Skip to content

for Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Gerd Dohmen, my dear brother-in-law

The main energy source for the sailor - wind, of course. But if you want to live on a boat, that's obviously not enough. Aglaya has two bathrooms, each with a toilet, shower and washbasin, all cutely small of course. Furthermore a kitchen with a four-flame gas stove with upper and lower heat (very rare on such boats), a sink, a refrigerator, a freezer. And of course a complete water supply system with a total of 8 pumps. And of course a diesel engine.
The stove is supplied with energy by a gas bottle, which is still relatively simple.

Electricity (voltage) comes from the socket - but only if the boat is moored at a jetty that has a power connection - shore power. This supplies the batteries with electricity via a charger, which works very tricky, and charges them.

At the same time it regulates the distribution of the electricity, because there are four additional solar panels attached to the railing, which can be placed so that the sun shines on them. Then they bring up to 13-15 ampere into the boat. There is a starter battery that starts the engine, it is separated from all other consumers. There are also three large batteries for everything else - a total capacity of 670 ampere hours, in a 12-volt system.

The engine is an 86 hp turbo diesel. Pretty big, the boat we sailed across the Atlantic in 20 years ago had a similar engine, but was two metres longer and six tonnes heavier than ours. A lot of power when you have to manoeuvre, that's reassuring.
Of course, there are various navigation instruments, an A.I.S. radar that shows ships nearby, two GPS receivers, depth gauge (echo sounder), log (speed indicator) and much more. All very complex, very tricky.
When you are outside, you can't even go to the garage if there is a problem. Of course there are also shipyards and repair shops, but they are usually far away and you have to try to repair or replace as much as possible yourself.

If you want to sail in Greece, you have to pay a TEPAI, a cruising tax (similar to our tourist tax). Already in March we made an account on the website of the Greek tax authorities (you can only do this digitally) for our boat. Then we tried at least Seven times to geht into the Account again. Without success. Then we tried again when we were here in Messolonghi. Without success. The account already exists, says the form. Or: account blocked……….Gisela tried it, Walter tried it. The visit to the Port Authority was unsuccessful because they didn't get anywhere either. Then suddenly, at the Marina bar, we were in the account. Then we went to the harbour police again and the very friendly and helpful policewoman there helped us - then it worked out, she was quite happy about it herself. Then you get a payment code, with which you have to go to the bank or to the post office, where you can pay it - but only cash.
We are very happy - because if you don't have the paper and you are checked in a harbour or a bay, it costs more than 1000 €.
So we arrived in Greece also for tax purposes, crusing tax per month: 33€. Now we can really start.

Testing the main sail

Today we have the last of the new sails on the mainsail. The new sails are great - but of course the fabric is still very stiff, so attaching them into the grooves of the main boom, jib and mizzen boom (at 31 degrees) was hard work - as you can see.
That's why we got up shortly after sunrise today and tied the mainsail.
Then we put the blue sail tarpaulins on it, sun canopy over the cockpit again - done! And then a Sunday breakfast in the Marina-Bar - life is beautiful!

Everything fixed

Unpacking, putting things away, sorting out ... that is also part of arriving at Aglaya, our second home. Beatrix and Peter, the previous owners, have left us many useful things on board and everything is in perfect condition. Nevertheless, we also want to store our own things, which we really appreciate - for example in the kitchen. But we also want our own style to be visible - for example with one of our favourite pictures in the salon. So for the first few days on board we are busy making everything look the way we like it and stowing things away so that we can find them quickly. We also take a close look at how the supply systems work - especially electricity and gas - and whether everything is OK after the winter and the corona-related break.

On deck we'll also have a lot to do - go through all the ropes, again, so that we're sure what's for what while Sailing. And last but not least we have to put on the new sails. Ehen that is Dome we can start sailing. So there is a lot to do. 

Actually we had a ticket for the car ferry Venice - Patras, for April 7th. This was converted into an open date ticket, due to Corona, the ferries only transported trucks for three months. The first date on which cars were transported again was July 1, which we booked. 

Purely by chance we learned two days before that in order to enter Greece, one had to answer a questionnaire online, which was then converted by the health authorities into a QR-code, which one had to show when leaving Italy and entering Greece.

Departure was scheduled for July 1, 12:00 noon, you should be there at least two hours before. The crossing then takes 33 hours. 

So we left on Tuesday, June 30th, about 19.00 in the evening and were at 6.00 in the morning at the ferry port, just outside Venice, picturesquely situated between refineries and power plants. It was good that we arrived so early: a group of truck drivers and a slightly smaller group of tourists were already besieging the ferry office. And QR-codes that had been sent, but not to the mobile phone, which had no reception, so we had to help out with our mobile phone - a colourful hustle and bustle. "You look so German! Could you help me with the QR-code?" 

A large ferry boat of the Minoan-Line, which is operated by Grimaldi. Grimaldi? That's right. The Italian noble family that has represented the Princess of Monaco since the 12th century. 

At the ferry port: chaos. Two ferries, but timing and Stufe for only one. So we weites from 8-12.00 in the hot sun. And from 12.00 again waiting: for 5 hours. At 17.00 we started after the car was parked in the third basement (below the entrance level), accurate to the centimetre. 

The ferry was full and there was no trace of consequent mask duty. We had a deck passage, so no cabin - that would have doubled the price. So we got to know the ship, ate something, drank something, read and passed the time also with some sleep.

5 hours delay meant: Instead of the planned arrival at 21.30 we were in Patras at 3.30 local time.  Now 50km to Messolonghi - we were on our ship at dawn - time for a glass of wine. Independent of the time of day.

Today, June 30th, we're finally off - with our fully-laden car from Heidelberg through Switzerland to Italy and Venice, and then on July 1st on the ferryboat to Patras. This is the day, when the ferries will take private cars again for the first time since the Corona-Lockdown. We are looking forward to the trip, which was not possible in the last three months. And we are longing to see our boat again.