Week 193: Medical checks, then off to Copenhagen

A shitty time in Lesvos this week then off to Copenhagen for the weekend before the Eurovision semi-final.

Week 193: Medical checks, then off to Copenhagen
Welcome to Denmark!

If you don't like shitty puns, then this is NOT the week for you. I suggest you put the blog down and back away slowly.

In part this has been due to the fact we both had colonoscopies scheduled. Which involves a degree of prep. This was not, in fact, too bad. However, it's not worth discussing in detail – suffice to say it's a crappy experience. We're of an age now where we should have had it done a while back, but with COVID, moving countries, etc. etc., it just kept getting pushed off. When friends mentioned they'd found a highly qualified specialist here on Lesvos we fell over backwards (or is that forwards) to line ours up too.

We staggered our appointments a few days apart, so with the fasting and the final prep, the beginning of the week found us boat-bound. Everything was fine, and the process was worthwhile. If you're due a checkup, don't stress and put it off, get it done. The risks of colorectal cancer are very high (1 in 23 men or 1 in 25 women), but regular screening is a simple preventative measure.

The other shitty part of the week has been a couple of boat problems which we're trying to get to the bottom of. At the end of last season we were getting over-voltage errors on the engine, which the mechanic said was the alternators. We had these rebuilt, so they should have been fine, but with our trip to Limnos and back, we were now getting under-voltage warnings. The electrician came out, and the engine batteries were shot – probably because of the overcharging problems with the faulty alternators at the end of last season. All of this diagnosis, of course, happened while I was in the final part of my colon preparation, which was a challenge!

Intense consultations

After the mechanics left, the boat smelt of diesel. Not unusual, but it was quite strong. Then the bilge pumps went off which is unusual. I emptied the bilges, and the smell of diesel was even stronger. At about 3 AM, the bilge pumps went off AGAIN, and this time, I headed down into the engine room to check. I couldn't see anything obvious, but the diesel smell was overwhelming. I pumped the bilges again, and there was visible diesel in the water, so I threw detergent out (to break up the diesel on the surface) and went back to bed. At this point, remember I've been fasting now for five days and not eaten at all for almost 24 hours while having what you might describe as a shitty time. I'm not at peak performance at 3 AM in this state.

When the bilge went off AGAIN at 6 AM, I went back into the engine room to find diesel running across the floor. It was coming from the generator. The bottom of the generator drip pan was full of diesel, and two rivulets were streaming over the edge into the bilge. Well...

Cleaning up the diesel from the bottom of the generator.

Given the last thing that happened in the engine room was a visit from the mechanics, it's probably related to that. I cut off the fuel at the source, which stopped the leak. We cleaned it all up, and the mechanics returned. The fuel line had separated from the fuel filter and was leaking constantly. It's possible this had been happening for a while, and their clambering in and out of the engine room over the generator (which I do, too) finally separated it. We'll never know. But fortunately, it was an easy fix.

I had a biopsy a few weeks back and went to collect the results. They sat me down in the lab while they looked for records, only to tell me that I had to return next week.

Anyway, there are not many photos from the first part of the week. We were focused on fixing ourselves and the boat. We are both quite frustrated at the moment because, despite the season being underway, we feel like we're actually several steps back. Right now, the boat won't even start because the engine battery is removed, and of course, it's Greek Easter, so that's going to add more delays. We will work to have it all resolved while we're away.

The second part of the week was spent preparing to travel for the next six weeks or so. We've got a busy schedule. Currently, we're in Copenhagen for the next few days. Ella and Inge arrive Sunday morning, and we're all off to Eurovision Semi-Final One on Tuesday.

The future... In Copenhagen, this mobile advertising sign follows you around!

The trip from Mytiline to Copenhagen was very smooth. As Karina said, it's a bit like leaving a country that, in many ways, is 30 years behind in its infrastructure and stepping into one that, on first impression, feels 10 years ahead.

Everyone rides bikes. The city is set up for a walkable, rideable infrastructure. There are very few cars around, and those that are, even the taxis, are almost all electric. Public transport is clean and easy to use. The city feels incredibly quiet. There are a lot of green spaces—in fact, Copenhagen has one of the highest numbers of playgrounds of any city in the world.

We’re on the outskirts of the city, which is understandably very modern, but it's the heart of the city that really shines. Lots of wonderful old buildings and sights to visit. We went to the top of the Rondtaar (Round Tower), ate danishes in Denmark, walked through the King's Gardens, wandered to Tivoli Gardens, ate a wonderful meal and then collapsed back at the apartment some 21,000 steps later.

We're really loving being here and looking forward to sharing it some more with Ella and Inge tomorrow.

This week is more touring Copenhagen, a trip to Malmo, Sweden for the Eurovision semi-final and then off to The Netherlands on Wednesday to start a pet sit.

Until next time,

Tim & Karina