Nimmie reached the grand old age of 21 earlier this month so Jo popped over to Greece for a few days to check on her and, of course, wish her a happy birthday! We were slightly worried as there had been radio silence from the boatyard since mid December. No replies to emails or anyone answering the phone (not that we would be able to understand them if the English speaking nephew wasn’t in the office!). We were starting to worry that they’d gone out of business or just abandoned the yard. Jo sent an email in late March in Greek (thanks Duolingo and Google translate) to the office in case the problem was the nephew. Amazingly, within two hours we had a reply from him and also his mobile number. Phew!
So, on a cool Monday afternoon in April, Jo set off down to Gatwick to fly out to Athens. Laden down with a suitcase full of boat stuff, she caught the bus from Athens airport to Piraeus where we’d found a cheap hotel for a couple of nights. Jo had decided to stay in a hotel in Piraeus and get the ferry and then taxi each day rather than stay on the boat in the boatyard as it was very basic there as well as being in the middle of nowhere.
The ferry was all of €2.90 each way and the taxi €7 so not exactly exorbitant. Salamina town is about a 20 min walk from the boatyard and then a couple of miles on to the ferry port at Paloukia, hence the need for a taxi part of the way. The ferry is a commuter boat taking people into Piraeus in the morning and stopping around 6/7pm at night. The hotel was only about 5 minute walk from the ferry dock.
It was useful to be over there as Jo met with the boatyard people to discuss the work that had yet to be done as well as try out the new portable solar panels that fold away. We were going to buy new solar panels at the Dusseldorf Boat Show to replace those on our aft deck but we decided to wait and get a new smart controller for the panels that will show us exactly what we are (or aren’t) getting through the current panels (no pun intended!) and then take it from there. The temporary panels don’t require any hard wiring so you can just clip the wires straight onto your battery bank.
They were working well even in the April sunshine giving us nearly 6 amps of power. Very impressed. As they are portable, we can place them wherever is best for maximum exposure so this should help to keep the batteries topped up whilst we sort the fixed solar panels.
Generally, Nimmie was looking good after the winter but the real test will be when she is relaunched in May and we find out what’s decided to stop working in the preceding seven months because there is bound to be something.