well as banning gatherings of more than ten people and closing all museums, including the Acropolis until the end of March, schools and universities, restaurants, bars, clubs, theatres, playgrounds, and gyms are also closed.

Livaditis boatyard is quite isolated anyway, so we haven’t had much of a change in our lifestyle. The small supermarket where we shop in Limni is still open with most items available. The only items we couldn’t get were bread and I also noticed cleaning products were in short supply. But there are still lots of toilet rolls! Obviously the Greeks are better informed than the Brits and the Aussies because they know the coronavirus only causes diarrhoea in 3% of cases. People are very orderly too and apart from the shop keepers and a couple of customers wearing masks, you really wouldn’t know there was an issue. Thankfully too, the post office is still open, so I was able to mail a pendant to a US customer the other day.

There is one issue that definitely affects us though, and that is the latest governmental order made on the 19th March 2020, that disembarkation from any private vessels, regardless of the country of origin, is prohibited for one month in all Greek ports and moorings. This also applies to cruise ships and tourism boats.

We aren’t ready to return A B Sea to the water yet, but we were hoping to head to Turkey in the first two weeks of April. That will now have to be put back. We will spend our time living on the boat on the hard. We’ve decided to do this rather than re-enter the water because (a) we’d be subject to Greek cruising tax by merely being in the sea and (b) we couldn’t dock anywhere anyway.

My hope springs eternal though

When we turned up to do some work on A B Sea two days ago, there, growing in the rocky ground by the keel, was a solitary, deep red poppy. It is the only one I’ve seen in the boat yard. In fact, it’s the only one I’ve seen since I’ve been here. As I’ve come to associate poppies with Turkey as there was an abundance of these vibrant red beauties there, I am taking this single flower growing at the ‘foot’ of A B Sea, to be a positive sign that we will get to Turkey someday soon. In terms of actually when that will be, once we know, you’ll know.

For Baz and me, life goes on pretty much the same as before. As I said, the boat yard is fairly isolated with only a handful of people working here and just two couples who are working on their boats. One positive is that the weather is warming up and the sea is literally just over the road from the boat yard, so if we get stuck here for any length of time, we have a great beach with a lovely view and crystal blue waters within a few paces of where we live.

In my down time this week, I made a couple of rock pools using local shells and colourful beach pebbles. I think I’ll make a few more, so those of you wanting to be out sailing can have one of these on your desk, table or kitchen top

to give you a sense of being by the sea.

Boat jobs that were nearly completed this week

Basically it’s been one of those two steps forward, one step back weeks. Baz summed this up well when he said, “If you’ve got the money, get someone else to fix your boat. If you’re like us, do it yourself and suffer the frustration.”

Baz did have a win when Evangelis the boat owner took him to town to collect the turbo part after the snapped off bolt had been drilled out. He also helped Baz buy a few other bits and pieces.

When he started to put the turbo back on the air intake/exhaust unit, Baz used Loctite to help keep bolts in place rather than over tightening and snapping any more. Good thinking Baz. He did however, have to get the two new gaskets which we’d had delivered altered, as the online gasket shop had sent the wrong ones and the holes didn’t align. Thankfully Juliano did a good job of making them fit.

Baz has trouble with his stern gland

Baz also had ‘fun’ (and I use that word very loosely) in getting the Volvo stern gland off the prop shaft as the gland was hard and needed replacing. Of course, one bolt was a bitch to remove. And then the propeller shaft wouldn’t come loose. Juliano gave us a hand with that but still to no avail. We did find out why and we’ll show you next week. I will say here (and probably also next week too) that my thought about what it was, turned out to be correct. I’m not up there with the technical boat stuff, so anything I get right in that area is a huge boost for me! *grins*

I make some dirty moves

Meanwhile I literally got down and dirty when I cleaned more soot from the engine bay. Baz worked out it must have taken about 20 hours of cleaning. "And the rest", say my soot blackened hands, arms, boobs, chin and clothes! But with a lot of moves that a contortionist would be proud of, I managed to twist my arms enough that I got in and around the engine block to tackle the worst of it.

Ripping jeans

My clothes weren’t the only casualty and soot was easily washed out from them. Baz’s jeans are now showing a little more of Baz than they did before, as these old work pants ripped in two places, nicely revealing a knee and a butt cheek. Thankfully he wears Bonds undies.

We may not be sailing for a while, but we’ve got plenty of boat jobs to do, so you won’t get bored. In the meantime, we’d like to welcome aboard John Hawkes who is our newest Patron. It’s lovely to have you with us John. Hopefully we’ll be splashing in the Mediterranean sometime soon.

If you’d like to see the video that accompanies this blog, just click here.

Link to Aannsha’s next blog

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