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Nidri-Vlicho Boatyard – a wildly romantic mooring

Once the heavy Deutz tractor had pushed us into the water - we were standing a little wobbly on Aglaya - we were due for an engine service, oil change, gearbox oil check, filter change and impeller change. Rabitt, the manager of the boatyard, towed us to his pontoon with his half-inflated rubber dinghy. He had already shown it to us last year with the words "this is my kingdom".

So now we were in his kingdom for three days. A completely rusty pontoon that looked like it would sink in the next few days. A gangway led from it to another pontoon, which looked a bit more stable, but also pretty run-down. Crankshafts, engine blocks, inflatable boats without air, deckchairs, dozens of car batteries, masts, wire ropes, rusty compressors, wooden slats, sledgehammers, cables - it looked unbelievable. But: electricity and water. One boat came and told us "they will leave on sunday", which of course wasn't true, but we wanted to leave on Sunday.

We had to climb a bit to get onto the pontoons and back onto the boat - no problem. The view to the west was of the Ukrainians and Finns working on their boats and the shipyard - to the east of the beautiful bay, turquoise green water, lush green mountains - wonderful.

And at least now 40cm of water under the keel instead of 30 when we went ashore - a little more than a hand's breadth.

And Rabitt is totally reliable, Easter Sunday at half past ten, as agreed, he was in his kingdom and helped us cast off. We'll be back for two months in the summer, and in the winter we'll be pulled ashore again - it was lovely here!

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