Archive | December, 2015

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

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I’d like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone who has stuck with us and continued to read this blog (and the previous sailing blog) plus all those who have just happened to drop in a very Merry Christmas.
It’s a lovely time of year and I wish I could spend it with everyone, somehow get everybody we’ve met along life’s journey together for a massive group hug and a damn good party! Missing so many of you today x

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Fingers Crossed

17 Dec

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We’d been a bit concerned about heading for Greece in December. The hotels were booked so bed and breakfast was sorted but what about other meals? Would anywhere else be open out of season? How would the stringent austerity measures imposed on the country affect day to day life? Our main concern, though, was that we didn’t have any winter clothes! We needn’t have worried. Everywhere was quiet, of course, but life has to go on and Athens was an unseasonable 25° when we landed! It did cool enough to be glad of the extra layers and newly purchased jumper as the day wore on but, even so, we couldn’t believe our luck.
The road between the capital and the coast was much as we remembered it from three years ago – contraflow and traffic cones most of the way as well as dark and winding approaching the Ionian. The work stops and starts periodically depending on the cash flow. Naturally, the pretty port town of Lefkas was almost unrecognisably quieter than we had become familiar with. The marina still looked prosperous but many of its berths were now filled by a popular flotilla company.

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We soon spotted a few live-aboards in a nearby taverna, though, and figured that was probably the best place to get our first meal. Large quantities of “sexy chicken” and sufficient local wine and Mythos later we knew we’d made a good choice. As the early morning sun lit up the town, basting the buildings in its golden hue and casting rippling reflections of the many masts across the harbour, the mist in the surrounding hills gradually cleared revealing long legged birds wading in the salt marshes. Fishermen brought in their catch as well fed cats sat waiting expectantly for fish heads, not the slightest bit interested in the strutting pigeons. It was all feeling like a holiday.

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But we weren’t here to admire the scenery. We’d come to see a boat and waited impatiently for the broker’s to open. It wasn’t long, though, before we were heading to a nearby yard to take a look around what we hoped would be the main feature of our next adventure. She didn’t disappoint. The very brief conversation between the two of us that followed went something like:
“What do you think?”
“She looks in good condition.”
“Shall we put in an offer?”
“Go for it!”
And we did.

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Making Plans

4 Dec

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Since I returned after the summer it seems like we’ve hardly been in Abu Dhabi. Neil had some leave saved up so we’ve been making the most of it, as you can probably tell from the previous posts. Then just as we were settling into the lovely winter season here, an evening at the ballet, lazy afternoons overlooking the marina, a day at the beach club and more than the odd glass of fizz, well… Neil saw a boat.
With only six months or so left to go here, we’ve been giving some thought as to what to do next. Back to the caravan, perhaps, find a place in the UK or even Spain, travel a bit more, a campervan in Australia or the States, maybe. Lots of options. But the idea of sailing again has taken root. And, you see, there’s this boat on the internet that just might suit.
It’s a big decision but there’s only one way to make it. We’ll be flying to Athens next week to take a look.