The 2013 season starts here….

17 Apr


After 12 days of scraping, sanding, painting & polishing (and a few other maintenance jobs), Two Choices was successfully re-launched yesterday. Boy, did it feel good to be back afloat! 😀 It was a particular relief to have the return of proper plumbing after even a short spell of “bucket & chuck it” (sorry, maybe just a little too much information)!

Our spell on the ‘hard’ went mainly smoothly and, once again, we greatly appreciated the helpfulness and professionalism of the staff at the Ionion Marine yard. We’d definitely recommend them.

Our short passage from Aktio to Lefkas was unremarkable except for the appearance of a stowaway when we raised the sails. Although there wasn’t a breath of wind, PT wanted to admire our brand new genoa and to check that the lines on the mainsail were correctly rigged. Looking up into the rigging, I noticed a swallow fluttering around….except that on closer inspection it wasn’t a swallow at all but a little bat desperately looking for somewhere to land, having apparently been rudely awoken from its slumbers inside the mainsail bag! The sails were duly re-stowed and the bat disappeared. Hopefully, it made it back to land safely to find somewhere dark and cosy to go back to sleep…or maybe it snuck back inside the mainsail without us noticing and is still resident with us as I write 😯

We’re now safely tucked up on Lefkas Town quay for a few days to provision, say adieu to friends and do important things like getting my hair done! We also bit the bullet and went voluntarily to the Port Police to declare our presence and offer to pay some mooring fees.

EU (non-Greek) boats over 10m are required to have a cruising log (known as a DEKPA) when sailing in Greek waters. The DEKPA should be stamped every 30 days (or sooner according to some Port Police). In addition, mooring in Greek harbours technically incurs charges payable to the Port Police. In practice, mooring fees often go unpaid because the port police don’t make much of an effort to collect them and many skippers choose not to volunteer to pay, only forking out the relatively modest charges if summoned to the office by diligent officials.

Our DEKPA hadn’t been stamped since last October so we figured that it was probably wise to start the season with our paperwork in order and the log duly stamped, even if it did mean volunteering to pay. The whole process seemed to take much longer than usual, due to the presence of an apparatchik who must be chasing the Most Pedantic Officer of the Month trophy. Not only did PT have to produce his skipper’s licence – a first in our experience, the SSR Part III certificate was closely inspected, taken away for consultation with colleagues and then queried…”Is this a download from the Internet? I’m sure this certificate should be in colour, not black & white”, growled Ms Jobworthopolos. The entire folder of boat paperwork was closely examined, including the liferaft service certificate and previous Port Police receipts. We were glad to eventually get out of the office without having to answer any more probing questions…”And when did you last change your underwear???”….or maybe that’s still to come when we have to go back on Saturday for that all-important departure stamp.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: