Preparing for winter

We left Aegina on Sunday morning, relieved that we hadn’t caught anyone’s anchor or chain and made our way up to Salamina, an island just west of Piraeus. This would be our winter mooring on the hard in the boatyard of a family run concern.

Both sails up – what a treat! Happy as pig in sh*t

We had a cracking sail to finish our season off in style. I suspect that we have caught more fish than the number of times we have had the mainsail up this year! Although we had to tack our way up to Salamina as, of course, the wind was on the nose, it was great to blast through the water one last time. We anchored off the boatyard for the night and had a really peaceful night’s sleep. No swell, no wash from passing boats and only the gentlest of breezes. Lovely.

The old fashioned way!

Next morning, we contacted the yard and they were ready for us so we carefully made our way to their slipway. The Koupetori yard uses the old fashioned method of hydraulic tractors to ‘lift’ you out rather than a travel hoist. This entails going alongside a barge to tie up with only centimetres under the keel and then the tractor with a hydraulic trailer is reversed into the water. Once underneath Nimmie, they lifted her up a bit, pulled her into the yard, washed her down (she was very clean so that didn’t take long) and put her into her supports. Whilst a bit nerve racking, it was all done with the minimum of fuss and took less than 30 minutes. The yard used to make wooden boats but when the Greek fishing industry collapsed they turned their hand to providing yacht services. It’s been a family business for three generations.

Up on her supports for the winter

We’ve spent the last few days getting Nimmie ready for winter. This means that we have to clean her inside and out, remove the genoa sail, wash all the ropes, make sure nothing can be damaged in a storm so removing the bimini and spray hood and doing the laundry. That doesn’t include the long list we have for when we leave her for 6 months. Frankly, it’s exhausting! We decided to stay on board even though this means that you have to climb down the ladder every time you want the loo or the shower. There are boats of every nationality here with our newest neighbours being from Latvia. Most people only stay on board a few days as it would be very tiresome to be here any length of time, especially as the mosquitoes are prevalent.

We did find time to get the ferry over to Piraeus and then get a taxi down to Glyfada to meet up with a friend, Ian, who lives there. It was great to catch up with him as we hadn’t seen him for at least 4 years. We had a lovely meal at one of his local haunts and caught the last ferry back at 7pm.

Lovely to catch up with Ian

Today, we fly back home having had a wonderful season out in Greece and we can’t complain that even in mid October we are wearing t shirts and shorts during the day. I suspect it won’t be quite as warm in the U.K.

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