Greece - Florida delivery trip. Captain's notes.
I have started a new trip from Greece – Leopard 44 to be delivered to
Florida. We've been docking at Zea Marina in Piraeus for two weeks. The boat
has been bought from a charter company after nine years of use. She
has been checked by a hired surveyor before purchase and claimed as
“ready to go”. When I arrived the window was broken, the door was
leaking, hole in the bow, etc., etc. For the first week, noone wanted
to come to us, because we were under seven days of covid isolation.
After a week, the Sunsail technician tried to convince us that the
surveyor had seen the yacht, so everything was fine and that was not
their business anymore. Despite the technical side, there was male
chauvinism typical for Greece, which I also had to deal with.
With the remote participation of the new owner, we managed to force the
Seller to make a few necessary repairs or send us appropriate
repairers. But not all has been fixed yet - we still have a leaky
front cockpit door and the oil in the saildrive is in the form of
mayonnaise. We have an appointment with the mechanic and the shipyard
on Tuesday - they have to haul us out to get it done. The shipyard
is located on the island of Aegina, several miles from Piraeus. We
will also try to use a different type of door seal tomorrow. To our
troubles there was also such a trifle as the closure of the Corinth
Canal due to the collapse of the wall ... As you can see, the stay
here is colorful, despite the apparent deadness due to COVID.
After spending two weeks in Piraeus, quarantining and supervising necessary
repairs, we moved to Aegina to take some more care of the boat. She
is on hard in the Planaco Yard ready to go but the weather will keep
us here until tomorrow. We took a chance today to hike and see more
of the island.
It took us one and a half days to sail from Aegina to Kalamata in the
south of the Peloponnese. Still in Aegina, as the last port, after
analyzing the weather forecast, I handed over the Transit Log - a
document received from the customs office for sailing in Greek
waters. I was planning to call for fuel only and wait for the weather
change at anchor until Tuesday. Unfortunately, the port police
appeared during the refueling, informing us that we would not be
allowed to sail due to covid restrictions. For three hours, the
policewomen kept us at the police station, convincing us that there
is a plague all over Europe and that we must not stop anywhere on the
way to the USA. How to discuss it...?
Exhausted by the discussion with the police, I fell asleep like a log after a
glass of wine. In the morning I woke up a bit drugged, even though
it was really one glass. Despite the suspicions of the police, I
still have a sense of smell -I smell diesel! I was sleeping "in
a fuel tank". The tank under my bunk was leaky - a crumpled
gasket and a loose nut. As a result, a few liters of fuel under the
bed to be sniffed and cleaned! JuliaJ had to pour out a whole bucket
of (happily) freshwater from under her bunk. This was our Saturday
morning. After lunch, we managed to move around without any
restrictions and have a cup of coffee to take away.
Sunday started quietly - we went for a long walk along the seaside promenade with JuliaJ-crowds on the beach- to reach the orange and olive groves on the outskirts of the city. After our return, a surprise awaited us - the port police issued a letter prohibiting us from leaving Kalamata until we presented an expert opinion to an expert authorized by the American embassy (US-flagged yacht) in Greece. The head of the police station “suggested” who was to be authorized.01-02-2021The hotline between the yacht owner and the embassy.02-02-2021We have a certificate from the embassy. Within an hour the policeman comes with a surveyor and we have the survey issued for “only” 300 euros (only cash since the surveyor did not have a bank account!). We have a “Cancellation of restriction of navigation order - permission to sail.” Suddenly covid didn't matter. Unfortunately, the nine-hour slide did not allow us to reach Sardinia in time and we had to stop in Palermo where we will stay a few days due to strong westerlies coming. We will not be bored though- we lost the navigation light on the way, which we need to buy and install, tighten the rigging and make a few more adjustments.
- Feb 7, 2021
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