Week 187: Polishing

Polishing and more polishing while we wait out the last of winter here in Mytiline.

Week 187: Polishing
Drinking "Queen Anne's Revenge" on Flying Fish

A suitable theme for the week – we've been polishing off all sorts of old jobs while Karina has quite literally been polishing the stainless steel on Matilda.

Monday we went for a walk around to the entrance of the harbour again. The sunshine was great, it wasn't too windy and it was good to stretch our legs. As we were at the end of the mole, we saw a coast guard boat coming in, full of refugees. They still arrive here most days, but we rarely ever see it happen.

It was a smooth operation – by the time we'd walked the ten minutes back to the end of the mole, the coastguard boat had unloaded, the refugees were on a bus and it pulled out to take them to the camp north of town.

While we were watching an old guy came over and spoke with us and we learnt a few more interesting things about the area. He was born on Lesvos and said his village (in the hills north of Plomari) had around 1,500 residents when he was born in the 1950's. Today, only about 30 people left. The old ways are definitely disappearing here as people relocate into the bigger regional cities.

This abandoned building used to be the public swimming pool.

With a knowledgeable local at hand we were also able to satisfy our curiosity about a strange building that sits near the ferries. It's a large dome and we've always wondered what it is. He said it's an abandoned indoor swimming pool complex. Built by the military junta in 1971 to keep the locals happy, it's long been derelict. They are now developing a new, more modern complex on the outskirts of town and this one will eventually be demolished.

The mechanics finally made it back onto the boat and we were able to complete the engine maintenance. It was good to have them turning over again and know that we're ready to go... almost! We replaced the hydraulic fluid in the power steering and now there's a job left to do to return and add some pressure to that system – right now it would be hard to steer the boat if we tried. Mechanically we only have the generator left to service (parts finally arrived in stock this weekend and should be here Tuesday) and that's it. Matilda is ready for the season.

Monday was also "Clean Monday" here, the beginning of the Orthodox Lent period. Everyone BBQs, it's a big holiday and all the kids fly kites in competitions to try get "the closest to God." They fly very, very high, letting them out, tying on more string, letting it out some more, until often the strings break and the kites fly away! We found a length of kite string draped over half the marina, through the rigging of the boats, the kite nowhere to be seen.

Karina made a lemon slice which we shared with many of the other boats here, a popular gift and a good way to get out and chat to everyone. Ignacio and his girlfriend Charlotte stopped by for a coffee and we stopped off on Flying Fish for a drink with Sarah.

Dinner with Debbi. The yellow jacket isn't new, but it's reversible - usually it's green, but I wore it this way out for the first time.

The polishing is now complete. As well as finishing the stainless, I've been polishing some writing which has been submitted into a couple of writers competitions, it will be interesting to see how that goes! As always I have lots of projects on the go, it's keeping me amused and out of mischief (or in mischief – I'm never quite sure which) while we wait out the rest of the winter.

Today we're off with Sarah and Peter from Flying Fish for a roadtrip! There is a small ferry that runs from Mytiline across to Ayvalik in Türkiye so we're taking that this afternoon, picking up a car and then driving to Cappadoccia. We'll spend a few days there, then drive back. We're looking forward to it, we loved Türkiye and are excited to see some more of it and to share the experience with friends.

Until next time

Tim & Karina