Barry's Blog #128 - Life goes on

Our lovely friends Renate and Wolfgang drove into the car parking area of the boat yard apartments just as I was strolling back to A B Sea from a loo break.

I stopped for a 2 metre (6.5 foot) distance chat to see how they were going and they told me that they'd just been down south to Chalkida on Evia island, Greece. The objective of their mission was to buy a particular type and colour of paint for their catamaran.

The one thing that stuck out in the conversation we had, was how many non-essential businesses were still operating in a clandestine manner. They reported that some businesses they went to had their doors closed with a notice asking customers to phone a mobile number and someone would be along to serve them.

Other businesses had their doors just slightly ajar and the owner waiting inside to serve customers. It seems that life does go on because people need to eat and to do what they need to earn some cash. With all that being said the Covid-19 numbers for Greece overall are quite low compared to other European countries so they must be doing something right.

Okay time for an awful dad joke. When is a door not a door? When it's ajar. Geddit?

Life in Limni

The following day I took a scooter ride into Limni village to get groceries and really took notice of my surroundings and the same thing is happening with shops in Limni. I stopped at the butcher to get a couple of pork chops and the wonderfully delicious, but very unhealthy, orange and leek Loukaniko sausage. As I pulled up I could see the butcher sitting inside, right next to a friend having a chat, while across the open doorway was a short length of red and white striped plastic tape indicating a no-go zone.

I dutifully stopped at the plastic tape, ordered my items and then brought out my card to pay, I was waved into the shop by the butcher to pay at the counter because his EFTPOS machine didn't work wirelessly. It all seems so bizarre.

I'm sure that there are many countries that are suffering financially, but just looking at Greece, this year is going to be a financial disaster because 26% of their annual GDP comes from tourism and who knows when that will be back to normal.

Essential Kit

IMHO every boat should be equipped with an EPIRB, an electronic position indicating radio beacon. Ours lives up top in the cockpit inside an automatic hydrostatic release housing.

There's a sticker on the outside of that housing which was put there by the guy who updated the information that the EPIRB would transmit to the search and rescue teams should A B Sea sink. One of the things on the sticker is a date that indicates when the EPIRB should be serviced, the EPIRB has a bunch of lithium batteries inside and they obviously have a shelf life.

The outside sticker said that the EPIRB should be serviced August 2019. Armed with that information I set about scouring the Interwebs and discovered that EPIRB servicing businesses wanted an arm and a leg almost equal to the cost of buying a new EPIRB just to essentially change the batteries.

I changed my Interwebs search to look for businesses selling EPIRB service kits. It was like looking for hens teeth. Eventually I found a Russian company that sold the service kit I needed. Many emails back and forth ensued and the upshot was that the service kit arrived this week. Even the service kit wasn't cheap at 275 Euros (AU$473). Here's the plot twist. When I opened the housing and lifted out the EPIRB, there was a sticker on the inside of the transparent plastic dome that was obviously put there by the manufacturer which indicated that the batteries were good until May 2022. So my guess is that the guy in Spain brought the service date forward by two and a half years in the hope of getting more business because the vast majority of boat owners won't be servicing their own EPIRB. "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy" (read that in a high-pitched voice).

The lost footage

Our friend Mr G in Australia left a comment on last week's video asking about whether we'd fixed the Mavic Pro drone and I distinctly remember doing that repair in December 2019. I also remember editing the footage into a 3 minute segment.

I then spent the next 30 minutes looking through our raw video footage folders trying to find the lost segment. Let me explain how our editing procedures work. Footage gets recorded and at the end of the day I store that into named and dated folders on a huge 8TB hard drive.

Aannsha, who edits more artistically than I do, gets sent a folder with what I think will be enough footage to create a new episode somewhere between 12 and 20 minutes long.

The edited episode then gets handed back to me and I add all the little things that pop up on screen like dates and subtitles. I also add in the intro and outro and then upload to YouTube.

If I've given Aannsha too much footage the unused segments usually get moved to the folder dated for next week's episode. Somehow the drone repair footage fell through the gap and got left behind.

Anyway, long story short, you can find out if my drone repair was successful or not in this week's YouTube episode of Sailing A B Sea.

Hmmmm maybe we should change our name to Static A B Sea because there's still no sign of travel restrictions being eased in Greece or Turkey. Stay safe wherever you are.

To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.

Link to Barry's next blog

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