Plan "B"

Vlicho, Greece. We arrived in Vlicho safe and sound on Tuesday. We provisioned the boat, returned the rental car and went for dinner in Nidri. The next morning, we had to collect the laundry for the boat (which was supposed to have been delivered before we arrived, but no matter, we managed). We filled the water tanks and prepared to get under way when I noticed that the wooden transom on the inflatable dinghy had separated from the sponson (the inflatable tube). I checked with the local chandlery but they didn’t have the right adhesive. I knew Nidri Marine would stock it, but I’d need the dinghy to get there. Catch 22!

I set about glueing it myself using the tiny tube of adhesive they give you in the repair kit, but to no avail. I had no confidence that it would hold, particularly aa it supports the engine and tansmits the engine thrust into the hull. “Rabbit,” our boat minder in Vlicho, told me his dinghy guy would be arriving that day and he was an expert in all things PVC. I decided to leave the borked dinghy with him and to head off. I was sick of Vlicho and being tied up beside Rabbits barge, which is a sunken tanker of some sort. Getting from the boat to the shore is a bit like walking through a rusty mine field. We high-tailed it to Spartochori, which is a favourite gunkhole of mine. Hardly a hardship, to be honest.

Spartochori has a quay wall at the South end of the cove, beside the Taverna Spilia. It’s a bows-to quay with a lazy line. In other words, no dinghy required. We tied up, went for a swim, and I had a refreshing Mythos or two. As Rabbit had informed us that the PVC expert wouldn’t get to see the boat until Thursday, and he’d text us when the boat was ready, we hung around the next day. Around noon, we decided that even if the dinghy was ready, we weren’t that interested in a late departure, and anyway, Spartochori is lovely. Decision made. We’d head back to Vlicho to collect the dinghy on Friday morning (today). Another day of lazing around, swimming, eating and of course a Mythos or two.

This morning, having still not heard from Rabbit, or found out about the dinghy, I sent him another text. Only to discover that “the work is a bit more involved than they thought” and the dinghy won’t be ready until Monday.

We’ve already been here quite a while, but another three days would be too much. While we could nip across to Nidri and stern-to on that quay, it’s not that nice an area. It’s a bit too touristy for my taste. I don’t want to go too far, because we have to come back to Vlicho. My original (vague) plan was to go to Port Atheni around the corner, and stay on the hook for a day or two. But without a dinghy, that’s a bit of a hardship. I think we’ll stay today anyway, as Ben met some kids from a neighbouring Irish boat and has spent the morning in a prolonged water battle, to the mild annoyance of the Norwegian boat beside us.

So, another day in Spartochori. Tonight we will reprovision the boat and fill the water tanks. Tomorrow morning we will head to Port Atheni anyway, and if we want to go ashore, we will have to swim. Tis far from inflatable dinghys with outboard engines we were raised! Mind you, if it seems like hard work to swim ashore for dinner, we will eat on board.

We will review the situation on Sunday. If it turns out to be too challenging to stay at anchor in Port Atheni, we might nip in to Nidri for Sunday night, if we can find space on the quay. Then again we could tie up beside Rabbit’s barge again or see if we can borrow a dinghy and anchor in Vlicho bay. Given the choice, I’d prefer to stay on the hook in Atheni as Vlicho bay always seems a bit too murky for me, and I love being able to swim off the boat in the morning, while lying at anchor. Decisions, decisions.

Dermot Tynan's Picture

About Dermot Tynan

Part-time sailor, full-time procrastinator. Software Engineer, Writer, Film-maker. Interested in all things cloud, sailing, autonomous systems and robotic sailboats.

Galway, Ireland