We had a busy three days to prepare Hapatoni before her lift out on the 15th. With a long list of things nearly complete, we had a final bbq on the town quay on the last evening, with those gorgeous spicy Greek sausages. We both felt the COBB bbq was a great addition to the inventory this year.
On the morning of the 15th, we motored the short distance across the bay from the town quay to Cleopatra marina for our 10am lift-out, there was no wind and the sea was flat as a mill pond. The lifting team at Cleopatra are very efficient, Hapatoni was quickly out of the water, jet washed and secured on the hard in her winter home.
We decided not to stay on Hapatoni while she was out of the water, it’s very difficult getting Hudson on and off, so we rented our usual Galini apartment in Sivota for our last few days.
After a day of not doing a lot on Sunday, we headed back to the boat on Monday to make sure everything was ok and then on for a bit of history, with a trip to the Roman museum in Preveza. Mark had been keen to visit because it covered The Battle at Actium between Marc Anthony, Cleopatra and Octavian.
Our friends Keith and Tracey arrived on Ammonite on the 18th. They came in earlier than they had planned, to make sure that they had a parking spot for the party on the day of the regatta on the 20th … we were flying on the 20th, so missing the party – good planning huh!
It’s complicated to get Hudson back to Athens for our flight home, the most economical method is for Mark to fly from Preveza to Athens on the 18th, then hire a car and drive the 5 hours back to Sivota and then drive all three of us a further five hours back to Athens the day of our flight on the 20th … really, don’t ask.
We had drinks and dinner with Keith and Tracey on our final night at The Family Restaurant, at Yanni’s place. It seemed the right place for our last meal in Greece this summer.
Looking back on this summer, it started with some disappointments. Hapatoni was not re-launched till Mark’s birthday on the 31st May … 6 weeks after we returned to Greece.
Then, when we got back into the water, we had planned to sail up to Paxos and Corfu in early June before our friends Chris and Mary (from Bungay) arrived. This was quickly abandoned when we realised we needed to change all the batteries … which in fairness had exceeded their sell-by date, but they could have held out till the end of the summer – the joys of owning a boat.
The Iris hotel pontoon was a real find, there is water and electricity on the pontoon, a stunning setting and you can use the hotel pool and bar – what more can you ask for? While we were there, there was the minor issue of my emergency gall bladder operation and being rushed to Athens for five days, returning just in time for our friends Chris and Mary’s arrival from England – not the best timing, but we had a fabulous time with them.
The Peloponnese was brilliant, much cooler than further north, and very quiet, hardly a single Italian, hoorah, and when we hired the car in Kalamata to explore, the scenery in the mountains was breath taking.
It was great to finally get my parents out and show them the Greece that they will never see on their cruise ships, tiny islands and secluded beaches. It was their first time sailing on Hapatoni and I think they had a fabulous time.
With another year over, there have been a few more mishaps than normal and we were keen to return home to Hamble and see family and friends, five months is a long time away.