Due to various family crises, we flew out to Bari a week later than planned on June 12th, a year on from when we were first there sussing out the boatyard. Nimmie has been on the hard standing since Oct 2017 and has fared well although she is completely covered in sand. All the work we authorised has been completed apart from the replacement of the main halyard (that keeps the main sail up) as Cesare wanted to check the shackle fitting with us.
We had brought out a replacement dinghy with us but waited until she was launched to bring it on board – no point lugging that up 10m!
Having been up early to close the house up, we were pretty tired once we had unpacked so we went to a restaurant close by called Antica Santa Lucia, which did very good pizza, pasta and seafood. We had pizza, beer, wine and a dessert for less than €20 each. Given we could hardly keep our eyes open past 9.30pm it was some anniversary celebration! It was still very warm, in the high 20s even at 10pm so it was difficult to get to sleep as the boat had been closed up for so long. Luckily, we do have a small AC unit which helped although Liz decamped to the saloon to try and get some breeze.
Wednesday was another lovely day but we needed to stay on board so we could check all the work that had been done and ensure no snags. We also found out that the fridge had stopped working. Although it’s cooled by sea water, it was clear that the compressor wasn’t coming on. We hoped it wasn’t a faulty compressor as we only had it replaced two years ago and they are very expensive. We also realised that our batteries had been drained flat, which is very unusual as we have 200 watts of solar panels and they normally ensure that the batteries are topped up. So, not sure whether it’s the batteries or the panels (although they appear to be charging and sending current from the regulator to the batteries). It needs an electrical engineer to test the charging and batteries and he can’t come until Monday so we know we won’t be leaving before Tuesday at the earliest.
We did manage to repair the winch and polish the transom before calling it a day, having a shower (god did that feel good) and then off back to Antica’s for a proper meal this time.
We were due to be launched on Thursday around 11am so we wanted to ensure we had all the jobs done that required the boat out of the water. We needed to be a bit careful when we did these as it is often forbidden in Italy to do any work on your own boat that requires the use of power tools so we had polished the transom after the boatyard had shut for the day on Wednesday.
Nimmie was carefully launched into the water and a mechanic came on board to check there was no water ingress from the new propeller shaft or sea cock. He was then followed by the mechanical engineer to check the engine as they had replaced the water pump gasket and completed an engine service so it needed priming. All good. We found out that the travel lift has a weighing mechanism that showed Nimmie’s weight as 12.5 tonnes, some 2.5 tonnes less than we thought.
We then moved her round to a berth. I was a bit nervous as, not having parked a boat Med style in 7 months, you’re never quite sure how she will behave. However, despite the wind picking up (not forecast) it all went very smoothly and we were soon in our berth. We then had the new dinghy, valeted sails and a repaired outboard motor delivered.
Liz had work to finish off (I know, she’s supposed to be NOT working since end of May) so I started cleaning the inside of the boat. We had decided that with the amount of dust and grime in the boatyard, it wasn’t worth cleaning her until she was in the water. Then the fridge men arrived. It was like a Laurel and Hardy act. Michael was the older, English speaking half with his boss, younger and the one who did all the work. They identified that it was the control unit that was at fault and proved it by bypassing it and the fridge started to work. They are fashioning a mechanical switch like you have in your fridge at home to override the unit but we also found a replacement unit we had shipped out last year and forgot about so we will see which one works when they come back today.
We decided to eat on board last night so popped to the local shops once they had reopened after the statutory siesta and had a lovely simple meal of baked chicken and salad sitting in the cockpit before the thunderstorms arrived. I’m glad we were launched yesterday as there has been the most amazing thunder and lightning much of the night and all morning. We are safely tucked up in board and Nimmie is getting a very good wash!