After a long silence it is time to update. On our return from Thailand in February we experienced the coldest weather we have ever seen in Greece – very strong cold Northerlies together interspersed with winds from the South. This weather cycle continued well in to April. Fortunately there was plenty to keep us occupied inside and Svein spent a great deal of time on computers. He built a new Raspberry Pi computer which has now become the centre of our new media centre. This comprises several external hard discs where all our photos, films, videos and music are stored. This means that we can isolate all the computers individually within the local network. Caryn did a great deal of knitting including a 2m x 2m bedspread (present for a friend), sweaters, jackets, hats and blankets.
March saw us wending our way to Rhodes to visit our friends from Sybaris (Per and Elly). We celebrated Per’s birthday and also took time out to help them with their new hotel. Svein helped by installing the kitchen units and Caryn visited every interior decoration in Rhodes with Elly looking for lamps and other sundry items needed for the hotel which was a very interesting and fun pastime. They also found time to visit a few dress shops and to stock up on items for the summer wardrobe.
April saw Caryn taking a quick trip to England to visit her mother. There she enjoyed spring weather and was lucky to see many spring flowers in blossom.
On Caryn’s return it was time to take Escapade out of the water for a major external overhaul. We had decided that the topsides needed to be repainted and this was in addition to the usual underwater check and the antifouling. On 27th April she was lifted and placed on her cradle.
As it is virtually impossible to live on board in the yard we have rented a small studio on the outskirts of the town until our departure for Norway. It is a family run complex and has its own swimming pool which was filled shortly after our arrival so it has been possible to swim every day and the bonus is that we have the pool all to ourselves!!
Initially we thought we had a rust problem but once Svein started stripping he discovered that the problem was not rust but bad adherence of the paint to an coal tar epoxy. After a few days he had managed to strip all the topsides and then started the research as to how to solve the problem.
As he is someone very persistent he has managed to find the answer and has already tested a primer to check its adherence. He has also started to work on the toe rail which has to be replaced in places.
Work is coming on well and Svein has renewed the toe rail and bathing platform
Although the work on the boat it the main priority we has also taken time out to relax and this has included a BBQ to celebrate the European Easter and where Caryn made a traditional Simnel cake as a dessert. We also celebrated Svein’s birthday with drinks on the boat and a mango and kiwi cheesecake.
We have also taken advantage of the fine weather that has at last arrived with lunch at our favourite haunts as well as discovering new ones and celebrating the Norwegian National Day
Caryn has been faithful to her manicurist and through the winter has experimented with different styles.
A final note. We have seen an enormous amount of refugees arriving daily on the island. Usually the boat used to transport them are destroyed as soon as they reach the beaches but recently the Coastguards took one before it was destroyed. It is quite common that between 20 and 30 people are on board. I think that no further comment is necessary.
Recently a Coastguard vessel from Leros was lifted out for repair. We do not know what happened but they obviously encountered something that left a lasting impression.
Svein has achieved the impossible and got the boat completed repainted before we leave for our annual trip to Norway on 11th June. He has welded, primed, masked and painted over 6 weeks. We will launch Escapade on our return in July so that we can start our summer season.
The next update will probably come from Norway where we have a very full programme planned or shortly after our return.