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Cooling system and Turbo removed

First the journey to the boat, delayed by almost three month because of Corona, then after a month the return trip to Heidelberg, so that Walter's heart could receive the necessary treatment, and now after the two-month intermezzo at home back on board. First again waiting for the longed for mechanic for our engine cooling. Now he was there and opened the cooling system. Corrosion! And not too scarce. And the turbo doesn't work anymore. Now he unscrewed all affected parts and took them to Patras. Yesterday we learned that not all parts can be repaired. So we also need new parts. But where to get them? Our Nanni Turbo Diesel is not often found in Greece and there is no representation or outfitter for Nanni. The parts have to be ordered - wherever. And that can take up to a month, the mechanic tells us. Apart from the strain on our wallets, we now have to finally give up our plan to be in Poros towards the end of September to take Michelle and Florin on board. We can only offer them a "houseboat" for the planned period. 😢

Fortunately, we are here in Messolonghi in a nice, pleasant place. Here we know some people. In the meantime we are also mobile with our bicycles. And we always have beautiful views from our boat (in the photo, for example, the sunrise). 

So for us it means: wait, take care of the boat, take care of ourselves and stay confident, that we will still get to sail this year.

Foto: >CFalk/

Mikis Theodorakis and his songs were with us for quite a bit of our student years, so we received the news of his death with great sadness. He died at 96 and is buried near Chania, Crete.

Mikis was not only a composer, he was a fighter for freedom and social justice, already in the resistance against the Nazis. Later, in the 1960s to the mid-seventies, there were still military dictatorships in Europe with conditions like today in Belarus, who remembers? In Greece Papadopoulos, in Portugal Salazar, in Spain Franco. Mikis Theodorakis actively fought the military dictatorship in his country, politically - and with songs, for which he went to prison and was tortured, under the Nazis and also later in the sixties. His songs were very popular in the political West Germany of the student movement and also later, we all heard them in the seventies.

He became world famous as early as 1964 with the film music for "Zorba the Greek", in Germany it had the title "Alexis Sorbas", to which Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates danced in the film - Sirtaki. The female lead role: Irene Papas. The film impressively embodies the Greek attitude to life. But Mikis also wrote the music for political films directed against military dictatorships, "Z" and "Phaedra".

He wrote over 2000 pieces, even some of them operas, that are still performed today.

He and his music were part of our political culture at the time, and we are still grateful to him for that. 

Now we are also mobile on land. That fits well, because we are still waiting for the mechanic from Patras to repair our the cooling of our engine.😒 Two folding bikes are now part of our equipment, which is always on board. 

In Messolonghi at Houtas Bike we ordered them, after three days they were there, cost much less than in Germany. They are not e-bikes.😂 The service in this bike store is great, we could observe when our bikes were bolted together. So if someone ever comes to Messolonghi and needs a bike .... 

Now we are quickly in town for shopping and can make trips. This is especially good in this waiting time and lifts the mood. In the meantime we already drove along the lagoon and looked for the water birds. Yesterday we were in Tourlida at the gulf of Patras. There you can not only swim nicely and look at the Peleponnes. There is also a nice restaurant where you can eat good fish and mussels. 

Mobile on land is nice. Nevertheless, we hope that very soon we can be mobile at sea again, especially under sails.

Since August 24th we are back on board. Walter's small heart surgery has brought the hoped-for result: no more atrial fibrillation. Toi, toi, toi that it stays like this! So it was a good decision to fly home at the end of June. And for another reason we were glad to be in Heidelberg for the last two months. So we didn't experience the extreme heat and the many fires in Greece. Fortunately the region around Messolonghi was not affected by fires.

Now there is still some work to be done on board. For example, we tried to remove a bird's nest from the main boom. This also explained why we found the cockpit totally crapped despite the protective cover. Fortunately, the young birds had already flown out when we discovered the nest. We didn't quite get it out of the main boom. The rest will maybe fly around our ears while sailing.

Unfortunately, we can't sail right away, because the cooling system of our engine still has to be repaired. In May, when we found this out and knew that we can't fix it by ourselves, the mechanic from Patras who was recommended to us didn't have time for weeks. At least he has already looked at the damage and has now promised us for the coming weekend. We hope for him.

