Adventures in Greece as we cruise the Mediterranean on our boat, an Adagio Sundeck 44 Trawler
Last week I mentioned that the deletion certificate had finally come through from France for the boat, and we were now waiting on the Polish registration to complete. We were told this would be done by Wednesday this week. Well, what happens on Tuesday? It arrives! Contrary to everything else involved in the purchase of the boat, something happened ahead of schedule. We were amazed!
There’s an old saying that BOAT stands for “Bust Out Another Thousand”, but I think it could also mean “Begin On Another Task” or “But Only After This”… There’s always one more thing — boats appear to be a never ending list of one more thing to do. Still, with the new registration, a long list of new tasks are now available to tackle!
The first thing we did was head out to a specialist printing shop to order the new registration and name as stickers in marine vinyl. The second was to ring the insurance company. Boat insurance isn’t like car insurance — it’s not pay and forget, it comes with lots of conditions and criteria and things that need to happen. Before the boat can go back in the water, we needed clearance from the insurance company that they were happy.
Part of the problem is that our boat has an MMSI which is a broadcast identifier for the boat — it’s programmed into the VHF, the EPIRB (safety device that let’s rescuers find you if you activate it) and into the AIS (like a GPS for ships so you can see who is around and some information about them). Because we have it fitted, the insurance company wants everything reprogrammed with the new registration information, but we can’t do that until a new VHF license and MMIS record is generated for us, which has to happen after registration. There’s also the challenge that you have to have a service dealer reprogram the systems. There is a clause in our insurance that all this will be done before the insurance is valid, so we had to seek an exemption to put the boat back in the water without the MMIS work completed while we wait on the new number and then a dealer to reprogram the radios. Fortunately the insurance company agreed!
We are good to launch! Almost…
We now hit a wall of sorts, which is really COVIDs fault. Unfortunately we’re not allowed to pilot our own boat (yet). While I have several sailing qualifications that allow me to captain a sailing boat here, even ones bigger than our yacht, we need a different qualification specifically for powerboats. And yeah… this is all COVIDs fault because we’d researched what we needed, but with lockdown causing issues and delays, we weren’t able to start the required speedboat course until recently and we can’t sit the exam until the 30th of this month. We should get the license 15 days after that. All of which means it’s 5 weeks or so before we can actually start exploring around on our own. Instead, for now, we need to find a berth in a marina to park the boat until we can start the exploration process. Here’s the last two major things we have to do:
- We need to find a berth! Ideally this is in or near Athens — we have inquiries with several marinas at the moment, hopefully a berth is available somewhere until August the 20th (which will give us time to get the speedboat course completed, finish fitting out the boat, finish our vaccinations in Athens etc.). Of course everyone says this step should have started earlier, but we just didn’t have dates until the registration completed.
- When we have a berth, then we can plan the actual launch which requires coordinating the shipyard, the diesel tanker and finding a captain to pilot the boat (with us aboard of course!) to the new marina.
We’re getting there! If we get news on a berth in the next day or two, then we should have her back in the water and in her new temporary home by the end of next week. We’re really close to moving aboard now…
So that’s the boat news, lots of progress on a range of things, and we creep ever closer to actually moving aboard.
Last week when I left off we were on the boat and doing chores. That kept us busy for quite some time. Karina pulled up all the carpet and carpet tiles in the salon and after a lot of trial and error, found the right combination of products that would remove the sticky spots left behind without destroying the floor. Turns out that furniture polish works perfectly! It also involved finding the cordless drill on the boat (we knew we had one, but which of the 20 cupboards is it stored in!) and then of course charging the batteries in order to also remove the table to get rid of the last few carpet tiles which were screwed down. As you can see in the before and after photo, the boat has really lightened up a bit and feels more like us now.
On Sunday night we went to Porto Heli for what’s probably one of the nicest meals we’ve had in Greece. A couple of very fancy fish dinners that were very enjoyable. I had the salmon with Wasabi and Karina had the tuna with cous cous.
Monday we packed up and left almost everything on the boat — we’re down to one small carry bag between us, a laptop bag, a small food bag and a general “other stuff” bag. Travelling very light! We headed back into Athens to a new neighbourhood called Nea Smyrni, which is between Athens centre and the beach so we could continue the speedboat course Tuesday morning.
It was nice to catch up with some friends back here, both Thymios, who we joined for drinks one evening and Camille who stayed for lunch on Thursday. For the most part though we tried hard to stay cool! The weather this last week has been almost 40C everyday, like much of the world, unexpectedly warm for this time of year. We’ve been trying to stay inside and keep the dog off the boiling hot roads so she doesn’t burn her feet.
With the new registration sorted for the boat and the new numbers being printed, another task was to get someone to remove the existing registration letters from the hull which are painted on. We were referred to an excellent guy in Kilada who was (unusual for most people we’ve worked with) very responsive on email and made it easy for us to organise what we needed to happen without needing to go back to the shipyard again. We even received these progress photos! When we do pick up the new registration on Monday, we’ll just have to stick them on and away we go!
The other vaguely interesting thing that happened was that I did some voice over work. Someone asked in the local Facebook group for a male with either an English, Australian or American accent to do some voice recording. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose by putting myself forward and they asked me to come into to their studio where I spent around three hours recording voices for a large English educational company. It’s basically the “listening” section that accompanies the printed materials, so you’ll hear me pretending to be a waiter, an interviewer, a person ordering a meal and so forth. It was a bit of fun and a break from the regular activities, plus I actually earned the first money I’ve made through my own efforts in almost a year! Even better, it was cash in hand and tax free — I feel very Greek now.
Until next time, when with a little bit of luck this will be written from aboard the boat and in the water….
Tim & Karina