Week 178: Slow winter days in Mytiline

Boatlife means boat jobs. A slow week in Mytiline

Week 178: Slow winter days in Mytiline
Delivery time! Bringing a package from the office to Flying Fish to store it for them.

Slow winter days, so slow I didn't get around to the blog until after lunch! This week has been all about pushing boat jobs forward. Chasing suppliers. Fixing things. Occasionally breaking them and fixing them again.

When we arrived back here last week, the weather was very cold, but it quickly warmed up, and for most of this week, we've had very pleasant 17 - 20C days, which we've enjoyed, getting out and about to go for some longer walks. It's also been very windy, which is probably just "winter in Greece", but it does seem that Lesvos is windier than we expected, too. Bouts of 40 - 50+ knots are very common.

The light came through the clouds in just the right way to highlight the ferry.

One advantage of the rain is that it's really tested the leaks on the boat. I'm pleased to say that we no longer have any...actually, no, I'm not going to tempt fate. Let's just say that this time around, despite very heavy rain, we didn't find any leaks at all. Last season, we battled a leak inside a cupboard all winter, and after stripping off all the excess gear from the arch back in Kuşadasi, Türkiye and resealing the gel coat, it's not leaked since. Finally, we felt comfortable to put the cupboard interior back in place!

The Webasto has been working well, but one of the heaters was still blowing cold air. We thought that perhaps the duct from the radiator to the outlet had been knocked loose in Kuşadasi because of the work on the solar (which meant accessing the batteries in the void beyond that ducting). Which meant emptying the shoe cupboard, pulling out the cupboard inserts and then accessing the crawl space to find that, in fact, the duct was fine. Turns out there was an airlock in one of the hoses, which was easily fixed by running the Webasto, turning off all the outlets from the manifold except the blocked one, and a few minutes of gurgling later, it was all fixed. As always on a boat, it's often not the repair that's the issue, it's the diagnoses and working out what's wrong that takes the effort. Four hours of troubleshooting, ten minutes of fixing the problem.

After far too much food in Athens with the kids over Christmas, we've been trying to get out and about and do a bit more walking, which is great when the weather is fine. We finally circled the castle and enjoyed poking our heads into the old Turkish baths on the far side of the hill.

After many attempts to lock him down, the Volvo mechanic was finally able to come on board to strip out the alternators and send them off to Athens for repair. There's a few mechanical jobs to be taken care of before the start of the season, fortunately he's on to them now.

Dimitri is a very knowledgeable and experienced Volvo mechanic. With back issues, he spends a lot of his time supervising and instructing his two sons, who are learning the ropes (or is it the gears?)

We still need our major engine service, which will happen when the alternators return - there's a minor oil leak on the starboard engine, which he's identified from the main crankshaft so that seal needs replacing. The RACOR filters need to be cleaned, and then we need to replace the hydraulic fluid in the power steering. Finally, the fuel manifold is leaking diesel, which is thankfully fairly trivial to repair, he says. It's not the manifold itself leaking, but the gaskets/seals in the fuel line valves, which need to be cleaned and replaced. Oh, and the generator needs a service, too.

While that sounds like a lot, it's all pretty normal stuff and it will be done in the one day by the one service provider so it's a lot more straight forward than it seems.

In terms of things that were broken? Not that much for a change! I was cleaning the water filter (I ran the shore water through that) and accidentally threw the O-ring that seals it over the side with the wastewater. Off to the water store here in town, the guy digs through some box, finds a replacement and says "90 cents". We're not sure if it was a spare or if he pulled it off someone else's. He certainly had no clue what it cost and made the price up on the spot! I do love doing business in Greece most of the time!

This week ahead, it's more waiting out some very windy weather, and then we'll see. It might be time to rent a car and explore a bit more of the island, or there are a couple of bigger boat projects I want to tackle, but only if the weather is nice and the boat is sitting still. I need to move the new solar controller and the low-pressure pump for the watermaker.

Choppy in the port today with strong winds

Until next time,

Tim & Karina