And what else do we do? Have a chat with other sailors, go swimming directly from the boat, enjoy the cooling temperatures in the evening, look out of the cockpit into the starry sky ...

On 19 June we flew from Preveza/ Lefkas to Frankfurt/M, then by train to Heidelberg. Actually, we had often thought about escaping the particularly hot time in Greece in July and August. And now it was a good time: Walter's atrial fibrillation hasn't improved, and we didn't want to risk postponing the small, now necessary operation until November. 

It's funny, of course, that it's currently hotter (and muggier) in Heidelberg than in Greece, 28 degrees and a fresh wind from the Heidelberg 35. But we know that the summerheat in Greece is yet to come. 

Our jetty neighbours (from Heidelberg! The world is a village!) also had to go to Preveza and so, thankfully, we were able to travel comfortably in their car, 100km through this incredibly wild and beautiful coastal landscape on the edge of the Ionian Sea. A whole airport full of sailors: Preveza serves the whole Ionian Islands (except Corfu), there are also a lot of charter companies and thousands of boats here.

Now we are back home - we will enjoy the summer, go on excursions, visit friends, which was not possible because of Corona for a long time, sit comfortably in the beer garden - and at the end of August/beginning of September we will set off again, then probably from Messolonghi towards Crete …

New Foresail fixed

Many of our friends wished us a nice holiday when we went back to our boat in Greece at the end of May. In the many years we have sailed on charter boats, this has been a good fit. When you charter, you take over a boat that is at best well maintained for a short period of time. Most of the time, some tools are missing and the pantry is minimally equipped for proper cooking and baking. But apart from that, everything is ready for the trip to begin. 

Being a boat owner is something completely different. We are just learning that. We are not mechanics, electricians, gas and water fitters or metal workers. So we have the feeling we are just at the end of the first year of apprenticeship. Last year the main topic was the electrics, this year it's the engine. After that comes the underwater hull and the seacocks, which probably need to be renewed. We know the sails and rigging best from our many years of sailing. But there are also boat-specific details that we have learned about this year. So you have to familiarise yourself with all the systems in the boat.

For the winter, it is important to find a good berth. Where can the boat go ashore? Can we work on the boat ourselves there? What can we trust ourselves to do? Where can we get professional support and a good service? Especially when wintering out and wintering in, maintenance work is necessary every time and everything on board needs to be looked after. But we also want to make sure that we look after ourselves and enjoy ourselves. 

We have already received many good tips from other boat owners. They are all very helpful. But everyone has their own approach.

So being an owner also involves work, it's not a permanent holiday. Sometimes we worry whether we are doing everything right. We learn a lot, and that in retirement. That is often exhausting, but also nice. Because we have time. Σιγά-σιγά - as they say in Greece. And we are not alone.

All tools well-arranged
The fenders get „dresses“
Diving to have a look at the hull under water

Done! Thanks to our vaccination cards with two documented vaccinations against Corona each, our journey to the boat was without problems. By train through Austria and Italy to Ancona, then onto the ferry to Patras and after 23 hours back on Greek soil. The small rest then by cab, because our big travel bags were mega heavy, packed with an amplifier for making music, a new lamp for the salon, which we had bought with our friends Gabi and Uwe in Hamburg, a small framed etching with a view of Heidelberg, and still this and that, including material for shower and the gas supply. 

Every boat owner, who comes back to his boat for the first time after the winter break, gets anxious a while before. Has the boat been well moored? Has the wind shredded the wintercover? Is it dry below deck or has moisture gotten in somewhere? Did the batteries discharge deeply? That would be quite bad. And how is the engine? All is well on our boat. The winter cover has held, the batteries are 100% charged thanks to the solar panels, everything is dry. Good boat, our Aglaya! But we have to clean, because on the one hand the south wind has spread red dust from the Sahara everywhere on and under the wintercover. And a few small birds had their nests under the wintercover.

To welcome us on our first evening we had a beautiful full moon over the mountains of the Peleponnes and a big beer in the marina bar. Welcome! That's how we were welcomed there. Nice to see again all the people we know from last year!

Before we leave, there's a lot to do in the next few days besides cleaning: Engine check, pick up new headsail in Prevezza, hoist all sails (they are folded under deck in winter), renew a few ropes ... We take it slow and take the advice of Mimi, the boss of the marina bar, seriously: "Relax, you are in Greece."