Sunday, August 23, 2020

Kefir cheese

To make hard kefir cheese, first drain the kefir using a paper coffee filter for three days. Add a pinch or two of salt and some oregano if you wish.

Next, take the soft cheese from the paper filter and put it in a cheesecloth.

Hang the cheese in the sun for ten days. I bring it inside overnight just in case a bird likes the smell of it. If you are in a harbour, rats or cats could find it attractive, so be aware.

It's ready to grate. The cheese is crumbly, so not suitable for slicing but great in an omelet or on pasta.

Breakfast is ready.

Anchored out


Eidos is now anchored out near Vonitsa, behind an islet sheltering it from the afternoon west winds. It was about time, I left the quay and from August, there is a charge of 5 Euros per day for a boat Eidos' size. That made it easier to leave.

I get my groceries from town and carry them in the panniers on my bike. It's a five minute row from the boat to shore and then a 15 minute ride. Good exercise.

Sunset from Eidos.

It's not always sunny and calm. A day after I arrived in the anchorage, we had a thunderstorm with strong northerly winds. Luckily, the anchor held.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Getting my lights working again

My neighbour in Vonitsa harbour, Barry is a professional tree topper, so I asked him if he would be willing to check the lights on my mast. Most of them were not working. The one at the very top, the anchor light I was most concerned about, but also the steaming light and the running lights. Only one of the deck lights was functioning. 
Happily, Barry agreed. With the help of Steve, another neighbour, and a prussic knot, Barry went up to check. 
It turned out that I needed new fixtures, not just lightbulbs. Luckily, the wiring was still in good enough condition.
So, I bought a new trylight and new leads for the steaming light. The trylight will replace the anchor light at the top and take care of the running lights at the same time which are now at deck level. Not a good place for them when in big seas.
Barry went up again the next day and repaired the steaming light at the spreader level. However, the trylight needs three wires and I only have two at the top of the mast. He promised to take care of it after he returns from another job helping his brother. 
We celebrated the partial success with a BBQ on board Eidos before he left. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Vonitsa images

Here are just a few images from Vonitsa, a quiet town in the Gulf of Amvrakikos.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Leaving Lefkas marina.

The swing bridge heading for maintenance to Piraeus.

Waiting for the replacement swing bridge to open up so I can get out.

It's a ferry, it's a bridge. It swings to let yachts and boats in and out of the Lefkas canal.

I went through that narrow gap.

Closing again to let cars and trucks across.

Out of Lefkas canal and heading north for Preveza.

Hospital Bay north of Preveza. Safe anchorage for coming westerlies. Only two boats today.

Monday, May 25, 2020

I have running water again!

Foot pump apart. It was a Taiwanese puzzle trying to put it all together again so it wouldn't leak.

Crack in the bellows.

About six weeks ago, I noticed that my freshwater foot pump in the galley was leaking. I took it out and took it apart. The rubber bellows had cracks in them. I needed to get new ones or a new pump. Meanwhile, I filled some plastic bottles with water and used that for washing dishes. Not very convenient but soon I got used to it. The pump all in pieces stayed on the chart table to remind me of work to be done. Every day, I saw it there in passing and nodded, 'soon I must do this,' then continued on my way. Then we had a lockdown due to the coronavirus. All chandleries closed. I could have called them and ordered online but didn't. Life happened. 
I continued washing dishes using water from plastic bottles. I still have a foot pump in the heads for drinking water and washing hands, but it was not as convenient as having it in the galley. I emailed the manufacturer in Taiwan, but of course they were under lockdown as well and I never heard back. There was nothing to be done until the chandlery opened again.
Finally, about two weeks ago, the chandleries were allowed to open again and I went in and ordered four repair kits, just in case this happens again (likely). A week later, they arrived and now I had no excuse. 
And so yesterday, I spent six hours putting the pump together again. It was tricky because you have to fit in a large spring without cracking the casing. Also four valves have to be assembled correctly for the water to flow. The rubber rings kept falling off. I had to secure eight bolts in the correct order to hold the whole thing together while at the same time watching that the o-rings didn't fall off before closing the casing. And I got it wrong at least four times, so I had to take it apart over and over again and try again. Was it worth it? Well, so far it's not leaking and the next time, I might be able to do it quicker if I remember how.

Repair kit. I got four, just in case. 

Pump installation under the sink. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Fresh water running again!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Boat repairs.

Bob Phelps, the local carpenter and friend came by to make a few repairs to Eidos. Thank you, Bob.

Day 66 under lockdown. Further easing ahead.

Going to the beach and swimming allowed.

It seems that in Greece, the infections and deaths due to the Coronavirus have stabilized and the hospitals have things under control. It doesn't mean that we are less at risk of getting sick, just that the medical system can handle the patients that arrive at their doors. We still need to be careful when in potentially crowded situations. 

The government has been easing restrictions for the past couple of weeks. We no longer need to report on our movements and gatherings of up to ten people are allowed (not that I do that). The beaches, the museums, and archeological sights are open once again. On May 25th, the restaurants and cafes will once again open.

Day sailing is now allowed for boats less than 12 metres. You must not go on land anywhere else and return to your regular harbour for the night. Perhaps it's time to fit the sails back on Eidos? Check the anchor and chain? There is some talk of letting people travel between the islands as of May 25th. Since I've paid for the marina until the end of May, this is where I'll be staying, but it looks like I might be leaving June 1st. So, where will I go next? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

My floating garden is growing.

Today, I bought a miniature lime tree to add to my garden on board. 

The lime tree before re-potting.

Then I bought a lavender plant and re-potted some herbs. My floating garden is now taking up half the cockpit. I'm not sure if I will be able to sail very far this summer.

Chives, basil, and dill are close by, ready to add to salads.

Cherry tomato seedlings.

Oh, and I got some wood chips, seaweed, and worms too. The worms have lived in the fridge in the fishing gear shop and are very sluggish, so I'm not sure if they'll revive in the garden. But they as well as the seaweed are supposed to be excellent for fertilizing the soil.