Buying Sunday on a Monday, a Tuesday, a Wednesday….

What a glorious sight to wake up to! We were free camping in Delphi – once regarded as the centre of the world and you can see why! (For more on our Delphi adventure see https://saltytalesfrombalihai.com/2019/11/24/the-inexplicable-mystique-of-delphi/)

What a view to wake up to

We decided to drive down the mountain to take a closer look at the coastline which we could see in the distance from high up on the slopes of Mt Parnassus.

The road down to the valley – just look at those hairpin bends!

Winding back down the hairpin bends was a little less fraught than on the way up which was a good thing. Before too long we were down on the floor of the deep Amfissa valley, passing through hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful olive trees.

Driving through the famous Amfissa olive groves
There was mile upon mile of olive trees

Soon we were at the coast driving past Itea, a lovely little seaside town with a nice anchorage (we were scouting for good spots to stop next season!) and a great place to take boat guests because of its proximity to amazing Delphi.

Itea looked like a good place to anchor
Looking back on Itea

The coastline was incredibly beautiful but in places bauxite mining had produced big scars in the hillside and the roads were covered in red dust.

The coastline was quite beautiful
It looked like there were some lovely places to anchor
Scars left by bauxite mining
A bauxite storage area- with lots of red dust

As we wanted to get back to the marina in Athens ready for the sea trial of Sunday – the Lagoon 420 catamaran we were buying – we didn’t spend too long exploring the coastline.

Driving through the small town of Delphi

Again we climbed the hairpin bends up Mt Parnassus to Delphi as the coast road back to Athens looked to be a little too narrow for us in the campervan.

A beautiful sunset back at the marina in Athens

Much as we loved our visit to Delphi it was great to be back near the water again and to enjoy a beautiful sunset bathing the masts of hundreds of yachts in a warm orange glow.

There are many marine supply shops within walking distance of Alimos Marina – which is heavenly for Jonathan – and the biggest and best seems to be Nautilus so we opened an account there.

Yachtie heaven!
So much to look at!

Our first purchase was a 33 kilo Rocna anchor. We loved the (smaller) one we had on Bali Hai with its ability to reset itself in circumstances such as rapidly changing wind speed and direction.

A 33 kilo Rocna anchor

Following quickly behind, our second large purchase is going to be a barbecue. Well, we are officially an Aussie and a Kiwi so that goes without saying!

We thought we would probably have the sea trial the following day (Monday) but it turned out to be a public holiday – called Oxi (NO) day. This commemorates the day the Greeks rejected the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940. Mussolini had demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified “strategic locations” or otherwise, face war.

The events of 1940 are commemorated every year with military and student parades.

We didn’t realise what a big event this was and unwittingly got caught up in road closures and diversions when we went out for a drive.

This road is normally teeming with traffic

We were a little surprised to see an empty road when we turned out of the marina into the main road but then, realising that a street parade was about to start, we decided to go back to our parking spot at the marina.

Unfortunately by then the road going back had been closed so we ended up going round in circles through extremely narrow back streets for what seemed like hours!

This road wasn’t too bad but we ended up in streets with vehicles parked on either side. Thank goodness we negotiated them without breaking anything!
The road was decorated with lots of Greek flags

The next day was Tuesday and the moment had finally arrived when we would get to go out on Sunday for the sea trial.

Sunday at the ready

There were only five of us who went out as Nicos and Manos, Sunday’s owners, had other things on. So Sayeed, who has been employed to care for Sunday for the past ten years, Philippos, a hired skipper, William Walsh, the surveyor, and the two of us headed out of the marina.

Leaving the marina at last
Lots of sails drying in the marina ready to be put away for winter

It was a great feeling looking back to the land as we departed the marina and saw the whole of Athens spread out like a white toy town. It was fantastic to be on the water and feel the salty wind in my hair again after too long.

Watching the city fade into the distance
The surveyor chatting to the skipper

William Walsh tested, prodded, poked and gave everything a thorough going over. When we put the sails up we were very impressed with their condition – they were spotlessly clean, soft and easy to handle and with not one spot of wear or anything else.

Checking out the Genoa
Sayeed who has been looking after
Sunday for all of her ten years

After putting Sunday through her paces we turned back for the marina feeling mighty glad we didn’t have to manoeuvre her back into her small space at the marina. There are no finger wharfs here – you just back in and basically wiggle your way in very slowly. I really don’t know how you would do it in a full keel traditional monohull.

The main sail looking good

Once you’re in and tied off at the stern you pick up the lines that are attached to the sea floor and tie them off at the bow. And that’s it! When you leave the marina you literally have the length of your boat to turn in while skilfully avoiding getting your prop(s) caught in the lines attached to your neighbours’ boats (both at your side and opposite!). Note to self: we will avoid marinas at all costs while in Greece!

The main sail coming down

We received the surveyor’s report that evening and were very happy with the results. We weren’t surprised really as we knew she had been exceptionally well cared for.

Me in my happy place

For example, at the end of every season her sails have been thoroughly washed and dried, taken down, folded and stored in one of the cabins. The ropes have all been washed and dried and stored. The toilets have been stripped down and all pipes, macerator blades and anything else looking worn, replaced. The toilet bowls are taken out and cleaned and the holding tanks are also taken out, hosed and sanitised.

The surveyor doing what a surveyor does

All the upholstery, including the mattresses and lockers have been thoroughly cleaned. Each of the winches and the anchor windlass has been stripped down and cleaned to perfection. The oven has been taken out, stripped down and everything cleaned and any bits showing wear, replaced.

Returning to the marina

Before going back in the water, the engines receive a comprehensive service, and as well as stripping off the old anti foul and polishing the hull before re-antifouling, the hull was polished and all the stainless cleaned.

Putting Sunday through her paces: self steering – tick.

No wonder Sunday looks immaculate! A far cry from the life of a charter yacht in Australia for sure.

Space is at a premium in the marina. And then you have to avoid the lines at the bow of each of the boats as well.

So, satisfied that we had a good boat that had not had any major mishaps or accidents, the following day (which happened to be a Wednesday) we went to the Port Police to have the bill of sale ratified (which involved paying stamp duty of one Euro for each of the copies and lots of rubber stamps.)

Captain Birdseye signs the Bill of Sale
The all important stamps!

At long last Sunday was ours!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

4 thoughts on “Buying Sunday on a Monday, a Tuesday, a Wednesday….”

  1. Your comment about being ‘in your happy place’ reminded me of this poem by John Masefield, Dot:
    Sea-Fever
    By
    John Masefield
    I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

    SHARE

    I’m sure Jonathan supplies you with many ‘merry yarns’!
    XXX

    Like

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